• Store
  • Printing & Digital Servicing
  • Weddings & Events
  • Classes
    • Above water Photo Classes

      Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn how to take the photo or how to use editing software or even advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our instructors will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's, we can help you get the most from your camera. You will benefit from our personal hands-on methods that will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos look amazing. more>>>

      Under water Photo Classes

      Capture your underwater adventure with Cathy Church, the best teacher ever! FUN and EASY!!

      1. Do you teach Land Photography, Underwater photography and Image Editing?

      2. Can I learn with any camera?

      3. What is a class like?

      4. Should I bring samples of my past photos?

      5. Should I learn with Staff or Cathy?

      6. Can I get PADI specialty Certification?

      7. How much does it cost? How do I reserve space?

      8. What type of photos can I expect?

      more >>>

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Blog
    • Cathy's Awards
    • Photo Projects
      • Cathy and her team have produced the world's largest underwater photo installation at Grand Cayman's Owen Roberts Airport Baggage Claim area. It covers nine feet high and 145 feet long and is comprised of over 50 photos expertly assembled by Cathy's photoshop guru Charles (CJ) Viggers. CJ spent several all nighters assembling the huge file in time for the printing deadline. Vision Marketing (a local company) printed and installed it.

        more>>>

         

    • Articles
    • Cathy's Biography
      • Cathy's Biography

        About Cathy Church

        As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

        more>>>

        Detailed biography of Cathy Church

    • Cathy's Biography

      About Cathy Church

      As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

      more>>>

      Detailed biography of Cathy Church

  • Environmental Issues
    • Most people do not have the time to lobby, study, fund, and fix our environmental problems. By yourself, your tiny little voice will get lost and misplaced. But when we form massive groups, we can flex enough muscle to fix virtually anything!

      Everyone Should Support Three Environmental Organizations:

      -- One World-Wide  -- One Nation-Wide  -- One Local

      We Cannot Join Them All, So You Must Pick And Choose Your Battles.

      I have personally chosen two battles: stop shark finning and save leatherback turtles. You may choose to protect elephants from poachers, or stop over fishing. But concentrate on one thing and do something -- anything, over and over.

      There is no single cause that is more important than another, as they all work together.

      For shark finning, I support http://www.sharktrust.org, an effective UK group. Many of you contributed to my request for money to install billboards in China where the famous Chinese basketball player Yao Ming is pictured asking everyone to just say no to shark fin soup. We collected enough $20 donations to pay for 100 billboards! This campaign was immensely successful. Collectively that money worked well.

      more>>>

  • About us
  • Contact us
    • How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman: (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US: (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours:

      Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

  • Store
  • Printing & Digital Servicing
  • Weddings & Events
  • Classes
    • Above water Photo Classes

      Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn how to take the photo or how to use editing software or even advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our instructors will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's, we can help you get the most from your camera. You will benefit from our personal hands-on methods that will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos look amazing. more>>>

      Under water Photo Classes

      Capture your underwater adventure with Cathy Church, the best teacher ever! FUN and EASY!!

      1. Do you teach Land Photography, Underwater photography and Image Editing?

      2. Can I learn with any camera?

      3. What is a class like?

      4. Should I bring samples of my past photos?

      5. Should I learn with Staff or Cathy?

      6. Can I get PADI specialty Certification?

      7. How much does it cost? How do I reserve space?

      8. What type of photos can I expect?

      more >>>

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Blog
    • Cathy's Awards
    • Photo Projects
      • Cathy and her team have produced the world's largest underwater photo installation at Grand Cayman's Owen Roberts Airport Baggage Claim area. It covers nine feet high and 145 feet long and is comprised of over 50 photos expertly assembled by Cathy's photoshop guru Charles (CJ) Viggers. CJ spent several all nighters assembling the huge file in time for the printing deadline. Vision Marketing (a local company) printed and installed it.

        more>>>

         

    • Articles
    • Cathy's Biography
      • Cathy's Biography

        About Cathy Church

        As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

        more>>>

        Detailed biography of Cathy Church

    • Cathy's Biography

      About Cathy Church

      As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

      more>>>

      Detailed biography of Cathy Church

  • Environmental Issues
    • Most people do not have the time to lobby, study, fund, and fix our environmental problems. By yourself, your tiny little voice will get lost and misplaced. But when we form massive groups, we can flex enough muscle to fix virtually anything!

      Everyone Should Support Three Environmental Organizations:

      -- One World-Wide  -- One Nation-Wide  -- One Local

      We Cannot Join Them All, So You Must Pick And Choose Your Battles.

      I have personally chosen two battles: stop shark finning and save leatherback turtles. You may choose to protect elephants from poachers, or stop over fishing. But concentrate on one thing and do something -- anything, over and over.

      There is no single cause that is more important than another, as they all work together.

      For shark finning, I support http://www.sharktrust.org, an effective UK group. Many of you contributed to my request for money to install billboards in China where the famous Chinese basketball player Yao Ming is pictured asking everyone to just say no to shark fin soup. We collected enough $20 donations to pay for 100 billboards! This campaign was immensely successful. Collectively that money worked well.

      more>>>

  • About us
  • Contact us
    • How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman: (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US: (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours:

      Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

  • Store
  • Printing & Digital Servicing
  • Weddings & Events
  • Classes
    • Above water Photo Classes

      Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn how to take the photo or how to use editing software or even advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our instructors will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's, we can help you get the most from your camera. You will benefit from our personal hands-on methods that will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos look amazing. more>>>

      Under water Photo Classes

      Capture your underwater adventure with Cathy Church, the best teacher ever! FUN and EASY!!

      1. Do you teach Land Photography, Underwater photography and Image Editing?

      2. Can I learn with any camera?

      3. What is a class like?

      4. Should I bring samples of my past photos?

      5. Should I learn with Staff or Cathy?

      6. Can I get PADI specialty Certification?

      7. How much does it cost? How do I reserve space?

      8. What type of photos can I expect?

      more >>>

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Blog
    • Cathy's Awards
    • Photo Projects
      • Cathy and her team have produced the world's largest underwater photo installation at Grand Cayman's Owen Roberts Airport Baggage Claim area. It covers nine feet high and 145 feet long and is comprised of over 50 photos expertly assembled by Cathy's photoshop guru Charles (CJ) Viggers. CJ spent several all nighters assembling the huge file in time for the printing deadline. Vision Marketing (a local company) printed and installed it.

        more>>>

         

    • Articles
    • Cathy's Biography
      • Cathy's Biography

        About Cathy Church

        As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

        more>>>

        Detailed biography of Cathy Church

    • Cathy's Biography

      About Cathy Church

      As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

      more>>>

      Detailed biography of Cathy Church

  • Environmental Issues
    • Most people do not have the time to lobby, study, fund, and fix our environmental problems. By yourself, your tiny little voice will get lost and misplaced. But when we form massive groups, we can flex enough muscle to fix virtually anything!

      Everyone Should Support Three Environmental Organizations:

      -- One World-Wide  -- One Nation-Wide  -- One Local

      We Cannot Join Them All, So You Must Pick And Choose Your Battles.

      I have personally chosen two battles: stop shark finning and save leatherback turtles. You may choose to protect elephants from poachers, or stop over fishing. But concentrate on one thing and do something -- anything, over and over.

      There is no single cause that is more important than another, as they all work together.

      For shark finning, I support http://www.sharktrust.org, an effective UK group. Many of you contributed to my request for money to install billboards in China where the famous Chinese basketball player Yao Ming is pictured asking everyone to just say no to shark fin soup. We collected enough $20 donations to pay for 100 billboards! This campaign was immensely successful. Collectively that money worked well.

      more>>>

  • About us
  • Contact us
    • How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman: (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US: (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours:

      Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

  • Store
  • Printing & Digital Servicing
  • Weddings & Events
  • Classes
    • Above water Photo Classes

      Our private, one on one affordable classes at Cathy Church's Photo Centre can help you take your photos to the next level.

      Whether you want to learn how to take the photo or how to use editing software or even advanced techniques like studio lighting, we can customize a lesson for you. Our instructors will work with you whether you are a beginner or a pro or somewhere in between.

      If you have a pocket compact camera or the latest in DSLR's, we can help you get the most from your camera. You will benefit from our personal hands-on methods that will have you learning skills in no time and utilizing new technology to make your photos look amazing. more>>>

      Under water Photo Classes

      Capture your underwater adventure with Cathy Church, the best teacher ever! FUN and EASY!!

