Feb

22

I’ve just returned from a marvelous 14 day exploratory expedition to the far northern Great Barrier Reef on a wonderful boat; The Spirit of Freedom. We sailed north from Cairns, just a small group of divers and support staff, and dived our way through the remote passes and reefs and channels all the way up the Queensland coast past the tip of Cape York to Ashmore Reef and back again. It was a spectacular undertaking and we got to dive reefs that have simply put; never been dived before. These are beautiful waters far from any land where sea life is abundant and unafraid of visitors. To be sure, there is some reef damage due to storms, bleaching, and the simple fact that the ocean goes through warming cycles. But there is also a lot of evidence that the ocean renews itself; habitats return to some balance, and we were treated to some truly spectacular diving. Imagine limitless stands of staghorn coral, giant table corals, healthy fish stocks, plentiful sharks, a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and creatures as far as the eye can see. The journey was so unique and so successful that our story made the front page of the Cairns Post the morning after our return.
To be sure, we had a top notch crew aboard, and the service was truly outstanding. The Spirit of Freedom crew were as attentive to the changing needs and whims of their guests on the 14th day of the voyage as they were on the 1st. It is truly a pleasure to work with partners like these people who bring some of the best diving in the world within easy reach.
Australia is only one of the many destinations we offer really unique and beautiful diving and adventuring in. Our calendar this year has divers headed for the Cayman Islands, the far islands of Indonesia, to the fabled Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the Republic of Kiribati, and to other out of the way destinations where the diving is first rate, where the locals welcome our clients and friends with open arms and the best diving in the world.
You too, can share in these often one of a kind experiences. Drop us an email and let us know what your diving fantasy is. Chances are, its not as out of reach as you think. Nothing makes us happier than putting divers into beautiful waters.

Aug

31

Somebody this weekend asked me about the best season to go diving. Here in the temperate latitudes of the east coast of the United States; a lot of people think of winter as the traditional season to take a warm weather holiday, and surely it is a time of year when warm sun is most craved and welcomed. But any glimpse at the surface of the globe tells us that its always that warm perfect season somewhere. The northern summer also brings the best conditions and weather to so many destinations around the world it is impossible to name them all. I have dived in Indonesia at the height of July in absolutely perfect conditions, and I have dived in Brazil during May also with fabulous conditions and great weather. Thats the thing about diving and adventuring; intrepid divers and adventurers the world over are always seeking that wonderful place, that state of mind, that breathtaking setting. The reality is that it exists almost anywhere on the planet at any given time. With careful planning and plotting, its ridiculously easy to plan and execute unforgettable itineraries in so many of the world’s pristine places.
So, if youre stuck for ideas on where to dive or adventure in any season, drop us a note and let us know your ultimate fantasy.
We love a good challenge!

