This gallery is from a recent trip to Dominica in January 2017. I was blown away by the colors of the coral and sponges. During our week we saw 32 species of sponges and spectacular coral reefs. The black sand at some dive sites reminded me of Indonesia. The bubbling volcanic gases at Champagne can be seen in the gallery below. This dive site also includes an old English canon. There are great macro subjects in Dominica but I couldn't break from shooting wide angle all week. This island is truly one of the best in the Caribbean and rivals many sites that I have seen in the Pacific. We stayed at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau and had a great time with Buddy Dive. They did a great job accommodating the group, especially when our dive gear didn't arrive until the next night. The island is beautiful and one could easily spend the entire week hiking up in the mountains. We spent the last day hiking to Trafalgar Falls and swimming at Titou Gorge. There are multiple locations that were used for The Pirates of the Caribbean. Fortunately the kraken didn't show up!
There are three pictures in this gallery that I took some artistic liberty. I'll let you guess which ones they are.
This gallery is from October 24-27, 2015. After finishing our trip in Raja Ampat, we travelled from Sorong, Indonesia to North Sulawesi and then up to Gangga Island. The northern location of the island allows access to beautiful coral reefs as well as muck diving all in one spot. In contrast to Lembeh, the beaches are pure white sand. The diving was spectacular at Gangga and Bangka Islands. On the first dive at Yellow Coco, we saw 4 ghost pipefish, 4 frogfish, a pair of giant cuttlefish, and multiple other exotic critters. The pictures from this gallery where collected during 10 dives over 4 days.
The resort is relaxed and very quiet. The best dive sites were actually on the walls at North Sulawesi, especially at a site called Efratha. The northern location of Gangga Island allows travel to both Lembeh and Bunaken (see the map), however, the dive sites at Gangga were fantastic and there was no reason to travel far. The camera facilities were good and the boats were uncrowded. The white sand beach was great for collecting exotic seashells, although I left them remain in Gangga where they belong.
These pictures were taken in Maui in March 4-12, 2016. We snorkeled with the giant turtles in Napili and McKenna. These giant turtles were very gentle and relaxed. They were curious and easy to find. Their immense size made them somewhat intimidating for my daughter at first.
Michael and I also traveled to Lanai and Molokai for scuba. The dive sites included the Cathedral #2 and Fish Rock at Lanai as well as an excursion to Molokai to see hammerhead sharks at a site called Fish Rain. We encountered multiple dolphins and several groups of humpback whales on the way to Lanai. There were 3 scalloped hammerheads at Molokai but they were very shy and did not come close enough to photograph adequately.
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This final gallery is from the game against Kutztown on Saturday, Oct 29, 2016. The boys played their hearts out for this game. It went to double overtime before a late loss in the final minutes. It was a great season and real thrill to watch the boys play so hard.
As the other galleries, JPEGs can be downloaded for free.
I traveled to Guadalupe this fall to visit the tremendous white shark population in Western Mexico. We spent 3 days in cages observing sharks from sunrise until sunset. There were 5 cages on the back of the Nautilus Belle Amie. The 2 surface cages were execellent for close action and the 3 deep cages allowed the sharks to circle the divers. I found the sharks to be more curious than ferocious and they especially took interest in my blue video lights. The largest female sharks were easily 18' long. Unfortunately, we did not see Deep Blue this week. She is estimated to be 7 meters long.
In the evening, we were treated to a viewing of Jaws on a widescreen on the top deck of the Belle Amie under the stars. The trip was fantastic and I hope to return with the family in the future. The crew were professional and very knowledgeable. They run a safe expedition and the sharks were treated respectfully.
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This gallery is from the game against West Shore Christian Academy from 10/8/16. As you can see it was a rainy game. The password for the gallery and downloads is WestShore with no space. As earlier LCDS galleries, I enabled JPEG downloads from the site. Press slideshow in the upper right to play photos in sequence.
Only half of the Sankisan Maru remains in shallow water. The other half was obliterated by a bomb strike. The stern section and prop are at 150 feet and were not visited on this trip. The ship at one time had hundreds of wooden crates full of ammunition as well as detonators and depth charges. Most of the explosives were removed in the 1970's for safety.
Today cargo hold #1 is still full of bullets scattered on the floor. We found medicine bottles in hold #3 and several truck frames in hold #2. Aircraft engines can be found in the second hold as well. On the deck there were three truck frames and a large machine gun resting on an air vent. The forward mast no longer protrudes above the water as it did when I was last in Truk ten years ago. The double king post is covered with a rainbow of soft corals. The fore mast is also beautiful and has a dense reef of hard corals. Blue, red, and green fish swarm over the masts and make the shallow ascent a real treasure.