      1. Do you teach Land Photography, Underwater photography and Image Editing?

      2. Can I learn with any camera?

      3. What is a class like?

      4. Should I bring samples of my past photos?

      5. Should I learn with Staff or Cathy?

      6. Can I get PADI specialty Certification?

      7. How much does it cost? How do I reserve space?

      8. What type of photos can I expect?

      more >>>

  • About Cathy
    • Cathy's Blog
    • Cathy's Awards
    • Photo Projects
      • Cathy and her team have produced the world's largest underwater photo installation at Grand Cayman's Owen Roberts Airport Baggage Claim area. It covers nine feet high and 145 feet long and is comprised of over 50 photos expertly assembled by Cathy's photoshop guru Charles (CJ) Viggers. CJ spent several all nighters assembling the huge file in time for the printing deadline. Vision Marketing (a local company) printed and installed it.

        more>>>

         

    • Articles
    • Cathy's Biography
      • Cathy's Biography

        About Cathy Church

        As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

        more>>>

        Detailed biography of Cathy Church

    • Cathy's Biography

      About Cathy Church

      As a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist and bird watcher. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography and writing for Skin Diver Magazine in the early 60s. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

      more>>>

      Detailed biography of Cathy Church

  • Environmental Issues
    • Most people do not have the time to lobby, study, fund, and fix our environmental problems. By yourself, your tiny little voice will get lost and misplaced. But when we form massive groups, we can flex enough muscle to fix virtually anything!

      Everyone Should Support Three Environmental Organizations:

      -- One World-Wide  -- One Nation-Wide  -- One Local

      We Cannot Join Them All, So You Must Pick And Choose Your Battles.

      I have personally chosen two battles: stop shark finning and save leatherback turtles. You may choose to protect elephants from poachers, or stop over fishing. But concentrate on one thing and do something -- anything, over and over.

      There is no single cause that is more important than another, as they all work together.

      For shark finning, I support http://www.sharktrust.org, an effective UK group. Many of you contributed to my request for money to install billboards in China where the famous Chinese basketball player Yao Ming is pictured asking everyone to just say no to shark fin soup. We collected enough $20 donations to pay for 100 billboards! This campaign was immensely successful. Collectively that money worked well.

      more>>>

  • About us
  • Contact us
    • How to Contact Us:

      Cathy Church's Photo Centre and Gallery

      P.O. Box 479, Grand Cayman, KY1-1106, CAYMAN ISLANDS

      390 South Church Street, at the Sunset House Hotel

      EMAIL: click here

      Calling from within Cayman: (345)-949-7415

      Calling from the US: (607)-330-3504 connects directly with our Cayman office

      Fax from within the Cayman Islands: 345-949-9770

      Business Hours:

      Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun and Public Holidays: closed

       

  • U/W homepage
    • Throughout this web site you can find everything you need to know about Cathy's classes, trips, sales, rentals and of course her stunning gallery.

      Join Cathy’s next great photo adventure to the Philippines, August 11 - 24, 2018. MORE>>>
      To Cuba on the Jardines Aggressor II Feb. 2 - 9, 2019 MORE>>>
      To Komodo and Alor Indonesia on the Pindito Fall, 2019 MORE>>>

      Our Underwater Photo Fest has the world’s longest dive times! Join our 10th Cathy Church Underwater Photo Fest at Sunset House, in Grand Cayman. On the shallow dive days, you can dive, shoot, come up when your tank is low, get some water or fruit while your tank is being changed (you don’t even have to get out of the water). Go back down and do it all over again until THREE HOURS are up.

      more>>>

  • Grand Cayman Photo Centre
    • Underwater Photo- and Videographers
      • Cathy has a wonderful staff of skilled underwater photographers and videographers who can provide you with all of your underwater image needs. If you cannot come to Cayman but still need a photo or video from the underwater realm, you can hire us to take virtually anything you need. We have access to boats, reefs, beautiful water, and models.more>>>

        Cathy Church

        Jim Catlin

        Adeline Wee

    • U/W wedding
      • We can photograph your underwater wedding

        Planning an underwater wedding is easy.

        Sunset House Hotel is the best location for an underwater wedding for several important reasons:

        1. You can board a boat at the dock right at the hotel to take you to the location of your choice.

        Or step in to the calm, clear, warm water at the shore and swim a short distance to the location of your choice. Many people like the flat area seaward of the mermaid where your wedding party can kneel comfortably on the bottom without fear of damaging fragile coral near by. 

        more>>>

    • Photo Buddy
      • Photo Buddy

        If you would like photographs taken of you anywhere in the water or on land here in Cayman, we can do it for you! You take home eitherthe CD or DVD from a digital shoot or video, or have your prints made here, or both! All prices in $US. more>>>

         

        Photo buddy with Sunset Divers at Stingray City!

        Impress your friends with a photo of you "playing" with a 4-foot Southern Stingray or a six-foot green moray eel at Stingray city!

        more>>>

        Hire a Private Photographer or videographer for you or your group on the boat!

        Let one of our experienced photographers or videographers tell the story of your unique diving experience swimming through coral tunnels, exploring the wreck of the Kittiwake", or interacting with turtles and angel fish. Do not let this great opportunity go by!

        more>>>

         

    • Cathy's Book
    • Helping Fearful Divers
      • Great tips to help a fearful person learn to dive or Watersports for people who are not water people! by Cathy Church

        Do you know someone who would like to go diving with you but is afraid to? If so, then pass this article along to them after you have read it yourself. In my thirty years of diving I have seen many people conquer their fear and go on to love SCUBA diving. But, I have also seen many instructors and spouses destroy the possibility of a frightened person ever learning to dive. This article is for three people: the frightened student diver, the supportive friend, and the instructor. Often the roles I describe will overlap. Read them all to see which pertain to you and to help assure that everyone is doing the best they can to improve the odds that the frightened student will become a comfortable diver. (While I use the words him, his and he in the following, I, of course, mean him or her, he or she.) more>>>

    • Underwater camera rentals
      • Underwater Camera Rentals

        Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

        Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

        All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

        Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

        more>>>

        GO PRO 5

        Olympus TG 4/5

        SeaLife DC2000

        Olympus OMD EM5 II

    • Underwater Camera Rentals

      Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

      Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

      All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

      Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

      more>>>

      GO PRO 5

      Olympus TG 4/5

      SeaLife DC2000

      Olympus OMD EM5 II

  • U/W cameras
  • Learning U/W photography
  • Photofest
    • Overview

      Cathy Church's Underwater Photo Fest in Grand Cayman at the Sunset House Hotel Enjoy exciting classes with Cathy and her fabulous staff

      Fabulous Fun ** Plentiful Prizes ** Free Darn Good Demo Gear ** Great Giveaways

      Schedule

       

      AM Boat dive

      Shore diving available

      PM Lectures

      PM Photo Critiques

      Kittiwake PM trip

      Night Boat Dive

      Stingray City Trip

      Underwater Scavenger Hunt from shore

      BBQ dinner and Photo Contests / Giveaways Final video / Slideshows

      more>>>

      Rates

       

      The price for 7-Night Package, double occupancy 

       Book early to guarantee your preferred room type.

      more>>>

  • Private Charters
    • Private Charters for students

      Would you like a private boat for just you and Cathy Church?

      Would you like to have Cathy helping you above and underwater to get the best possible photos that will be all yours?

      Would you like a boat that comes and goes when you want and to dive sites that you want all to yourself?

      more>>>

      LOCATION and PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES

      We offer a full-service, on-site above water and underwater photography base to meet the needs of the most demanding photographers, including Cathy Church, an award winning, professional underwater photographer. We can provide everything you need for your shoot, or we can shoot your advertising, editorial or stock job for you. Contact us to discuss your needs.

