On my Big Animals trips, it's the locals who make the difference in our journey. Observing Cubanos' colorful, robust and up beat tempo overshadows the limitations I've observed imposed on their lives. They live in a city and countryside that is basically "frozen in time". There is a fifty-year "time warp".
San Crist?bal de la Habana or Havana, Cuba's capital city is only a short ninety miles from Florida. Having visited the island country four times, I have fallen in love with its beauty, culture, and now its scuba diving. Yes, I would rate Havana as a city comparable to Paris, Rome, Oslo, London and even Shanghai.
Travel to Cuba is now permissible for US citizens through cultural exchange programs sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, which in the first phase of my journey gave me the freedom to interact in the daily activities of the Cuban community, experiencing their architecture, history, art, culture, and the music of daily life in and around Havana.
In the second phase of the trip, I visited the Gardens of the Queen to witness first hand the efforts being taken to preserve and protect a marine ecosystem that is unique to the southern coast of Cuba. "Jardines de la Reina" was declared a Marine Park in 1996. By limiting t...
2016 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Announced; Over $75,000 in Prizes will be Awarded. The Underwater Photography Guide is pleased to announce that the prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition 2016 will be accepting images today through November 22, 2016. Culver City, CA - August 23, 2016 - The Underwater Photography Guide is proud to announce that it is accepting entries for the 6th annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition. Ocean Art is one of the most prestigious underwater photo competitions in the world. A long list of prizes valued at over $75,000 also makes it one of the richest, attracting pro to amateur photographers across the globe. Sixteen categories ensure all photo disciplines and cameras compete fairly, while the 75+ winning images create a portfolio of the best underwater photos of the year. Ocean Art prizes are provided by over 35 scuba diving resort, liveaboard dive yacht, and underwater photo gear manufacturers. Grand prizes are a choice of Indonesia liveaboard itinerary on the S.M.Y. Ondina, a 10 night Cocos Island liveaboard trip with the Undersea Hunter Group, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the Palau Siren, a 7 night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, a ...
Killer Times with Killer Whales
Join us on one of the most exciting of our Big Animal Expeditions in one of the world's most beautiful locations.
During Norway's frigid winter, its majestic Arctic coastline and stunning fjords attract voluminous schools of herring, which in turn attract pods of Orcas. After determining the direction baitfish are being chased by resident Orcas, we will pursue these magnificent mammals until we can slip silently into the water for close up views and photographs of these magnificent mammals satiating their huge appetites.
The trip is greater enhanced by the pod's social behavior. Not unlike the humpback whales unique "bubbling" feeding technique, Orcas display an activity called "carouseling". Swimming under schools of herring, they exhale volumes of air bubbles to separate herring schools. Separated and carried helplessly towards the surface, smaller bait balls make easy pickings for hungry pods.
An activity witnessed by only a handful of snorkelers allows you the privilege to view the whale during its unique feeding behavior. Quietly, two of us at a time will slip into the water to observe the pod feeding. While we are snorkeling and free-diving, Orcas, curious by nature, will amaze us with very cl...
The trip is a bit long but my wife Agnese and me we got used.
And so, after 26 hours flying from Milan to Cebu, we have to drive three hours to reach the Sampaguita Resort in Moal Boal. We arrive at 8pm and after a tasty dinner and a couple of mojitos we go to the room for a good night's sleep. The next day, an employee comes to wake us up because... It's already time for lunch! When we get out from our bungalow we immediately appreciate the sunshine, the garden, the palm trees and the view of the sea.
We realize now that we will spend the holiday in very relaxing and enjoyable place. The resort is very simple and basic but the great thing is that after a couple of days you feel to be at home.
The bar's terrace restaurant is very cozy and is situated directly on the reef.
After lunch we bring our diving equipment to the diving center, and then we check and fit all our cameras in their housings: two housing for dslr cameras, one for a compact one, six strobes, four cameras, cables, batteries, arms, glasses...about seventy pounds of stuff! Of course we know that most of our dives will be dedicated to macro photography. Once everything is settled we go for a dive to test all our equipment.
We can do unlimited dives on local reefs, and every day we'll mak...
