Google Maps adds underwater imagery – go diving in Hawaii, Australia, & the Philippines

Maps go underwater now as Google has added panoramic imagery of Hawaii, Australia, and the Philippines. From the Google Maps Blog:

Find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray and experience the reef at sunset. in the Great Barrier Reed. At Apo Island, a volcanic island and marine reserve in the Philippines, you can see an ancient boulder coral, which may be several hundred years old. And in the middle of the Pacific, in Hawaii, you can join snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and drift over the vast coral reef at Maui’s Molokini crater.

The images are stunning as seen in this video.

 

 

The feature works like Street View in Google Maps. And the images were captured using an SVII specialized camera while traveling at 4 kilometers an hour.

View the full collection of 12 dive sites at Google Maps Ocean.

The best snorkeling in Orange County

My neck is all busted up. Too much surf paddling. I’m shore bound.

But, you can’t keep a good watermen down. I’m gonna head out and do some leisurely floating and watching with some kicking, i.e. snorkeling.

My research shows that Shaw’s Cove is the best in Orange County:

“One of the most popular dive sites in Orange County. It is well-protected from large swells, making it highly suitable for the beginning beach divers.”

“Have dove here twice and so far it is my favorite shore dive in Laguna. Vis was excellent two weeks ago at about 35-40 which is great for this area. I saw a lot of fish live. I spotted two octopi, sea hares galore with one that was huge. It has a nice wall to dive near. There are a lot of divers on Saturday mornings because the conditions are usually good for the dive classes. The hike to the shore can be tiring depending on where you get a parking spot. It is a residential area so parking on the streets fills quickly and early on the weekends. There are about 40 stairs that you get to hike up as well. Great cardio workout.”

Of course, there are 7 other notable places to check out. Here is a full list from shorediving.com.

I will have to investigate to see which one I think is best, but I’m definitely starting with Shaw’s thanks to this personal video:

This is the first video I’ve ever shot in my life. I’ve been wanting to make some videos to share with my non-diving friends & family why each moment beneath the water is so special to me. I purchased a FlipHD and Ikelite housing for it, with their lighting system. The color is uncorrected and video is unenhanced. Conditions were a bit rough for the locale, but I’m overall happy with the quality of the output. Shot a few hours of video in the morning then edited down to 5 minutes. Enjoy!