      Cathy Church is available to shoot your job. With fifty years of experience and understanding of professional underwater photography, she has an extensive portfolio of worldwide clients, including Nikon, Kodak, US Virgin Islands, Carnival Cruises, Cayman Islands, Sharp Electronics, Atlantis Submarines and more. She knows what is involved to make sure that the photo is successful and MEETS YOUR NEEDS. Our assistants are photographers and experienced divers.

      more>>>

  • Photo tours
    • NEXT TOUR Philippines in 2018
      • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

        August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

        Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

        On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

        more>>>

    • Cuba - 2019
      • Cuba 2019

        Join Cathy in Cuba, aboard the Jardines Aggressor II, Feb. 2 - 9, 2019

        The Aggressor People to People program is run by the “Oceans for Youth Foundation.” They will receive your payments to keep your visit completely legal under the current laws allowing US citizens to travel to Cuba for education. Trumps's recent changes do not affect this type of travel. Thus, during our 7 nights on board the Jardines Aggressor II biologists and marine experts will host nightly discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this healthy ecosystem.

        Sharks are plentiful

        Commercial fishing and industries are prohibited, permanent residences are non-existent, and tourism is strictly controlled. This policy was initiated in the 1990’s by Fidel Castro, who himself was a diver and understood the value of protecting marine environments. These reefs demonstrate the result of that care. The spectacular Jardines de la Reina National Park is located 60 miles off the southern coast and hopefully there will always be dive boats to help monitor its protection from fishing boats.

        more>>>

    • Komodo and Alor Indonesia 2019
      • KOMODO AND ALOR INDONESIA 2019

        These two connecting trips cover the best of Indonesia with reduced air travel. We leave from Bali, continue to Komodo and then on to Maumere when some guests will leave and fly back to Bali while others will fly in to meet us and some will simply stay put. From Maumere the second trip will continue eastward north of Flores and make a large loop through Alor and return to Maumere for our flight back to Bali. This is a new and exciting itinerary to give us the best of Komodo, along with new sites away from the crowded park and with less current, and then onward on the second trip to the exciting diving in this newly explored area of Alor.

        I chose the Pindito for this adventure because the Pindito is the only boat with over 20 years of continuous operation in Indonesia. The crew is more experienced than any other crews and THAT is a valuable commodity that no new boat in the area can compete with. 

        more>>>

    • Previous Tours
    • Why travel with Cathy?
      • When it's time for adventure Join a Photo Tour with Cathy Church

        Top 8 reasons to travel with Cathy:

        1. You will have access to Cathy Church to answer your questions about your camera equipment and techniques. You will enjoy my free coaching and mini-lectures offered throughout the day to answer photo questions, share ideas, and critique images.

        2. You will get free lessons and help with editing your photos with Photoshop. If you need special help, I will even help you in the water if I see you having a problem with your camera or technique.

        3. You can find help or share your own ideas with everyone around you. You will be surrounded by photographers who are happy to help you with answers, tips and ideas.

        4.You will be with only the nicest people. We choose people who are easy-going, who take their good times with them and who are flexible and are ready to share. If you especially want a particular dive site, everyone else will say that's fine with them because they know that next time everyone will do the same for them.more>>>

    • .
      • Indonesia in 2010

        2010 Sept. 18th:

        We arrive in Maumere after our flight from Bali. The Sea Safari VII will depart for Adonara strait while we organize our dive gear and cameras. (See map below.)

        Sept. 19th:

        We arrive at the island of Adonara, across a narrow strait from the big island of Flores. Diving here is "muck" diving along reef slopes looking for seahorses, frogfish, crustaceans, ghost pipefish, etc. Can you see the really tiny black frogfish in the yellow circle?

        20 and 21:

        In the South Alor Region, we will be diving at Beangabang Village, a black sand bay opening to the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Alor. Beangabang is listed as the favorite critter dive of many underwater photojournalists.

        more>>>

    • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

      August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

      Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

      On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

      more>>>

  • Gallery
  • U/W homepage
    • Throughout this web site you can find everything you need to know about Cathy's classes, trips, sales, rentals and of course her stunning gallery.

      Join Cathy’s next great photo adventure to the Philippines, August 11 - 24, 2018. MORE>>>
      To Cuba on the Jardines Aggressor II Feb. 2 - 9, 2019 MORE>>>
      To Komodo and Alor Indonesia on the Pindito Fall, 2019 MORE>>>

      Our Underwater Photo Fest has the world’s longest dive times! Join our 10th Cathy Church Underwater Photo Fest at Sunset House, in Grand Cayman. On the shallow dive days, you can dive, shoot, come up when your tank is low, get some water or fruit while your tank is being changed (you don’t even have to get out of the water). Go back down and do it all over again until THREE HOURS are up.

      more>>>

  • Grand Cayman Photo Centre
    • Underwater Photo- and Videographers
      • Cathy has a wonderful staff of skilled underwater photographers and videographers who can provide you with all of your underwater image needs. If you cannot come to Cayman but still need a photo or video from the underwater realm, you can hire us to take virtually anything you need. We have access to boats, reefs, beautiful water, and models.more>>>

        Cathy Church

        Jim Catlin

        Adeline Wee

    • U/W wedding
      • We can photograph your underwater wedding

        Planning an underwater wedding is easy.

        Sunset House Hotel is the best location for an underwater wedding for several important reasons:

        1. You can board a boat at the dock right at the hotel to take you to the location of your choice.

        Or step in to the calm, clear, warm water at the shore and swim a short distance to the location of your choice. Many people like the flat area seaward of the mermaid where your wedding party can kneel comfortably on the bottom without fear of damaging fragile coral near by. 

        more>>>

    • Photo Buddy
      • Photo Buddy

        If you would like photographs taken of you anywhere in the water or on land here in Cayman, we can do it for you! You take home eitherthe CD or DVD from a digital shoot or video, or have your prints made here, or both! All prices in $US. more>>>

         

        Photo buddy with Sunset Divers at Stingray City!

        Impress your friends with a photo of you "playing" with a 4-foot Southern Stingray or a six-foot green moray eel at Stingray city!

        more>>>

        Hire a Private Photographer or videographer for you or your group on the boat!

        Let one of our experienced photographers or videographers tell the story of your unique diving experience swimming through coral tunnels, exploring the wreck of the Kittiwake", or interacting with turtles and angel fish. Do not let this great opportunity go by!

        more>>>

         

    • Cathy's Book
    • Helping Fearful Divers
      • Great tips to help a fearful person learn to dive or Watersports for people who are not water people! by Cathy Church

        Do you know someone who would like to go diving with you but is afraid to? If so, then pass this article along to them after you have read it yourself. In my thirty years of diving I have seen many people conquer their fear and go on to love SCUBA diving. But, I have also seen many instructors and spouses destroy the possibility of a frightened person ever learning to dive. This article is for three people: the frightened student diver, the supportive friend, and the instructor. Often the roles I describe will overlap. Read them all to see which pertain to you and to help assure that everyone is doing the best they can to improve the odds that the frightened student will become a comfortable diver. (While I use the words him, his and he in the following, I, of course, mean him or her, he or she.) more>>>

    • Underwater camera rentals
      • Underwater Camera Rentals

        Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

        Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

        All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

        Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

        more>>>

        GO PRO 5

        Olympus TG 4/5

        SeaLife DC2000

        Olympus OMD EM5 II

    • Underwater Camera Rentals

      Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

      Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

      All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

      Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

      more>>>

      GO PRO 5

      Olympus TG 4/5

      SeaLife DC2000

      Olympus OMD EM5 II

  • U/W cameras
  • Learning U/W photography
  • Photofest
    • Overview

      Cathy Church's Underwater Photo Fest in Grand Cayman at the Sunset House Hotel Enjoy exciting classes with Cathy and her fabulous staff

      Fabulous Fun ** Plentiful Prizes ** Free Darn Good Demo Gear ** Great Giveaways

      Schedule

       

      AM Boat dive

      Shore diving available

      PM Lectures

      PM Photo Critiques

      Kittiwake PM trip

      Night Boat Dive

      Stingray City Trip

      Underwater Scavenger Hunt from shore

      BBQ dinner and Photo Contests / Giveaways Final video / Slideshows

      more>>>

      Rates

       

      The price for 7-Night Package, double occupancy 

       Book early to guarantee your preferred room type.

      more>>>

  • Private Charters
    • Private Charters for students

      Would you like a private boat for just you and Cathy Church?

      Would you like to have Cathy helping you above and underwater to get the best possible photos that will be all yours?

      Would you like a boat that comes and goes when you want and to dive sites that you want all to yourself?

      more>>>

      LOCATION and PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES

      We offer a full-service, on-site above water and underwater photography base to meet the needs of the most demanding photographers, including Cathy Church, an award winning, professional underwater photographer. We can provide everything you need for your shoot, or we can shoot your advertising, editorial or stock job for you. Contact us to discuss your needs.