Dharavandhoo is a small Maldivian fishermen's island, located in the Baa Atoll, about 120 kilometers north of Male. Since a small airport was built, you can reach it in twenty minutes flight from the capital. It is situated near the bay of Hanifaru, Unesco heritage site since 2009, where, from late May to November, the high concentration of plankton present in these waters gathers a large number of filter feeders, including the large manta rays. That's the reason why last summer we organized this trip, together with other underwater photography enthusiast's friends. We arrived in the guesthouse that will host us (Dharavandhoo is off the beaten tourist circuit, being a fishing village) on the morning of 26 July, welcomed by Virgilio and Jessica, who run the dive center and have a deep knowledge of the Baa atoll's seabeds and are ready, together with their staff, to lead us in the discovery of this corner of the Indian Ocean. We should rest because the night on the plane has grown us tired, but the desire to begin diving in these waters is so great that we decided to "open the ball" already in the afternoon. After preparing the photographic equipment and having eaten enough, we reach the large and comfortable dhoni waiting for us at the dock, not far from our guesthouse. The sky is blue and t...
Sheikh Coast : a diving center UWP friendly
In recent years, I have visited Sharm several times. It has always been my favorite destination since 1993.
Its proximity and abundance of underwater life have always made it, to my eyes, a place of incomparable quality/price ratio.
My approach to underwater photography has started in 2011 and since then I realized that, talking about logistics, my needs have progressively changed.
Comparing with friends sharing the same passion, the emerging common thought was that in Sharm you could hardly find the ideal conditions to meet the needs of the "annoying" category represented by underwater photographers.
The organization of the diving centers, the "traffic" of boats at the diving sites and the sites themselves, were not the best for photography. Then I learned from some friends that recently, at the Sheikh Coast Diving Center (inside the Domina Coral Bay of Sharm El Sheikh), is growing a pole increasingly attentive to the needs of fans of underwater photography, under the influence of Pierpaolo Peluso, the diving center responsible for sales and marketing, as well as guide and underwater photographer. Hence, after that in recent years my diving and photographic destinations have been especially Maldive...
April 2015: Finally, after months of waiting, the time has come to make the TOP journey we were longing for.
We left Italy, via Madrid and Miami, and arrived in San Jos?. The next day, from the port of Punta Arenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, we boarded the Okeanos Aggressor, a boat 36 meters long, capable of 10 cabins for 20 guests in addition to the crew. Exquisitely greeted by the captain, his deputy and the crew, after a welcome aperitif and a crew and boat introduction, we finally left towards the Isla Del Coco.
During the 36 hours sailing needed to cover the 300 nautical miles, we met the other guests. Surprisingly, on board there's a group of seven Italians including us, while the others come from various Countries, including the US, Canada, France, Switzerland, Mexico, and even Israel. Expectations about the holiday grew during the crossing, since one of our Italian fellow travelers is a regular visitor of Cocos (this will be his fourth cruise, the last in 2011), and showed us videos and photos of his previous trips.
Isla Del Coco, considered one of the best diving destinations in the world for encounters with hammerhead sharks and other pelagic fish such as manta rays, whale, gray, tiger and Galapagos sharks, i...
This is the fifth part of our special articles about Thecnical Diving. Read also [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] As you may have read in the previous issue, all members of Team Pitch Blue managed to pass the brutal T1 course. Amazingly enough, the whole team stayed together after that and we did a lot of diving together. In fact, since then we have been joined by Cees (nicknamed Case / father of team-member Jeroen), Richard (nicknamed UMM) and Thomas (nicknamed TL). These divers were certified a year earlier, but unfortunately Case saw his team fall apart due to a combination of money and time constraints of his other team and UMM? just wants to dive as much as possible and is actually diving in two teams. Team member Thomas is also our technical support. If TL can't fix it...no one can. With his ridiculously heavy toolbox he more than once managed to save dives that otherwise would have been cancelled.
They were more than welcome in Team Pitch Blue and an additional benefit for us is that Case is a more than gifted underwater photographer. The pictures in these articles and all pictures on our Facebook page are of course taken by Case. They have joined us to keep practicing and we maintain our team dive skills every Sunday at Scuba Academie Vinkeveen. But they also plan t...
Usually the word we all love, diving, always gives us the idea of sea, sun, tropical temperatures and nobody would think to go in the middle of winter to Norway to enter the water with killer whales and humpback whales.
The journey is very difficult because, once you reach Oslo, it takes another two flights, with few frequencies, to get to Andenes, a small town on the tip of a fjord in the middle of the North Sea.
In January, the sunlight is very little, about 5 hours, and the sun rises just a few degrees above the horizon.
Nevertheless, I assure you that, except for the very cold and the dark that still creates a very special atmosphere, the emotions that you can experience in a trip of this kind are endless, both in the water and in the fantastic landscapes culminating with the opportunity of watching the amazing spectacle of the Northern Lights. The trip needs to be very well organized and nothing should be left to chance.
