Tag-Archive for » Scuba diving «

Scuba Diving @ Marsa Alam

In August 2017 my brother Thomas and I went to Marsa Alam in the south of Egypt for scuba diving. We stayed at The Oasis, a Werner Lau diving center, for a week.
We had good luck: After half a year of absence from Abu Dabbab the dugong had just returned. We were the second group to spot it. Although it was surrounded by a lot of snorklers and scuba divers (us! ;-) ) the dugong kept calm and seemed to be unimpressed. It was always busy with eating and would only interrupt for a few minutes to gasp for breath at the surface. We spent over half an hour with it and the many sea turtles around.
Another highlight was a large shoal of dolphins passing by just after we had entered the water at Marsa Shagra. I had only a few seconds to get my camera ready and take two shots – you can see the result below…
Enjoy!

- Bernd -

Trial dive with Anja in Ibbenbueren

In October 2015 I went to underwater park NaturaGart in Ibbenbueren for the first time. This time I was there with Anja because she wanted to make a trial dive. NaturaGart was probably perfect for that. Shallow water, much more to see than in a pool and a good chance to deal with her fear of “dark freshwater lakes” ;-) Although this time the visibility was not that good (because we went in the summer) and I had a hard time post-processing the pictures, it was once again a great exprience. Especially the feeding of the sturgeons at 5 p.m.!

- Bernd -

Scuba diving @ Sundhaeuser See

Actually, this was just a two day trip with focus on accomplishing my dry suit diving licence. But after passing the tests I had one more dive to try my Canon EF 24-70 in the new Hugyfot housing I bought last year – yezzzz!

What should I say? After 5 minutes of diving I found a pike which was lazy enough to be my photo model for about 20 (!) minutes (and probably blind from the strobe light afterwards). I had some technical problems – but hey, 20 minutes are more than enough to fix them :-D

- Bernd -

Scuba Diving in Morehead

The whole US North-East road trip was originally designed around scuba diving with sand tiger sharks in Morehead City. Unfortunately, the whole story ended up as a little disappointment. When we arrived there the weather was so bad, that they had to cancel all the tours. Therefore, we were on standby for a few days always hoping the dive center would give us the green light for the next day. When they were finally able to offer a tour we could only go wreck diving. I got seasick like never before on this trip so we canceled the second day. Never mind, sometimes things just do not work out the way you have planned…

- Bernd -

Scuba diving safari @ Brother islands, Daedalus reef, Elphinstone

Going on a scuba diving safari is different from how I used to dive in the past – stay in a hotel and make one or two dives on a daytrip. It means living on a boat for some days, standing up at a time I would call “in the middle of the night” and maybe getting so seasick that you have to sleep on the upper deck of the boat ;-) On the other hand it means having the chance to dive off-shore reefs and see a lot of big fish – and that’s what we’ve got!

Brother islands
- Grey reef sharks on several dives – unfortunately not close enough to take good pictures, but very impressive
- Ship wrecks of the Numidia and Aida
- Oceanic whitetip shark (“Longimanus”) during the descent

Daedalus reef
- Thresher shark on the first dive – very shy, but big and I swear it was starring at us
- Longimanus on almost every dive, very close, sometimes even three of them at the same time, usually at the end of the dive between 1 and 5 meters; all in all I was able to spend more than an hour with the Longimanus which allowed me to take some pretty good pictures and interact with the sharks
- Big shoal of about 15 hammerhead sharks in a depth of 50 meters

Elphinstone reef
- Lots of jewels grouper
- Shoals of barracudas
- Big Longimanus at the end of the last dive

Did I mention that we all had a lot of fun on board of the Golden Dolphin II and that our dive guides Matthias and Alba are the best in the world? :-P

Thank you very much to Peter Antoszkiewiez for taking great surface pictures! And to Gert Schnurrer for providing this video:

The video does not only show the Longimanus in action but also became a little “Making of” of my own photo series ;-) Enjoy!