      Cathy Church is available to shoot your job. With fifty years of experience and understanding of professional underwater photography, she has an extensive portfolio of worldwide clients, including Nikon, Kodak, US Virgin Islands, Carnival Cruises, Cayman Islands, Sharp Electronics, Atlantis Submarines and more. She knows what is involved to make sure that the photo is successful and MEETS YOUR NEEDS. Our assistants are photographers and experienced divers.

      more>>>

  • Photo tours
    • NEXT TOUR Philippines in 2018
      • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

        August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

        Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

        On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

        more>>>

    • Cuba - 2019
      • Cuba 2019

        Join Cathy in Cuba, aboard the Jardines Aggressor II, Feb. 2 - 9, 2019

        The Aggressor People to People program is run by the “Oceans for Youth Foundation.” They will receive your payments to keep your visit completely legal under the current laws allowing US citizens to travel to Cuba for education. Trumps's recent changes do not affect this type of travel. Thus, during our 7 nights on board the Jardines Aggressor II biologists and marine experts will host nightly discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this healthy ecosystem.

        Sharks are plentiful

        Commercial fishing and industries are prohibited, permanent residences are non-existent, and tourism is strictly controlled. This policy was initiated in the 1990’s by Fidel Castro, who himself was a diver and understood the value of protecting marine environments. These reefs demonstrate the result of that care. The spectacular Jardines de la Reina National Park is located 60 miles off the southern coast and hopefully there will always be dive boats to help monitor its protection from fishing boats.

        more>>>

    • Komodo and Alor Indonesia 2019
      • KOMODO AND ALOR INDONESIA 2019

        These two connecting trips cover the best of Indonesia with reduced air travel. We leave from Bali, continue to Komodo and then on to Maumere when some guests will leave and fly back to Bali while others will fly in to meet us and some will simply stay put. From Maumere the second trip will continue eastward north of Flores and make a large loop through Alor and return to Maumere for our flight back to Bali. This is a new and exciting itinerary to give us the best of Komodo, along with new sites away from the crowded park and with less current, and then onward on the second trip to the exciting diving in this newly explored area of Alor.

        I chose the Pindito for this adventure because the Pindito is the only boat with over 20 years of continuous operation in Indonesia. The crew is more experienced than any other crews and THAT is a valuable commodity that no new boat in the area can compete with. 

        more>>>

    • Previous Tours
    • Why travel with Cathy?
      • When it's time for adventure Join a Photo Tour with Cathy Church

        Top 8 reasons to travel with Cathy:

        1. You will have access to Cathy Church to answer your questions about your camera equipment and techniques. You will enjoy my free coaching and mini-lectures offered throughout the day to answer photo questions, share ideas, and critique images.

        2. You will get free lessons and help with editing your photos with Photoshop. If you need special help, I will even help you in the water if I see you having a problem with your camera or technique.

        3. You can find help or share your own ideas with everyone around you. You will be surrounded by photographers who are happy to help you with answers, tips and ideas.

        4.You will be with only the nicest people. We choose people who are easy-going, who take their good times with them and who are flexible and are ready to share. If you especially want a particular dive site, everyone else will say that's fine with them because they know that next time everyone will do the same for them.more>>>

    • .
      • Indonesia in 2010

        2010 Sept. 18th:

        We arrive in Maumere after our flight from Bali. The Sea Safari VII will depart for Adonara strait while we organize our dive gear and cameras. (See map below.)

        Sept. 19th:

        We arrive at the island of Adonara, across a narrow strait from the big island of Flores. Diving here is "muck" diving along reef slopes looking for seahorses, frogfish, crustaceans, ghost pipefish, etc. Can you see the really tiny black frogfish in the yellow circle?

        20 and 21:

        In the South Alor Region, we will be diving at Beangabang Village, a black sand bay opening to the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Alor. Beangabang is listed as the favorite critter dive of many underwater photojournalists.

        more>>>

    • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

      August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

      Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

      On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

      more>>>

  • Gallery
  • U/W homepage
    • Throughout this web site you can find everything you need to know about Cathy's classes, trips, sales, rentals and of course her stunning gallery.

      Join Cathy’s next great photo adventure to the Philippines, August 11 - 24, 2018. MORE>>>
      To Cuba on the Jardines Aggressor II Feb. 2 - 9, 2019 MORE>>>
      To Komodo and Alor Indonesia on the Pindito Fall, 2019 MORE>>>

      Our Underwater Photo Fest has the world’s longest dive times! Join our 10th Cathy Church Underwater Photo Fest at Sunset House, in Grand Cayman. On the shallow dive days, you can dive, shoot, come up when your tank is low, get some water or fruit while your tank is being changed (you don’t even have to get out of the water). Go back down and do it all over again until THREE HOURS are up.

      more>>>

  • Grand Cayman Photo Centre
    • Underwater Photo- and Videographers
      • Cathy has a wonderful staff of skilled underwater photographers and videographers who can provide you with all of your underwater image needs. If you cannot come to Cayman but still need a photo or video from the underwater realm, you can hire us to take virtually anything you need. We have access to boats, reefs, beautiful water, and models.more>>>

        Cathy Church

        Jim Catlin

        Adeline Wee

    • U/W wedding
      • We can photograph your underwater wedding

        Planning an underwater wedding is easy.

        Sunset House Hotel is the best location for an underwater wedding for several important reasons:

        1. You can board a boat at the dock right at the hotel to take you to the location of your choice.

        Or step in to the calm, clear, warm water at the shore and swim a short distance to the location of your choice. Many people like the flat area seaward of the mermaid where your wedding party can kneel comfortably on the bottom without fear of damaging fragile coral near by. 

        more>>>

    • Photo Buddy
      • Photo Buddy

        If you would like photographs taken of you anywhere in the water or on land here in Cayman, we can do it for you! You take home eitherthe CD or DVD from a digital shoot or video, or have your prints made here, or both! All prices in $US. more>>>

         

        Photo buddy with Sunset Divers at Stingray City!

        Impress your friends with a photo of you "playing" with a 4-foot Southern Stingray or a six-foot green moray eel at Stingray city!

        more>>>

        Hire a Private Photographer or videographer for you or your group on the boat!

        Let one of our experienced photographers or videographers tell the story of your unique diving experience swimming through coral tunnels, exploring the wreck of the Kittiwake", or interacting with turtles and angel fish. Do not let this great opportunity go by!

        more>>>

         

    • Cathy's Book
    • Helping Fearful Divers
      • Great tips to help a fearful person learn to dive or Watersports for people who are not water people! by Cathy Church

        Do you know someone who would like to go diving with you but is afraid to? If so, then pass this article along to them after you have read it yourself. In my thirty years of diving I have seen many people conquer their fear and go on to love SCUBA diving. But, I have also seen many instructors and spouses destroy the possibility of a frightened person ever learning to dive. This article is for three people: the frightened student diver, the supportive friend, and the instructor. Often the roles I describe will overlap. Read them all to see which pertain to you and to help assure that everyone is doing the best they can to improve the odds that the frightened student will become a comfortable diver. (While I use the words him, his and he in the following, I, of course, mean him or her, he or she.) more>>>

    • Underwater camera rentals
      • Underwater Camera Rentals

        Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

        Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

        All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

        Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

        more>>>

        GO PRO 5

        Olympus TG 4/5

        SeaLife DC2000

        Olympus OMD EM5 II

    • Underwater Camera Rentals

      Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

      Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

      All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

      Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

      more>>>

      GO PRO 5

      Olympus TG 4/5

      SeaLife DC2000

      Olympus OMD EM5 II

  • U/W cameras
  • Learning U/W photography
  • Photofest
    • Overview

      Cathy Church's Underwater Photo Fest in Grand Cayman at the Sunset House Hotel Enjoy exciting classes with Cathy and her fabulous staff

      Fabulous Fun ** Plentiful Prizes ** Free Darn Good Demo Gear ** Great Giveaways

      Schedule

       

      AM Boat dive

      Shore diving available

      PM Lectures

      PM Photo Critiques

      Kittiwake PM trip

      Night Boat Dive

      Stingray City Trip

      Underwater Scavenger Hunt from shore

      BBQ dinner and Photo Contests / Giveaways Final video / Slideshows

      more>>>

      Rates

       

      The price for 7-Night Package, double occupancy 

       Book early to guarantee your preferred room type.

      more>>>

  • Private Charters
    • Private Charters for students

      Would you like a private boat for just you and Cathy Church?

