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Richard giving a dive briefing in Raja Ampat aboard Dewi NusantaraWelcome to Dr Richard Smith's travel page! 

Richard personally leads trips to some of the worlds best and most interesting dive destinations. With his background in marine biology and as a widely published underwater photographer, his marine life dive trips will help you to get more from your diving through lectures aimed at broadening your understanding of life beneath the waves.

Have you ever wanted to swim with whale sharks, learn about the private lives of pygmy seahorses or swim amongst the fishes on the world's most pristine coral reefs?  With Richard you can, and do so from the comfort of the most luxurious resorts and liveaboards with a small number of like-minded divers.

 

Richard Smith and Wendy Brown with Our Beloved Seas guestsOUR BELOVED SEAS | Some of Richard's trips are run in collaboration with Wendy Brown under the banner 'Our Beloved Seas'. Together, Richard and Wendy lead scuba diving expeditions for divers interested in learning more about marine life and exploring some of the best dives the oceans have to offer.  Wendy's exhaustive knowledge of South East Asia's dive sites gets us to the best locations to explore the region's diversity, whilst Richard gives marine life talks so people can learn and appreciate fully the amazing creatures and ecosystems we encounter.  We are both passionate about conserving the world's seas and for each of our trips we donate a percentage of the proceeds to a different conservation organisation that we feel are doing great work.  From our first two Our Beloved Seas trips in 2014, we donated over $1000 to Save Our Seas Foundation.  Other beneficiaries have been Conservation International (with whom we are registered 'Emerald Circle Donors' for our level of support) and the Marine Megafauna Foundation.Richard Smith Our Beloved Seas marine conservation donation

What are you waiting for? Contact Richard (Richard@OceanRealmImages.com) to plan your next dive adventure! “GET MORE FROM YOUR DIVING”  Even if a trip is listed as full, there are ocassionally unavoidable cancellations so we can add you to a waiting list should a spot become available.

Sign up for Richard's Newsletter on the right hand side of this page for early bird information on upcoming trips.  Follow these links to his Facebook and Twitter pages for regular image posts and updates.

 

FORTHCOMING TRIPS

 

2018

Galapagos group Marine Life Diving ExpeditionGALAPAGOS ISLANDS | Galapagos Sky: 25th Feb - 4th March 2018 - 1 x male share

Due to requests from our guests, Wendy and I have decided to plan a trip the Galapagos Islands.  If you want to see great schools of hammerheads, mantas, sea lions and other bountiful marinelife this is the time of year when the waters of the Galapagos become relatively warm and clear.  No dry suits or chattering teeth for us!  If you're interested in joining us, please contact me for more information.

 

Galapagos group Marine Life Diving Expedition in clear warm waterGALAPAGOS ISLANDS | Galapagos Sky: 4 - 11th March 2018 - 1 x Male Share   

Due to requests from our guests, Wendy and I have decided to plan a trip the Galapagos Islands.  If you want to see great schools of hammerheads, mantas, sea lions and other bountiful marinelife this is the time of year when the waters of the Galapagos become relatively warm and clear.  No dry suits or chattering teeth for us!  If you're interested in joining us, please contact me for more information.

 

Rare endemic fishes in Cenderawasih Bay and remote atolls of MapiaINDONESIA | Dewi Nusantara: North Cenderawasih Bay & Mapia Island | 23rd July - 1st August 2018 - 1 x Female share 

This 'Our Beloved Seas' trip is in collaboration with Wendy Brown, dive guru extraordinaire.  We will be exploring the very remote and magical Cenderawasih Bay in northern Papua, fabled for its unique reef fishes.  This will be a very special trip where to plan to visit Mapia atoll, just over the equator, and 100 NM north of the bay.  Mapia has very rarely been dived, and is about as remote a place as is left on Earth.  Please contact me for more information.

Swim with whale sharks and rare endemic fishes in Cenderawasih BayINDONESIA | Dewi Nusantara: Cenderawasih Bay | 3-13th August 2018 - 1 x Male Share & 1 x Female Share  

This 'Our Beloved Seas' trip is in collaboration with Wendy Brown, dive guru extraordinaire.  We will be exploring the very remote and magical Cenderawasih Bay in northern Papua, fabled for its whale shark encounters and large numbers of unique reef fishes.  Please contact me for more information.

