December 16, 2012

Dolphin Attacks

There were two accidents during dolphin encounter programs recently, but the reasons unknown.

 According to the Orlando Sentinel, eight-year-old Jillian Thomas was feeding the dolphins at Dolphin Cove last week when the "marine mammal lunged toward her during the feeding and snapped his toothy snout around the 8-year-old's hand." The attack left four puncture wounds in the young girl's arm and was captured on video by the girl's parents.

The article with the video continued here.

October 15, 2012

The most remarkable shark movies

Nowadays many divers pay a lot of money for trips with guaranteed shark encounters. Proud photographers share their stunning close-ups of oceanic whitetips, great white sharks or hammerheads. The shark dive tourism is a highly lucrative global market, because all of us want to dive with sharks, and we are really sad to hear about the cruel shark finning practices. Many divers join online petitions and urge banning the shark fin trade. We do not want expensive shark fin soups but living sharks...

But the majority of the people around us haven't ever dived and whenever they hear our shark stories they ask: "Weren't you afraid?" We know the shark is the dangerous, there are several attacks every year but as a diver I don't really fear of them. Why the people do who haven't seen any in the sea?

The answer is simple: their "knowledge" based on Hollywood movies. The legend of killer sharks was known for ages, but most of the people faced the beast in 1975. There were movies about sea monsters in the past but the Jaws wasn't an ordinary thriller. The masterpiece of Steven Spielberg seemed really realistic. The cast did a great job, especially Bruce, the mechanical shark who terrorized a small island community. The screenwriter, Peter Benchley later began to feel responsible for the negative attitudes against sharks because the Jaws became a blockbuster and since then many people treat great white sharks as aggressive, evil man-eaters. The Jaws was followed by three sequels: their plots were similar to the original story but the movies weren't that successful. The classic Jaws is still much praised- 37 years and dozens of shark documentaries weren't enough to make great white sharks much more popular.

The article continued here with videos.

September 23, 2012

New website

With my friend we launched a new diving website: divingiscool.com
There'll be articles, photo and video contests, dive site directory and so on... Come and visit!

August 28, 2012

Back

Haven't posted for a while- I was lazy and I dived some. Whatever the reason I try to write a bit about my summer adventures.
First of all, we arrived back from our latest liveaboard trip in Egypt. We chose the northern route, we dived a lot in the 29 degrees warm water and we made a lot of photos. Here you can visit the shootout contest's gallery: DC-RSBH shootout contest 2012

June 28, 2012

Daily photo: shore diving in Pag island

This is one of my favorite spots in Croatia, the house reef of Blue Bay DC in Stara Novalja.


June 21, 2012

Success

In the beginning of June we organized a shootout photo competition in Pag island, Croatia. We announced two categories for DSLR and compact cameras, and a 3 member jury voted on the photos. For my surprise, I became second in the compact gallery with this photo:


I confess I am really happy, it is my biggest success in photography. If you want to see all the photos of the competition, here you can check the two galleries:
DSLR
Compact

June 16, 2012

Cat shark egg

I'm unlucky with the cat sharks. I saw dozen eggs but haven't ever met any living cat sharks. (Sadly I saw 4 dead ones, it's very sad.) Here comes a recent photo of an egg from Croatia, Pag island.

May 26, 2012

Ribari

After many Adriatic trips some local songs sound really familiar. The Ribari is one of them, I post this version, the singer is Vinko Coce. As I'm preparing for another two weeks long trip to Croatia I like to hear it again.

May 22, 2012

41.0

A new "deepest one"...

We spent two weeks in the Adriatic: we visited Montenegro and a Croatian island, Murter. As usual, I didn't plan special deep dives but in the Adriatic it often happens. So we did some dives to 30 meters this time as well. On the last diving day in Murter I joined a group which was led by a really experienced diver, the owner, Kurt. We started to descend. There were two less experienced divers in the groups who checked their instruments too often. I saw we left 25, 30, 35... And in the bottom Kurt showed me a gorgony. I swam there and turned on my torch. I saw as the dull dark grey became bright purple color. I checked my computer, I was at 41 meters depth. We turned back, saw a nice wall with many yellow sponges, and when we ascended to 7-8 meters Kurt asked about my air. I showed I had 100 bars. I saw his grin as he tried to show our buddies had only 50 bars. I showed "no problem". We finished the dive with a safety stop, I saw some nudibranch and an octopus.

