We had an extraordinary week of diving on the Avalon II in Cuba. This was a Backscatter trip to Los Jardines de la Reina in January 2020. As you can see there were plenty of sharks on every dive. We spent a substantial time on the surface photographing Caribbean reef and silky sharks. The coral was fantastic but it was hard not to be distracted by the large mature sharks that kept us company all week.
There were plenty of macro subjects for the week including neck crabs, arrow blennies, cleaner shrimp, and secretary blennies. I was so impressed by the larger creatures during the week that I rarely used my 105mm macro lens. I included some GPS maps to help with locations of the land excursions for the week. There is a separate gallery of pictures from Havana on the web page.
We also spent some time in the mangroves with 2 crocodiles. Tito and Nino visited us as we snorkeled in the mangroves. I truly found this to be quite creepy especially when Tito ran over me and my camera. I have a new scratch on my dome port from Tito. Later we took some pictures at twilight for more dramatic lighting.
The final group of pictures includes some shots in the shallow mangroves. There were purple, blue, green, black, and orange sponges hanging from the roots beneath the trees. I used my 8-15mm circular fisheye to capture the sun above. It was easy to get lost beneath the canopy of roots and branches.
This was the first Backscatter trip to Cuba and the Gardens of the Queen. I hope to return soon.
© Mark Etter Underwater Photography