For my underwater efforts.
We got the pictures back from Walgreens today, the ones I’d shot with the inexpensive point-and-shoot film camera I bought a while back for diving. I’ve gotten so spoiled by the results of the D40 that I’m going to HAVE to have a decent digital underwater camera before the next time we go diving.
Still, I got a few that you can at least recognize what they are, so I thought I’d post a few to Flickr, and talk about them here.
So here are Jenni and Andie toward the end of our first dive. Jenni was very comfortable in the water. Once we got her weights dialed in, her buoyancy control was spot on. This first dive was on a site called Coral Caverns. Lots and lots of swim-through’s, fish everywhere, including some big tarpon.
Like these. They were the biggest fish I was able to get pictures of on this trip. There was about a 4 foot nurse shark and a 4-5 foot black tip reef shark cruising the coral, but they stayed out of range of my cheap little camera.
Big fish are fascinating. They cruise slowly through the catacombs and at the periphery of the coral heads looking for littler fish that can be lunch. Of course, they’re capable of great speed when necessary. One of the reasons I love to dive is to be in their element.
The tarpon weren’t the only fish inhabiting this reef … which protects the barrier islands to the seaward side of Great Abaco Island.
There were tons of these big black grouper, as well as several other subspecies of this tasty fish. Brendal has “adopted” some of these fish, and sometimes brings bits of lobster or other scraps to hand-feed them. We didn’t see that this trip, but he introduced us to Calypso and Junkanoo the fist time we went down to Green Turtle.
This big guy was hanging out near the dive boat as we finished our dive on the second day, apparently waiting for a handout. We didn’t have anything to give him, but he allowed himself to be touched as he swam slowly past.
Again … slow, methodical … but I’ve seen big grouper like this grab the last bite of chum at a shark rodeo. They’re close to the top of the food chain, with only the big predators, and us, to worry about.
Shoals of bait fish, on the other hand, seem to be almost frenetic. I shot these on our last day on a little shallow reef about half way to Guana Cay and Nippers. We stopped to snorkel around a big coral outcropping that looked like a giant mushroom growing out of the ocean. There were shoals of what looked like tens of thousands of bait fish circling the island, and in the deeper water … 10-15 feet, brilliant blue angels, sergeant majors, yellowtail, and a couple of lion fish were abundant.
I so need a better camera for my efforts on dives. I see so many amazing things that I want to remember, and I’ve been so bitten by the photo bug again that I’m jonesing for a good underwater digital. No worries about film, just a big 2 gig chip and plenty of fresh batteries.
I came close to buying one from Craigslist, but the guy that had it sent me one e-mail, and then disappeared. I think he sold it to someone else, but I wish he’d have had the decency to let me know.
But I digress.
I’m really glad Jenni has taken to this sport with the enthusiasm that she has. I love being able to share my passions with her, and she’s been bugging me to buy another little sailboat. I don’t know that I’m in a position to do that right at the moment, but I’d love to. I told her if she’d come visit to sail with me more often, I’d give it some serious thought. But as anyone who has ever owned a boat knows … buying the boat is just the beginning. A hole in the water into which man pours money.
For diving, you just pour the money directly into the water.
So, vacation is nearly over. I had to go into the office for a while today to give Alyssa the bad news that she’s being cut to 30 hours a week … which is better than some who were let go entirely. I have to go back tomorrow for an all-hands meeting, but I may take the boat down instead of driving … and take Jen to The Landing for lunch. I’ll try to continue to make a vacation out of it as best I can.
Next week is pledge. Just for a week, but it includes a “First Coast Forum” as well. The week’ll be jam packed and fun-filled. Then a quick trip to Indiana to say goodbye to the house we all grew up in.
I guess there’ll be plenty to blog.