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Mango Bay and Twins on the 26th Jan’12

Who would have thought that today would be the day…

Like any normal day with Mango Bay on the trip list there was a certain air of excitement, the possibilities of searching out the big ball of Fusilier fish that rest on the coast, and my favorite Seahorses!

I was out to photograph the Discover Scuba Dive team, making their first ever dives.  In my job, capturing the story and emotion of diving, there is nothing quite as exciting as shooting a Discover Dive, It really is an excellent experience and I love to take part in it.  The guys were eagerly pushing all the buttons of their equipment asking loads of questions and gazing into the perfect visibility of Mango Bay.  Once in the water we swam to the beach to complete a couple of skills in preparation for the dive.  Madison could not stop laughing as she and the rest of the group were rolling about on the surface in the SCUBA gear.  This was going to be a funny dive.


As we set off along the reef we were met by all sorts of macro creatures, Nudibranch, Warty Sea Slugs it was a great chance to show the guys just how tiny creatures can get under the sea.  Then as we bumped into one of the teams completing their Open Water their instructor gave a big WOOP sign underwater and indicated she had spotted seahorses at 7m eastward.  I led the way sure I could find one for the guys.

Within moments I saw a creature zipping across the white sand on the bottom.  It is very uncommon for Seahorses to be moving with such pace, but sure enough a large adult male was making his way across the floor stopping occasionally to blow into the sand.

What an awesome sight.  The rest of the group settled near it and we all just watched in awe as this little creature, seemingly unaware of our presence, carried on about his day.  It was a fantastic treat for the fist-timers, as they ascended to end the dive and head back to the boat.  I stayed for just a couple of minutes more, and as they left the scene the Seahorse (doing something I had never seen), swam to the surface, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Was he ascending with me, ensuring I was safe?  I sat just a little deeper and ascended just a little slower, and lined up to shoot.  Fairly giddy with excitement I couldn’t control my finger on the shutter, but knew this was a fairly once in a lifetime experience so had to remain composed.  I got a few shots off as he ascended and a few with him at the surface.

Sea Horse
Once surfaced I cried out a big WOOP, what an awesome experience, the guys I had been with were also stoked after having seen a real life Seahorse.  I couldn’t wait to get back to the boat to review the shots I had taken in those split second moments.  Once back on board everyone was talking about how great the dive had been, some had seen the Seahorses, I crept to the back for a quiet moment and sat there looking at one of the images I had taken in particular.  The seahorse seemingly swimming and staring straight into the sun, I couldn’t believe it, what an awesome picture of an awesome event.  Enough quiet time I thought and ran to the front where everyone else was, “Guys you have to see this picture…” I am certain it was one of the best I had ever taken.

Phew, anyway back to the days diving.  The second dive was at Twins, a really great site for completing the Open Water course, and a great site for Photographing as well.  I was going to dive with John, Shawn and Elida who had done a great job of working through the course and who had all taken to diving quite naturally.  After a few skills John and Elida who were feeling a little cold decided not to continue with the dive, and so we took them back to the boat.  It’s easy to manage these situations in small groups.

However Shawn was definitely keen to go and explore so his Instructor, him and I headed to adventure around the shallow pinnacle to see what we could see.  I still had visions of the Seahorse image I had just taken but had no worries concentrating on telling their story of the dive, everything was working out perfectly.  We found Moray Eels, Scorpionfish, Baby Angel Fish, we found stingrays, Nudibranchs and Triggerfish, the reef was pulsating with life today and the colours were among the best I had ever seen.

Once back on the boat it was great to congratulate the team on their efforts and welcome them to he Certified Divers club.  A day full of experiences for sure, and as always diving here presents something new every day.

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2 Comments on Mango Bay and Twins on the 26th Jan’12

  1. commented by Beth on 2 February 2012

    What a great post and what great shots! Dan and I are sooo jealous. That darn seahorse always eluded us!

    1. commented by Ayesha Cantrell on 2 February 2012

      Thats why you have to come back for a visit !

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