Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Dennis the friendly Dugong


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.

Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:31 PM

Posted Image

Knowing there is something to fotograph but not being able to find it sort of frustrating, especially when underwater and being limited by an annoying but finite thing as an air supply.

Try imagining an area as large as a couple of football fields of underwater seagrass and an underwater visibility of about 20 meters/60 feet and you'll understand it's not easy to find a specific living animal, even it has the size of about two human beings.

The "thing" I am talking about is "Dennis", the famous resident seacow (or Dugong, it's one of the three members of the Manatee family) of the Abu Dabbab bay near Port Ghalib in the Marsa Alam region of Egypt.

Seeing these pictures you've probably guessed we found it but it took us two full-hour dives to actually spot it. Sure, we did come across plenty of huge and approacheable Turtles and a couple of large Stingrays but imagine being a the last stage of your dive (it's that limited air supply) and spotting an enormous dustcloud underwater, the number one Dugong signature... but no Dennis to match it.
Turned out it was right above us and while we were getting highly frustrated not seeing it, he was just getting a breath of fresh air. Our paths finally crossed when we decided to go up and finish the dive while he was going down to continue vacuuming the seafloor.

We squeezed a few last minutes at our ample air supply... enjoy the results!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Images taken with a Canon Eos 20D, 15mm f2.8 fisheye and an UK-Germany Housing

Edited by Rud-gr, 28 March 2008 - 11:32 PM.

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 MikeVeitch

MikeVeitch

    1.7kbps Manta Boy

  • Senior Moderator
  • 6183 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In Bali, Indonesia but from Vancouver, BC
  • Interests:Teaching Underwater Photography

Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:33 AM

cool! i would love to see a dugong..

Join us for an Underwater Photography Workshop in Ambon March 2015
Blog and Photo Archive/Portfolio Site www.mikeveitchblog.com
Learn underwater photography in Indonesia or Join me on a trip www.underwatertribe.com


#3 zook

zook

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 87 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Budapest, Hungary

Posted 29 March 2008 - 05:09 AM

lucky lucky you! I was in Shagra twice, spent 4-5 dives in Abu Dabbab but did not find the guy. Maybe if I look more carefully I can spot the small inflator on it :lol:

nice pictures, specially the first one, congrats.

zook
visit my flickr page
www.csabatokolyi.com
Nikon D300s in Subal ND300s, Ikelite DS-125 x2, Nikkor 18-70, 60, 105VR, Tokina 10-17, ULCS arms

#4 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.

Posted 29 March 2008 - 07:21 AM

The first one was everybody's favorite I think. I was so happy when I got that shot right. It was cool having some newly-met Portugese friends helping out. Als you can see me taking the picture in his video, really funny!

Out of 50+ divers we were the only three able to find it and that almost didn't happen either... All of us came out with tanks with less than 30bars... :lol: but, we'd already done our safetystops and were in 6 meter/18 feet of water.

Edited by Rud-gr, 29 March 2008 - 07:22 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.

#5 ce4jesus

ce4jesus

    Giant Squid

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1639 posts
  • Location:Aurora Colorado
  • Interests:Anything Ocean (How'd I end up in Colorado?)<br /><br />A Christian Marine Conservationist?

Posted 29 March 2008 - 09:10 AM

I like the first one the best and the last one, but they're all very nice. Great job

Edited by ce4jesus, 29 March 2008 - 09:10 AM.

Gary
Olympus E-520, TLC arms, Inon Z-240s, 50mm, 14-42mm woody's diopter

#6 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.

Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:58 AM

I now see that I maybe was a little too enthuastic with the red in the last one. :lol:
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 kriptap

kriptap

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Location:Grand Cayman::Cayman Islands

Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:45 PM

They really are weired creatures, great photos, especially the first one.

#8 seagrant

seagrant

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Clearwater, Florida
  • Interests:http://www.oceangrant.com

Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:33 PM

I love Dennis!!!

