Inside This Issue...
I remember the first time I saw a shark. I was on a catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef; half the people on the boat were divers, the rest of us were snorkelers. The tour guide asked who among us wasn’t diving because we were scared. I raised my hand, and admitted to having anxiety about being in deep, open water.
The guide promised the reef would blow my mind. All I needed to do was put on a mask, breathe with the oxygen tank, and get in the water. The deal clincher was that the guide would hold my hand; I didn’t need to worry about getting lost or fidgeting with gear.
So I did it. The experience was beyond my imagination: the coral seemed to glow; starfish clung to the reef, stingrays glided beneath us. While swimming back to the boat, we had to cross between two reefs – and an open body of deep water. And there it was: a shark. It hovered above us in the water, allowing me a good look at its slick grey body about four feet long. This was a small reef shark. Harmless.
Since then, I have found my sea legs and jumped in the water with many creatures: wild dolphins in New Zealand, sea lions in Galapagos, reef sharks in Thailand, and manta rays in Micronesia. But these seem to barely scratch the surface of thrilling experiences when you read writer Max Anderson’s account of cage diving with Great Whites.
In this edition, Max takes us to Australia’s southern coast to dive with a 15-foot shark. His account reminds us that extraordinary experiences like this are possible for any of us.
If you’re not quite ready for Great Whites, take a look at writer Tim Johnson’s adventure in Belize where he swims with nurse sharks.
And if you’d sooner stay on dry land and avoid these predators all together, check out our stories that take you horseback riding in Brazil or on a foodie tour through Puerto Vallarta. Luxury spa lovers will enjoy our dispatches from the deserts of Arizona and Chile.
I hope this magazine inspires your imagination and encourages you to connect with your travel
specialist to start planning your winter getaways. Get ready to have fun in the sun.
Editor, Ensemble Vacations® Magazine