Next year’s 25th Anniversary of Singapore’s annual ADEX Show – now a leading event on the diving industry calendar – also marks the anniversary of the launch of my first book :
Live-Aboards Of The Asia-Pacific
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” – ‘Wind In The Willows’
The boundless opportunities for exploration and discovery are carrying Divers further from the coastline. While in-shore diving from beach or day-boat still exercises its magic, the greater adventure lays beyond the horizon. Enthusiasts with limited vacation time are, in ever increasing numbers, indulging their passion for diving by opting to take a trip on a Live-aboard dive boat.
For the keen Diver nothing quite compares with the advantages offered by Live-aboard Dive vessels. Traveling to often remote and seldom visited locations, the marine life is more abundant; the visibility – generally – superior; lost or forgotten equipment hassles are minimized; there is a greater variety of diving – and more of it; greater opportunities for relaxing; and – possibly unique to diving – there is the camaraderie fostered by a shared interest. A bond which transcends social and cultural differences.
Catering to a growing demand, boat operators are tailoring packages to suit every level of experience, time frame, and budget in what has become a rapidly expanding and competitive market.
Nowhere is this growth more dynamic than in the Asia / Pacific region where new, and pristine dive sites are being discovered on an almost daily basis. No sooner has the word-of-mouth whisper gone out, been seized upon by magazines, and written about as the latest diving ‘hot-spot’, than a savvy operator is marketing a trip to this new Eden.
The purpose of this guide is to assist Divers in planning their Live-Aboard dive vacation, to help them in their choice of vessel, and in the selection of an itinerary that matches both their Diving needs as well as their pocket.
Determining what constitutes a ‘Live-Aboard Dive Boat’ has been fraught with problems. There are, for example, many standard cruise ships which offer diving as one of the activities. There are also smaller vessels which can, if pushed, sleep a limited number of people in varying degrees of comfort. I have elected, as far as possible, to only include those boats which have exclusive passenger accommodations; are able to spend at least one week at sea without re-supply; which offer diving as the main activity; and which are specifically configured to allow this.
Listed alphabetically by country I have endeavoured to make this guide as comprehensive as possible. And while every care has been taken there will, inevitably, be glaring omissions. Should this prove to be the case the fault lies solely with the author who welcomes comments, input and updates!
Because everybody has different expectations of Live-Aboard Dive boats I have prefaced this guide with a few chapters on topics which relate directly to your enjoyment of the experience.
My grateful thanks to all of the boat operators who assisted in the compilation of this guide. My special good wishes to those who may see fit to use it. May you sail upon calm waters.
Categories: Book Reviews