      Would you like to have Cathy helping you above and underwater to get the best possible photos that will be all yours?

      Would you like a boat that comes and goes when you want and to dive sites that you want all to yourself?

      more>>>

      LOCATION and PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES

      We offer a full-service, on-site above water and underwater photography base to meet the needs of the most demanding photographers, including Cathy Church, an award winning, professional underwater photographer. We can provide everything you need for your shoot, or we can shoot your advertising, editorial or stock job for you. Contact us to discuss your needs.

      Cathy Church is available to shoot your job. With fifty years of experience and understanding of professional underwater photography, she has an extensive portfolio of worldwide clients, including Nikon, Kodak, US Virgin Islands, Carnival Cruises, Cayman Islands, Sharp Electronics, Atlantis Submarines and more. She knows what is involved to make sure that the photo is successful and MEETS YOUR NEEDS. Our assistants are photographers and experienced divers.

      more>>>

  • Photo tours
    • NEXT TOUR Philippines in 2018
      • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

        August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

        Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

        On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

        more>>>

    • Cuba - 2019
      • Cuba 2019

        Join Cathy in Cuba, aboard the Jardines Aggressor II, Feb. 2 - 9, 2019

        The Aggressor People to People program is run by the “Oceans for Youth Foundation.” They will receive your payments to keep your visit completely legal under the current laws allowing US citizens to travel to Cuba for education. Trumps's recent changes do not affect this type of travel. Thus, during our 7 nights on board the Jardines Aggressor II biologists and marine experts will host nightly discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this healthy ecosystem.

        Sharks are plentiful

        Commercial fishing and industries are prohibited, permanent residences are non-existent, and tourism is strictly controlled. This policy was initiated in the 1990’s by Fidel Castro, who himself was a diver and understood the value of protecting marine environments. These reefs demonstrate the result of that care. The spectacular Jardines de la Reina National Park is located 60 miles off the southern coast and hopefully there will always be dive boats to help monitor its protection from fishing boats.

        more>>>

    • Komodo and Alor Indonesia 2019
      • KOMODO AND ALOR INDONESIA 2019

        These two connecting trips cover the best of Indonesia with reduced air travel. We leave from Bali, continue to Komodo and then on to Maumere when some guests will leave and fly back to Bali while others will fly in to meet us and some will simply stay put. From Maumere the second trip will continue eastward north of Flores and make a large loop through Alor and return to Maumere for our flight back to Bali. This is a new and exciting itinerary to give us the best of Komodo, along with new sites away from the crowded park and with less current, and then onward on the second trip to the exciting diving in this newly explored area of Alor.

        I chose the Pindito for this adventure because the Pindito is the only boat with over 20 years of continuous operation in Indonesia. The crew is more experienced than any other crews and THAT is a valuable commodity that no new boat in the area can compete with. 

        more>>>

    • Previous Tours
    • Why travel with Cathy?
      • When it's time for adventure Join a Photo Tour with Cathy Church

        Top 8 reasons to travel with Cathy:

        1. You will have access to Cathy Church to answer your questions about your camera equipment and techniques. You will enjoy my free coaching and mini-lectures offered throughout the day to answer photo questions, share ideas, and critique images.

        2. You will get free lessons and help with editing your photos with Photoshop. If you need special help, I will even help you in the water if I see you having a problem with your camera or technique.

        3. You can find help or share your own ideas with everyone around you. You will be surrounded by photographers who are happy to help you with answers, tips and ideas.

        4.You will be with only the nicest people. We choose people who are easy-going, who take their good times with them and who are flexible and are ready to share. If you especially want a particular dive site, everyone else will say that's fine with them because they know that next time everyone will do the same for them.more>>>

    • .
      • Indonesia in 2010

        2010 Sept. 18th:

        We arrive in Maumere after our flight from Bali. The Sea Safari VII will depart for Adonara strait while we organize our dive gear and cameras. (See map below.)

        Sept. 19th:

        We arrive at the island of Adonara, across a narrow strait from the big island of Flores. Diving here is "muck" diving along reef slopes looking for seahorses, frogfish, crustaceans, ghost pipefish, etc. Can you see the really tiny black frogfish in the yellow circle?

        20 and 21:

        In the South Alor Region, we will be diving at Beangabang Village, a black sand bay opening to the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Alor. Beangabang is listed as the favorite critter dive of many underwater photojournalists.

        more>>>

    • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

      August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

      Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

      On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

      more>>>

  • Gallery
  • U/W homepage
    • Throughout this web site you can find everything you need to know about Cathy's classes, trips, sales, rentals and of course her stunning gallery.

      Join Cathy’s next great photo adventure to the Philippines, August 11 - 24, 2018. MORE>>>
      To Cuba on the Jardines Aggressor II Feb. 2 - 9, 2019 MORE>>>
      To Komodo and Alor Indonesia on the Pindito Fall, 2019 MORE>>>

      Our Underwater Photo Fest has the world’s longest dive times! Join our 10th Cathy Church Underwater Photo Fest at Sunset House, in Grand Cayman. On the shallow dive days, you can dive, shoot, come up when your tank is low, get some water or fruit while your tank is being changed (you don’t even have to get out of the water). Go back down and do it all over again until THREE HOURS are up.

      more>>>

  • Grand Cayman Photo Centre
    • Underwater Photo- and Videographers
      • Cathy has a wonderful staff of skilled underwater photographers and videographers who can provide you with all of your underwater image needs. If you cannot come to Cayman but still need a photo or video from the underwater realm, you can hire us to take virtually anything you need. We have access to boats, reefs, beautiful water, and models.more>>>

        Cathy Church

        Jim Catlin

        Adeline Wee

    • U/W wedding
      • We can photograph your underwater wedding

        Planning an underwater wedding is easy.

        Sunset House Hotel is the best location for an underwater wedding for several important reasons:

        1. You can board a boat at the dock right at the hotel to take you to the location of your choice.

        Or step in to the calm, clear, warm water at the shore and swim a short distance to the location of your choice. Many people like the flat area seaward of the mermaid where your wedding party can kneel comfortably on the bottom without fear of damaging fragile coral near by. 

        more>>>

    • Photo Buddy
      • Photo Buddy

        If you would like photographs taken of you anywhere in the water or on land here in Cayman, we can do it for you! You take home eitherthe CD or DVD from a digital shoot or video, or have your prints made here, or both! All prices in $US. more>>>

         

        Photo buddy with Sunset Divers at Stingray City!

        Impress your friends with a photo of you "playing" with a 4-foot Southern Stingray or a six-foot green moray eel at Stingray city!

        more>>>

        Hire a Private Photographer or videographer for you or your group on the boat!

        Let one of our experienced photographers or videographers tell the story of your unique diving experience swimming through coral tunnels, exploring the wreck of the Kittiwake", or interacting with turtles and angel fish. Do not let this great opportunity go by!

        more>>>

         

    • Cathy's Creative Corner
      • Cathy's Creative Corner

        Learn along with me as I play with images. Some are QUICKIES and some are LONG TERM projects

        Here is an easy QUICKIE that anyone can do with any post editing program that allows putting two photos together.

         more>>>

    • Helping Fearful Divers
      • Great tips to help a fearful person learn to dive or Watersports for people who are not water people! by Cathy Church

        Do you know someone who would like to go diving with you but is afraid to? If so, then pass this article along to them after you have read it yourself. In my thirty years of diving I have seen many people conquer their fear and go on to love SCUBA diving. But, I have also seen many instructors and spouses destroy the possibility of a frightened person ever learning to dive. This article is for three people: the frightened student diver, the supportive friend, and the instructor. Often the roles I describe will overlap. Read them all to see which pertain to you and to help assure that everyone is doing the best they can to improve the odds that the frightened student will become a comfortable diver. (While I use the words him, his and he in the following, I, of course, mean him or her, he or she.) more>>>

    • Underwater camera rentals
      • Underwater Camera Rentals

        Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

        Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

        All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

        Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

        more>>>

        GO PRO 5

        Olympus TG 4/5

        SeaLife DC2000

        Olympus OMD EM5 II

    • Underwater Camera Rentals

      Capture wonderful photographs and videos of your Cayman underwater adventure. All rentals include a FREE MINI-LESSON and CD or DVD of your photos, or transfer to your computer or your thumb drive for video.