The apartments where to stay are very few and hotels and practically non-existent. You land at an airport having a small room where collecting your luggage and just one employee.
From there, you calmly exit to the square serving also as a small parking lot.
I traveled with
Only 1 week from the Ocean Art contest deadline!! Over $75,000 in prizes 15 Categories (including 3 new mirrorless camera categories & pool/conceptual with no post-processing restrictions) For more info www.uwphotographyguide.com/ocean-art The Underwater Photography Guide is pleased to announce that the prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition 2015 will be accepting images today through November 24, 2015. Culver City, CA - August 12, 2015 - the Underwater Photography Guide is proud to announce that it is accepting entries for the 5th annual Ocean Art Photo Competition. There is over $75,000 worth of prizes, including over 20 scuba diving resort, liveaboard dive yacht and underwater photo gear packages. Grand prizes are a choice of Indonesia liveaboard itinerary on the S.M.Y. Ondina, a 7 night dive package at Misool Eco Resort in Indonesia, a 7 night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, an 8 night combo dive package on the MV FeBrina and Walindi Plantation Resort in Papua New Guinea, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the S/Y Fiji Siren, a 10 night dive package at Lissenung Island Resort...
Culver City, California - We are excited to announce the winners of the 5th Annual SoCal Shootout. With excellent conditions, our highest number of participants and overall great photographers this year we had an intense competition with some really fantastic entries. In the end, the best in show prize went to Brook Peterson with a stunning sea lion behavior shot. Ben Hofilena and Christopher Borel took first place in the Open Wide and Mirrorless Wide Angle categories respectively with colorful, fish filled photos from our local Oil Rigs. Our new categories for this year, Mirrorless Wide Angle and Mirrorless Macro were extremely successful with many entries showcasing the beauty of the California waters. In addition we continued to have a strong video competition with Todd Kortte taking first place in our edited video category with his stunning edit of bait-fish schooling among the oil rigs. Compact shooters continued to amaze with incredible kelp forest scenes from Compact Wide winner Ty Oliver, and Compact Macro winner Michal Ross. See below for the full list of winners, all winning photos can be found at : http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/2015-socal-shootout-results The 5th Annual SoCal Shootout weekend took place September 18th-20th, ...
2015 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Announced; Over $75,000 in Prizes will be Awarded. The Underwater Photography Guide is pleased to announce that the prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition 2015 will be accepting images today through November 24, 2015. Culver City, CA ? August 12, 2015 ? the Underwater Photography Guide is proud to announce that it is accepting entries for the 5th annual Ocean Art Photo Competition. There is over $75,000 worth of prizes, including over 20 scuba diving resort, liveaboard dive yacht and underwater photo gear packages. Grand prizes are a choice of Indonesia liveaboard itinerary on the S.M.Y. Ondina, a 7 night dive package at Misool Eco Resort in Indonesia, a 7 night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, an 8 night combo dive package on the MV FeBrina and Walindi Plantation Resort in Papua New Guinea, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the S/Y Fiji Siren, a 10 night dive package at Lissenung Island Resort in Papua New Guinea, a 7 night dive package at Tawali Resort in Papua New Guinea, a 7 night dive package at Atmosphere Resort & S...
Campi Flegrei are a vast volcanic area situated north-west from Naples where history and nature merge between earth and sea, and the coastline represents the symbiosis between mankind history and sea life. The Campi Flegrei waters reveal to divers these wonders.
Here, the sea preserved topical the signs left by the passage of ancient Romans and Greeks.
Ruins of villas, thermal baths and roads lie just a few meters from the surface and, together with marine life and gaseous emissions, create a unique and unexpected underwater Mediterranean landscape.
This extraordinary characteristics lead to the creation of a Marine Protected Area between the municipalities of Bacoli and Pozzuoli. Octopuses, small crustaceans and fishes snoop undisturbed around submerged buildings and roads, colonized by sessile organisms such as algae, sponges, sea anemones, sea urchins and starfishes. Dive sites of the submerged archeological park of Baia. Emperor Claudio's submerged nymphaeum: a rectangular building with a semicircular apsis and four lateral recesses, housing the statues. Prothyrum Villa and Pisoni's Villa: just outside the nymphaeum, there is Herculanea road, leading just in front of two ...
A SMALL ISLAND FOR SMALL CREATURES Today, we visit a really tiny island: Cabilao. Cabilao is located at the west side of Bohol (Visayas, Philippines). 3.500 Inhabitants live there in 5 villages. The entire Island measures about 7,5 km2. And a beautiful reef surrounds it: A paradise for our tiniest creatures, a marvel in the ocean.
