Pele, Raja Ampat

Following on from yesterdays post on Misool. We only visited two sites in Pele, Kaleidoscope & Toblerone. Most itineraries for Raja dont come out this way but Toblerone tunnel is kind of interesting too see again (we stopped by there in 2009). I took down my off camera strobe to see what I could make of the sea fans on the tunnel floor (see above).

Its a pity the weather wasn’t better when we were here because it was a bit murky for wide angle on Kaleidoscope but it was like fish soup! Amazingly fun dive site just to go and watch them all swirling around and around

It was also interesting to see how big these sponges had grown in that time… here they are from 2009:

There is a little air pocket in the top of the tunnel, here’s Alex come up for a breather

For more images from this trip see the full Raja Gallery here. I hope you enjoyed those and will tune in tomorrow for the next stop on our tour.

Photofriday – ‘Lonesome’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Lonesome’

In contrast to last weeks PhotoFriday (Huge!), this little critter is very small. She was affectionately known in Grand Cayman by the dive guides as Sally the Sailfin (Blenny). I didnt see any others there, many other types of blennies but only one Sailfin. I thought she must be lonesome, or maybe not, with all the divers stopping by to say hi?

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the collection of galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery.

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Lonesome’ here.

New Underwater Video – Bali 2012

Watch this video in High Definition on Vimeo here.

This is my second Bali video. I do hope you like it. If you have any film making tips to help me (I’m such a newbie with video) then please let me know in the comments. This was shot on a GoPro Hero 2 in the GoPro dive housing with the backscatter magic filter on it. Edited in iMovie. Music: “Dire News” by Celestial Aeon Project

Wishing everyone a happy new year :)

Schooling Jacks video

So here is my first underwater video (well the first one I got around to processing). I did take some footage of the whalesharks in mexico but I’m get to go through that. This is from Bali and its just Jacks…. schooling Jackfish at Coral Garden. I hope you like it….

 

 

If you cant see the embedded version (or just want to see it bigger HD) the link to it on vimeo is here:

http://vimeo.com/55734500

I’ve called it just Jacks because I took some footage of other reef life and next up is to see if I can make a video from that too. Thanks for watching.

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.

World Ocean Day – Celebrate while we still can

So here’s a sobering thought – In 40 Years We Could Face An Ocean Without Fish.  Go check out that link and see if you still want to order fish for lunch today :( In fact I’ve seen this decline myself in the lessening aggregations of Snapper in the Red Sea each year.

The theme for this year’s world ocean day is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.
If we can get young people into preserving the ocean now then there might be some life left in it for their children to enjoy… otherwise there will only be the photos we can take today and the sour fishy aftertaste of extinction. Please take a moment today to check out these links and see how you can help – even if it’s only be spreading the word. World Ocean Day – “Wear Blue, Tell Two”. Hopefully this blog post will reach more than two :)

A while back I put together a list of sustainable seafood guides. They are displayed below in my sidebar but here again for convenience:

Here’s a few of my pictures to celebrate the beauty and life we still have for now:

Please keep help our oceans from turning into this:

PhotoFriday – ‘Downward’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Downward’

This week’s theme is Downward. Immediately my mind went to these little fish (Shimp fish I think) that swim face down. I’ve only seen them this one time by a bush of black coral  in Cebu (in the Philippines) in 2008 when I first got my camera.

If you want to see more of my photos from Cebu then check out other photos in my Cebu Gallery.

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

PhotoFriday – ‘Eat!’

Photo Friday entry: ’Eat!’

This week’s theme is EAT! I especially like the ! in the theme. As it turns out I don’t have many photos of underwater eating and not wanting to put up a photo of my lunch I thought I’d put you all off food forever with a photo story of when we meet the Bobbit worm in Lembeh. In scene one you see the worm being tempted by the dive guide with a fish on a pointy stick. In scene two, no more fish! Chomp! Most unpleasant.

Enjoy your weekend everyone and hopefully the good folks at photofriday.com will have a nicer theme for next week.

If you want to see more of the weird creatures of Lembeh then check out other photos in my Lembeh Straits 2009 Gallery.

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

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…