      Discounts available for multi-day rentals.

      All multi-day rentals are returned to the photo centre each day for battery changes

      Pick-up and return times can be adjusted depending on where you are staying and your dive boat schedule.

      more>>>

      GO PRO 5

      Olympus TG 4/5

      SeaLife DC2000

      Olympus OMD EM5 II

  • U/W cameras
  • Learning U/W photography
  • Photofest
    • Overview

      Cathy Church's Underwater Photo Fest in Grand Cayman at the Sunset House Hotel Enjoy exciting classes with Cathy and her fabulous staff

      Fabulous Fun ** Plentiful Prizes ** Free Darn Good Demo Gear ** Great Giveaways

      Schedule

       

      AM Boat dive

      Shore diving available

      PM Lectures

      PM Photo Critiques

      Kittiwake PM trip

      Night Boat Dive

      Stingray City Trip

      Underwater Scavenger Hunt from shore

      BBQ dinner and Photo Contests / Giveaways Final video / Slideshows

      more>>>

      Rates

       

      The price for 7-Night Package, double occupancy 

       Book early to guarantee your preferred room type.

      more>>>

  • Private Charters
    • Private Charters for students

      Would you like a private boat for just you and Cathy Church?

      Would you like to have Cathy helping you above and underwater to get the best possible photos that will be all yours?

      Would you like a boat that comes and goes when you want and to dive sites that you want all to yourself?

      more>>>

      LOCATION and PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES

      We offer a full-service, on-site above water and underwater photography base to meet the needs of the most demanding photographers, including Cathy Church, an award winning, professional underwater photographer. We can provide everything you need for your shoot, or we can shoot your advertising, editorial or stock job for you. Contact us to discuss your needs.

      Cathy Church is available to shoot your job. With fifty years of experience and understanding of professional underwater photography, she has an extensive portfolio of worldwide clients, including Nikon, Kodak, US Virgin Islands, Carnival Cruises, Cayman Islands, Sharp Electronics, Atlantis Submarines and more. She knows what is involved to make sure that the photo is successful and MEETS YOUR NEEDS. Our assistants are photographers and experienced divers.

      more>>>

  • Photo tours
    • NEXT TOUR Philippines in 2018
      • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

        August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

        Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

        On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

        more>>>

    • Cuba - 2019
      • Cuba 2019

        Join Cathy in Cuba, aboard the Jardines Aggressor II, Feb. 2 - 9, 2019

        The Aggressor People to People program is run by the “Oceans for Youth Foundation.” They will receive your payments to keep your visit completely legal under the current laws allowing US citizens to travel to Cuba for education. Trumps's recent changes do not affect this type of travel. Thus, during our 7 nights on board the Jardines Aggressor II biologists and marine experts will host nightly discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this healthy ecosystem.

        Sharks are plentiful

        Commercial fishing and industries are prohibited, permanent residences are non-existent, and tourism is strictly controlled. This policy was initiated in the 1990’s by Fidel Castro, who himself was a diver and understood the value of protecting marine environments. These reefs demonstrate the result of that care. The spectacular Jardines de la Reina National Park is located 60 miles off the southern coast and hopefully there will always be dive boats to help monitor its protection from fishing boats.

        more>>>

    • Komodo and Alor Indonesia 2019
      • KOMODO AND ALOR INDONESIA 2019

        These two connecting trips cover the best of Indonesia with reduced air travel. We leave from Bali, continue to Komodo and then on to Maumere when some guests will leave and fly back to Bali while others will fly in to meet us and some will simply stay put. From Maumere the second trip will continue eastward north of Flores and make a large loop through Alor and return to Maumere for our flight back to Bali. This is a new and exciting itinerary to give us the best of Komodo, along with new sites away from the crowded park and with less current, and then onward on the second trip to the exciting diving in this newly explored area of Alor.

        I chose the Pindito for this adventure because the Pindito is the only boat with over 20 years of continuous operation in Indonesia. The crew is more experienced than any other crews and THAT is a valuable commodity that no new boat in the area can compete with. 

        more>>>

    • Previous Tours
    • Why travel with Cathy?
      • When it's time for adventure Join a Photo Tour with Cathy Church

        Top 8 reasons to travel with Cathy:

        1. You will have access to Cathy Church to answer your questions about your camera equipment and techniques. You will enjoy my free coaching and mini-lectures offered throughout the day to answer photo questions, share ideas, and critique images.

        2. You will get free lessons and help with editing your photos with Photoshop. If you need special help, I will even help you in the water if I see you having a problem with your camera or technique.

        3. You can find help or share your own ideas with everyone around you. You will be surrounded by photographers who are happy to help you with answers, tips and ideas.

        4.You will be with only the nicest people. We choose people who are easy-going, who take their good times with them and who are flexible and are ready to share. If you especially want a particular dive site, everyone else will say that's fine with them because they know that next time everyone will do the same for them.more>>>

    • .
      • Indonesia in 2010

        2010 Sept. 18th:

        We arrive in Maumere after our flight from Bali. The Sea Safari VII will depart for Adonara strait while we organize our dive gear and cameras. (See map below.)

        Sept. 19th:

        We arrive at the island of Adonara, across a narrow strait from the big island of Flores. Diving here is "muck" diving along reef slopes looking for seahorses, frogfish, crustaceans, ghost pipefish, etc. Can you see the really tiny black frogfish in the yellow circle?

        20 and 21:

        In the South Alor Region, we will be diving at Beangabang Village, a black sand bay opening to the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Alor. Beangabang is listed as the favorite critter dive of many underwater photojournalists.

        more>>>

    • The Adventure continues to the Philippines in 2018

      August 11 – 25, 2018 aboard the Azores and at Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

      Join me (Cathy Church) for a great photo workshop for ten nights aboard the Azores followed by four more nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete resort on Negros Island. On this extended trip we will have time to visit the best clear-water reefs and walls as well as amazing small critter muck dives, a bait ball or two and even Thresher sharks! All of these are on my list of essential diving experiences.

      On Aug. 21 we move from the Azores to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. No need to lose any diving days for flying or transfers, etc. Cameras are transferred intact to their fabulous camera room and SCUBA gear is taken directly to the convenient SCUBA equipment room.

      more>>>

  • Gallery

Indonesia

1. Maumere to Ambon, 13 nights: Sept 18 - Oct. 1,

2010 Sept. 18th:

We arrive in Maumere after our flight from Bali. The Sea Safari VII will depart for Adonara strait while we organize our dive gear and cameras. (See map below.)

Sept. 19th:

We arrive at the island of Adonara, across a narrow strait from the big island of Flores. Diving here is "muck" diving along reef slopes looking for seahorses, frogfish, crustaceans, ghost pipefish, etc. Can you see the really tiny black frogfish in the yellow circle?

20 and 21:

In the South Alor Region, we will be diving at Beangabang Village, a black sand bay opening to the Indian Ocean at the southern end of Alor. Beangabang is listed as the favorite critter dive of many underwater photojournalists. The ease of diving here (usually done in an open-deck fashion) and the amount of critters makes it everyone's favorite dive for close-ups. We will be looking for frogfish, ghost pipefish, numerous different species of nudibranchs, and of course the possibility exists for Rhinopias! In addition, crustaceans abound on the tall soft coral "trees" that grow in the deeper areas of the slope.

22 - 24th:

The famed Alor Strait runs between the islands of Pantar to the west and Alor to the east. Sitting dramatically in the strait are three small volcanoes that have long been extinct. The largest of these is the verdant island of Pura. This is another centre for traditional weaving and the islanders here are Melanesian in ethnicity with dark skin and tight curly hair. Not only does Pura offer pristine reefs, but each village protects the reef on its shores and practices a sustainable fishing system of traditional fish traps and spear fishing. We will enjoy the opportunity of seeing the spear fishermen carrying out their trade. The men and kids are a delight, diving down to 20 meters on occasion, to tend the traps or shoot a nearby reef fish. They also make willing underwater photo subjects. There are also great opportunities to take split shots of the small outriggers with the spear fishermen hunting below. However, when dusk sets, everyone with a camera changes to a macro set-up and prepares for the mandarin fish dive in the shallows in front of the village.

