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South Africa: Sardine Run, June 2016

Hi Cindi,

Our trip was wonderful. I love the bush!

Got to see bait balls on the last day of our sardine run. They were small and we scared the dolphins off when we rushed over there. Didn’t really get to see the underwater action. Buts saw lots of whales, dolphins, and bait. Loved Debby and Rob. They made us feel like part of the family.

Didn’t see breaching great whites. Saw the splash. Didn’t get in the cage. We were still waterlogged from 4 days of wet wet suit during sardine run. Saw a 16 footer from boat and several others. Did see some predations from the surface. One of the sharks missed and the seal kept jumping back towards the shark. Shark couldn’t turn fast enough and seal got away. Hooray for the underdog. Amazing.

The bush. LAAAA. We saw the big 5 and much more. I loved Tanda Tulu. So friendly and made us feel amazingly comfortable. On our last day at Arathusa we saw 5 female lions take down a cape buffalo. Gruesome and awesome. Took a long time. Got to see lion cubs and leopard cubs. I could go on and on.

Also stopped by the cheetah rescue/breeding program not far from Tanda Tulu. It was wonderful. They have king cheetahs, wild dogs, ostriches, baby rhinos and so much more. If your clients really want to see a cheetah, it’s not far away, it’s inexpensive, and so worth it.

Thanks for booking us on such an amazing trip. Everything went smoothly. Didn’t even have a delayed flight.

Therese Tomasic

Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen), Cuba

With the doors to the forbidden island opening ever so slightly, I thought it would be prudent to get to Cuba before the first McDonalds or Starbucks opened in Havana. I wanted to experience Cuba as it is now, and probably how it had been for the last fifty-five years. After poring over Treasury Department documents, I was able to secure a “travel license” through an Ocean Conservation “people to people” education program. This would allow me to meet with Marine Biologists and Conservationists and would also allow me to participate in Scuba diving activities in one of the most pristine ecosystems remaining in the Caribbean, Jardines de la Reina (The Gardens of the Queen). This area is a cluster of small cayes and mangroves located about fifty miles off the southern coast of the island. Getting there was no easy task ... Read more

With all that I’ve heard about Cuba over the years, particularly about the diving in Jardines de la Reina, I went into this adventure with great anticipation. It is safe to say that this trip certainly lived up to my high expectations. For those that may be interested in traveling to this destination, you can reach out to Cindi LaRaia of She arranged everything from the travel license to the flights, hotels and diving. I have been using her travel services for the last fifteen years. I suggest that you hurry though. It is my understanding that prices are already beginning to rise and American companies are already trying to negotiate deals in Cuba. You’re definitely going to want to get there before the first cruise ship pulls into port, and before you can get a McMojito at the local McDonalds!

By Bob Pecoraro

Mexico: Guadalupe - Solmar V, August 6-10 2015

Oh my god. It was unbelievable! Trip of a lifetime!!! The boat was great, the crew was INCREDIBLE, and the Sharks were stunning!!! I can't wait to do another trip with you all soon! Thank you so so much - this trip exceeded any expectations I had!!!!! Weeee!!!


Mexico: Sea of Cortez - Wildlife Cruise, March 15-21 2015

As Hemingway said, we never woke up on the El Mechudo unhappy and we were happily anticipating each new day with Carlos and Joseph. Josey was amazing with his food preparation and assisting Carlos with sailing the boat and accommodating us.

Carlos's depth of knowledge of the entire sea of cortez ecosystem is impressive. We can't say enough about how happy we are for having found this trip with Baja Expeditions. Carlos and Josey provided us with an open itinerary each day which allow each individual to enjoy the sea at their own comfort level. This was my first experience at live aboard small boat cruising, but I believe Carlos set's a high standard to beat.

We thank you for your assistance connecting us to this beautiful voyage. Robert & Linda

Dominican Republic: Silver Banks Humpback Whale Trip, Feb 14-21 2015

Feed back from our recent Swimming with Humpbacks Trip.

The trip was amazing!

I thanked Gene & Jeff for sharing their knowledge & passion for all whale species.

I thanked the crew of the Sun Dancer, I couldn't have been looked after or fed any better.

I am grateful to the Whales for allowing me a brief insight into their watery world and for giving me so many memorable experiences & photos, I feel privileged to have experienced it.

I wasn't physically able to do more than one swim on the last day. However, I did get to see another breach topside and my photos of our group snorkelling with spy hopping whales are now in demand!

I think the following quote is very apt & sums up the experience both topside & in the water, especially for Conscious Breath.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away."

Thanks Cindi for your prompt email replies and for arranging our trip, I am a keen snorkeler & would definitely recommend your company & I hope one day to travel through you again.