- Bernd -

Our boat M/Y Golden Dolphin II anchoring in Port Ghalib (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Our boat M/Y Golden Dolphin II anchoring in Port Ghalib (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Jewels grouper in a colorful reef, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Jewels grouper in a colorful reef, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea turtle, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea turtle, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus with pilot fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus with pilot fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Napoleon at the Numidia wreck, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Napoleon at the Numidia wreck, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shy thresher shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shy thresher shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus approaching scuba divers, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus approaching scuba divers, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Barracudas, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Barracudas, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea cucumber, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea cucumber, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Descent to 50 meters, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Descent to 50 meters, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark with our dive guide Matthias, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark with our dive guide Matthias, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Scuba divers, dive guide Matthias and the boat crew (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Scuba divers, dive guide Matthias and the boat crew (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Sunset at the Daedalus reef (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Sunset at the Daedalus reef (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
 


Underwater park NaturaGart

On one of the last sunny days in October Steffen, my brother Thomas and me drove up to Ibbenbueren in Northern Germany to scuba dive at NaturaGart. NaturaGart is an experienced pond manufacturer who decided to create something extraordinary to awaken interest in their products. The result was an underwater park (basically nothing else but a giant pond) for scuba divers with all the awesome stuff you can imagine: An Indiana-Jones-like sunken temple with large cat statues, caves, canyons, a sunken ship and as if that were not enough they even put fish in the pond. BIG ONES! Six feet long sturgeons, pikes and a lot of smaller fish like carps, breams, perchs, etc.
So who says you can not dive with big fish outdoors in Europe? Definitly my favorite diving spot in our area although or maybe even because it is artifical..!

- Bernd -

(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2015 Bernd Neeser)


Scuba Diving @ Hurghada
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
   


Cenote diving in Mexico

This year Isabell and I went to Yucatan/Mexico for relaxing and scuba diving. We did five dives at spots around Playa del Carmen and on Cozumel island and saw some new species like the black spotted moray, a yellow stingray and a flamingo tongue snail. However, we were disappointed because the variety of fish was poor compared to the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean plus the reefs around Playa were badly damaged.

On recommendation of my brother and his wife we also went cenote diving which was very exciting. Cenotes are natural sinkholes spread all over Yucatan Peninsula. On the surface they are filled with fresh (rain) water and they are connected to the sea by underground cave systems full of salt water. It is the cave systems that make cenote diving so dangerous because you can easly get lost in it and if you panic or run out of air there is no way to reach the surface. There are also some special cave diving rules you have to follow, e. g. stay close to the lash all the time and you are starting to go up with two thirds of air, not half a bottle like in ordinary diving.

Although we did not leave the cavern – the entrance of the cave system – it was an impressive experience to descent 30 feet, see nothing but the cones of our flashlights and have solid rock above our heads.  It was interesting watching the bubbles to rise and get stuck below the ceiling or the stalactites in caves that must have been filled with air for at least a few thousand years. At the end of the first dive we hit the layer where the fresh water mixes with the salt water (the so-called “halocline”) and suddendly we saw everything blurred. That is the moment when you ask yourself “Damn, why am I not lying on the beach with a bottle of beer like everyone else does?”. We did – afterwards ;-)

- Bernd -

Entrance of Chac Mool - one of the most famous cenotes (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Entrance of Chac Mool – one of the most famous cenotes (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Decent in the cavern (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Decent in the cavern (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Blurr caused by the halocline (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Blurr caused by the halocline (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Stalactites! ...or stalagmites? ;-) (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Stalactites! …or stalagmites? ;-) (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Silhouette of a suba diver (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Silhouette of a suba diver (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Reflecting air stuck below the ceiling (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Reflecting air stuck below the ceiling (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
View from below (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
View from below (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Fossil (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Fossil (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Warning sign in front of a cave (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)
Warning sign in front of a cave (© 2013 Bernd Neeser)


A weekend of scuba diving @ Sundhaeuser See
Dodo... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Dodo… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
...my twin brother Thomas... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
…my twin brother Thomas… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
...and me found the Statue of Liberty on the ground of the Sundhaeuser See! (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
…and me found the Statue of Liberty on the ground of the Sundhaeuser See! (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a crawfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a crawfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
In the Sundhaeuser See there is a pretty good chance of seeing pikes (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
In the Sundhaeuser See there is a pretty good chance of seeing pikes (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Crawfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Crawfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Pike (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Pike (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
My farvorite: the "Scary Doll" (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
My farvorite: the "Scary Doll" (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Scary Doll (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Scary Doll (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
 


Scuba Diving at Port Ghalib

Hello everyone! It`s been a long time since our last post in 2010 and some of you might have thought we`re never gonna continue. But no worries, here we are again, just back from an awesome and way too short trip together with our friends Julia and Basti!

