Trips » Photos of Wright Trips Around the World

Two years ago at the Long Beach, CA SCUBA Show we booked a 10 day trip to Magic Oceans Resort on the island of Bohol in the Philippines and the trip finally came around and off we went for our first trip to the Philippines! Shawn Kimsey joined Red and I on this adventure as my dive buddy and just genuinely great travel partner. We flew Delta to Inchon, South Korea, had a short layover and then Shawn met us for the Korean Airlines flight to Cebu where we overnight-ed at the Waterfront Airport Hotel. (while it is across the street from the airport don’t plan on walking it!) The next day was spent fighting through traffic to get to the port in time for the 2 hour ferry ride to Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol followed by a 2 hour drive to the resort.

The Magic Oceans Resort is the second location for the operation and has only been around for 3 years. The layout, rooms, pool, etc are all lovely, the food was great, drinks cheap and the staff was AWESOME! It was just this year that they installed a dock, previously you needed to wade out to the boats. Well as it turned out we did too as the typhoon surge made them dismantle the dock temporarily. By the end of our trip the seas had calmed down and most of the dock was back in business.

The diving was mixed due to the rough seas which forced us to dive in some limited areas for the first several days. After they calmed down some we were able to go to the south walls. They hadn’t been able to dive there for two months due to the weather so it was a fresh experience for us and the guides as well. The visibility was mixed due to the seas so I shot macro the whole trip and focused on the critters of which there were plenty! Frogfish, pipefish, pygmy seahorses, nudibranch galore and even a pair of sea moths!

Checkout the photos here!

We had two moments of excitement – the first was Shawn being off balance when a wave hit the boat and he broke the railing on the ladder with his head as he got pitched overboard. Quick action by him and the captain resulted in Shawn being ok. The boat took a couple of days to repair so we were down to one ladder. The second event was 20 meter’s down, 15 mins into a dive and the Omniswivel that I had on my regulator violently blew an o-ring, forcing me to surface on someone else’s octo. I always maintain that I feel safer on a rebreather than open circuit as you are just one o-ring away from death on OC and I have all sorts of options on a CCR, turns out I was right. All good, training kicked in and it was uneventful if a bit noisy.

The return trip was the same and the staff of Magic Oceans arranged everything and took care of everything to get us back to Cebu for another overnight and then two long flights home. Katie at Bluewater Travel again helped us with all the arrangements and booking. As I said about last years trip CALL HER!

 

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Once again we journeyed to Indonesia for some of the best diving on the planet. This time to a new corner, Komodo island. In the mid-south section of this massive island nation you get a mixture of water temps from warm and toasty to down right cold. This requires taking a variety of wet suits but that’s a minor hassle for the awesome sea life here!

This trip we joined Frank Van Der Linde and his daughter on the Indo Siren. Frank is the Founder and CEO of Worldwide Dive and Sail, the largest liveaboard dive fleet in the world and the owner of the Indo Siren. Also traveling with Red and I was my new dive buddy Shawn Kimsey for his first trip to Indonesia – yeah I’m spoiling a good third of the world for him by taking him here. The Indo Siren was a great dive boat with a fantastic crew. One of the best liveaboards I have even been on in my 30 yrs of dive travel around the world. I highly recommend it! Katie at Bluewater Dive Travel helped arrange the full trip. She is excellent to work with and has tremendous attention to detail. Call her!

Checkout the photos form the trip!

The other magic of this area is the opportunity to see Komodo dragons! Hold overs from the time of the dinosaurs you can only find them in this part of the world. Amazing predators and a unique site.

After diving Komodo and the surrounding islands for 10 days we ventured back to Bali and drove up to Amed on the northeastern side of the island. We were staying at Paul and Stacey Tosch’s Villa Candi Matahari. This is a lovely 5 bedroom Villa in a great section of Bali with a wonderful view of the ocean. Easily in the top five of my places to stay and just chill. If you are in Bali you owe it to yourself to get a few nights here.

 

 

 

 

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The trip we had been trying to do since we first started our big travels together has finally come and gone – Antarctica and Patagonia! We had been wanting to go to Antarctica forever but given the cost and distance we didn’t want to go without also seeing Patagonia. We had been in love with that region after seeing Art Wolfe’s coverage of it in his TV series. Our opportunity came when Aurora Expeditions out of Australia, an operation we had visited the high artic with, offered a combo of the two regions with a discount for the package. We lined up some dates and committed. This decision turned out to be an awesome choice. We were blessed with really good weather, traveling companions and guides. We were also back on our boat from the artic, the Polar Pioneer!

The journey down was complicated but doable. Turns out it took longer than my business trips to India due to airport switches and multiple hops. Thankfully the time difference is only 5 hours so at least jet lag wasn’t that big of a deal. The 3am trip to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires with a driver who spoke no English unless it came from AC/DC or Black Sabbath which blasted on the radio and sung along with was an adventure all it’s own.

Patagonia a lovely region with amazing physical sights to see. We did 10 days in the two parks in Argentina and Chile with 4 days of hard hiking. Well worth the effort! The lodges we stayed in were excellent and provided for recovery after the difficult hikes. Lelia, from Aurora, not only guides us for the 10 days she also designed the program originally and did an excellent job!

We came back with a lovely set of images you can enjoy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel to Antarctica involved 60 hours each way across the Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean, easily one of the roughest sections of water on the globe! About half the boat was sick on the way down with less on the way back. However all was worth it for some of the most amazing sites on the planet! MASSIVE icebergs, glaciers, whales, seals, penguins and the list goes on!

We came back with tons of photos. Checkout our selections: Brad’s Ice, Red’s Great Work and Brad’s Wildlife.

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My third visit to Galapagos but this time was special three times over. My wife, Red, came along and we got to spend a week touring Quito and several islands of Galapagos together.

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Then she continued on for a few more days while I was joined by my two dear friends Alice and Shawn on the dive boat Nortada with Jorge of Galapagos Rebreathers. She got some amazing photos of the blue footed boobies and a lot more of the wild life and scenery. You can see a selection here.

 

For me the diving wasn’t as good a previous years due to lower visibility but the things we did see where very unique. Most divers hope to some day see a Mola Mola, we got to see 15 on one dive! Totally unheard of! These are truly some of the strangest animals on the planet. Also unique to Galapagos are the marine iguana that dive down to eat algae and can hold their breath for up to 40 mins. The every present sea lions were a joy to engage with as well. See more photos here.

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We finally did it, chartered a sailboat for a week! Along with 5 other friends we spent a week sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Lagoon 450 catamaran. Truly luxury on the water!

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We used Catamaran Company for the charter and everything was easy and smooth. Our boat was “Between the Sheets” a great boat in very good condition but now retired. Highly recommend using Catamaran Company for chartering!

The seven of us got along well all week and remain friends – speaks to the friends!

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