This is a short clip of some beautiful footage I managed to capture whilst in South Australia.
The visibility on the dive at Rapid Bay wasn’t the best on the day but watching the footage, it doesn’t really seem to show on the video. Continue reading
Whilst on a 7 day Carnival cruise around the Gulf of Mexico, we arrived at Cozumel Island. The one and only advertised dive from our cruise ship described a deep water experience including a drift dive along a large wall. However on the day, the local currents were far stronger than they had known in recent times, so our dive plan changed at the last minute.
We ended up doing relative shallow dives close to shore to avoid the danger of those large currents. Even so, we still had a 3-4 knot current and had I have wanted to stop and look at something of macro photographic interest, it would have to have been in the lee of a bombie or in a sea floor depression.
DIVE THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS OF THE CARIBBEAN AT GRAND CAYMAN
On a 7 day Carnival cruise around the Gulf of Mexico, I had an opportunity for a two tank scuba dive with Don Foster’s Dive Cayman in West Bay, Grand Cayman. So I took this chance to experience the crystal clear Caribbean waters but unfortunately there were unexpected very strong currents, the worst they had in the last three years.
So we dived Wall Street, a relatively protected site covered by the remaining fragments of a severely damaged wreck. Many were colonised by soft quite colourful corals, gorgon fans, fish and other typical Caribbean marine life. We also encountered a field of very tall garden eels, a curious sight not often seen.
My dive guide was also a great source of amusement. He tolerated my prolonged photographic stops by amusing himself with a wreck of a bicycle, and what a camera ham he proved to be, attempting to ride it whilst wearing his long free diving fins!
THRILLING ADVENTURES WITH SHARKS OFF SOUTH AFRICA’S WILD COAST
DiveCareDare leaves for its first official adventure later this week as an international group of 5 divers and a snorkeler, from Australia, Austria, Fiji and Angola.
Then we are off for the big shark action of the Protea Banks where Tony completed his first NOMAD African Dive Safari in 2011 with Fern Perry of Lutwala Dive.
Tony featured in this diving compilation of Mozambique to Protea Banks.
We are driving from the Protea Banks along the Wild Coast (formally known as Transkaai) near Nelson Mandela’s birth village, to catch up with the Sardine Run at Coffee Bay and the Waterfall Bluff that featured in the BBC series.
Along the famous sand Garden Route to Cape Town we plan to have more encounters with winter wildlife including the great white sharks and their big breaches off Simon’s town with Chris Fallows of Apex Shark Expeditions
This experience is a different one to our previous at Gansbaai in 2012 where we caged dived with Brian McFarlane of Shark Cage Diving. Apex operate with smaller cages not the large ones with a capacity for 8 divers, so it is a much more personal encounter. We hope to meet with Chris Fallows, a world legend on great white encounters.
So since you can’t join us in person, follow us and our exploits on our new web site or your social media of choice including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ YouTube or Instagram.
On a baited shark dive at Aliwal Shoal, South Africa one remora stood out from the crowd.
What looked like a ‘mutant’ remora turned out to be an unfortunate little guy who had obviously had a clash with something much bigger than him, possibly a shark who was a little hungry at the time. And of course, he came off worst. He looked like he had a nasty hair lip, but on closer inspection both his upper and lower jaw were badly damaged. However he had managed to heal well and live another day, although he was a bit more frightening to look at compared to his cloned mates!
Remoras are also called sucker fish, and for good reason. They have a sucker in their mouth which sticks to the belly of large fish including sharks, whales and turtles. Their job is to clean parasites off their host, and in return they get to eat leftover food of their host. Where there is a shark there will be remoras, and we find them fascinating.
For more check out:
A gathering of like minded people and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council met at the HMAS Brisbane War Memorial at Alexandra Headlands, South East Queensland this week. A call was put out to all Sunshine Coast divers, tourism operators, conservationists, scientists, fishers and other marine loving people to show their support for our marine sanctuaries.
The crowd and supporters unfurled an enormous colourful banner which celebrated the alliance of many groups and people with a common interest in marine conservation and sealife diversity. The banner comprised hundreds of photos on it taken by people across Australia over this summer highlighting the diversity and strength of support in the community for marine sanctuaries. The banner was produced by the Save Our Marine Life Alliance.