This time our destination was Port Ghalib in the South of Egypt (5 km from Marsa Alam airport) which is basically a harbor surrounded by three hotels and some shops. We went there for one week of relaxing, drinking and scuba diving (which btw. fits together perfectly! :-D ).

Unfortunately, we had a lot of wind and a strong current so we didn`t go to the famous Elphinstone Reef neither to a lot of other diving spots because the sight was very bad. But Port Ghalib has an amazing house reef with coral much more colorful than anywhere around Hurghada. We had most of our dives there. You can do two different one-way-dives either from the Crown Plaza hotel jetty to the Intercontinental jetty (where we had barbs, sweetlips, lion fish, stone fish, anemone fish, giant triggerfish and a big sea turtle) or starting from the Fishmarket to the Intercontinental jetty (we didn`t have that much fish there, but still a few anemone fish, blue-spotted stingrays and it`s also perfect for the checkdive) and of course the other way round.

If you go shopping in Port Ghalib – PLEASE – don`t treat the shop owners like the annoying guys in Hurghada! The guys from Port Ghalib were always very kind and friendly even when we didn`t buy anything. Be prepared to pay a bit more than in Hurghada because Port Ghalib is planned to become a destination for wealthy tourists – wealthy like us! I`m just kidding…am I? ;-) Well, enjoy the pictures (scuba diving pictures are still missing at the moment but I will add them ASAP…) and leave us a comment, we look forward to reading it!

- Bernd -

Our guides from Extra Divers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Our guides from Extra Divers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
A broken ship... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A broken ship… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
...seemed to be perfect for Bastis daily workout ;) (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
…seemed to be perfect for Bastis daily workout ;) (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Julia, Basti and Bernd after three beers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Julia, Basti and Bernd after three beers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Isabell found this guy on the beach, we decided to name him "Herbert"... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell found this guy on the beach, we decided to name him "Herbert"… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A beautiful jellyfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A beautiful jellyfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a bluespotted stingray (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a bluespotted stingray (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving along the reef (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving along the reef (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Perch (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Perch (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Heavily breathing lionfish caught in the right moment (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing lionfish caught in the right moment (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing Bernd (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing Bernd (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Soft coral (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Soft coral (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
No worries - it looks dangerous but the whole body is just as big as a human hand (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
No worries – it looks dangerous but the whole body is just as big as a human hand (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
   


Meet the bulls!

Bull shark - © pterantulaDear readers, did you ever feel like diving with a shark species that

“[...] may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of shark, and, along with tiger sharks and great white sharks, [they] are among the three shark species most likely to attack humans.”

?

Well, maybe you never felt like diving with sharks at all ;-) but if you`re a fan like us then you should go to Beqa Lagoon – the top spot on Fiji – and see their bull sharks (Quote above from the Wikipedia article). We`ve been diving there yesterday and had over 20 of them on one dive, big ones with a fat body but still so much faster and agile than you´d think. It was an overwhelming experience seeing those 10 feet (3 meters!) tall fish swimming around only a few meters away from you and the best thing was: We were in the open water, no glass between, no cage, nothing! It wouldn`t have been necessary as our dive guides were very experienced and equiped with metal bars to hold back sharks that would come too close.
Beside the bull sharks we had a lot of other species like whitetip, blacktip and grey reef sharks. You would be very lucky to face one of them on an ordinary dive but the bulls definitely stole them the show!
I do not yet have an underwater housing for my new DSLR camera so I can`t offer you pictures from the dives – sorry! But the bull shark on the picture (that has also been taken in Beqa Lagoon!) could be one of those we saw – thanks to pterantula for sharing the picture under Creative Common licence!

- Bernd -

P.S. For more pictures have a look at the gallery on the website of our tour operator, the Beqa Adventure Divers!