Jun

23

Some time back…… ok a long time back, I decided (it was actually a momentary flight of whimsy), that I could get myself certified for SCUBA. I was in Jamaica at the time; not known for its diving but rather its beautiful beaches, its Reggae rhythms, and well; a few other amenities that tend to not mix well with diving. Its a wonderful island to visit if you go at the right time and to the right place. And when I first got Open Water certified, I was sure I had come to the right place.
The first open water dives were conducted right off the inbound end of the runway at the international airport at Montego Bay. I felt completely spastic and suffocatingly overweighted in the bulky getup that we divers wear into the water. Additionally, just because I had grown accustomed to breathing normally over the course of a lifetime along with the instinct in my brain that we do not breathe in water; I think I went through that first tank of air in about 22 minutes flat. The Instructor of course; used up about a tenth of his air in the same amount of time. The right place?
It is the goal of the PADI Open Water SCUBA module to educate us as to the basic technology, chemistry, and physiology of diving while breathing compressed air at depths of up to 100 feet and beyond. The course reviews and the skills circuits of the Open Water certification course require us to know the basic applications of the systems we need to rely on at depth.
But nothing can substitute for the sheer weight of experience and confidence that is gained as you continue to dive with other divers safely and enjoyably.
As I floated and huffed and puffed my way through those first 22 minutes in the world of SCUBA; I began to notice things around me: coral, fish, and topography I had only previously seen on television or in the two dimensional world of the few aquariums I had visited.
I began to understand how to control my movements in the water; my buoyancy and my forward motion.
Later as I went on to the Advanced Open Water module and even beyond; I found myself relying on the very basic skills that I had learned in the Open Water program to ensure my safety, and to help preserve the ocean environment for other divers to visit and enjoy.
It is a breathtaking world; from diving shipwrecks and the seal and shark dives of the temperate waters to the world’s tropical shallow seas; the home of the reef building corals that are so delicate and small yet so important to the ecology of the ocean. Nowadays it is even possible to dive in the waters off Antarctica, among flocks of penguins.
All of these places, from the well known dive sites to the extremely remote sites that are often accessed only by research expeditions and photographers; offer the ability to get up close to some of the world’s most fascinating and misunderstood creatures.
Everything begins with the Open Water module. I support PADI although there are other certification entities. Its just that PADI offers the most comprehensive education along with continuing education, and is a global and well known organization. They are at the forefront of dive technology and dive “culture”. Their diver support and global network are second to none. And their Open Water module is the best one in the industry. You no longer have to sit in a classroom on vacation for four days while you go through the course. Now, with PADI e-learning, you can do the coursework at your leisure and when you arrive at the stunning destination youve chosen for your first dive trip, you simply complete the 4 compulsory dives on site and you can enjoy the rest of your vacation or your expedition as the case may be.
The Open Water certification teaches us about equipment and terms we have sometimes heard but may be unfamiliar with; we learn a whole diver’s jargon of expressions and sayings that is understood mostly only by other divers.
Lastly, PADI encourages us through the Open Water program to continue learning, to learn every single time we get in the water; and to have great respect for what we learn and for what our diving buddies have learned as well.
Looking back on my week in Jamaica, it was well worth sitting through the class; it was well worth feeling like a total idiot in all that equipment for the first time. I glance now and then at the photos in the gallery on our website, all of which I took with my own cameras; and it is not lost on me that everything that went into taking those photos; began with my first PADI Open Water certification class. The skills you gain never leave you and you are encouraged to build on them to increase your awareness of the diving world, and to enjoy it to its fullest potential.
Our learn to dive programs encompass not only the assistance you’ll need to get into the water safely, but also the support many divers find useful for future reference as well. We are happy to recommend books, dive shops, and to as always; put together the finely tuned packages we do that can open your window into that beautiful fantastic world beneath the waves. We want to help you to keep that window open for years to come; in a seemingly endless array of destinations and dive sites to dazzle any level of diver, from the Open Water student, to the Master Scuba Diver. Whether youre a seasoned Pro, or want to augment your diver education, or if you are considering the Open Water certification, we would love to hear from you.

Jun

15

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Jun

15

I dont know why, but even after all these years of travelling, the airport still represents to me, an often barely surmountable hurdle in getting myself into the water, onto the trail, out on the road; wherever…… Is it the ever changing airport experience as we know it or is it the fact that I am often saddled with various items of clothing and equipment that I feel are required for a 2 week trip to go dive somewhere reasonably to fairly exotic?

We all have our crosses to bear;  you golfers manage to stoically lug those clubs from Florida to Scotland to Australia and back again; how many times do I see the big garage windows of the outsize baggage claim disgorge surfboards, bicycles, skiing equipment at airports around the globe? We seem to drag what we know works well for us to the ends of the earth to experience our favorite activities in so many destinations, and the one common experience to all of these itineraries usually involves the airport.

These days; I want to show up early, you never know – you could get that emergency exit window seat with extra legroom on an 8 hour flight; you might get the upgrade if youre first on that precious list.  And I want to have time to grab a bite of something fresh to munch on, lets face it, even on airlines that offer meal service for sale; the food isnt what most of us would prepare at home (or at least we hope it wouldn’t turn out like it does at 37000 feet). Most of all I want to be sure I have packed well, have what I need for the flight; checked my equipment and luggage in time for it to make the plane, and then daydream of the destination itself and the cares I wish to slip away from in visiting it. Will I be trudging through lowland jungles in my trusty hikers or will I be effortlessly suspended over a tropical coral reef somewhere? I prepare myself to be dazzled and surprised and often in ways I would not necessarily expect.

Therein itself lies the beauty and the art of travel; a way for us to peel away the layers of the world’s onion, and only now and then to slip away from our every day mundane cares, and see it in all its perfect beauty.

Jun

10

Welcome to Beckersphere’s Adventure Blog!

Our mission takes shape in the crafting of unique itineraries involving diving and adventuring in the world’s most spectacular and pristine places. We are dedicated to extremely high standards of service for any comfort level, and we are powered by over 30 years of travel and adventure industry experience. Our itineraries encompass everything from camping and backpacking to the most deluxe resort offerings and city stay options; all backed by a sense of personal service and reliability that is professional and consistent.