Philip Hart, owner and manager of Sunreef Scuba Diving Mooloolaba represented the gathering and local media attended including Channel 7 news. Continue reading
DiveCareDare recently came across this fabulous website: www.supportoursharks.com
It is a fabulous web site with some great information and news relating to conservation, education and research of the ocean.
Shark biologist Dr. Ryan Kempster founded the Support Our Sharks (SOS) Ocean Conservation Society in 2010 with a mission to support healthy oceans by promoting better protection for sharks and their close relatives the rays and skates.
SOS is a science-based conservation group raising awareness to the threats faced by sharks (and rays) in the 21st century. Dr. Kempster established SOS with the goal of educating the public by promoting conservation, outreach and research to inspire interest in protecting these important animals.
They utilise a mixture of on-the-ground and online campaigning, educational outreach and peer-reviewed scientific research to encourage better protection for sharks and rays, whilst also promoting better protection of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems. By working closely with the general public and a wide range of specialist groups including scientists, divers and politicians, they are able to bring about positive change for sharks and their relatives worldwide.
This great short but punchy video discusses how long sharks have existed. It’s a must watch!
Their excellent mantra:
“SUPPORT OUR SHARKS
SUPPORT OUR OCEANS
SUPPORT OUR FUTURE”
Justin Bruhn is a local Sunshine Coast boy from Landsborough. His ‘day job’ has him acting as a Security Consultant which has taken him around Queensland including the Far North, but he has also worked in the diving industry as as a dive instructor and a passionate underwater photographer.
He has dived extensively around the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and South America. He has a deep commitment to marine conservation, and believes that to save underwater treasures such as the Great Barrier Reef, preserving their images and educating the community is one way to go.
DiveCareDare first met Justin through connections with a local dive operator, both eventually joining forces when Tony took a group of local divers to Beqa Lagoon, Fiji to have a life affecting, shark diving experience, diving with up to 8 different breeds of sharks at any one time.
Justin has a huge, very impressive Nauticam underwater camera set up, and whilst he does do videography, he is increasingly taking more and more still photos, especially wide angle rather than macro photography. Continue reading
Remora remora is the name for the common remora. They have a highly modified dorsal fin that expands during their development to become an efficient sucker disk on the top of their head. Remoras attach to sharks, mantas, whales, turtles, ships, divers and just about anything to save energy until their next feed. It’s hard to imagine that powerful, open ocean swimmers like mahi-mahi [dolphinfish] and amberjacks are related to remoras. Your opinion about these opportunistic freeloaders might change when you consider what 50 million years of evolution has done by tinkering with the muscles and bone structure of a dorsal fin to produce their quirky edge for survival.
In nature there are relationships like predator-prey and parasitism where one half of the equation benefits at the expense of the other. There is mutualism, a form of symbiosis where both organisms benefit from the relationship to the extreme where one cannot survive without the other. Commensalism describes relationships on a scale between parasitism and mutualism. Where does the relationship between remoras and other sea life belong?
Does the removal of parasites as a service to a host improve survival, longevity or the energy budget of a host like this humpback whale? It must have a hundred or more remoras that increases the effort needed to move through the ocean using precious fat reserves for energy. This mother is feeding its calf on the long journey to summer feeding grounds off Antarctica, so how far south do remoras go before their free ride gets too cool to survive? Do remoras provide a parasite removal service that is worthy of them tagging along or is this an extreme form of commensalism that’s nudging parasitism as a way of life? Remoras are up their with platypus and other anomalies of the natural world that make me wonder what the creator was on while doodling the prototype or was the design brief given to a committee? Continue reading
This was another DiveCareDare opportunity for a Surface Interval activity with a difference. In between dives at Nightcliff Island, just outside Darwin, we decided to explore Crocosaurus Cove in downtown Darwin’s CBD. A long standing business, their point of difference from other similar businesses is their offering of the ‘Cage of Death’. Yes, Cage of Death. Mmmmm. Our minds pondered.
Well Tony just couldn’t resist to check it out. But it turned out that we were well behind the 8 ball as the spots were all booked out well in advance. So we decided to gate crash someone else’s experience, and, well our photos and videos tell it all.
This is one of the videos for your viewing in that blog post:
If you get the chance, you MUST do this. There is no where else in Australia where you can experience this thrill of a lifetime. Go on, just DO IT!
[Our thanks go to Jan Jnr and Jan Snr Mahotka from South Australia, for allowing us to video their experience. Photos and videos by Tony and Irene Isaacson]