This video is a combination of 2 dives from 6/24/16 on the Heian Maru in Truk Lagoon. The ship rests on its port side at 115 feet. I started with a solitary exploration of the first 2 cargo holds near the bow. There were 3 decks below the entrance before reaching the bottom of the ship. Because the wreck lies on its left side, the cargo holds must be entered horizontally. In the darkness there were several large torpedoes and multiple artillery shells. The penetration is murky and very dark, especially in the back regions were the 23 foot long range torpedoes rest.
I met with the group as they maneuvered a narrow passage between holds 1 and 2. A school of copper sweepers can be seen silhouetted in the lights as we explored in the darkness. Later in the video we explored the radio room and the crew quarters. The walls are wooden in the crew quarters and were easily disturbed by our bubbles. This lead to a quick silt out and very poor visibility. I have only limited footage from this area as we needed to exit quickly. The medicine kit above was one of the best finds all week.
This gallery is from the 9/10/16 game on Saturday. You can download JPEG's from the site without any charge. The code is LCDS2016. Click slideshow at the top right to play the pictures in sequence. The gallery can also be accessed from my webpage under client access using the code. You may download JPEG's for free. Prints and other displays can be ordered from the site. The charge is base from the company and I make no profit. Let me know if you have any problems or concerns. I hope to do this for every game that I can attend this year. I will try to get pictures of everyone on the team.
The Rio DeJaneiro Maru was a passenger liner that originally provided service from Japan to South America before World War II. It was converted to a submarine depot ship during the war. It sank in Truk on February 17, 1944. The ship lies on it's starboard side at 110 feet. The bottom of the boat has created a spectacular coral reef covered with hard corals. Black and white dascyllus fish are seen profusely amongst the coral heads along with many other blue damselfishes. The cargo holds are stacked with crates of sake bottles.
The wreck has changed since I last visited the Rio in 2007. The superstructure is collapsing, making the entrance to the engine room much tighter. We followed our guide Madison into the darkness to see multiple gauges including 2 white faced engine room telegraphs. Multiple rifles were found hidden in the cargo hold along the top rim on the port side. The 6 inch stern gun is covered with hard stone corals. The propellers remain a spectacular site and provided refuge for a large school of bigeye trevally deep bellow the stern.
We did several dives on the Shinkoku Maru on 6/21/16. This short video shows the extraordinary marine growth on the deck of the bow including the impressive bow gun. The Shinkoku is famous for the dense population of anemones that have grown over the past 70 years. The video also includes exploration of the bridge superstructure including an old examination table displaying old bottles and a few remaining bones. The Shinkoku Maru sank on Feb 18, 1944 after being attacked by torpedo bombers. It is a large wreck stretching 500 feet long across the seabed. The deck is relatively shallow at 65 feet. The wreck is too large to cover in one or two dives and there are many sections that I have yet to explore. Please visit the other video that I recorded deep in the engine room for an idea of how large and diverse this wreck is.
This twilight dive on the Fujikawa Maru started at the bow gun and finished at the stern gun. We explored cargo hold #1 to find machine guns, 6 inch artillery shell casings, gas masks, ammunition, and an outboard boat motor. Multiple colorful anemone were seen on the deck. A strange mobile sea cucumber can be seen at the end of the clip. See the daytime video for more information on the Fujikawa Maru.
The Fujikawa Maru is a famous shipwreck for diving in the Pacific. I was glad to revisit the wreck on June 22, 2016. Much has changed. The superstructure has collapsed and the winding staircase down to the dark engine room is gone. The bow and stern guns remain. They are spectacular, covered with flowing anemones and bright soft corals. The cargo holds are dark and eerie. Hold #2 has the remains of Japanese Zero fighters. We dived both holds 1 and 2 at night as well. See my next video for details.
The Fujikawa Maru sank on February 18, 1944 after sustaining several attacks over a 2 day period. It is 437 feet long and rests in relatively shallow water.
This video is a compilation of 2 dives that we did on 6/24/16 on the Nippo Maru. There are many large artifacts on the deck including a Japanese battle tank, 3 Howitzer guns, one anti-aircraft gun, several minesweepers, and a truck body. The wreck can be deep in certain locations making exploration of the aft cargo holds somewhat difficult. The bridge is easily penetrated and the helm and ship's telegraph are easy to photograph. The Nippo Maru sank on February 17, 1944 and she was discovered by Cousteau in 1969. The ship was not identified until 1980 when the ship's bell was located.