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Tag Archives: travel

I’m used to seeing tons of turtles in Hawaii, so many that I sometimes get a little jaded.  But boy, I’d forgotten how many eels hang out there.  Here’s a sampling.

A traditional up close shot of a moray.  There are lots of these guys out there.  Some quite large.

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Dive site: Molokini – Reef’s End.  OMD EM5, 12-50mm at 40mm.  1/250th, f/6.3, ISO 200

And here, getting cleaned by some pretty red shrimp.  The eel had to really open its mouth wide to allow those (really big) shrimp to get inside.  (Sorry, I was watching the action instead of shooting.)

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Dive site: Maui – Red Hill. OMD EM5, 12-50mm at 22mm. 1/250th, f/8.0, ISO 200

And a beautiful snowflake eel that I found out free swimming. Here posing with a sea urchin.

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Dive site: Maui – Red Hill. OMD EM5, 12-50mm at 34mm. 1/250th, f/8.0, ISO 200

And there were more.  A super shy dragon moray that I just couldn’t get a good shot of.  Lots more big morays.  If you like eels, this is a good spot.

I love diving at Molokini. The water is clear. There’s lots to see. And you often get to see whales and dolphins on the way there and/or at your surface interval.  This week didn’t disappoint.  We saw whales every day.  Lazing about at the surface.  Spouting.  Diving.  Breaching.  And coolest, mothers holding their new babies up at the surface with their noses.  (The new calves need assistance in the early going.)

I’m not alone in my love of Molokini, of course. Lots of people love it. Often you hear that the back wall is just *the* best. Personally, I like the far corner (say, Reef’s End) best. But ok, I’ll slum it on the back wall.

Poking around in a crack, I found these this pair of pipefish.

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There are no fish that I don’t like. (Well, maybe with the possible exception of the territorial, bitey Titan Triggerfish.  I give them wide berth.) But I especially like seahorses and their relatives.  Pipefish are essentially straightened out seahorses.

They are shy.  These guys were down in a crack.  And they’re nervous.  They never stop moving.  Combined with their length, that makes them hard to shoot — it’s hard to keep them all in focus.  And with all that movement and in their challenging location, hard to focus on them.  So, these shots aren’t really technically “right”.  But I like them anyhow.

And by the way, did you notice that he was pregnant?  (Yep, like other seahorses, the males brood the babies.)  Hard to tell in that shot.  But in this one, you can see the eggs glued on the stomach.

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Dive site: Maui – Molokini Back Wall.

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 12-50 at 50mm f/8.0, 1/250th, ISO 200.

After accidentally inventing Champagne, the monk is reported to have said “I’m seeing stars.”  In the waters off Maui you can see plenty of stars, but no drinking first in this case.

I’m a big fan of sea stars of many forms.  This is the underside of a sofa cushion star.

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Dive site: Maui – Marty’s Reef.

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 12-50 at 50mm f/8.0, 1/250th, ISO 200.

The shot I posted yesterday was a little out of order. Here’s one from my actual first day of diving.
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And what a first day. I’d been out of the water for a little while (since Palau), but we jumped right into the deep end. First day was 3 dives instead of my usual 2 for this trip. And the first dive was right at 130 feet to start. My dive computer is “severely conservative” if you’ll allow me to borrow a term of art from a different context.  And that meant that things were going to be a little challenging with a second fairly deep dive (though not anything like the first one).  And then a third to boot.  Yes, I ended up with a couple of minutes of deco.  This shot is from that third dive back along the Maui coast after the first two dives out at Molokini.

Snowflake Moray Eel, I think.

Dive site: Maui – near Wailea.

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 12-50 at 50mm f/6.3, 1/250th, ISO 200.

Ok, no skiing.  When it is cold and snowy up in the mountains, that seems to me like a great time to head to the ocean.  So, pardon the interruption — there’s more Palau to post, but here are a few in real(ish) time.

I’ve always been told that diagonals make for strong compositions. So this one’s great, right?
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Ok, kidding.

Found a nice coral whip with a goby.  Next time, I’ll try it with the CMC to get even tighter.

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Dive site: Maui – Molokini Back Wall.

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 12-50 at 50mm f/8.0, 1/250th, ISO 200.

If you’ve been following along, you know I dive because I like the critters. The odder looking, the better. And then there’s this. No strobe. No color. No critter. So, this is a bit of a departure. It’s a detail from the Kittiwake, a former US Navy submarine rescue vessel. Sunk in Grand Cayman as an artificial reef. And there are some fish. Maybe we’ll see a shot or 2 of them later. But not that much growth on the ship yet.

So, why am I here? Well, it was a workshop and shooting with available light and filters was one of our assignments. And stretching boundaries is usually a good idea. So there you go. Will I be shooting a lot more wrecks? Probably not. But I did have some fun.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Suggested musical accompaniment.

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Sting Ray City, Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Alex has been trying to break me of the habit of shooting the dark green coral.  Has he succeeded?  In a word, no.

When I saw this scene, I immediately stopped to shoot it.  The good news is at least I’m better at lighting them now.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

So, not only can I not remember the plot of the movie, I can’t even remember the title correctly.  It’s “Escape TO Witch Mountain.”  And really, it’s just the notion of spookiness and a storm on a mountain that I’m after. Because that’s what these silversides swimming against the top of the wall suggested to me.  Kind of like seeing your headlights reflected by back by a driving rain as you race around the mountain at night.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Got to love a nice straight fish trying to hide next to a curly, curvy fan.  Good thing I don’t eat trumpet fish, I guess.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.