Perhaps too close, staring down into the huge maw of the world’s largest shark: Rhincodon typus, the whale shark. © Warren Baverstock

Perhaps too close, staring down into the huge maw of the world’s largest shark: Rhincodon typus, the whale shark. © Warren Baverstock

Drawing inspiration from the mighty Indian Ocean, this issue is filled with adventures from far-off and seldomdived places. Spanning from the east coast of Africa, enveloping the Indian sub-continent, and smashing into western Indonesia and Australia, the Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s great bodies of water.

Photojournalists Yann Oulia and Gaby Barathieu report from the French outpost called Réunion Island (page 34), while Daniel Botelho dives into the extraordinary natural phenomenon known as the Sardine Run of South Africa (page 42). And for those who crave the unexplored, you’ll want to check out Warren Baverstock’s amazing story of a newly discovered whale shark aggregation off the coast of Djibouti (page 24).

Lastly, don’t miss field editor Justin Gilligan’s breakdown on diving with grey nurse sharks (page 52) in our Australia column. That’ll keep you grinning a toothy smile till your next submersion… guaranteed.

Beyond – Oh La La! Reunion Island

A remote jewel of the Indian Ocean, this French territory offers resplendent underwater abundance, served up with a fusion of European and African culture

Encounters – African Frenzy

One of nature’s greatest spectacles, South Africa’s “Sardine Run” is neither predictable nor reliable, demanding a huge commitment from adventure-seekers, and a difficult challenge for photographers

Australia – Wandering Sharks

Beyond the east coast of Australia, grey nurse sharks tour an underwater highway of rocky reefs. A troop of admired operators deliver their clients within arm’s reach

Videology – The Big Rig

Emmy-nominated cinematographer Ross Isaacs dives for a living with one whopping piece of equipment

In Focus – Journeys of a Reef Mapper

A topographer takes his technical mapmaking skills underwater. For this artist, it’s a dream job like no other

Scuba Rescue – A Close Call

Not every diving injury is an emergency requiring an evacuation and costly treatment. However, this doesn’t change the fact that immediate action is vital

Sea Science – Gentle Giants of Djibouti

A new whale shark aggregation is discovered far off the beaten track, where a handful of lucky scientists have the sharks all to themselves

Discovery – Jawfish

A photogenic family just keeps growing in the annals of science

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