I'll take you back to Sogod Bay, nicknamed "the bay of whale sharks", in the south of the island of Leyte, in the Philippines... On my first trip there in 2008, I missed them. Twelve years later, I was luckier!
In lack of salt water, I'm nostalgically looking back these days to my last underwater images brought back from the Philippines... It was a year ago, early 2020. Before the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures.
In the Philippines, Balicasag Island is a popular dive site. You can observe a huge silvery school of trevallies, spinning near the reef. A fascinating sight...
Making bubbles along coral drop-offs overflowing with life and colour, what a delight! In the Philippines, Cabilao Island is a real little underwater gem.
Fancy Indonesia? I will take you diving in the waters of Sali Kecil, a remote little island on the west coast of Halmahera. Magnificent!
Traveling light, I do not know what it is! In March, I went diving in the Philippines, Anilao and Romblon. With, in my luggage, a cumbersome paraphernalia to photograph the tiny wildlife that lives under water.
These words are already a journey. Before discovering Polynesia in 2012, I thought it was mostly folklore for tourists in search of exoticism. Not at all. These are really strong cultural symbols, rooted in the everyday life of Polynesians.
Before landing at Rangiroa to dive, in October 2012, I was completely unaware that it was producing ... wine! It seems incredible, but yes, we cultivate the vine in full Pacific, in the Polynesian archipelago of Tuamotu.
In the dream boat category, here is one on which I would see myself embarking one day: the mythical Aranui, to go to the Marquesas Islands, in Polynesia!
If you are visiting Tahiti, it is essential to eat at the popular "roulottes" of Papeete, on the seafront. The atmosphere is nice, family. It's good and cheap.
Among the islands that I dream to explore when I return to Polynesia, there is Rurutu, in the Austral Islands ... For humpback whales.
Polynesia is not just about luxury hotels on stilts. There is also a lot of simpler and more affordable accommodation, where the atmosphere is also more family and very warm.
In 2012, I discovered Rangiroa and its spectacular shark gathering. My dream: to go back there and also to dive in Fakarava, another legendary Polynesian spot to observe the sharks.
I regret that I could only spend two days in Moorea, the neighboring island of Tahiti. I loved its rugged terrain and lush vegetation, azure lagoon and the legendary Cook Bay.
My first trip to Polynesia in 2012 made me want to go back (sigh). But the plane ticket is not given and given the duration of the flight, it is better to have a little time in front of you. Here are some practical information to remember.
Five archipelagos with 118 islands and atolls, scattered in the Pacific, on a vast territory like Europe ... Polynesia is just huge!
A little video flashback: In October 2012, I went to meet sharks in the blue, off Rangiroa, in Polynesia.
In the Indonesian archipelago of Derawan in Borneo, the islands of Sangalaki and Maratua are no longer the fabulous diving spots they were in 2013.
Borneo is adventure! I saw again the Indonesian island of Kakaban and its mysterious jellyfish lake. I even went back to swim there. Video evidence.
Derawan is a tiny Indonesian girl on the east coast of Borneo. I had already been there in 2009. But for this 2013 trip, I have revised my itinerary.
March 2013. Bangka Island, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. My new home, for a few days, is called Coral Eye. What a beautiful name!
Nature, calm and pleasure ... In North Sulawesi, Indonesia, I headed for a dream island. His name: Bangka.
The Indonesian company Lion Air has a unique trick. With the safety instructions, there is a special prayer booklet for the plane.
I like being under water. But I also like being on the water. Between two dives, in Weda Bay, I enjoy the pleasure of sailing, from one reef to another, from one creek to another, under the Indonesian sun.
It is a tiny Indonesian village, between sea and mangrove, in Weda Bay. My visit is the evening attraction for the hilarious kids.
Nothing is more annoying to photograph than a seahorse-pygmy. Too small. Too much camouflaged. Too shy. But his delicate plastic is worth a few efforts.
Shrek's cat tenderizes you? Do you fall for wet eye pups? This cute little couscous from Indonesia should melt you.
Return to diving in Indonesia ... A haunting desire, which tormented me all winter! So, in mid-March, I flew to Halmahera and Weda Bay.
I was (still) gone. A short trip of 15 days in Indonesia. On the program: rest and dives at Halmahera (North Maluku) and Bangka in North Sulawesi.
Diving at Raja Ampat... A dream. But beware, a trip to Raja Ampat requires that you behave as a responsible visitor. Tourism, which is booming in this archipelago, is threatening one of the most magnificent reservoirs of biodiversity on the planet.
When it's cold and gray, I remember Maupiti. I see the light, the lagoon, the ocean ... Come on, presto! We return to Polynesia.
In Rangiroa, Polynesia, dolphins love to play underwater with divers! Video demonstration in the Tiputa pass.
It's the blue of the huge Pacific Ocean. An intense blue that twists the retinas and floods the head of light. Cape on Polynesia.
Take photos under water, I love it. But palmer, much less. I realized this well by diving in Alor, Indonesia.
The dragons exist, I met them! Scales, claws, forked tongue, everything is there ... Listening only to my courage, I went to photograph these big prehistoric lizards or "varans" that live in the archipelago of Komodo, Indonesia.
Batutumonga. This strange and beautiful name is synonymous for me, a fantastic scooter ride in the heart of Toraja Country, in central Sulawesi. Rice fields sublime ... but rotten roads! I almost stayed in the mountains sleeping because of a flat tire.