On the boat I told Kurt an old Hungarian phrase: "We cry together, we laugh together". It means I don't have any problems if the dive is shorter while I still have plenty of air. I remember dives when I was the one with the least amount of air and nobody blamed me. We had a nice dive anyway. And for me it was deepest in my diving career.

May 6, 2012

Montenegro

It's May again and we're diving in the Adriatic again. This is a new destination for us, se we would like to see more of Montenegro (Crna Gora) above and under water...


April 27, 2012

Thanks, Top Gear!

I confess I hadn't heard about Seasick Steve until I saw an episode of the famous BBC program where Jeremy Clarkson interviewed him. He was the star guest who drove the cheap car but for me it was more interesting to learn about this great musician. (As a scuba diver who travel or ride often by a boat I have stories about seasickness, so his name sounded familiar...)


April 24, 2012

Impossible is nothing

Some certified divers find pool practice meaningless. But I think it can be important even when you dozens of dives. I have a friend who can't dive regularly. She often dives as my buddy so appears in many of my photos. Under water she's relaxed, she barely use air, her buoyancy is perfect- but only from the 5th minute of the first dive. Somehow she has problems with the first dive of the trip especially when she hasn't dived for a while.

Next week our group will go to the Adriatic sea for a dive trip and I offered her to join me on a pool practice. She came and when we drove to the pool I said my plan is to do some challenging exercises. I said "to swim around for an hour is useless so prepare some difficult but rewarding under water tricks". In the first 5 minutes she was scary as usual. So we started with the simplier skills. In a few steps we did the mask clearing, mask removing, buddy breathing. But we didn't stop. We swapped our masks under water. We did it while we swam. We removed each other's mask. We made mask clearing during buddy breathing. And finally I showed to do buddy breathing and mask swapping. Although until this point she did everything fine my buddy became nervous. We surfaced. She said she wasn't able to do it. I said "OK, I believe you - but first let's make a last try". So we descended. We started buddy breathing in a calm rhythm. I removed my mask. Later she removed hers. We swapped them, cleared them - and that's all.

After the pool session I said to her she can be proud. This is not a typical exercise during the OW course. To be honest it's quite useless in the real life but very good if you want to know your limits. Hopefully she won't be so nervous next time during the first dive. It's very good to experience you are able to do more than you expected. Now she surely know she's better diver than she thought. That is the reason why I like pool dives.

April 20, 2012

100th

My 100th blog entry about my 100th dive. I confess I had to browse my old dive log because I simply can't remember anything about that dive. It says: 22.03.2004., Egypt, Hurghada area, Shaab Sabrina, 11:58 AM, Bottom Time 58 minutes, Maximum Depth 19 meters, Water Temperature 23 Celsius degrees. It was a drift dive. There aren't any remarks about special sightings.

So I can't share any memories about my feelings regarding the 100th dive. I'm usually not the man of big celebrations. Certainly I knew this can be a milestone: when I was a beginner, 100 dives seemed incredibly much. When I passed this mark I was experienced enough to know, it's only a number, nothing else. I recall those times when we traveled to Egypt in the winter. Although the weather wasn't that fine we enjoyed diving in the chilly water- we thought about the differences between frozen Hungarian lakes and the 21-23 degrees water of Red Sea and this relatively cold water made us really happy. We usually booked a hotel room and went to dive with daily boats.

A few years later I go to Egypt only in the summer and I prefer liveaboard trips. Not the 100th dive changed everything but the experiences. I remember a trip when our group was big enough to rent a whole daily boat. We decided where to go, when to start and what to do. There was a night dive and as we sailed to the dive spot in the sunset we sat on the upper deck. I'm sure all of us thought about the same: why should we go back to the shore? It would be much more fun to stay on the boat while we're mooring near a reef. On those trips we couldn't do that, but nowadays I do whenever I have the chance...


