Coral Sea


Jan 29, 2008
Outside Magazine
Beqa Lagoon, Fiji

Diving in Fiji    Photo: courtesy, Fiji Tourism

A Reef to Avoid

Covering 16 acres of seafloor, the Neptune Memorial Reef, three miles off the Miami coast, is boldly leading the ever-growing quest for new burial frontiers. An artificial reef that was modeled after a developer's vision of the lost city of Atlantis, Neptune houses an underwater graveyard exclusively for the cremated. The owners at the Neptune Reef Society hope that the reef, which opened for business in November, will soon become a sought-after diving destination. We're not holding our breath. $1,495 to have your ashes buried;

—Abe Streep

Coral Sea, Australia
At the eastern edge of the Great Barrier Reef lies the Coral Sea, a two-million-square-mile submarine plateau. Visibility here can reach 200 feet, and Coral Sea divers have the increasingly rare opportunity to discover unexplored sites: Some of the coral heads were last mapped in the 1770s by Captain Cook. "Most of the dive sites don't have names yet," says Brad Doane, underwater cameraman for the BBC's Blue Planet series. "And everything is on steroids. The soft coral stalks are as big as a thigh."

GO WITH: There are only five live-aboard dive boats that cruise the Coral Sea; Cairns-based Mike Ball Dive Expeditions is the most reputable. Dive the remote Osprey and Cod Hole reefs, where eager 300-pound reef sharks show up if you smack a fist into your palm. Four-night trips from $1,400;

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