Life is in the detail

Fiji is a magical and beautiful place above and below the water, from waterfalls to the rainbow reef, it is full of lovely welcoming people and enchanting landscape, with superb world-class diving thrown in!

Emily C - Original Diver

Emily Chappell

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Caribbean, Maldives, Fiji, Philippines, Tanzania and Indonesia.

My travels

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Dive Raja Ampat, preferably on a liveaboard
  • Snorkel with marine iguanas in the Galapagos
  • Visit the National Parks of Madagascar to see the Lemurs
  • Undertake an expedition to Peru, covering the Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca & the Peruvian Amazon

Best Moments

  • Witnessing coral spawning for the first time in Curacao. The explosion of life was inspiring and magical. It is not only the spectacle of the spawning that impresses in the complete darkness, but the explosion of activity and life that comes with it. Tarpons, sharks and all manner of predatory fish come to the scene when the corals spawn. The gametes rise in the water column in slow motion and it is a peaceful, but active spectacle to behold!
  • Having two mantas swim directly toward me on a dive in the North Male Atoll in the Maldives. We spent a drift dive observing all kinds of life; from schools of bannerfish in the blue, to tiny macro life like porcelain crabs, feeding in the current amongst anemones. Then, when the time was right, we hooked onto some boulders on the upper wall and there were two mantas circling a pinnacle cleaning station. We observed, hovering in the current for moments, before they decided cleaning time was over and then they both came soaring toward me, casting a large shadow over the top of my head as they went above me. I was tearing up in my mask - first time crying underwater!
  • Visiting Fiji in general was a highlight for me. Never in my years did I think I would have the opportunity to travel there, and the country is full of wonderful and glorious people. It is a little taste of old Blighty, but has a completely unique culture as well. Friendliness and kindness are a natural way of living there.

Toughest Travel Moment

  • Witnessing the coral bleaching from start to finish when in the Maldives. My earlier dives there were a sight to behold and by the time my 6 month position was over, many of the once bountiful sites were devoid of life and it was like seeing an underwater graveyard. This process does happen naturally and corals can recover from bleaching if temperatures return to their 'normal.'

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Having a relaxing dinner in our beach hotel in Kenya. At around 9:30pm we heard African drumming and thought that a band was going to come and play. The waitress then came over to our table and asked us "Do you hear that music?" We reply "Yes, what is it? It is beautiful". The waitress then bluntly says "That sound means it's time to leave!".

Explore my blog posts

denise pygmy seahorse camouflaged on pink coral in Raja Ampat

Just back from…. Lembeh Resort and Papua Paradise, North Raja Ampat

Toward the end of 2023 one of our Original Divers, Emily, was lucky enough to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Lembeh and Raja Ampat. The latter has long occupied the top spot of her diving bucket list, with its pellucid turquoise waters, hidden lagoons and out-of-this-world sea…

Seahorse

A Visit to the Islands of Tanzania: Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia Island

Mention travelling in Tanzania and chances are you'll be quizzed on which safari reserve you're visiting. Yet this East African marvel harbours just as much diversity off its shores. Contrary to those who like to spend their holidays on dry land, my recent visit to Tanzania took me on an…

Nudibranch

Top Ten Nudibranch Facts

From the bright red Spanish dancer to Hopkins's rose nudibranch, neon green leaf sheep nudibranch - otherwise known as 'Shawn the Sheep' -, and the orange-peel Doris nudibranch, fabulously coloured nudibranchs have amassed a cult-like following among divers. Hailed as the 'Jewels of the…

coral fragment

Top Ten Coral Facts

From long, wispy strands of sea whip coral to coral-encrusted walls, and from shallow patches of lettuce leaf corals to the bulbous grooved brain coral, coral reefs are the pièce de résistance for many divers. After all, these underwater cities offer some of the best animal viewing on the…

Reef, fish and diver

Top Five Biodiverse Destinations for Divers

From Alaska to the Amazon Rainforest, Costa Rica to the Serengeti, the world's topside treasures are regularly touted for their extraordinary biodiversity. Yet despite covering a whopping 70% of the planet, the ocean rarely gets a shoutout. In fact, 80% of the world's life is found in the…

Frogfish

Top Ten Weird and Wonderful Frogfish Facts

From hairy to warty, psychedelic to shaggy, few fish are stranger in appearance than the frogfish. But make no mistake, these camouflaged critters are dressed to kill. From masquerading as coral to boasting the fastest strike in the ocean, frogfish are the masters of aggressive mimicry. So…

Gozo diving

Five of Our Top Dive Sites in Gozo

Only a three to four hour flight from most European airports, Gozo is the perfect destination for a short summer break. With sun, sea and brilliant diving, and suitable for both beginner and advanced divers looking for a fix of wrecks, caves and caverns, Gozo has a repertoire to impress any…

Sulawesi

How To Spend Your Dry Days in Sulawesi

Having visited Northern Sulawesi last year, our resident marine biologist and dive expert, Emily, knows the appeal of the dreamy wall dives filled with turtles in Bunaken and the critter hub of Lembeh, and knows that a diver can happily be occupied for hours on end underwater here. But what…

Diving underwater next to coral

Top Tips for Muck Diving

Most divers look for variation in their diving, and muck diving is something that provides just that. If you are looking for more than pretty reefs or pelagics, try your hand at muck diving, as these apparently 'baren' underwater landscapes are home to an endless supply of critters and…

Mototi Octopus

Critters of Dauin

Dauin, located on the south coast of Negros Island, is known for being a 'critter hub' of the Philippines, and the area offers plenty of opportunity for divers to tick off a huge variety of wonderful creatures from their bucket lists. The Dauin area is possibly one of the best macro…

humpback whale

Top Ten Humpback Whale Facts

Humpback whales can be found worldwide in all of the world's major oceans. They travel great distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet - some populations swim a whopping 5,000 miles from tropical breeding grounds to colder, more productive…

Hammerhead shark

Top Ten Hammerhead Shark Facts

Hammerhead sharks are one of the most recognisable ocean creatures and perhaps the most distinctive of all shark species, largely thanks to their strangely-shaped heads - known as a cephalofoil. Found in the warm waters around Central America, Southern America, Africa, Asia, and Australia,…

Manta ray

Top Ten Manta Ray Facts

What diver doesn't dream of swimming alongside majestic manta rays? These charismatic and gentle fish, whose relatives include sharks, sawfish, electric rays and stingrays, certainly deserve a place on every diving bucket list.

Coral above and below water

Marine Metropolises: The Importance of Coral Reefs

Known as the 'rainforests of the sea', corals reefs contain the most diverse ecosystems on Earth and are home to over 25% of all marine species. They are important not only in protecting coastlines from storms, erosion and wave action, but also provide a crucial source of income for millions…

Mandarinfish

Over the Rainbow: The Most Colourful Sea Creatures

The ocean realm is home to sea creatures of many shapes and sizes, but it is the kaleidoscope of colour that resides within the oceans that is the most striking characteristic to remind us of its awe-inspiring beauty. Colour can be used as territorial warnings, for mating purposes or it can…

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