25th:

Gunung Api, literally "Fire Mountain", is a volcano that's summit breaks the sea's surface by 800 feet yet which has its base on the seabed some 13,000 feet below. The island created by the volcano is 120 miles from the next nearest landfall and is therefore home to the reef fish that populate it's steep drop offs and walls, occasional visiting pelagics, and extraordinarily an uncountable population of Banded and Olive sea snakes. These marine reptiles have found a sanctuary here among the warm volcanic vents and reef fish that live in the area. It is truly a unique spot that never ceases to amaze divers. In some shots there are over thirty snakes in the frame and they make inquisitive yet docile subjects.

26th:

Maisel: North of Gunung Api is a remote archipelagic atoll named Lucipara. These atolls are also surrounded by a sea floor that is 13,000 feet below. Consisting of three large islands and a few tiny reefs that just break the surface, the islands offer divers vertical walls and visibility of over 120 feet with very mild currents. They are also home to a population of the largest sponges that Kararu divers have ever seen in Indonesia. Some barrel sponges could hold and entire diver (although we won't actually be trying to do that.)

27th:

Nusa Laut, just east of Ambon, was made famous from of east Indonesia's famous diving pioneers, Edi Frommenweiler and the late Larry Smith. Larry had said it was his favorite reef in the entire eastern region of this great archipelago. It is truly a spectacular location and a full day's diving will be on offer.

This was a plain looking nudibranch until I noticed his FACE. What fun! Every creature is something new.

        

 

28 and 29th:

Ambon Harbor:

Ambon holds an important place in both the rich history of Indonesia, and as one of its best diving destinations. The island was conquered by the Portuguese, later the Dutch, and is speckled with the occupying forces' old forts, some of which date back to the late 15th Century. It is now the capital of the southern Malukkus and has a diverse mix of cultures and ethnicity. Ambon was taken off the tourist map by the government for six years after unrest between two ethnic groups led to turmoil in the city. After the unrest subsided, the army was sent to keep the peace and help repair infrastructure. This was a great shame for the Ambonese, a welcoming and hospitable people, that are proud of the history and beauty of their island as well as the fantastic diving found around their shores.

Ambon harbor is a long, deep harbor surrounded on both sides by steep, verdant volcanic slopes. A true sense of history overcomes one; imagining the great seafarers like Magellan, Cook and others sailing down the same bay's mouth. One gets the impression that the area cannot have changed much since the days of these great explorers. The first dive site is under a pier close to the Ambon airport and has the boasting rights of being able to call itself the first great muck site in the world with multiple species of frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, reef cuttlefish, ribbon eels, nudibranchs, juvenile batfish, two species of blue-ring octopus, mandarin fish. This is normally where one can get a glimpse of the rare Ambon scorpion fish. Also on offer is a pristine wreck covered with hard and soft corals, lots of fish and resting upright in relatively shallow water.

Sept 30:

One "floater day" is included that can be spent in an area of particular interest, or perhaps to visit the active volcano island "Komba" if it is erupting....

October 1,

Depart Ambon for your return home, usually via Bali.

 

Ambon to Sorong, 12 nights: October 2 - 14, 2010

October 2nd:

Guests arrive in Ambon from Bali and board boat. Set up dive gear and camera equipment.

October 3rd:

A full day of Ambon Harbor diving the fabulous critter bonanza of Laha, the rocky slope next to the fishing pier. Replete with multiple species of frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, reef cuttlefish, ribbon eels, nudibranchs, juvenile batfish, two species of blue-ring octopus, mandarin fish...the list goes on. One day is the minimum amount of time we would spend here.

October 4th:

We make our way along the west coast of Ceram (the large island north of Ambon) stopping at a couple of sites that Kararu has recently discovered. Batu Satu (One Rock) is a large rock connected to the mainland by a shallow reef. On one side, the rock is a reef slope that seems to be a favorite resting spot for turtles--a beautiful shallow coral garden graces the area directly around the rock itself. Further north lies Jacks on Crack, so named for the large school of extremely hyperactive Jacks that speeds around a shallow pinnacle off of Ceram's north coast. Also a nice site for macro, the shallow black sand reef is loaded with neon-red anemones and critter-loaded whip and black corals.

October 5th and 6th:

Blue Water Mangroves of Misool. The island of Malangkari, located off the west coast of Misool (the Southernmost of the four Raja Ampat Islands) is essentially a "Venice" of smaller mangrove islands. Anchoring the boat in one of the deeper channels, we will offer open-deck diving to this unique environment made famous by David Doubilet in his National Geographic article. At high tide one can dive INTO the mangroves, following small "rivers" back into the inner mangrove islands. With crystal clear water and soft corals of every color living on the submerged roots, wide-angle photographers will be in heaven.

October 7th and 8th:

Boo Island, Misool. Located on the eastern side of Misool, these limestone uplift "Rock Islands" provide a dramatic topside backdrop to the most beautiful untouched reefs around. Just below the surface of Boo and it's neighboring Fia Bajet lie soft-coral covered rock formations covered in fish...did we mention soft corals?

On the neighboring island of Fia Bajet, the shallow reef extends down to 15m and out from the island the same distance. It is literally covered with healthy coral...with deeper pinnacles bringing in schools of larger fish, napoleon wrasse, sweet-lips, etc. Macro is of course also an option here as the sea-fans here are home to at least three different species of pygmy sea horse.

One evening, we will also head to the island of Kaliq to watch the sunset from a deserted white sand beach--unforgettable.

October 9th:

Misool Farundi. Located about 15 miles from Boo, this area is the location for our "bat cave and boat tour." This is a- tighter cluster of rock islands than Boo and we will explore the inner lagoons in our tender boats, cruising back into the interior to visit our favorite little bat cave. The diving here is on three sites that range from soft-coral covered walls, to caverns, to a trio of small islands separated by divable dramatic fish-packed channels. Another signature Raja Ampat species that resides here is the wobegong shark which usually makes an appearance.

October 10th:

Jef Fam and Keruo. Located halfway between the northern and southern part of Raja Ampat, the island of Keruo is home to the shallow reefs surrounding the rocks of Melissa's Garden. With huge clams, wobegong sharks, and healthy hard coral gardens, the diving here is well worth a whole day. With an option to visit a local village before our night dive, we can round the day out with a wonderful cultural experience.

October 11th:

Eagle Rock and Waigeo. The northernmost island in the Raja Ampat foursome, Waigeo boasts deep dramatic bays that play host to a wide range of macro critters and also dramatic walls and reefs. Diving outside of Aljuie bay at Eagle Rock, we will hopefully find the resident Mantas feeding and cleaning before heading in to the bay for our afternoon dives. Inside the bay, we will be diving near the Cendana Pearl Farm, which generally puts on a pearling demonstration for us. Diving here ranges from spectacular macro to unique shallow reefs and a fish packed pier.

October 12th:

Moving further south, we will spend our day around the islands of Gam and Yangelo. Conditions permitting we will dive a site known as the passage--a narrow shallow channel separating the islands of Gam and Waigeo. With lush rainforest growing on either shore (sometimes touching over the water) several small "eddys" provide unique wide angle opportunities of the overarching jungle as well as the resident archer-fish. And for the brave at heart, you can pop out into the current for a ride down the shallow channel past beautiful rock formations and seagrass beds. The day usually concludes at the island of Yangelo. Yangelo's reef is situated at the mouth of a channel, with it's shallows rising up to a beautiful hard coral garden. The deeper parts are home to numerous wobegongs and probably the most abundant schooling large fish in Raja Ampat.

October 13th:

The final day of diving will be in Kri Area, just north of Sorong. Home to one of Gerry Allen's record-setting fish count sites, these large reefs can provide close encounters with schools of giant bump-head parrots and very outgoing sweet-lips.

October 14th:

Disembark for our trip home from Sorong.

 

The Adventure Continued..Komodo Was Terrific

June 18 - July 11, 2008

We were on a great boat, the Cheng Ho.We had lots of great food choices

...and plenty of spacious places to lounge..... and read

 ...and another room to watch movies!

Diving

Diving is done from two 6 m x 2.50 m unsinkable aluminum tenders. You set your gear up once (using air or Nitrox) at the beginning of the trip and the crew of nineteen members takes over from there. You make a simple back roll to enter the water and come back up the ladder wherever you surface. Guests do about 35 dives on an eleven night trip. (There is no diving on the first day as we will be steaming to our first dive site. Boat photos are courtesy of Kararu Voyages.)