Why is he named Dennis, do you know?

Very nice photos, I've never seen a dugong so you are very lucky. It seems as if they are just as captivating as our beloved manatee :lol: - thanks so much for posting!!!!

Very Best, Carol

http://www.oceangrant.com
Facebook-Oceangrant

Twitter-Oceangrant

d300/Subal/ULCS/Sea & Sea 110s/16;12-24;60;105vr;Tokina 10-17


#9 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.

Posted 31 March 2008 - 12:38 AM

Not a clue why he's called Dennis, it's a nice name though and good to know he's a he... :lol:

They are closely related to the Floriada Manatee if I'm not mistaken. The big difference as far as I could see is the split tail from the Dugon...

Wikipedia has more

Edited by Rud-gr, 31 March 2008 - 12:41 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.

#10 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:51 AM

Great pics there.
What a beauty.... :lol:
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#11 seagrant

seagrant

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Clearwater, Florida
  • Interests:http://www.oceangrant.com

Posted 31 March 2008 - 08:17 AM

Not a clue why he's called Dennis, it's a nice name though and good to know he's a he... ;)

They are closely related to the Floriada Manatee if I'm not mistaken. The big difference as far as I could see is the split tail from the Dugon...

Wikipedia has more


Funny but if Dennis's, well lets say his "he" anatomy is near where the male manatee's is located - well one of those sharksucker/remora is awfully close........ :lol:

Yes they are "sirens (sirenia)" like the manatee and just as endearing. As you said there are differences, their "dolphin-like" tail is amazing as is the fact they don't have "fingernails" on their flippers like the manatee do?

Did Dennis scratch much or just feed? There skin seems smoother than the manatee's and I wonder if they even need to scratch on tree limbs, rocks, etc. as much as the manatee does?

Lots of interesting questions - your photos are wonderful, thanks!

Very best, Carol

http://www.oceangrant.com
Facebook-Oceangrant

Twitter-Oceangrant

d300/Subal/ULCS/Sea & Sea 110s/16;12-24;60;105vr;Tokina 10-17


#12 Rud-gr

Rud-gr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:EDM, travel, scuba and wintersports photographer & Journalist. Works for cool clients like National Geographic, Bacardi-Martini, Heineken, Q-dance, UMF & ID&T.

Posted 31 March 2008 - 12:49 PM

As with the turtles in this area, they are incredibly clean due to the many large remorras around. The funny thing is that when we saw the enroumous dustcloud among the grass there were about 5 of these big remorras swimming around aimlessly. We even found a few deserted ones during our hour long swimsearch. So, I guess there's not much need to scratch!

These photo's were taken at the ras Muhammed bay near Port Ghalib, about half an hours drive from the Abu Dabbab area. Cleanest turtles I have ever seen! By the way, the many turtles at Abu Dabbab are about as clean as these too.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
This one was seriously huge, I estimate about 1.5 meter/5 feet from fin to head. There were three of these gigantic ones an about 5-6 of the "smaller" ones. Not bad for just one dive!

Edited by Rud-gr, 31 March 2008 - 12:58 PM.

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.

#13 jasman

jasman

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Location:Virgina/Egypt

Posted 03 April 2008 - 09:05 AM

The trick to finding "Dennis" is to watch the surface and wait for the ripples (if it is flat) when he comes up to breath. This will give you a general location to look for him.

Jason

#14 Joel Machado

Joel Machado

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 20 posts
  • Location:Benedita - Portugal

Posted 03 April 2008 - 01:17 PM

I was the lucky man on the first photo.
I'm editing the HD videos of that day...
I'll show you the film soon...

#15 dzwiad

dzwiad

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Poland

Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:03 PM

It took us 2 saffaris finishing in Abu dabab to finaly see the Denis.
But not many know that there is another dive site nearby in direction of Port Ghalib with another Dugong probably the female everyone was talking about last time I've been there :))
betweenblue.com