 

 

2019

Dive trip to Dumaguete with Marine Biologist Dr Richard Smith*NEW* PHILIPPINES | Atmosphere Resort, Dumaguete | In conjunction with Dive Worldwide | 27th March - 6th April 2019Spaces

This will be Richard's fifth trip to the extremely rich Dumaguete area on the island of Negros in the southern Philippines.  It will also be his second trip leading for Dive Worldwide to Atmosphere Resort.  This is a great time of year to dive this area.  There is a great mix of muck dive sites along the shore and the trip will include a day or two to the reefs of Apo Island. Please contact Richard or Dive Worldwide for more details.

 

Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist dive trip to Anilao Philippines

*NEW* PHILIPPINES | Anilao, Buceo Resort | 7th - 14th April 2019 - 2 x Deluxe Rooms available

Richard and Wendy will be visiting
Buceo Resort in Anilao for 7 nights. This is the Philippines answer to Lembeh, where the diving is purely muck, and has many special creatures to share. The resort is easily accessed from Manila, without the need of another flight. Please contact Richard for more details.

 

Tubbataha Dive Trip with Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist

*NEW* PHILIPPINES | Tubbataha, Philippine Siren | 14th-22nd April 2019 - Full, Waitlist Only.

After Anilao we will fly straight down to Puerto Princesa to join the Philippine Siren for our specially extended 8 night visit to Tubbataha Reef.  These extremely remote atolls sit in the middle of the Sulu Sea and are only accessible for a few months a year.  They are World Heritage listed and it really shows.  Richard visited last in 2014 and has been eager to return ever since. More sharks than he's seen anywhere else in the Coral Triangle and stunning reefs. Contact Richard for more details.

Banda Sea Dive Trip with Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist

*NEW* INDONESIA | SOUTH TO NORTH I: Dewi Nusantara, Saumlaki (Forgotten Islands) to Ambon | 24th October - 5th November 2019 - 1 x Cabin, 1 x Male & 1 x Female Shares

Back aboard Dewi Nusantara, Richard and Wendy will lead these exciting 'South to North Expeditions'.  The first starts on the small island of Saumlaki in the Forgotten Islands, south of Tanimbar (located the south east of Indonesia, between East Timor & Aru). This is a rarely visited and rich area that's ripe for exploration. On the first of these trips, we will start in the south and head north through the Banda Sea, ending in Ambon.  Contact Richard for more details.

Halmahera Dive Trip with Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist

*NEW* INDONESIA | SOUTH TO NORTH II: Dewi Nusantara, Ambon to Ternate (Halmahera) | 6 - 16th November 2019 - 3 x Cabins Available

On the second of these 'South to North Expeditions', again aboard Dewi Nusantara, Richard and Wendy will explore the seas between Ambon and Ternate, west of Halmahera.  There are many rare and endemic creatures in this region, including the newest walking shark, Hemiscyllium halmaheraContact Richard for more details.

 

Raja Ampat Dive Trip with Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist*NEW* INDONESIA | SOUTH TO NORTH III: Dewi Nusantara, Ternate (Halmahera) to Sorong (Raja Ampat) | 18-29th November 2019 - Waitlist only

The final of the 'South to North Expeditions' sees Richard join forces with his friends at Blue Planet DC.  Together they will explore the heart of the Coral Triangle between Ternate in Halmahera and the mega-diverse Raja Ampat region. The trip will visit muck sites, oceanic and inshore reefs. 

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

"AMAZING! Richard is able to make scientific talks hugely entertaining .  I learnt so much, and every dive after the talks I found myself on the hunt for the new critters I had just learnt all about.  Brilliant!" Madeleine, Australia.

"The talks enchance the diving experience and encourage new interest outside the obviously spectacular! Friendly, approachable organisation" Martin, UK.

"We joined Richard's group tour in Fiji and found the whole experience to be enjoyable and very informative.  We can highly recommend any future tours." Maurice, Australia.

"As a non-diver I enjoyed the talks so much and learnt a lot.  Thank you so much Richard." Kaye, Australia.

"Richard manages to explain lots of scientific detail in an entertaining and amusing way and makes finding the endemic fishes a real acheivement on a dive - even when they're not the most exciting fish on the reef." Kate, UK

"Having had no experience of marine biologists, was not sure what to expect on this trip. However, was very pleasantly surprised.  Not only is Richard a delightful diving companion, generous and thoughtful underwater but his hugely interesting talks (never boring) were a delight. Would love to dive more with him if he'll let me" Michele, UK.

"A great experience to share our diving with Dr Richard - an inspiration, who gave another perspective to my view of the ocean realm" John, UK.

"Thank you Richard for a great holiday, and for sharing all your knowledge with us!" Heath, USA.

"Rich's talks were an added bonus to the trip. Very clear, informative and although I have been diving for years I learnt new information. Encouraged lots of discussions within the group and made one more aware of reef creature's behaviours." Mary, UK.