Itinerary

The itinerary was reversed, but I still have it here as traveling from Bali to Bima, taking in North Lombok, Sumbawa and Sangean Island on the way to Komodo Island and the pristine Komodo Marine Park. Officially declared a World Heritage Site in 1991, it is one of the largest protected zones on the planet.

We will now be flying to Bima and cruising back to Bali.

The Komodo region - the islands of Rinca, Komodo, Banta and many other smaller isles and pinnacles - offer divers a huge array of possibilities. This area between the Pacific and Indian oceans and the number and variety of islands in the area, combined with currents of nutrient-rich water, wave action and wind exposure result in a a biological paradise of pristine reef, pelagic fishes and an enormous variety of interesting critters and invertebrates.

Here is a sample of some typical days for our journey of nine diving days.

Tulamben

Famed for its Liberty shipwreck, we will enjoy the incredible view of Bali’s Mt. Agung as well as an exceptional array of very tame marine life. Kararu also takes us to the latest hot spots, such as Seraya Secrets.

Moyo National Park

Here we may just witness one of the whale sharks spotted in the area.

Rinca, North West Sumbawa

We will have the whole day to dive all the magnificent sites. Cruising west we will pass the dormant volcanic island of Satonda where, I am told, the twilight skies hold a rare surprise.

Sangeang & Banta

Sangeang Island, a stunning volcanic island, offers some of the region’s best dive sites. We will spend the morning here, then sail towards the peaceful bays of Banta Island with an enormous array of fish life and exotic above-water scenery.

Komodo National Park

We will visit islands such as Tatawa, return to Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawah Darat. Cruising through this spectacular area, both above water and below will prove an unforgettable experience.

South Rinca

We will enjoy another full day’s diving in Rinca’s Horseshoe Bay. Cannibal Rock, one of the Top Five dive sites in the world is located here as well as Larry’s Yellow Wall of Texas. On top of that we can enjoy one of the best muck sites--Torpedo Alley and there are four more stunning dive sites to choose from. We usually have 5 dives available during our stay in this protected bay. Don't miss the night dive!!

South Komodo & Rinca

Our next morning might begin in South Komodo at Tora Longkoi, home to a famous manta cleaning station. With a 99 percent success rate to witness the mantas, we will marvel at these graceful creatures as they circle around and around. During lunch, we steam to Horseshoe Bay, Rinca Island for the rest of the day's diving. Between dives we can explore by foot or binoculars the nearby beach where wild boars, monkeys and the odd Komodo dragon reside.

Komodo Island

Early in the morning, we will begin our walk of Komodo Island to see the region's most famous endemic species, the Komodo dragon, a large monitor lizard the size of a crocodile found only in this area. Usually a few hours are spent on shore viewing the dragons and we are back in the water by noon. We will dive at the famous Pink Beach and other exciting dive sites such as Padar in the Komodo Island region as well.

Gili Lawah Laut & Gili Lawah Darat

We begin on the North East corner of the park at Gili Lawah Laut, famous for warm, clear waters, corals and schooling fish, napoleon wrasse, sharks and turtles. A special dinner will be served on board before our final sail home. The crew will wash and organize our dive gear for drying.

Departure day

The ship will arrive at 6:00 AM to our dock. We will be served breakfast and afterwards prepare for disembarkation. At 9:00 AM, you will be transferred to your next destination. 

The photo on the left was taken in the Solomon Islands, but I believe these are also found in the Komodo area. I was intrigued by the pattern of the rind of this gorgonian, but a pygmy seahorse kept sticking his head in the photo.

 

The Adventure Continued...Thailand,

February 6 - 25, 2003

We visited Thailand above and underwater. I have wanted to go to Thailand for a very long time, and we finally have it on our schedule.

Trip specifics:

Presently we plan to leave Los Angeles (or NY/JFK) on February 6, 2003 and arrive in Phuket on the evening of Feb. 8. We will have nine days of diving aboard the M/Y Aqua One in the Andaman Sea and Burma's Mergui Archipelago (weather permitting). We disembark Aqua One February 18 and fly to Bangkok and overnight before our next flights. The land tour continues to Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand (Hilltribe Country) and Angkor Wat--an incredible ancient city in Cambodia, near the Thailand border. (More information below.)

Cost for the boat portion is $3425.00 for lower deck rooms and $3675.00 for upper deck rooms ($3562.00 and $3822.00 respectively if paid by credit card); air from New York or Los Angeles is $1125.00 plus tax. All air must be booked through Poseidon Ventures in California (1-800-854-9334). Price does not include one overnight in Bangkok when we get off the boat. There will also be a US$150.00 cash payment paid during the trip for the Burma entry fee. The land tour price is $1357.00 for a double room per person or $1772.00 for a single. (*We require a group air booking because flight schedules have been subject to last minute changes. If this happens, we need only notify one agent to take care of everyone. We have booked this trip as a complete package through Poseidon Ventures. Also, if we book as a group we will have more clout should a problem arise.)

M/Y AquaOne

The AquaOne is a nice boat, 35 m long and a beam of 6.5 m, specially built for 16 divers in 8 staterooms, each with private head and shower, piped-in music, reading lights, hair dryer, wardrobe and plenty of storage space. The upper deck rooms are slightly smaller and have windows and the below decks rooms are larger, but no windows. On the main deck, there is a smallish lounge/dining salon/entertainment area with large panoramic windows; on the upper deck is an air-conditioned lounge that serves as the photography station and library. There is an open-air barbecue/eating area and an open-air sitting area forward. Of course, there is sunbathing on the very top deck accessible by ladder.

Thailand provides the backdrop for the menu with an emphasis on Thai, oriental and seafood. According to their brochure and from what we have learned from Poseidon, the food is delicious and healthy, with three meals and lots of snacks daily. They presently tout a Cordon Bleu Chef on board.

The dive deck provides spacious gearing up and storage areas. Large twin staircases lead down to the diving platform. Diving is done from the deck when moored, and from one of the two 15-foot support inflatables. There are hot towels after every dive and four showers and a toilet are on the dive deck and dive platform. Nitrox is available for Nitrox certified divers at $8.00 per tank, or $15.00 per day with whole trip package for up to 5 tanks per day.

If you want to try something else, you can take up sea kayaking, kneeboarding, exploring uninhabited islands or rest on a quiet beach.

The staff is certified to carry out first aid treatment and cell and sat phones allow quick contact with the mainland, including the DAN approved decompression facilities in Phuket.

Boat photos courtsey of Art Travers from Poseidon Ventures.

Destinations

We will dive in the Similan Islands --in the Andaman Sea northwest of Phuket-- and Burma's Mergui Archipelago further north. Average visibility ranges from 50 feet to over 100 feet, the water temperature is a warm 83 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and February is right in the middle of the best time of year to dive here.

We will enjoy destinations that may include such great dives as Richelieu Rock and the Similan Islands--a scattering of massive granite boulders almost 50 nautical miles northwest of Phuket. Here it is possible to find everything from small beautiful nudibranchs, rare species of anemones and their anemone fish, frogfish, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimp, to larger shovelnose rays and potato cod.

The top thirty feet of the pinnacle is a carpet of red, blue and purple soft corals and often, swirling schools of snapper, jacks and barracuda flowing in and out of the canyons between the boulders. Whale sharks and manta rays once common are becoming more rare.

The water off Myanmar (Burma) has long been off-limits for the average tourists, but since 1997, a limited number of permits have been issued and of course, the Aqua One has one. The Mergui Archipelago is made up of hundreds of islands offering a rich variety and even some unique creatures. I can't wait to see dive sites such as Black Rock, Okay Rock (I hope that doesn't mean just okay), High Rock, North Twin and Little Torres. If any of you have been here, let me know which is your favorite.

UPDATE (June 27, 2002)

Some friends just got back and plenty to tell me. On sites closest to Phuket, such as Richelieu Rock, there were sometimes dozens of other dive boats. Many sites are in the open ocean and the weather was too rough for them to get to the Burma Bank. They loved all of the diving that they did. Of course, the weather can affect literally any trip, so I am sure that you are not surprised at the possibility.

They said the water was cool, so bring a wetsuit. They noted that the visibility was up and down, but we already knew that too.