April 11, 2012

A great vintage movie

A few years ago I found this 17 minutes long short documentary from 1966. The Octopus Hunt was made by Canadians and I confess it's one the nicest movies I've ever seen about scuba diving. It always make me think about my relationship with underwater exploring: I realize again and again why I do love being a scuba diver.

Here you can watch the whole Octopus Hunt movie on the website of National Film Board of Canada.

April 7, 2012

Wreck treks: Patrol Boat

It's quite typical to sink boats as diving attractions, this small boat lies near Alanya. The locals call this artificial reef simply New Wreck or Yenibatik in Turkish. Not the most exciting wreck I've ever seen but it's easy to dive - unless you have some problems equalizing.

We booked our daytrip in Alanya but the extremely cold A/C of our hotel room caused some problems. The first dive from the spacious boat was OK, the really warm water in August was nicer than I expected. We saw some octopus and crabs but I felt my ears didn't work perfectly. Our next dive site was the wreck where we needed to descend directly to 20 meters from the surface. My buddy and me weren't able to go down so the group left us behind. When they came back (their bottom time wasn't too long), our dive leader, a very experienced former navy diver with some pressing movements around my ears made me to equalize. So we descended and I spent a few minutes near the wreck.

The maximum depth was around 30 meters. The boat was a former patrol boat which was in nice condition and we could penetrate. There were some artificial amphoras around as well. I didn't see too much life except when a shoal of barracuda swam near the wreck. We finished the dive but for the next few days I had to forgot every dive because of my ears. Anyway, I dived this artificial reef and I learned they try to attract more divers even to Turkey. Alanya is a typical holiday destinations but it seems even there they expect more and more underwater explorers. This small and not too special wreck is just enough if somebody plan a nice and relaxing day in the sea during a family holiday but those who want really exciting adventures will choose another dive destinations.

March 31, 2012

Changes

This weekend divers from Serbia visited us. I called a friend who can organized dives to them so they were able to see the flooded mines of Kőbánya and Várpalota. We invited our guests to have a lunch and we discussed diving possibilities in Hungary.

When I thought about this I realized how many things changed during the last decade- the period since I dive regularly. In the past many dive clubs went to the lake of Budakalasz but it isn't recognized as a dive spot now. The lake of Csepel is similar than it was 10 years ago. They made dive centers near Kiskunlacháza and Pilismarót but both of them were closed after one season. In Kiskunlacháza everything was perfect, the facilities, the attractions (they sank a plane for wreck lovers!) but the visibility. I knew I reached the plane in the murky water when I touched its hard metal surface. The dive center in the lake near Dorog moved from one side to the opposite and a few years later they built a second one- at the old dive site.

There are many spectacular caves for experienced divers but in this moment the most famous ones, the Molnár János and Hévíz are forbidden to dive. There are recently opened sites, the two mentioned flooded mine for example. And there is a very new dive site in Tata called Fényes forrás: in the 1960's it was a popular dive site but later the spring dried and the lakes disappeared. A few years ago when they closed the mines in the area the water started to flow again and it's possible to dive in all year round 22-23 Celsius degrees warm water. Hopefully someday I can dive it.

What's my conclusion? In only ten years they closed and opened dive sites, in a relatively small country. Those who don't know my country maybe surprised but for me it's way too typical. Here nothing is that simple. Divers, bikers, climbers and everybody else experienced the "excitement" when heard about the changing rules. I don't know why it has to be so difficult, but it seems it's the part of the game: diving is not only fun...

March 29, 2012

Youth Me

For a recent article I looked for old scuba diving photos of me. Well, there aren't too much but luckily I found one which was taken in a pool with a simple analog waterproof camera. The result was less than satisfying but in this moment it seems fine. It was the first ever underwater portrait of me. Well, I gained some weight since then but hopefully at least I dive better and safer...


March 27, 2012

Weird and wonderful

I collected some interesting videos to share.

