Close Encounters of the Manta Kind
Far and away the best Manta dive I've ever done was Garden Eel Cove, Kona, Hawaii, at night. Keller Laros and Jacks Diving Locker
pioneered this dive nearly 20 years ago, and have now named over 75 different mantas. This 4 minute video, set to music, showcases the constant flyovers the mantas do when you shine your lights upward to illuminate the plankton that they come here to feed on. Video lights got extra attention. You must keep your lights higher than your head or risk collision. We had 5 mantas that night, constantly crisscrossing the the divers. From the movie Top Gun I remembered the repeated chorus "turning and returning" and "take my breath away" which fit the mantas perfectly, so that's the music. Notice also there is a full screen version. ()
For more information on my dive trip to Hawaii, read Dive the Volcano
elsewhere on my web site.
The Whale Shark at West Palm Beach
Once every year or so we get a passing whale shark in the Palm Beach area waters. Usually it's somewhere I'm not, but not this time. I was on the diveboat Narcosis
with my friends Jerry and Donna Smith from North Carolina, diving Paul's Reef. Donna was pushing my video rig, while I took the digital still camera. Lo and behold, about 10 minutes into the dive, it was our day for the whale shark!
Paul's Reef is about 5 miles
south of the inlet with depths about 50-60 feet
, and full of fish, hence full of plankton, a whale shark's favorite food. As with most whale shark encounters, this one was brief, ending in a tail chase. However, the news spread across the ocean and we were met at the dock by the local TV nightly news people. What you see is their 30 second segue that aired that evening. ()
Big Fish Encounters, Pacific Harbor, Fiji
....5 to 8 bull sharks are by then patrolling in circles just below the feed box. They rarely moved rapidly, and seem to move to the feeder not by turning to him but by gradually moving the center of their patrol circle until they intersect him on their next pass. Here
is a video of them circling, taken from slightly more depth than the feeder. The first shark has just passed the feeder, ignoring the fish. Shark 2 passes me, then circles near the fish, ignores it, then back by me. The next 2 sharks look at my silver Stingray housing to see if it's the fish. We'd been cautioned that if they came at the camera just to bump them and they'd move away, but not to bump too hard or they'd strike at the camera.
are 3 different sharks taking the bait and resuming their circling. Watch the 3rd handoff to see how my video housing at arms length might look like the fish he's handing out. (full story)
The Blue Heron Bridge
There are enough critters at the Blue Heron Bridge to keep you busy with either a still camera or a video camcorder. Curious angelfish, quaint critters like batfish and flying grenards, combative banded shrimp, and hunting octopus at night all keep the videographer busy. See also The Blue Heron Bridge Dive
and Blue Heron Bridge Underwater Photos
If you are keep still and be patient, the gray angelfish become curious and see themselves reflected in the camera lens.()
This guy waddles around the sandy areas between the old and new bridges on the west side. ()
Taken on the Thorzina (wreck #3 on Riverwalk), this big gal wasn't the least bit camera shy. Current was slight, but adverse, pushing the diver into the fish, making for a really close encounter.()
A Turtle on Juno Ledge
Included as a test snippet to get the web page running, this video illustrates the strength of a 3CCD camera. The sun was not very high in the sky and this turtle was at depth (80 feet)in about 40 feet of visibility. ()