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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Burden in my hand

Will be posting as soon as I can get the time. I've got over 10,000 shots and 8 hours of video footage to work through as well as a couple of magazine articles to prep so there's a lot on the go just now. Not to mention everyday work. Stay tuned. In the mean time, here's one to whet you appetites.......


Sunday, 7 May 2017

The last time

This it. The last time. No more after this. Finished. Finito. The end. Done. No more.

Then we're packing our bags and going on holiday next week. Socorro and mantas here we come!

Anyway, back to this mornings diving which was about 8-10 knots ENE, relatively flat calm with decent viz below. Pretty exciting first dive as we saw a lot of big stuff withing the first eight minutes of heading out to the Nicholson and the main wall. First we had some green sea turtles, immediately followed by a Southern stingray (which I managed to get a crappy shot of), then a nurse shark swam right past the ray a few seconds later.

The Nicholson proved a reliable spot for a good shot or two and we had some reasonable light to play with.

We dived down the sand chute and hung a right at the main wall to my special little place I like which has some nice coral and sponge barrels. We also had the added bonus of a whacking great loggerhead that was sitting there, remora and barnacles and all. Didn't know if it was asleep or eating but I didn't want to disturb it so the photos are a bit lacking but you get the idea of size.

The second dive was a bit of fun, throwing up some lovely little fair basslets, which always remiNd me of Heath Ledger's Joker from the batman films. It must be the makeup they wear.......why so serious? :-)

Also some nice barber shrimp, blennies, juvenile needlenose and filefish. There was a fair bit of variety out there.

And of course we've got some obligatory video footage from the second dive from Jill with Brutus putting in a late appearance. Late to the party as usual.....

So thats it for now. Hopefully next time I'll have some pics of some big stuff to share from Mexico. Hasta la vista.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Sunday morning coming down

Just one dive this morning as we had a very small window in the weather. 10 hours previously the water had been crashing over the waterfront due to a strong Northerly wind. The viz still wasn't great but why waste the opportunity to go for a dive. 

The first half of the dive was relatively uneventful marine life wise as I thought Spot and Brutus would have been out to visit us as usual, but no, they weren't around. We stopped off at the Nicholson for a shot or two with Miss Leslie doing modelling duties whilst Jill messed around doing some video stuff.

We proceeded out to the sand chute and bumped into a southern stingray coming up as we were going down. No shots unfortunately as it took off at 90 degrees as soon as it saw us. Was it something I said?

The main wall came up trumps with a plethora of goodies, including turtles and nurse sharks. I saw the turtles but missed the nurse shark which apparently swam right underneath me whilst I was taking pictures of the turtle. Sometimes it pays to have 360 vision apparently..........

With deco time fast approaching, we moved back to the shallows when Spot and Brutus decided to join us. They must have decided to have a some extra time in bed this morning. They brought one of their french angelfish friends along with them who was more than happy to hang around the lens for a few shots.

And I have no idea who these pair are but they ruined a perfectly good photo!! 

And if anyone is interested in seeing the video shot by Jill of the dive, I've put it below. IF you have problems watching it in your browser, you can always watch it direct on Youtube. Nurse shark making a break for it at around the 2:30 mark. 

The weather is still supposed to be a bit hist and miss the rest fo the week but hopefully we'll get back in the water a time or two over the Easter weekend.

Video link: HERE


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The village green preservation society

Reef, fish and perfect deep blue as far as the eye can see. The conditions were perfect at Lighthouse Point and I never like to miss a macro opportunity when I'm here. Everyone knows this is my go to place for the small stuff, but today was a pleasant surprise given the bigger stuff that was hanging around, namely a crap load of turtles.

And I got some decent video of my turtle having a nosh on the sponge whilst Jill was off filming another turtle cruising over the mini wall. It was a busy morning.

Lots of cleaner stations were also busy with everyone trying to look their best to impress for the weekend. They must know something we don't.......

 Some lovely gobies and blennies took some time to stop for the camera as well, which was appreciated. I love these little fellas as they have such a wide range of expressions and because their a good challenge to get extreme macro shots of.

That's all for this one today, nice and short. I'll have some East End diving posted soon is anyone is interested. Mostly trying to get organised for Soccorro in several weeks time. Looking forward to that one. Been a while since I was off island.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

You never can tell

A few days behind in posting this update but better late than never. A nice double dive with pretty good viz and a slight Southerly current. We had a nice swim out from the shallows to the Nicholson accompanied by one of the regular denizens of the deep before she peeled off to do her own thing.

As soon as we got to the Nicholson, Brutus showed up which is unusual as Spot is normally the first to make an appearance but no complaints here as Brutus is always equally happy to pose for us. Say "gorgonzola!"

The Nicholson is a pretty small wreck compared to all the others we've gotten into over the years, but the coral and sponges are so prevalent here along with the marine life, it's always such a pleasure to shoot here.

The main wall was showing a little bit of wear and tear as there was damage to quite a few of the more prominent rope sponge formations, either broken or missing completely. Don't know if this is due to the strong Westerly we had last week or careless individuals but it's a bit of a sad sight to see and very obvious is you dive the same spot a lot.

Happy to report that Spot did join us on the return leg from the wall but Brutus was still dominating the spotlight and continued to do so all through the second dive as well. He's such a prima donna............

Dive two turned up some wonderful little rough head blennies hiding in amongst the hard corals. You know I love my blennies........

Also found a nice trunk fish at a cleaning station getting a Sunday morning wax and shine. Don't forget to do under the pectoral fins!

And I had a nice game of hide and seek with a lovely little juvenile slender filefish who was practising his camouflage techniques. Peek-a-boo, I see you!

The weather is being a real bugbear just now but hopefully if the weather stays as forecast for next Sunday we'll finally get to go East at long last! And about time as it's been too long since we've jumped off a perfectly good boat.........fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Warm wet circles

True's beaked whales are rare. Really rare. Footage of them is even rarer, until now that is. Researchers working near the Azores are now the first to ever capture underwater footage of these aquatic creatures in their natural habitat. Amazing to see footage of a creature so rare and something we may never see again in our lifetime.

Link: HERE

As testament to their elusive nature, three new species of beaked whales have been discovered in the past two decades alone, bringing the total number of known beaked whale species to 22. Sightings are rare, and much of what’s known about these creatures is derived from observations of decomposing bodies found on shore and breaching events.

Beaked whale behavior explains why we so rarely see these creatures. They tend to live far offshore in deep waters, spending 92 percent of their time underwater. Among whales, they are the masters of the deep, feeding at depths reaching 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) and staying underwater for as long as two hours.

These whales use their specialized beaks to suck up squid, fish, and crustaceans. Following a big dive, they return to the surface and perform short, shallow dives at brief intervals. Unlike some whales and dolphins, they’re not attracted to boats.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

The wind cries Mary

Nope, no diving this weekend either. Winds up to 24-28 knots just now and even on the leeward side of the island, we're getting 2-3 metre swells just now. Next week it's supposed to drop down to 12-14 knots so we might just get in the water.......