Jun 282016
 
Scooter practise under Flinders Pier

A big part of big trips is the preparation that goes into them. It’s nice to look at the results – great photos, new cave, nice maps, stories of epic adventure – but rare that the hours of practise and prep get the same publicity. So today’s photos aren’t spectacular or even very exciting. They are important though. Expedition diving is hard work, and a lot of that work occurs before the trip even begins. You have to put in the hours in advance to get results. Pretending that you were born a cave diving genius is fun but somewhat deceptive. It also encourages untrained or underexperienced divers to attempt things they probably shouldn’t. With that in mind and an upcoming [read more…]

Mar 222016
 
Nurse sharks by night

My favourite dives and swims of the Carpe Vita Maldives trip were the night dives. There’s something surreal about swimming through inky black water on a warm tropical night. The otherworldliness increases when large creatures swim through the water beside you, completely ignoring your incursion into their world. The night dive on the first day was at Alimathaa Jetty. The resort on this island conducts a sunset shark feed and the sharks are very active after the sun goes down. We descended onto the reef to see a couple of nurse sharks and their large fish escorts zipping between the corals. They were using diver lights to hunt out small unfortunate fish in the reef. As a group we tried [read more…]

Mar 092016
 
Stalking eagle rays in current

My time on the Carpe Vita has come to an end today, and we’re about to be deposited back on dry land. Apart from a very nice BBQ on a deserted atoll one evening last week it will be the first time since boarding. It will certainly be the first time wearing shoes again. Since the last time I wore shoes we have done a lot of channel diving. The Maldives is a series of atolls with central lagoons. As the tides rise and fall, the water flows in and out of the lagoon through the channel between small sandy islands. When the current is running, animals gather at the interface between the channel and the deep blue sea. The [read more…]

Mar 012016
 
Whalesharks in the Maldives

My first full day on the Carpe Vita (booked with Liquid Diving Adventures) is going well. We arrived in the Maldives on Saturday afternoon and spent the night in a beachside hotel near the airport. After wandering the neighbourhood and picking up a few essentials on Sunday morning it was back to the airport. Instead of taking to the air we wheeled airport trolleys to the dock across the driveway from international arrivals. The diving dhoni pulled up and we were away. The Carpe Vita is a huge boat. When compared to other liveaboards I have travelled on she feels at least twice the size. With four decks for twenty divers and the dive deck duty offloaded to a companion [read more…]

Feb 162016
 
Fish on the Lonsdales reefs

Two weeks from today I will be on the lovely Carpe Vita in the stunning Maldives with thanks to Liquid Diving Adventures. I’m doing a run to the Deep South for an 11 night liveaboard. We hope to see sharks of all varieties – from fast hammerheads to small reef sharks to really big whalesharks. With some mantas, turtles and tropical reef thrown in for good measure it promises to be a great trip. With that in mind I thought I had better get out into the ocean and get back into the habit of chasing down some fish. Sven and I headed out from Portsea for a look at the reef off Point Lonsdale. While the seas were relatively [read more…]

Feb 092016
 
Spotting critters under Flinders Pier

I’ve dived Flinders Pier before and regularly but it’s been a while. Looking back through my photo archives, it’s been more than 6 months since the macro lens went on the camera. I think there were probably good macro opportunities in Truk Lagoon but it’s hard to concentrate on little things with great big shipwrecks in front of you. In just three weeks I’m off to the Maldives for two weeks of sharks and tropical waters, with a few hints of small critters. I thought I had better get the macro lens dusted off and back in service. It was a stunning evening at Flinders with the tide creeping in as the sun went down. I disturbed a big stingray [read more…]