Scuba Diving Photos
6 Daredevil Dives
Papua New Guinea
Along Australia’s Cape York Peninsula that juts toward Papua New Guinea, there’s a cautionary saying among divers and boaters: “Don’t worry about the tiger sharks, the saltwater crocs ate them.” Indeed, sharing water with Crocodylus porous — a species that’s changed little in 200 million years — is a real-life marine version of Jurassic Park. The Indo-Pacific saltwater crocodile is the largest of all living reptiles, a formidable,opportunistic eating machine that’s posted a record size of 20-plus feet – and incalculable human fatalities in Papua New Guinea. Improbable as it seems, diving with saltwater crocodiles is possible, with caveats. “Saltwater crocs are found all around PNG’s coastline, lakes and rivers,” explains Cheyne Benjamin, manager of Walindi Plantation Resort located on PNG’s New Britain Island at Kimbe Bay. “These animals are extremely dangerous to observe in the wild, so we offer a unique, controlled environment to see and photograph crocodiles that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.” The technique involves handlers with five-foot toothy juveniles tethered by clear monofilament lines attached toward the rear legs. On command, divers are allowed to fin in proximity of the croc as the creature swims while restrained. Those underwater photos of these saltwater denizens in their natural habitat? Chances are they originated at Walindi. “From what we know, we offer divers the only opportunity to see these animals in a safe environment where they naturally occur,” Benjamin says.
There is diving – the casual pursuit of water time for the simple fun of it. And then there's DIVING — exploring new frontiers and edgy locations where divers are few and far between. It’s about discoveries with purpose, and exotic marine life that are truly exceptional. Risk? Sure, there’s some. But the rewards are substantial. For anyone who loves checking off another species (and an excuse to travel around the world), here are diving’s most daring encounters.