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The Emerald Paradise


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#1 Rud-gr

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:53 AM

Jacques Cousteau called it the best coldwater diving destination in the world and so far I haven't been able to prove him wrong. Halfway through the impressive westcoast of Vancouver Island you'll find the Barkley Sound Google Earth], a haven filled with whales, orcas, seals, sealions, eagles, bears and an amazing array of underwater life.

After a first visit, about three years ago, I was able to enjoy another week there. And even though the weather wasn't as nice as then, the scenes under water more than made up for it.

I haven't seen many photo-stories posted here, hope that is OK in this forum. Also I uploaded some extra shots from above the wet zone. A visit to this place is so much more than just diving. And "this place" being a quite unique diving lodge... Many thanks go out to Peter for his patient modelling and Kathy for her unbelieveable cookies and above all their incredible hospitality.

Used equipment: Canon EOS20D, Canon 15mm f2.8, Canon EF 100mm f2.8, 550EX Flitser (diffuser broke, really annoying!) and UK-Germany casing for flash and camera.


01.
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Leaving Port Alberni on our way to the very unique divelodge of Rendezvous Diving. The lodge is only accesable by boat and even with a fast one that will take at least 1,5 hours. Fortunately there's more than enough to see on the way, you won't get bored.

02.
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The Rendezvous Lodge, an incredibly built house in the middle of nowhere. The only building around is a hardly visible small wouden house at the other side of the bay. Two years ago you could almost touch the Humpback Whales from the jetty, they were that close! This truly is paradise. the lodge on Google Earth

03.
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The place is nudibranche-heaven, we saw so many every dive but still enjoyed photographing and videoing them. Nice Opalescent one on a piece of rusting metal.

04
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There's just so many Anemones around in so many colors it sometimes looks like you're in the tropics. Detail of a Fish-eating Anemone (I think...).

05.
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Backlight shot (Peter kindly offered his video light for this) of a Giant Plumose Anemone, to be found here in incredible numbers and size.

06.
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The Hong Kong Express was captured by the Coast Guard having illegal immigrants on board. It was sunk (without the immigrants) together with two other ships. One got lost (!!!), one came down to deep but this one turned out to be a perfect diving wreck. Covered with tons of life and the green water gives it this spectacularly weird feeling. No flash used to get more atmosphere out of the water colour. Used 400ISO for the still kind of low-light circumstances.

07.
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More Hong Kong Express.

08.
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A little higher up on the wreck.

09.
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And the highest part, the bow. Already quite mucky (there was a big layer above us blocking light).

10.
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A broken diffuser kind of killed the exposure on this one but the little crab still gives it a nice touch.

11.

Detail of a massive Puget Sound King Crab (20 inches for the body alone), can you find the eyes?

12.

Shot of one of the gazillion Hummingbirds that are buzzing around. Took a while to get this shot (a feeder helps!) and had to crop it quite a bit (it's 25% of a portrait shot) but then you end up with a nice one. (1/800, f2.8 at 800ISO).

13.

One moment you're shooting a Hummingbird, the next moment a young Black Bear is checking out what the heck you're doing while he's having lunch.

14.

The porch with the heavenly hottub (with view) just hidden around the corner. Nope, cold water diving isn't a bad thing at all.

15.

El Captain!

16.
http://www.rud-gr.net/duiken/2007/wetpixel-barkley/14.jpg
The lodge is located in the far back, just to give a sense of the surroundings.

17.
http://www.rud-gr.net/duiken/2007/wetpixel-barkley/15.jpg
Zoanthids.

18.
http://www.rud-gr.net/duiken/2007/wetpixel-barkley/16.jpg
A Canary Rockfish kind enough to pose for me.

19.
http://www.rud-gr.net/duiken/2007/wetpixel-barkley/19.jpg
This must be one of the weirdest fish around, the Grunt Sculpin. Spotted the day before. We started looking for it again, this time equipped with a macro lens. We'd about given up hope of finding it when Peter saw it in the corner of his eye and around the same place we saw it the day before. Fortunately they don't get very far, crawling around on their fins like this.

20.
http://www.rud-gr.net/duiken/2007/wetpixel-barkley/20.jpg
A Rock Scallops' blue eyes.

Edited by Rud-gr, 21 June 2007 - 12:52 AM.

Rutger Geerling
Rudgr.com (Facebook, Instagram)
EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.
Canon EOS 5D + UK-Germany Housing & 2x Inon Z240 strobes.

#2 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 04:32 AM

Beautiful pictures, I never knew green water could look so good.
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#3 kcf955

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:19 PM

Thanks for the cold water report! Youv'e got some fantastic images. The Grunt sculpin is my favorite of the bunch. Good catch on the humming bird shot!

Cheers, Keith

#4 scubamarli

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 05:42 PM

Great to see some Rendezvous stuff. I've just booked to go back after many years. It's not the visual impact sort of diving you get in Port Hardy; (that's where Jacques what talking about), but it has different stuff, including things you only see in California on an El Nino year. I'm so pleased the new operation is working well. Dave and Renate ran a legendary operation, and we locals have been holding our breath a little in hopes that it would work out well. I look forward to diving Renate's Reef next spring.

Cheers,
Marli
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#5 Rud-gr

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 01:13 PM

(that's where Jacques what talking about)


Ah, that's good to know as I had trouble finding the quote anywhere (I don't even know where I got it from in the first place).

You'll love the way Peter and Kathy are handling the place and their attitude (and food :) ) is just amazing. It's seriously by far my favorite place to dive anywhere. Seems I have a photoshoot coming up for Vancouver so with a little luck I'll be diving there soon again! B)
Rutger Geerling
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EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.
Canon EOS 5D + UK-Germany Housing & 2x Inon Z240 strobes.

#6 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:10 PM

I also think these will bring back happy memories...

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Click on the images to see a 3D panoramic view.
You need to have Quicktime installed!
Rutger Geerling
Rudgr.com (Facebook, Instagram)
EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.
Canon EOS 5D + UK-Germany Housing & 2x Inon Z240 strobes.

#7 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:22 AM

And look what they ran into now!!!!

Humpback Whale Eye to Eye
Rutger Geerling
Rudgr.com (Facebook, Instagram)
EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.
Canon EOS 5D + UK-Germany Housing & 2x Inon Z240 strobes.