The Forgotten Islands InMyView
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join a 12-day one-way trip through the Forgotten Islands of Indonesia on the yacht Dewi Nusantara. From our first back-roll off the tender we were literally swimming in a rainbow of colors with an endless variety of sea critters. There were prehistoric looking frogfish, psychedelic cuttlefish, and sea horses of all colors and sizes patiently waiting for their photo-op. We swam with schools of wrasse and parrot fish and trigger fish, stopping only to admire the anthias darting in-and-out of their coral homes. Then when we thought we'd seen it all, we would round a corner and see endless stretches of table sized hard corals covered with feather stars and housing anemones, eels, dart fish, and so much more. I couldn't take photos fast enough, and my batteries were dying way too soon. We usually traveled through the night and some mornings we would wake up to sunrise over volcanoes and others to .... nothing ... just a small atoll in the middle of the ocean. In the beginning we would eat first breakfast and think -- this will be an easy, run-of-the-mill, morning dive. But we quickly learned they were some of the best sites on the trip. The views underwater were of pristine reefs in more colors that you can imagine. Swimming with the turtles, and peeking in the soft corals to look for tiny creatures was truly special - I loved being able to see the ocean in the way it is meant to be - free, clean, and full of life.
Take a peek at what was InMyView my first 4 days in The Forgotten Islands. ©Robin Bateman & Jan Andrews 2019
The Red Sea InMyView
In May of 2019 I spent two weeks diving the Red Sea. We visited stunning sites from Sharm El-Sheik in the North down to the St Johns Caves area in the South. The experience is difficult to fully share - no photos or words can describe the feeling of swimming though the SS Thistlegorm with all of it's WWII battle ready shipments still intact, or the thrill of having a baby spinner dolphin look you in the eye and challenge you to a race. I did get some spectacular shots - dive in and see what was InMyView in the Red Sea. ©Robin Bateman 2019
In March of 2018 I visited Cuba on a cultural-exchange program sponsored by Oceans for Youth. We flew into Havana and stayed for 3 days before traveling across country to dive in the famous Jardines de la Reina. While we were in the city, we had guided tours of different areas including Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, a Local Artist Foundation funding Youth Education and Harbor Clean-Up, a Market filled with food, fabrics, and everyday essentials, several Paladares for tasting the local cuisine, and even a few of Hemingway's favorite bars.
Have a wander through some of the people I saw InMyView in Havana. ©Robin Bateman 2018
Jardines de la Reina InMyView
After our tour of Havana, we rode south across Cuba to view the marine sanctuary called the Gardens of the Queen. This area has been protected for many years and declared a Marine Park in 1996. Special permission is needed to boat, fish, or dive there. We were accompanied by a Marine Biologist who shared with us the details of how they have managed this area to reduce the impact of over-use. I can say that the wildlife was abundant, the reefs were very healthy, and we saw many sharks - a true sign of a healthy reef. I see I have many photos I could share, but these are the ones that I felt best represented the diving. Enjoy some of what wasInMyView in Cuba - underwater. ©Robin Bateman 2018