The first one is a special epidose of Strictly come dancing: they went under water to dance with scuba gear. The result is surprisingly good.


Many divers love sharks and the most adventurous join the trips to Bahamas where they dive without cage. We heard the sad news of a diver who died there and there are gossips of shark attacks. The huge tiger sharks and the smaller lemon sharks come too close during feeding. This video shows a lucky but frightening moment which didn't make me organizing a trip...


And the last video is a really spectacular animation of ocean currents from NASA.

March 26, 2012

The friend of sharks

Recently a friend won a very prestigious award: the Best of Show picture in the Beneath the Sea international contest. Because he already won many major awards I decided to write more about him.

Daniel Selmeczi is Hungarian as me, a young man from the town Szolnok who fell in love with diving a few years ago. He started to take photos and his talent made him one of the most renowned underwater photographers in a few years. Despite his age he isn't concentrating only his own career but helps the other photographers with advices. He helped our Red Sea shootout as the owner of the Cassiopeia boat, and worked a lot as the main organizer of the last National Underwater Photography Contest too.

Certainly he still travels and dives a lot and certainly takes awesome photos. He visited many distant destinations to shoot photos of sharks. As all of the divers, Daniel worries for sharks and writes articles about the cruel shark finning, and with his pictures he can show how wonderful animals are they.

If you're interested in his photography art, I recommend to check his website: selmeczidaniel.com

March 13, 2012

40.0

I remember the preparation for my deepest dive. It was in Croatia, we dived a wall near Pag island in the Adriatic Sea.

With my long time buddy we discussed how and where would we dive. I think before a deep dive it's quite useful to agree the maximum depth. The descending wasn't special, but from 25 meters depth we checked our instruments and each other more often. When both of us showed "OK" signals we went deeper. My goal was to control the dive even at the deepest point so I decided to stop when my computer shows 40.0 meters and stay on this level. I succeeded, I confess I was proud.

Anyway I didn't feel I was a special a diver because I went a bit deeper than usual. Although it was years ago I never felt since then I should go even deeper. Maybe I'm older, safer diver or simply learned I can find many cool things in shallow water? Who knows? Anyway, that 40.0 is still a milestone for me. I've reached the limits of my certification, and enjoyed it. I was able to do it.

And that's all. Sadly I can't remember if we saw any special but those numbers on the display of my computer. There are too much more spectacular things under water so I remain a shallow water diver and need to check my depth rarely...

March 11, 2012

Underwater panorama

When I was considering about underwater cameras I looked for cheaper ones. The DSLR-s are too big and too expensive, and sadly the MILC cameras would cost too much for me as well. So I decided to buy a compact again, these are cheap and affordable, the newer models' quality is adequate, and at least I don't have to buy a new strobe for it. It wasn't easy to choose, there are plenty of options. For macro the Canon G-series seem the best choice but what if I'm into wide angle photography? It sounds funny when I talk about compact cameras, but there are some solutions. The Sony H55 or HX7V and Panasonic TZ-s starts from 25 mm and you can attach wide angle lens to the underwater case. Better than nothing. So I narrowed the selection for the Sony H55 and Panasonic TZ7. After I read many reviews I made my decision: I chose the H55.

I had a good reason. In my opinion one of the most overlooked features of the Sony compacts is the sweep panorama function. I found quite usable under water as well- for those who look for a cheap solution to make wide angle photos this is something to consider. (Certainly my DSC-H55 has some minor problems and the Ikelite case is far from perfect but should I wait for that money?)

Since I used that camera during many dives. When I do macro shots it works well, but I got the really surprising results with the sweep panorama. Even my photo expert friends say it's quite good for a 600 USD camera and case set. I already posted some panorama images in this blog but now I attach them again to demonstrate its capabilities.



March 10, 2012

Underwater Explorer

I like books about scuba diving. I especially love the stories from the beginning of underwater exploring and those handbooks which are easy to read but helpful. As a diver I realized many years ago everyone can learn how to clear mask or be perfectly buoyant- sooner or later. But to enjoy diving is something else.

