In this surreal composite digital art piece, a young boy comes face-to-face with an otter, inspiring a lifetime connection to water, like a new diver’s fairytale. © Zena Holloway

In this surreal composite digital art piece, a young boy comes face-to-face with an otter, inspiring a lifetime connection to water, like a new diver’s fairytale. © Zena Holloway

As a father, I’ve often dreamed of the day that I might take my daughter, Carmen, on her first scuba dive. After all, I love both with all my heart. In the future, when she’s ready, the diver side of my personality will dive ecstatically by her side, but the parent side will be a bit worried too, since being underwater is something that I approach with a healthy dose of respect.

That’s why it blew my mind to learn that there are some kids out there that take to diving like fish to water. Alexa Frink, for example, daughter of legendary photographer Stephen Frink, has dived around the world, alongside humpbacks, stingrays and dolphins (see “Insider” on page 60). Zac Cuff first breathed from a reg at six years of age (“In Focus” on page 52), while Mike Ivanov’s courage (“Young and Fearless” on page 46) has taken him into caves and face to face with great whites – at just nine years of age!

These little scuba prodigies have shown us that kids are not the future – they’re the present.

Maldives – Manta Mania

Hanifaru Bay has become a diver magnet, nearly becoming victim to its own popularity.

Phenomenal Kids – Young and Fearless

At just nine years of age, Mikhael Ivanov has experienced more than most lifelong divers.

In Focus – Zac’s First Dives

When we took our son, Zac, with us to the Cayman Islands and the Maldives, it was clear that he belonged in the water with us.

Special – Diving With Alexa

A world-renowned photographer sees the underwater world anew, through the eyes of his daughter.

Scuba Rescue – Ear Emergency

Know the risks, so you aren’t just playing it by ear.

Environment – Australia Abuzz

A herculean effort to protect Australian waters has inspired many while ruffling more than few feathers.

Sea Science – Kindred Spirits

The intricate relationships between dolphin families are startling. From social networking to daycare centres, we are closer to our mammal cousins than we think.

Discovery – Dartfish

Previously unknown to science, new and utterly beautiful species are photographed and described.

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