Saturday, February 16, 2008

A New Camera & A Weekend Full of Diving!

Everyone's favorite diving dental hygenist, Bev, talked me into going out for a Friday afternoon dive with her. I hadn't had a chance to try my new camera out underwater yet so it didn't take much convincing to get me to go. We went to the Grotto, and as soon as I hit the water I knew it was one of those special days. Visibility was absolutely incredible, and there was no sediment in the water at all, it was crystal clear. We headed out hole #1 in search of turtles, and it didn't take me long before I spotted this guy sitting on the bottom looking up at me. I went down and started taking a few pics and he circled me for several minutes just letting me get all the shots I wanted. Very nice that they're so accomodating like that.
After leaving the turtle I saw this feather urchin walking along the bottom. You usually only see these guys tucked into a piece of coral or wedged into a tight spot, but to see one out walking along the bottom is a fairly rare treat. He must have known I had a new camera and was looking for photo ops. So I took a couple shots of him and then continued looking for nudibranchs.
This is what the feather urchins typically look like, all curled up and perched on a piece of coral. The absolutely amazing visibility of this day made the colors incredibly vibrant, but I have to believe part of it is also the additional megapixels of my new camera. I was totally impressed with it, and can't wait to order some of the prints to see how they turn out.
As I was cruising a few feet above the bottom I finally spotted this little guy perched on a rock. It's a little Annulata nudibranch, a fairly common one, but I was still excited to see him as I've noticed that no nudibranch is exactly common at this time of year. I really like the Macro mode of this new camera, it let's me focus the picture totally on the nudibranch and make sure that he comes out nice and crisp.
As I was cruising along the outside cliff line between holes 2 & 3, I noticed fishing line strung across the passage and wound in all the coral heads on the cliff line. I had just cleaned this cliff line off last weekend, and here it was totally covered in fishing line, pieces of sawed off rebar, bolts and chunks of busted up concrete. I'm guessing that our illegal fisherman are contract workers who work in construction from the looks of what they use for sinkers. I'm seriously considering going out there one night this weekend, catching them and telling them I'll toss them off the cliff if they don't stop fishing in the Grotto sanctuary. I'm getting very tired of having to clean up after these clowns, and if Fish & Wildlife can't catch them, I'm pretty sure that I can.
Here is a shot of Bev swimming along the cliff line heading back toward hole #3. She was just enjoying a relax swim as I was getting tossed all around by the surf in the shallows as I tried to get the fishing line all cleaned off the cliff line. It was just an absolutely perfect day for a dive, the sun was shining, everything was lit up perfectly and the visibility was better than I've seen it in a very, very long time. Then inside the Grotto I spotted this elegant nudibranch feeding on some yellow sponge. Like I said, I'm very happy with my new Canon SD950 IS, the pictues are amazing, and the definition and clarity are superb. I'm looking forward to many more good shots in the coming days!


Mike Ernest said...

Believe it or not, I went diving this weekend, too. Tinian shows real promise. Perhaps you should cancel your Bali trip and rebook for a week in Tinian?

bigsoxfan said...

I think we can live by your rules, as long as your pics remain at the level we are used to. Thanks, made a long winters afternoon a little warmer and beautiful.

Bev said...

I couldn't believe how clear it was that day! 50 meters! Happy that we saw a turtle, Napolean Wrasse, Eel, Nudibranchs... Have fun diving in Bali! Watch out for the feather coral . . .they sting!