Certainly all of us look for different adventures. There are guys who feel an inexplicable love for underwater caves. Another ones adore the world of extreme depths. Wreckers, photographers, dolphin maniacs- surely a lot of way to enjoy being under water.

I think majority of us have a common favorite: shallow reef dives in warm waters. Maybe that is the most perfect environment for recreational diving. We don't need bulky thick wetsuits there, the air in a tank will last easily for an hour, and so much to see!... How much, exactly? More than you'd think.

Recently I ordered a book from Annamarie and Danja Köhler because it seemed interesting. The Underwater Explorer is colorful with dozens of wonderful photos but the words are even more exciting. The authors write about what and how to see in a coral reef: what kind of animals live in the bottom or holes, how can you find the shrimps or frogfish, and so on. And it tries to teach how to SEE and not just swim under water. It's as important as mask clearing skill if you want to be a competent diver. So I recommend this very useful work for everyone who after less (or more) dives wants to understand a little bit more the life of coral gardens.

February 26, 2012

Wreck treks: Sweet wreck

I like these wrecks where I don't need to care too much about my air consumption or bottom time. The so-called "Sweet wreck" lies in the shallows of the Croatian Adriatic, close to the picturesque town of Rogoznica. The local dive center's instructor simply call it "small wreck", so I had to look for information in the internet. For my surprise a website says it was a 2nd world war Romanian cargo ship and it sank with full of chocolate. This is the meaning of "Sweet" wreck nickname.

The dive is quite easy. The dive boats anchor near Smokvica island. We use to start diving in the shallow, and in 3-4 minutes we reach the largest intact part, the stern with the wheel. The depth is only 20-23 meters, it's easy to swim around the small hull, look into the holes, look for crabs or another fish. The current is rarely strong, the visibility is not bad, so even a beginner would enjoy diving this wreck.


When we spent enough time with the stern, we head back to the shallow to see the deck: it separated after the explosion and lies a few meters away. Under the huge steel plates there are hiding animals like scorpionfish. During the safety stop I like to look for octopus on the rocky bottom and usually I find some of these cute animals. One of my favorite spots in the Razanj area- I always like to dive this wreck when I travel here.


February 21, 2012

Life and death of sharks

I recently saw a video. It was taken in a Chinese aquarium where a nurse shark baby was born. It's really cute- hopefully someday I'll see a nurse shark in real life. Usually the divers see them in the Caribbean where I haven't been yet.


Let me recommend another interesting article about sharks: two marine biologists took photo of a wobbegong shark which ate a bamboo shark. I think it was a really extraordinary moment to see as a shark killed a smaller shark.

The last story is about death sharks as well but it's much more sad. Thousands of divers arrives to Bali island in Indonesia to see the wonders of the sea. Most of them are keen to see sharks as well. But it seems the sharks is more important for the fisherman than the divers so they catch dozens of  thresher sharks every day. They sell their fins in the Chinese markets- to kill a wonderful predator for a few plates of shark fin soup, it's so horrible...

February 6, 2012

Our underwater photo-video contest

The first Picture of the Month contest was held in 2007. Since then divecenter.hu organized dozens of monthy underwater photo competitions and two years later we invited videographers to participate in the video snapshot contest.

The Picture of the Month has different subjects every month and the registered users' votes decide who wins. We're really proud because this is the only regular underwater photo contest in Hungary and nearly every recognized Hungarian photographers sent images. Certainly there are amateurs with small compact cameras who always send photos to us, some of them asked advices and tried to better and better photos- the result was awards even in international contests. This is the slideshow of the 2011 contests' best images:


The video snapshot is a special category: it means10-35 seconds long videos which contain maximum 4 cuts or transitions. A good shot is just enough to win a monthly contest. In 2011 there were many really nice and entertaining mini dive movies: here is the video channel.

