September can be a tricky time to dive, as many destinations are transitioning between seasons. However, there are some magical liveaboard destinations to visit at this time of year.
Australia’s Hidden Gem
Australia is most well-known for its iconic Great Barrier Reef, but on the other side of the country lies Australia’s best-kept secret. Rowley Shoals Marine Park is 300 kilometers off Broome, Western Australia. This dive destination is one that is truly off the beaten track, and can only be accessed by liveaboard a few months of the year. The stunning reefs of Rowley Shoals can only be dived from very late September through until late November.
The Rowley Shoals are essentially a chain of three coral atolls at the edge of the continental shelf in Western Australia. Here you will find coral gardens covered in vibrant soft and hard corals, surrounded by colourful reef fish. The ‘Northern Wall’ located on the Mermaid Atoll features a steep drop to 80 metres, and is home to every species of reef fish imaginable. More than 200 species of coral and 600 species of fish can be found in the Rowley Shoals and only 200 people have the privilege of visiting this relatively unknown dive site a year.
The MV Odyssey offers limited diving trips to the Rowley Shoals, Australia. The advanced catamaran design ensures that the Odyssey Liveaboard is stable, relaxed and spacious and visits the best of the Rowley Shoals.
Visit The ‘Friendliest People On Earth’
Fiji is a tropical paradise with fantastic diving, and the hospitality to travellers has resulted in the country being coined as one of the friendliest in the world. During the month of September, the humidity and heat in Fiji is not overwhelming, and the water is cooler which results in phenomenal visibility.
September is the tail end of winter in Fiji, and with water temperatures rarely dropping below 24 degrees Fiji is by no means cold. You can expect visibility of around 30 metres dive after dive during winter, and the cooler air temperatures mean you won’t be sweating in the hot tropical sun during your surface intervals.
The favourable conditions of Fiji make this a destination that can be dived by those with only their Open Water Certification, and the Fiji Aggressor has no requirement for a minimum number of logged dives on its Fiji Exploration safaris. You can expect a mixture of dive types onboard a liveaboard in Fiji. Drift dives are the norm in Taveuni Island, and a site called ‘Rainbow Reef’ will have you dazzled by the stunning array of colours on both the coral reefs and fish that call it home.
Video by Nick Hope of Bubble Vision shows you what the diving is like around Fiji (and Tonga).
Mexico Is Still Amazing
From August, diving in Mexico is incredible. There are two destinations to choose from, Guadalupe Island or the Sea of Cortez, and your choice will be dictated by what marine life you most want to dive with.
Guadalupe Island, off the Baja Peninsula is a hot spot for Great white sharks. In Guadalupe, you can come face to face with these enormous ocean predators. Guadalupe is arguably the best destination for diving with these sharks, as the visibility of the crystal clear water often exceeds 35 metres and it’s not uncommon to have 6 sharks surrounding the cage on a single dive. September is the month when big females start showing up in Guadalupe, and these sharks can grow more than 5 metres in length.
The Sea of Cortez is often compared to an aquarium thanks to its incredible visibility and stunning array of marine life. From diving with curious Californian sea lions that love nothing more than coming up and sniffing a camera dome, to the macro life scattered along the coral reefs, there is life everywhere you look. The area is renowned for being one where you’re guaranteed to dive with sea lions, and you’ll encounter mantas, sharks, and even dolphins, along with huge schools or pelagic fish.
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com