The Digital Shootout 2006 is run by Backscatter and Light & Motion,
with support from Wetpixel.com, Sam's Tours, and the Palau Pacific Resort
our participants go mud-crazy after too many seminars! (photo: james watt)
April 7, 2006
Today is officially crazy topside photo day. I've been nagging participants virtually non-stop to submit topside photos, and it has finally paid off. The only bummer about having so many photos is that at current upload speeds, it's going to take me a long, long time to get them all online. Hey, Palau! Get fiber to your island already!
Yesterday was an academic break for participants and staff alike; most boats did two dives plus a trip to Jellyfish Lake, followed by either a night dive or leisurely dinner in "downtown" Koror. And speaking of Jellyfish Lake, it was absolutely off the scale when we (on Silvertip) arrived there in the mid-afternoon. The shadows had already started creeping out into the middle of the lake, driving the jellyfish en masse into the center. In fact, the Mastigias sp. were so thick that snorkelers only a couple of feet apart might be completely obscured from each other's sight! Incredible, incredible experience. I didn't want to leave, and by the end of our time there, the few of us who were left had the lake all to ourselves (well, if you don't count the 15 million jellies pulsing around us).
By all reports, Blue Corner has been "going off" as well, with strong current driving jacks and barracuda into swirling vortices and bringing circling sharks into photographic range. Jim Watt has been somehow hitting Blue Corner nearly every day, and he has nailed some really impressive photos of eagle rays.
After tomorrow, all of the staff will have finally been given the opportunity to dive with all of the participants. There is a great deal of boat bonding going on, and in fact, I can't imagine a better way to bond with someone than by hanging off of a reef hook (which actually saves the reef rather than damages it) in a three-knot current at Blue Corner.
Selected Underwater Photos by Participants
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