PhotoFriday – ‘Serene’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Serene’

One of the most serene places is underwater in the warm ocean. You only hear your breath and the snap, crackle and pop of the reef. Floating weightless and free. Its my favourite feeling. This photo was taken of Libby in the caves at the southern end of the Red sea, Egypt.

If you want to see more of my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Serene’ here.

Mexican Cenotes: Eden

As a follow on from Chac Mool & Taj Mahal, I know I promised you even more Cenotes from mexico and I got a bit side tracked with other things but I didnt forget. Here is my post about the aptly named “Eden”.

From the surface Eden is like a huge swimming pool – very open. In fact some of the kids were jumping off the platform into the water below and some were trying to balance on the rope strung across the middle. In fact it seemed as though it was a busy swimming area for the local families.

In fact they gave us strange looks as we donned all our gear and slipped beneath the water. Once you’d passed all the commotion (being careful that no one landed on your head of course) you could enter a long dark tunnel. Out the other side was calm, empty and very beautiful.

In fact Eden has a little bit of everything. The muck-about swimming area, the cavey tunnel with small stalactites ,the striking sunbeams and a lovely little mangrove area full of tree roots and small fish.

We were able to get out & change lens to macro to enjoy the fish life in the swimming area after we’d seem the cenote itself… I think we all really enjoyed that after several dives with wide angle only:

This little Cichlid Fish protects his babies by trying to hide them in the moss.

And I enjoyed watching these two having a fight over the females…

but they called it a draw and no one got hurt or eaten.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed my little slice of Eden.

Mexican Cenotes: Taj Mahal

Continuing on from yesterdays mexican cenote post here are the photos from Taj Mahal Cenote.

WOW. This was some place. We had to wait for ten or so mins in the half dark before the sun came out from behind some clouds but when it did it was breathtaking. The photo above is Mario swimming through the sunbeams. The photo below is Eleo:

While Alex & Eleo were mucking about posing for each other I swam up to the surface and took some split level shots – it was amazing that you could still clearly see the blue watery sunbeams still so brightly even from the angle at the surface:

We had a little tour of the inside too ater we were done playing in the sun…

The stalactites (above) were less impressive than those at Chac Mool but the haloclines (where the salt water creates blurry layers of water) were still amazingly cool. You can see the layer more clearly in this photo but it doesnt do it justice.

Since its so dark in the caves you really need an underwater tripod like this one here that Alex is setting up and also preferably a camera that goes to high iso with little noise.

This was the entrance & exit to the cenote… most of them have some form of stairway or natural rocky steps to help you in and out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos from the Taj Mahal Cenote, next up Eden….

Red Sea 2011

Things have a way of coming full circle and this blog is no different. I started it way back when in 2008 mainly to document the impending trauma of upgrading from a compact camera to an SLR (and taking said SLR underwater). When I first got my Nikon D300 and Subal housing I took it all away with me on a Martin Edge trip. I didn’t even know how to open the housing!

As it turns out it wasn’t that much of a trauma ;) And although I do miss the nice light (and carry-on friendly) size of my compact I have had a lot of fun with my SLR. Anyway, back to the point, we decided to go on another Martin trip, this time to the South Red Sea.

When we visit the Red Sea we normally go north (the wrecks are better and there are the giant schools of fish in summer). The south has some nice caves (well, caverns really since they are mostly open at the top) where the light comes in. I’m only part way through processing the photos but what I have so far I’ve put in this gallery:

http://www.pbase.com/suzy_walker/redsea2011

I still prefer the North Red Sea (for better viz and just more to see) but going to the see the caves was something different. It would have been nice to see the sea grass area where the large turtles live but we didn’t get to that. Each day we stayed in one place the whole day which had the advantage of trying different things and seeing the light change throughout the day but the disadvantage that if you were underwhelmed on dive 1 then by dive 3 or 4 you were just over it altogether.

check the gallery in the next week or so for more cavey shots…