Thomas was introduced to the water when he was just a few months old. Thanks to Zoe Henderson at Bubbles Swim School, he feels completely at ease in the pool. So we organised a shoot on 12 July to get a few images of him underwater and give me a chance to practice taking pictures of swimming babies.
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. We’ve been kind of busy since the arrival of Thomas.
My friend Steve Warren has written a very moving article in this month’s Diver Magazine about the filming trip we made a few years ago to visit the wreck of the Bowbelle in Madeira. We travelled with film maker Drew Sutton, a survivor of the Marchioness disaster keen to exorcise the demons.
Here are a few images from the expedition.
We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Tulamben and Menjangan on the Indonesian island of Bali, staying at the Mimpi resorts.
Having served 4 years of a 3-year mandate, it was about time I stood down as BSoUP Chairman. I am staying on as a committee member but it’s now time to have some fresh leadership. And after 3 years under ruthless American dictatorship (sorry Martha 🙂 ) and 4 years under French rule, it was time to hand the British Society of Underwater Photographers back to Britain !
Another cover, but this one is real, unlike the Narked Diver one I created as a joke last year !
After a break of nearly one year, I have tasted tropical water again in March-April 2011 with a trip to North Sulawesi, Indonesia. I spent a week in Lembeh, split between Divers Lodge and Lembeh Cottages, and then headed to Kima Bajo to dive in the Bunaken National Park with Eco Divers.
The magazine features an article about Jamie who gets thrown straight at the deep end after joining a 2-week liveaboard in the Northern atolls. In this issue of Narked Diver, you can also read about the discovery of the spreadeagle ray and get new tips on natural buoyancy skills.
I’d like to thank all the participants for making this trip memorable.
Who said the Med was dead ? Steve Warren, from Ocean Optics gave me the opportunity to spend a few days in the company of pilot whales in the Mediterranean. It was an unforgettable off-the-beaten-track experience and I never imagined that snorkelling could be so much fun !
I travelled to the town of Funchal on the island of Madeira to dive the wreck of the Bowbelle, the dredger that was involved in a collision with the pleasure boat Marchioness in August 1989, in with 51 young people lost their lives.
Having discussed the possibility of a seal photography trip with Alex Mustard for a while, I called Clive Pearson at Clovelly Charters to see if he coud accommodate a few snappers for a couple of days. Staying at Millcombe House on Lundy, Alex & I were joined by Eleonora Manca, Dan Bolt and Dan Hopkins. The trip was quite productive and the grey seals were extremely playful !
This portfolio contains a mix of images from Layang Layang, Sipadan, Si Amil, Maratua, Kakaban and Sharm el Sheikh.
More information on this portfolio is available on the BSoUP website.
The new Dive: The Ultimate Guide is out and available on Amazon. It contains new destinations and chapters, including one on Layang Layang, which my friend Gill McDonald asked me to write. I only managed to have a quick look at this second edition at the Birmingham Dive Show and so far, I haven’t managed to secure my own copy, but it’s very exciting to be involved in my second book project after the Dive Red Sea book. Although Monty Halls is still the main writer in Dive: The Ultimate Guide, several new authors and underwater photographers have contributed to this guide, including Gill herself.
Spanning the 60th parallel, the Shetland islands enjoyed the sunniest month of August in the UK. This, together with great company made the week we spent on board MV Halton extremely enjoyable.
Unfortunately, the plankton-rich water did not allow us to experience the usual 25m visibility the islands are renown for, but the diving was superb nevertheless.
Images from this trip are available in the UK gallery.
The annual pilgrimage to Sharm with friends from BSoUP went well. This year, our floating home for the week was was Tornado Marine Fleet’s MY Whirlwind, operated by Tony Backhurst Scuba. Resident dive guides Shaun and Chrissie where often hijacked to be models.
Keen to play with the resident snappers (the Lutjanus bohar kind, not the Homo photographicus aquatiquem species) at Ras Mohammed, I had brought along my old Dolphin rebreather, to try and figure out whether the reduced amount of bubbles does indeed make a difference when it comes to getting closer to the action. I have to say the jury is still out on that one, especially as the schooling snapper weren’t there in full force. But we had great time with the Giant Trevallies and more importantly, we had great fun.
Images from this trip are available in the Red Sea gallery.
I was elected Chairman the British Society of Underwater Photographers at the November AGM, replacing Martha Tressler who was standing down after three years. BSoUP is a fantastic source of inspiration and a great way to meet fellow underwater photographers, some of whom recognised internationally.
I have just returned from Scapa Flow.
At the end of the First World War, the whole German High Seas fleet was interned at Scapa Flow, a British navy base in the Orkney islands north of Scotland. On 21 July 1919, unaware that the WWI armistice had been extended, and fearing a new start of hostilities, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter decided that the ships should not be seized by Britain. He sent the order to open the seacocks and sink the vessels. In all, 74 ships went down in one afternoon in what was the biggest mass-scutling in history.
Most of the vessels have now been salvaged for scrap metal, but some battleships can still be visited, such as the 24,000-tonnes Kronprinz Wilhelm and Markgraf. Several light cruisers (5,000 tonnes) like the Desden, Brummer, Karlsruhe and Coln also offer very interesting dives.
Although there is a UK section on this site, Scapa Flow deserves its own album!
My first DIVE Magazine front cover!
This image was taken between St Abbs and Coldingham in Scotland, in one of my favourite diving spots around the British isles. St Abbs and the marine reserve are the scene ofto the annual Splash-In competition that takes place on the August Bank holiday weekend. Billy and Alison Aitchison at Rock House B&B were our hosts for the weekend and we were diving from Billy’s charter vessel Alikai.
Exciting news! My pufferfish picture will feature on the DAN Europe Membership card. It also made the front cover of the Mag!
I have been a member of DAN (Divers Alert Network) for a number of years now and would not want to travel overseas or even dive in home waters without knowing that they’re always available, should I ever need their services after a diving accident.
They offer reasonably priced insurance coverwhich extends to non-diving activity and I cannot recommend them highly enough.