In 2012 we decided to invite more foreign photographers to our photo and video snapshot competitions. We chose a new name: Subsurface Photo and Video Snapshot of the month contest. We translated the competition section of our website, and the new members can do the registration in English. Only registered members can participate but the registration is absolutely free and we do not collect email addresses to send newsletters. It's only about the photo contest, you can submit photos or video snapshots and vote on them. We encourage everybody to come, visit our contest's page and join the fun!

February 5, 2012

Cool ice

Probably the ice diving is the craziest kind of diving. First of all, everybody hates cold water and it's definitely cold when it's frozen. And not only the water is cold but the air as well. Another problem is the planning of the dive: because it's not an open water dive, quite dangerous, so you need safety line and surface support.

In Hungary there are ice dives in every winter. Some organizers use to invited me and two years ago I decided to try this. I felt this is a challenge I need to face. I packed my thick neoprene drysuit, some undersuit, two cold water regulators and the ordinary stuff like mask and fins. Dressing was comfortable in a heated room but the too much undersuit made my moves funny. After I took on my BCD with the tank I wasn't able to walk normally. The ice was slippery, I needed a hand.

While I was sitting with my legs in the lake I thought I was insane. "Why do I this?" But I didn't have the chance to give up, they tightened the rope and I descended with my buddy. Under the ice the visibility of the usually murky lakes get better. We saw a bit more of the underwater scene, later we touched the bottom of the ice but after 25 minutes even in drysuit I felt the cold. My face where it wasn't covered by the mask seemed frozen. But anyway, we survived. Somebody pulled me out of the water and somehow I walked to the heated place again. I did it. I had my first ever ice diving experience!

And when I took off my diving suit I said to myself: "...and the last one!" But two years gone since so I think a diver should "never say never again".

January 31, 2012

Another article

I was really happy to see my published article in the Serbian diving magazine Ronilacki Svet. Sadly I can't understand as I sent the English version and they translated it to Serbian but the attached photos are definitely my ones. (By the way I used Google Translate to read my article somehow and it worked fine.) I hope the readers liked the article about the Eastern Canary Islands. What should I write about next time if they ask me?


January 30, 2012

Nemo reloaded

Last weekend we went to Bruxelles (Brussels) again and dived in the huge pool of Nemo 33. As we chose the Friday noon diving session there were only 8 divers. So we had the chance to spend more time with the new attraction: the underwater car. A nice Smart waits the divers now, it was fun to swim around and go inside. The deep part and the "caverns" are still the same. And as usual, we enjoyed the nice, warm, clear water...





January 22, 2012

The first dolphin

I'm not too lucky with the dolphins. I saw them many times on the surface but I wanted to dive with them. After a dozen Red Sea trips I went to the Dolphin Reef in Eilat and at least I had 30-40 minutes long dolphin experience. It's wonderful but my goal was to see some free wild dolphins under water.

We went to a Safaga liveaboard trip a year ago. We dived the Tobya Arbaa while another group headed a reef 300 meters away. They came back and said a lone dolphin joined them on the dive. We didn't believe. We felt it wouldn't be realistic to expect the dolphin on a second dive but we gave a try. In the first ten minutes we dived above a quite unhealthy coral garden and saw nothing. But then the dolphin came... And it really swam with us during the whole dive. Exciting, beautiful dive jut because a friendly marine mammal. I made some photos but mostly I enjoyed being there.

Later a third group is went back to the same place but they didn't encounter the dolphin. So this time I was the one of the lucky divers. Everything can happen if you don't give up the hope...

January 16, 2012

Stats

I watched all NFL games last weekend. When I saw how the Giants defeated the Packers I had to think about statistics. The 15-1 was nice, but on the field not two bunch of statistics played against each other but teams of human beings. Whatever the numbers predicted I saw the struggling of some great sportsmen.

You can say this blog is about diving, why I do I write (again) about the football? Well, I remember when I read a question in the forum about Red Sea conditions. I've been there for a dozen times and I saw many nice things but sadly I can't say what will you see exactly. Usually the winter is windy. But I had trips in February when the sea was incredibly calm. Usually there are more sharks in specific seasons at the Brothers. But I talked to disappointed friends who saw only one small shark in the blue for a few seconds during a whole week.