"Richard's talks greatly improved my diving as I was able to find/discover small critters and know what I was actually seeing! Thank you!" Rachel, UK.

 

COMPLETED TRIPS 

Fiji marine life expedition with Dr Richard SmithFIJI - Matava Resort, Kadavu 5 – 15th October 2013 

We had a fantastic time at Matava Resort on southern Fiji's Kadavu Island.  Amazing underwater encounters with many mantas, stunning Fijian endemic fishes and even a close pass by a hammerhead were complemented by the fantastic resort and its staff.  Underwater images from the trip can be seen here

 

 

Socorro marine life expedition with Dr Richard SmithSOCORRO ISLANDS – Solmar V 26th January – 3rd February 2014 

We were in no way disappointed by the diving in the Socorro Islands.  At San Benedicto we had many amazing giant oceanic manta encounters, a scattering of hammerheads and even some time with friendly bottlenose dolphins.  At the remote Roca Partida we were again treated to visits by mantas and had large groups of white-tipped reef sharks accompanying our dives.  The warm and clear water made long dives comfortable and very enjoyable.

 

Philippines marine life expedition with Dr Richard SmithPHILIPPINES - Atlantis Resorts to Tubbataha and Dumaguete (29th March – 10th April 2014)

In March 2014 sixteen of us joined Atlantis Resort’s live-aboard, Azores, exploring the remote World Heritage Listed Tubbataha Atoll, followed by 5-8 nights at the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort. Tubbataha was an oasis in the middle of the Sulu Sea and is accessible for only a few months a year, here pelagics met mega-diverse reefs at the heart of the Coral Triangle. The diving at Dumaguete perfectly compliments that of Tubbataha, with abundant critters and fantastic muck diving.  The galleries for these two trips can be found by following these links: TUBBATAHA and DUMAGUETE

 

Indonesia marine life expedition with Dr Richard Smith - Humann's fairy wrasseINDONESIA - Dewi Nusantara August/September 2014

Trip 1: Alor and Wetar | 13-24th August 2014 

Trip 2: Alor to Wakatobi | 25th August - 5th September 2014

These trip were a collaboration between Richard and dive-guide extraordinare Wendy Brown, who together make up 'Our Beloved Seas'.  The first trip took in their favourite sites around Alor, and then onwards to the new buzz dive location of Wetar Island! The second visited the top sites of Alor and then headed northwards towards the Wakatobi archipelago. To read the trip report from the first trip CLICK HERE, and the second HERE.

 

Indonesia marine life expedition with Dr Richard SmithINDONESIA | Dewi Nusantara, North Raja Ampat | 16-27th March 2015

This 'Our Beloved Seas' trip in collaboration with dive adventurer extraordinaire, Wendy Brown was a very rewarding exploration of the northern areas of Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia.  We spent 11 nights aboard the stunning Dewi Nusantara, focusing on the islands of Waigeo, Batanta and beyond.  Follow the link above for the trip report.

 

 

Join us at Dumaguete Resort 12-21st September 2015PHILIPPINES | Atlantis Dumaguete Resort | September 12-21st 2015

Prior to joining Atlantis' Liveaboard Azores on the 19th September, Wendy and I stayed with our guests for a week at Atlantis' Dumaguete Resort.  We had some great muck diving encounters, with eleven frogfishes counted one one dive, and eighteen seahorses on another! To have a look at images from this trip, please follow this link.

 

 

Philippines marine life expedition with Dr Richard SmithPHILIPPINES | Azores Liveaboard | September 19-29th 2015

Another 'Our Beloved Seas' trip, which took in the wealth of sites around the island Filipino island of Cebu, including encounters with thresher and whale sharks! We also had rare sightings of undescribed endemic Halgerda nudibranchs and the rare and miniature Kyonemichthys rumengani. Have a look at the images from the trips by following this link.

 

 

Lynne's Pipefish (Festucalex rufus) taken in the Solomon Islands aboard BilikikiSOLOMON ISLANDS | Bilikiki liveaboard | 12-22nd December 2015 

I have been to the Solomons a couple of times before and had another amazing trip this time too.  I gave marine life talks and enjoyed exploring the biodiversity these islands have to offer.  My highlight was my first ever sighting of Lynne's pipefish (Festucalex rufus), which was only descibed this year (2015).  Images from this trip are to follow soon.

 

 

Southern Raja Ampat and Kofiau Island Marine Life TripINDONESIA | Dewi Nusantara: Southern Raja Ampat & Kofiau Island | 21st January - 1st February 2016

This 'Our Beloved Seas' trip is in collaboration with Wendy Brown, dive guru extraordinaire.  We explored the southern reaches of Raja Ampat and visited the remote and scarcely dived outpost of Kofiau Island, the location of the highest ever reef fish species diversity count. Follow the link to see some images from this trip.