Madagascar Trip, October 2014

© Bob Pecoraro

My wife and I just returned from an awesome three week trip to Madagascar. Personal drivers and guides expertly escorted us through this magnificent country, every step of the way. We toured the city of Antananarivo, saw the Baobab Trees of Morondava, the dry forests of Kirindy, the limestone pinnacles of Tsingy, the rainforest of Andasibe and we went diving in the pristine waters off Nosy Be.

The wildlife we witnessed was impressive. We saw numerous species of Lemurs and Chameleons, several species of snakes, lizards and frogs as well as many native bird species. I even got to swim with a curious Minke Whale and get up close and personal with a Fossa, Madagascar's top predator.

With all that we did and saw, we merely scratched the surface of what this unique place has to offer. I certainly see us coming back in the future to explore other areas of this huge island.

Thanks again Cindi for another fantastic journey!

Bob Pecoraro

Peru and Galapagos Scuba Diving, Sept 15-Oct 16 2014

Cindi at Dive Discovery organised all the internal travel for our trip to Peru where we visited Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca. The trip was amazing, all our guides, drivers and hotels were exceptional. The service was personalised and flexible when needed. All our guides spoke excellent English and were highly knowledgeable. Cindi suggested an excellent itinerary and guided us through our selection of places, length of stay and level of accommodation based on our interests. We could not fault any aspect of the trip or organisation and would recommend Cindi and Dive Discovery without hesitation.


PNG: Onboard MV FeBrina, 11-19 June 2014

Walindi was cool. Febrina was amazing. What an awesome crew!

Allan is amazing. Charlie had told me about him and I am glad to say that the man is equal to his legend. His stories are the best. I got along really well with him. Josie is the awesome and Digger true to his name. Diving was spectacular. I felt like I was in a ticker-tape parade full of sea life. A little of everything, schools of barracuda, jacks, etc. Reefs are immaculate. As a bonus, saw dolphins out near East New Britain. And after docking back at Walindi, crossing the dive shop, we heard there were orcas nearby. Shane commandeered a boat and we went out looking. Found them multiple times, but they were not in a playing mood and we couldn't get in the water with them.

Thanks for the help and excellent job.

Phil Leblond

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PNG: Onboard MV FeBrina, 11-19 June 2014

The MV FeBrina experience is a treat indeed !

Being welcomed aboard by lovely Josie and taken to my air conditioned cabin was a delight. This boat is super comfy. The cabins have all been recently updated and are clean, spacious and very well appointed. The crew was a pleasure to spend the week with. The diving was spectacular ! The array of dive sites and beasties was incredible. I felt high on sensory overload every dive. Such diversity and abundance of sea life I have never experienced before. Soft corals, hard corals, crinoids, nudibranchs, sea slugs, crabs of all kinds and the fish life !!! Seriously, the abundance of fish large, small and weird is fabulous ! Juveniles of every species is a joy to see. Clownfish protectively patrolling their anemones everywhere in many different colors. Pygmy seahorse, Titan trigger fish , Cuttle fish and of course Sharks. The silvertip sharks were my favorite. With two divemasters on critter watch every dive something special was found literally every time.

If you love diving, book this trip. I can hardly wait to get back and do it again!

Trina Vaughn

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Tahiti: Onboard Aquatiki

In a word....Totally incredible...that was two!

Really, an incredible trip, boat, crew, diving, venue...everything.

Too much to say in an email. Scott ended up doing all the dives except for one day. We both brought our equipment but they did have all extra gear available and Scott ended up using one of their xs BCD's. We arrived to find we were the only guests. Good and bad as it would have been nice to socialize with others... but a private charter is not all bad either. With just the two of us with the dive master, it was great.

Incredible life in the reefs, yes sharks, graceful manta rays, millions of grouper (spawning once per year during the full moon... after that they were all gone except a few), all live corals with endless communities of fish everywhere. The current was strong in the passes (of course) but quite manageable for both of us and we got quite comfortable with it.

The best thing about it was the great logistics of the entire trip. They had moorings at all locations (appropriately placed for the dives as well as protected areas) which made mooring quite easy. They all worked well as a team. Even though they had only been working on this boat for 2 months, they had it mastered, quite competent and confident, despite their age, captain (Antoine) 25, 1st mate (Julie) 25 and dive instructor (Emilien) 30. The dives were very well briefed which made the navigation easy and expectations of each dive was accurate. Snacks and coffee were always provided upon returning to the boat after each dive.The meals were all served right at the appropriate times and we never felt hungry. The meals were great too. They did quite well accommodating Scott's diet requirements. We caught a large mahi mahi which fed us for a couple of days. The meals were a highlight of the trip!

All in all, very highly recommended. The price was quite reasonable considering everything that was included.

Thanks for helping to arrange this... an incredible trip to remember forever...

Colin Kuster

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