So you can ask about conditions and possible encounters and I try to answer honestly but hopefully nobody will attack me after a rough week in the Red Sea... Forget the statistics and predictions. Surprisingly not the boat or the sea matters but you. You are the one who can enjoy shallow reefs with a lot of tiny fish and crabs instead of challenging offshore reefs if the weather doesn't allow long sails. You have to go for the touchdown in protected bays: go to dive and try to have fun. Maybe you won't get the sharks but will meet turtles, dolphins or a seahorse. The most important stat is your measure of enjoyment, and the major factor is you...

January 14, 2012

The sea is not a museum

A friend use to say the sea is not a museum, you can't be sure what will you see down there. Sometimes you expect a specific animal but it's not there, sometimes you encounter a really surprising one.

We traveled to Tenerife for the third time and stayed in Playa Paraiso again. Tenerife can be really crowded all year but we didn't think they can build some huge hotels to this small town in two years. Sadly they did. When we looked around from our balcony we saw they were hiding much of the seashore. But, anyway, we were in this wonderful island again and the same old Barakuda dive center was just a few steps away. So we thought anything could happen on the surface but we'd see exciting things under water.

We greeted Petra, Michael, Marko and prepared for our first dive. We nearly forgot the uncomfortable long walk to the Atlantic from the dive center. With our heavy equipment we slowly reached the sea and started our dive. I confess our first dives wasn't that good. We used a bit more air, while our guide, Michael wanted to do a long dive. So sometimes he shared his air with a diver who had less air. The end of a dive was a little bit chaotic. The dive leader suggested to choose a larger tank. We were a little bit disappointed, somehow the dive center's approach changed. Or we visited too much nice places since our last visit and the small problems became more annoying?

So we hesitated about our dives. In Tenerife it's easy to do many other things, to do more or less dives can be a good option as well. But we love the Atlantic so joined Michael's group again. This time I had the large tank and the relatively deep dive lasted for an hour. We were about to finish near the seashore when our leader simply left us alone. He started to swim like crazy and we didn't understand. We hoped he saw something special and tried to follow. The visibility was only 10-15 meters but in a few seconds I saw a well-known silhouette. It was a huge, black animal, its swimming looked more like flying. A devil ray! I was too nervous to turn on my camera fast enough so I didn't make any shots. Michael showed the sign of disappointment. But the devil ray came back and this time I made a few seconds long video.

After we surfaced all of usexcitedly discussed what we saw. We told about our encounter in the dive center and all the divers started to kit up fast. They wanted to see the devil ray too. Later Michael told me it was the first devil ray in the bay for ten years! And we were in the lucky group who saw it. Everybody asked for my video although a day earlier they told me they didn't like underwater photographers that much. In spite of their opinion about photographers I became the most popular man of Playa Paraiso for that day. My bad quality video was the only proof of the encounter... Whenever I watch I remember my friends wise words.


January 9, 2012

Fishing Under Ice

I think nowadays every diver talks about this stunning short movie made by some crazy Finnish divers. Great work, if you haven't seen it yet, watch it! It's funny, entertaining and brilliant. (And I recommend to share the original video uploaded by the creators.)

January 3, 2012

The Canary Islands, Ocean observatory

A fantastic movie again from Rafa Herrero Massieu. Awesome shots, wonderful moments- it made me want to travel to the Canaries again...


Vintage

I always felt I had to try this. I collected some vintage scuba diving equipment, certainly most of them are in the bottom of my equipment closet. Luckily some items are in mint condition and I gave a try. The old Spiro 8 regulator has a special Yoke connector so I can't use it with modern tanks. But the backpack is new and the horse collar style BCD worked well, so I dived with them. I confess, it wasn't that special as it worked as the new, modern BCDs. I was able to maintain neutral buoyancy. OK, when I was was a bit overweighted it was less comfortable, that's all. I even made a very short video of my vintage freshwater dive.


I envy a bit the vintage diving clubs in the world where they regularly use those still reliable old stuff. Whenever I see their pics I realize how many way are there to enjoy scuba diving...