The entire island is a nature reserve and around the Island, there are two fish protection areas. Diving is most beautiful at north side. But there are other nice places, too. A special show at the house reef
Let's dive "Cambaquiz"! Located just in front of the Cabilao Beach Club, "Cambaquiz" is a split dive spot. Depending on the current you can dive one or the other. "Cambaquiz 1" is in the south of the corner, "Cambaquiz 2" in the north. There we go now.
Of course, in Cabilao you have mounted the macro gear. So it's not a surprise that the first creature we saw was a turtle. But no worries, the small creatures are waiting. The first dive was an easy dive but nevertheless we saw a lot: porcelain crab, a tiny juvenile scorpion fish, shrimps, blennies, spider crabs and much more. It was such a nice dive, that we decided to attach a night dive at the same spot.
We were diving only for a few minutes, when we spo...
Nauticam is pleased to announce the latest release in its acclaimed line of precision crafted camera housings, the NA-D810 Housing for Nikon's 36.3 megapixel D810. NA-D810 is the first underwater housing for Nikon D810 to be shown publicly, and will be on the shelves of dealers, and in the hands of users, by the end of August. Nauticam once again leads the industry by delivering this superior system less than 6 weeks from the initial camera ship date. The NA-D810 Housing
The NA-D810 is an evolutionary marvel. A long list of pioneering engineering breakthroughs from previous Nauticam designs are now standard in NA-D810. The patented housing Locking Latch System has received acclaim worldwide for its ease and functionality. These recessed latches are equipped with safety locks, reduce bulk and require minimal physical effort to engage and release. Port changes have never been simpler than utilizing the Patented Nauticam Locking Port Release. No wrestling, no twisting, no misalignment - just seat and lock. Lens changes are also easily accomplished without removing the camera from the housing using the lens release button logically accessed on the housing front. The lightweight, rugged Nauticam handles are generously contoured with a durable over-mold pr...
UWPC is the largest underwater photo challenge in Asia Pacific, hosted by the Diving and Resort Travel Expo (DRT Show) and EZDIVE magazine. UWPC is open to entrants of all skill levels. Asia Pacific UW Photo Challenge (UWPC) aims at finding excellent underwater photographers, and understanding their works thoroughly. We hope to promote the art of underwater photography and scuba diving in the Asia Pacific Region, and to promote the protection of the marine environment and guide a green and healthy lifestyle through the challenge. Welcome to participate the Asia Pacific UW Photo Challenge! Upload and submit your photos online at www.uwphotochallenge.com Download and read what you have to do to join the contest : How to submit your photo Guidelines The Asia Pacific Underwater Photo Challenge, hosted by DRT Show, is open to entrants of all skill levels. All submitted images must have been taken by the entrant and taken underwater. Each individual can only win one prize or prize package. Entrants with multiple winning entries will be given priority in prizes by value. Any images that have won or placed in photo contests with winning entries may not be submitted. Photographers retain all copyrights to their images. DRT Show and EZDIVE Magazine retain...
The Underwater Photography Guide has just announced the winners of the 2014 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition. This news is very exciting, with over 70 underwater images to admire. This year's Ocean Art Competition attracted a very high caliber of photos, representing entrants from over 50 countries. Over $70,000 of prizes will be awarded to 60 underwater photographers, highlighted by an 11-day Indonesia liveaboard trip on the SMY Ondina, a 7-night dive package at Paradise Taveuni Resort in Fiji, a 7-night Maldives liveaboard trip on the Manthiri, a 7-night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip on the Bilikiki, a 10-night dive package at Lissenung Dive Resort in Papua New Guinea and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo. Premium prizes are provided by Villa Markisa (Bali), the Discovery Fleet (Tubbataha), Emperor Divers (Maldives), VoliVoli (Fiji), Atmosphere (Philippines), Kosrae Nautilus Resort (Micronesia), Atlantis Philippines, Wananavu (Fiji), Palau Dive Adventures, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (Australia), Alor Divers (Indonesia), Manta Ray Bay (Yap), El Galleon (Philippines), Maluku Divers (Indonesia), Juliana?s Hotel & Sea Saba Dive Center (Caribbean), Eco Divers Resort Lembeh, Blackbeard?s Cruises (Bahamas), Scuba Seraya (Bali) and Bluewater Travel. Ocean Art 2014 judges included ...
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