Back in 2010, when I first started both my travels as well as my scuba diving addiction, I started a small personal blog, to document what I was doing. At first the blog was meant to just keep family and friends updated, but it grew from there.
Ever since December 2010 I have been traveling non-stop, to 88 countries so far, and this is mostly because I love exploring new things. Scuba diving and exploring go hand in hand, and I quickly grew a passion for both.
I got certified with PADI in Mozambique, which really started the passion, but it wasn’t until I arrived in Dahab, Egypt much later, and took all the courses up to Divemaster, that I decided to start blogging as a business, rather than a hobby.
Once I did that, I took a poll with my readers and other avid scuba travelers, and created the Top 100 Dive Locations, which in my opinion is the best list out there. Of course it doesn’t list all great sites, but its a awesome bucket list for dive junkies like me.
But of course just making the list for others to look at wasn’t enough. I was the owner of a popular travel and scuba blog, with an addiction to exploring new dive locations, so of course I had to give myself the mission.
I decided to change my focus from a personal travel blog, and start ArtofScubaDiving.com, to focus more closely on the niche of diving, with travel sprinkled in. And in mid 2017 I sold my blog, to focus solely on this site, and my mission.
By the end of 2017, Artofscubadiving.com was launched, writers and staff hired, and content building in full force. Now, in April of 2018, on my 32nd birthday, I can start focusing again on my mission to dive the top 100, as well as create videos and stories from each, and write the stories from the ones I’ve crossed off already, but hadn’t written about yet.
Progress so far: So far I have crossed off 34 locations from the Top 100 list. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I learned quickly that this mission is a little harder than I had anticipated. They are all in remote and expensive to get to countries.
Confession. Even though I am ready to refocus on the mission, 2018 will be pretty slow in its progress. Since this is the year I am launching and building artofscubadiving.com, I need to do a little less travel this year, and get work done. But this also means that I will have time to write more stories from the dives I’ve already done.
I knew that I would take a big hit financially by selling my blog, but I also know that it will be worth it when my vision for AOS is complete.
I have kept some ambassadorships and sponsors, and still work with tourism boards, but this site is still being started from scratch, and will take some time to build up into the 5-figure per month income. I give it a year of hard work before I hit that goal.
The mission. So if I wasn’t clear, my mission is to dive and explore and document all sites on the Top 100 List. I would also love if I could create some great video content from each site, to share with you.
Listed below is my progress so far, and I will link each one to a story or video I made for the location, if I have them. Since this site is new, I still have a lot of backlogs of stories for most of the locations i crossed off, so those are coming soon!
Here is the progress so far. These are the locations I have finished, make sure to click the links to read about them, or see the videos some have.
1. The dive sites of Dahab, Egypt (Great Blue Hole, Canyon etc)
3. Manta Reef, Tofo, Mozambique
4. Abu Galum, Egyptian Red Sea
5. Dive sites around Diani, Kenya
6. Baa Atol, The Maldives
7. The Dubai Mall Aquarium, UAE
8. Cirkewwa, Malta
9. Blue Hole, Gozo, Malta
11. Dive sites off of El Nido, Philippines
12. Dive sites around Malapascua, Philippines
13. Wrecks of Coron Bay, Philippines
16. South Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
17. Seaventure House Reef, Mabul, Malaysia
19. Arborek Jetty, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
20. Castle Rock, Komodo, Indonesia
22. Manta Sandy, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
24. USS Spiegel Grove, Key Largo, Florida Keys
25. Molasses Reef, Florida Keys
28. The Pit Cenote, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
29. Palancar Deep, Cozumel, Mexico
30. Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico
31. The wrecks and reefs of Aruba (After diving Aruba, I’m not so sure it deserves to be in top 100, might change it out)
32. Devils Throat, Cozumel, Mexico
33. Great Blue Hole, Belize
34. Half Moon Caye Wall, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize
So as you can see I still have a ways to go, but I am also kinda glad I haven’t hit them all yet, because now I have good underwater camera gear and more experience, and can make better content for each, to share with you.
For now I am going to start hitting up a few more of these locations this year, as well as post some of the stories from the ones I already crossed off above. Book mark this page to watch the progress, and here is to a great 2018!
Where should I go next? What locations are missing from the Top 100 list?