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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!

Scuba diving at Nusa Penida, Tulamben and around Padang Bai

So here are the scuba diving pictures from our trip to Bali in 2009. Fortunately, our dive guide and friend Christian likes underwater photography as much as I do so it was fun shooting together with him and watch each others pictures after diving.

We spent our first week in Padang Bai and did most of the dives right there. In the Ferry channel (just a few meteres off shore) we had the sea turtle and the spiny lobster you can see on the pictures below and we also had whitetip reef sharks several times. There are a few good spots for macro diving as well where I took the picture of the frogfish.

We also went to Tulamben (which is just a short car ride away) and Nusa Penida island on two daytrips. Tulamben turned out to be awesome: At just one dive we saw the wreck of WWII transport ship USAT Liberty, our first real clown fish and a big and scary barracuda which didn’t move even when I came very close with the camera. Nusa Penida island was perfect to see the big stuff: At the Manta Point we had – guess what – several MANTA RAYS and on the second dive a big sunfish! I`m sorry for the bad quality of the two sunfish pictures, they were taken without a flash so I had to brighten them up a lot. However, I didn`t want to hold them back – enjoy!

- Bernd -

Manta ray (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Manta ray (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Our first real clown fish - they look much prettier than the anemone fish in the Red Sea (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Our first real clown fish – they look much prettier than the anemone fish in the Red Sea (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Relaxing sea turtle (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Relaxing sea turtle (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
We found the Mola-Mola! (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
We found the Mola-Mola! (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Spiny lobster (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Spiny lobster (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Portrait of a Barracuda - although I had to come very close to this 5 - 6 feet tall guy, it didn`t move (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Portrait of a Barracuda – although I had to come very close to this 5 – 6 feet tall guy, it didn`t move (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Mola-Mola (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Mola-Mola (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Nurse shark (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Nurse shark (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Flying Manta (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Flying Manta (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Frogfish - find the eye! (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
Frogfish – find the eye! (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
The Barracuda again (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
The Barracuda again (© 2009 Bernd Neeser)
 


Another scuba diving trip to Hurghada

2008 was the year I took my first underwater pictures with a DSLR camera – the Canon EOS 400D in a Fantasea F400D housing. To keep down costs I started without strobes but with a red light filter which is perfect for reef panoramas. As you can see on the pictures it also worked well on closeups – just make sure the fish doesn`t move because you have to work with short exposure times.

All of the pictures below were taken on diving spots around Hurghada – most of them at Sha’ab Abu Ramada (“The Aquarium”), the Banana Reef, Sha’ab Sabina, Erg Sabina and Sha’ab Dorfa.

- Bernd -

Slender giant moray (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Slender giant moray (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of yellow goatfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of yellow goatfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Blue-spotted stingray chilling in the sand (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Blue-spotted stingray chilling in the sand (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Hawkfish on top of a coral (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Hawkfish on top of a coral (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish @ home (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish @ home (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
A mid-size Napoleon wrasse (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
A mid-size Napoleon wrasse (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Couple of masked butterfly fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Couple of masked butterfly fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Reef panorama (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Reef panorama (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Starfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Starfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Octopussy - be careful, they can punch you harder than Rocky Balboa ;-) (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Octopussy – be careful, they can punch you harder than Rocky Balboa ;-) (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
   


My first dive…

…took place in 2006! I started with a CMAS* training at Actionsport Wuerzburg and gained my first experience in cold German lakes. We had a bad sight and just two or three fish there but it was ok for the training and as I like water since I was a little child it felt just great. A few weeks later Isabell and me went to Hurghada and she enjoyed snorkeling so much that she decided to start with scuba diving as well in 2007. So we went to Egypt again enjoying two amazing weeks. We did several wreck dives, a night dive and we snorkeled and dived with all kinds of colorful reef fish, starfish, moray eels, snails and even wild dolphins.

Besides scuba diving we did two day trips in 2006. One day we went to desert, seeing all the…ahm…sand! Beautiful! There is also a fountain nearby a Wannabe-Bedouin-village where you can watch them living like 100 years ago, ride a Quad or enjoy the sunset. We decided to do the last one and our Wannabe-tourguide took a romantic picture of us.

On our second day trip we drove to Cairo, saw the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and a lot of annoying guys trying to get our money. If you’re planning to go there: Don`t sit on the camel!! Touching it will cost you 10 Dollar, sitting on it 100 and if you consider riding on it make sure you have at least two or three gold coins with you. A cheap alternative is buying a stick for 7 pound and use it in the right moment…I’m just kidding ;-)

- Bernd -

P.S. The pictures were taken with the Casio Exilim EX-S600 in a EWC-60 housing. Instead of buying a strobe I used the Magic Filter. Mounted on the inside of the housing or in front of the lens it brings back most of the colors using available light.

Abu Nuhas is perfect for wreck diving! There are four wrecks: Kimon M., Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D. and the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Abu Nuhas is perfect for wreck diving! There are four wrecks: Kimon M., Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D. and the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
My first sight of the Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
My first sight of the Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell & Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell & Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - Windlass (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – Windlass (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - View out of the machine room (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – View out of the machine room (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - The first floor of the machine room was completely dark (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – The first floor of the machine room was completely dark (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving inside the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving inside the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Maona - we just did a short touchdown because I was running out of air ;-) (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Maona – we just did a short touchdown because I was running out of air ;-) (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja - The screw (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja – The screw (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A crocodile fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A crocodile fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Blue spotted stingray (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Blue spotted stingray (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A salad coral (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A salad coral (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
We also had dolphins several times (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
We also had dolphins several times (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Masked butterfly fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Masked butterfly fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A shell (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A shell (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of barbs (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of barbs (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
The world famous Sphinx with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The world famous Sphinx with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Inside a pyramid (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Inside a pyramid (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The papyrus factory...big business ;-) (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The papyrus factory…big business ;-) (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Bernd (© 2006 Isabell Gernert)
Bernd (© 2006 Isabell Gernert)
Sunset in desert...who says we're not a romantic couple?
Sunset in desert…who says we're not a romantic couple?