 

 

Pygmy Seahorse Cruise with Dr Richard SmithINDONESIA | The Arenui: Raja Ampat SPECIAL PYGMY SEAHORSE CRUISE | 5-16th February 2016

This special pygmy seahorse cruise was aboard the stunning Arenui, exploring the mega-diverse Raja Ampat Islands.  Follow this link to more information about this trip, and this gallery to some images.

 

 

Dumaguete Dive Festival Philippines with Dr Richard SmithPHILIPPINES | in conjunction with Dive Worldwide | Atmosphere Resort, Dumaguete | 21st Feb - 2nd March 2016

I joined forces with UK-based Dive Worldwide, who specialise in tailor-made diving holidays, to run some expert led expeditions.  This first adventure took us to Atmosphere Resort in Dumageuete, Philippines.  We had amazing diving, counting 48 frogfishes and 41 ghost pipefishes!! Have a look at my gallery here. #DrRichDumaDiveFest

 

Visit Komodo at the best time of yearINDONESIA | Damai I: South Komodo | December 2016 - Waitlist

Several years ago I was lucky enough to visit Komodo in the season that is traditionally considered 'off peak'.  In fact this, in my opinion, is the best time to visit the south of Komodo.  The cold murky waters of Horseshoe Bay and it's famous site Cannibal Rock were replaced by warm and crystal clear water. As well as breathtaking reefs, there was brilliant muck diving and much more including the stunning newly described Renny's flasher wrasse!

 

Expert Marine Biologist led expedition with Dive Worldwide to Raja Ampat

INDONESIA | in conjunction with Dive Worldwide | Indo-Siren, Raja Ampat | 2 - 12th March 2017

This trip took us to one of my favourite places in the world, Raja Ampat, where I have been many times.  You can read my blog about the trip here.

 

 

 

Expert led Expedition to Triton Bay, Indonesia's newest dive destinationINDONESIA | Dewi Nusantara: Triton Bay, West Papua

Trip One - Triton Bay (Sorong to Kaimana) | 18-29th March 2017

Trip Two - Triton Bay (Kaimana to Ambon) | 31st March - 11th April 2017

Myself and Wendy Brown chartered Dewi for an amazing adventure to Indonesia's most exciting and rarely visited biodiversity hotspot, Triton Bay. We saw many exciting and rare critters, including locally endemic Jamal's Dottyback and Zippered dottybacks!

 

Dr Richard Smith Marine Biologist led expedition to Siladen resort SulawesiINDONESIA | Siladen Resort, North Sulawesi | 23rd June - 3rd July 2017

North Sulawesi is one of Indonesia's diving Meccas and Siladen Resort and Spa is one of the best ways to experience it.  During my stay, I gave marine life lectures including tips on photography, helping divers to make the most of their diving.  To see some images from the trip, have a look at my Pro Gallery on the Siladen website, or my 'Bunaken National Marine Park: Ten to Treasure" article on Dive Photo Guide.

 

Dr Richard Smith marine biologist led expedition to Sangeang Island and Bima Bay, IndonesiaINDONESIA | Damai II: Muck Magic 1 (Sangeang Island & Bima Bay) (Labuan Bajo-Bima) | 22-31st August 2017

We began the trip in Labuan Bajo on the west of Flores, but head for a muck mecca in Komodo National Park before focusing on the critter hotspots of Sangeang Island and Bima Bay.  I had wanted to explore this super-rich area in greater depth for sometime, and was absolutely not disappointed!

 

Marine Biologist led expedition by Dr Richard Smith to Sangeang Island IndonesiaINDONESIA | Damai II: Muck Magic 2 (Bima Bay & Sangeang Island) (Bima - Labuan Bajo) | 1-10th September 2017 - Waitlist 

We began this trip in Bima Bay, where the critter action was out of this world.  We then headed for the nudibranch capital of Indonesia, Sangeang Volcano, before ending up at Wainilu for some more critter madness.  These trips truly were Muck Magic!!

 

 

THE OCEAN REALM IMAGES MISSION STATEMENT

We at Ocean Realm Images are extremely passionate about protecting the marine environment. The focus of our trips will be to observe and photograph marine life in an environmentally friendly way, without harming or stressing animals. We want everyone to enjoy their diving, but not to the detriment of the reef and its inhabitants. Check out this link to provide some helpful tips on how to help us achieve these goals.

 

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