Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

St. Croix


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 07 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

I'm down on St. Croix for a family vacation and some diving. I don't currently have an underwater camera, but someone was nice enough to lend me an Oly 8080 + Ikelite Housing + 2 x DS-125s.

Marjo lives down here, and was kind enough to take me diving today ... we had a great day. We did two dives ... both shore dives. First was in Cane Bay where we did a shore dive on a wall just off-shore. The dive shop was right on the beach and we walked right in. After a bit of a swim, we descended. It was my first dive in almost a year and I left the camera topside to get used to the water again. It took about 10 seconds. Marjo's sync cord wasn't working so I don't think there are any images from this dive ... Visibility was ok, but not great and there weren't any big animals about. I can see how this would be a great dive with a bit more viz.

After a quick trip through the rain forest, a visit with a local wise-man who collects junk and a fruit smoothie at the rain forest smoothie stand, we made it to the Fredericksted Pier. We got the local critter report indicating a big, yellow frogfish was in the hood and seahorse and batfish were out and about. We grabbed our gear and walked down the pier. I jumped in (about 10 feet down) and Marjo handed me the cameras and then jumped in, too. We swam to one of the old pylons from the old pier to look for the frogfish. Alas, we couldn't find it ... so we headed to the new pier to look for the seahorse. Near the end of the pier, we did indeed see a very large, yellow seahorse.

The pier was a cool dive. We were under for about 70 minutes. I brought the Oly and tried to figure it out ... it takes nice images, but the AF is slow and it takes 10 seconds to write a RAW file. Nevertheless, I managed to get a couple decent shots. I'll be here all week, so stay tuned ... unfortunately, I got no images of the seahorse. I had fouled up the settings by that point to try for a cool wide angle shot and couldn't get them back to what I needed for the seahorse when the time came. Oh well. Next time.

Thank you, Marjo!!!!

Here's a few from the pier:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#2 cor

cor

    The Hacker

  • Admin
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:22 AM

Isnt St Croix great :P We live there during the winter, so if anyone is ever there during that time you'll have 3 guides :)
Cor Bosman - Nikon D2X Subal ND2 - Nikon D7000 Subal ND7000
website | tripreports/journal | facebook | wetpixel map | twitter


#3 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

Isnt St Croix great :P We live there during the winter, so if anyone is ever there during that time you'll have 3 guides :)

Was your prize-winning Christmas tree worm shot taken here? Seems to be more variety of them here than I've seen anywhere else.

Today was another fun day ... didn't take the camera, but saw a nice variety of critters again today - 4 big seahorse, 4 octopus (one fully out and about .. maybe because the skies were dark, dunno), tons of different little crab and shrimp, several "dice" fish of various sizes, a TINY moray ... another GREAT critter dive on the pier.
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#4 cor

cor

    The Hacker

  • Admin
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:33 AM

The pier is awesome, especially at night. But even Cane Bay at night brings out cool stuff. During the day we never see nudibranchs, but at night you can find them.

The christmas tree shot wasnt taken there, but ive done a lot of practicing there :P Once you've seen it all you find different things to photograph.

A tip.. mating hamlets at sunset. You go to Cane Bay, and about 30 minutes before sunset enter the water, then dive along the wall towards the west, between the training buoy and the big buoy at about 50-60 feet. You'll find pairs of hamlets.
Cor Bosman - Nikon D2X Subal ND2 - Nikon D7000 Subal ND7000
website | tripreports/journal | facebook | wetpixel map | twitter


#5 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 08 June 2009 - 06:45 PM

Cool Jeremy... glad you found more,seahorses especially as the one yesterday was a little uncooperative! Though I thought were doing the wrecks today...? I would much rather been out there diving with you today than locked up in the IT dungeon... (ok not complaining, its a pretty cool place to work, but diving still beats the office anyday)

Actually we found TWO seahorses yesterday:

This one
Posted Image

and this one
Posted Image :P
(this was when my sync cord died)

Tomorrow you get to dive with my favorite dive buddy and critter spotter extraordinaire, Doreen. She is also an excellent and very patient model by the way!

#6 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:37 AM

Too funny ... I almost forgot about the carousel horse! Glad there was enough light to pull that off without strobes.

Today was AWESOME. The visibility was MUCH improved, N2Blue was great and Doreen was a terrific buddy. We did Alien Nation and Swirling Blue Reef of Death. There were tons of things to see ... especially spotted drum ... from the teensiest baby to a nearly full grown adult and everything in between. We probably saw 6 in total. There was also a fun encounter with a couple of squid ... I had the camera setup for a 5 inch focus, and Derek, Doreen and I had a lot of fun trying to wrangle the squid into position for a macro shot, but somehow they seemed a bit quicker than us ... :P

Doreen and I are gonna dive again on Thursday and Friday with N2Blue.

I'll post a couple of pics from today in a bit.

P.S.

Though I thought were doing the wrecks today...?

We did ... on the first dive of the day; the second was on the pier from the boat. And of course there was a Frogfish on the deck of one of the ships that I missed ... but I missed it for a good reason: I followed the dive plan!

Edited by jeremypayne, 09 June 2009 - 11:15 AM.

Jeremy Payne
My Website

#7 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:52 AM

I've decided this is the "square aspect christmas tree worm" trip ...

The Oly 8080 is a great camera, but I'm struggling with focus underwater. I've taken to setting it on super macro with a manual focus of 4-6 inches ... which makes it the perfect christmas tree worm setup.

Here's some from today:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#8 cor

cor

    The Hacker

  • Admin
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:00 PM

Hi Jeremy, say hi to Derek and Annemarie from Julie and me :P
Cor Bosman - Nikon D2X Subal ND2 - Nikon D7000 Subal ND7000
website | tripreports/journal | facebook | wetpixel map | twitter


#9 Timmoranuk

Timmoranuk

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1168 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near NDAC, South Wales
  • Interests:Technical diving; open circuit and rebreather, U/W photography, topside photography, travel, aviation and sailing.

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:02 PM

Hey Jeremy, nicely done with the unfamiliar Olli... So where's the G9 and UCL's? Have a nice trip, Tim
· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#10 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:04 PM

Actually we found TWO seahorses yesterday


I've got hit the pier one more time so I can get a seahorse shot. I got nothing on Sunday. I fouled up the macro setup trying to do a (failed) wide shot of a big sponge on the pylon and couldn't revert.

Maybe Doreen will do a pier dive with me after the boat dives on Thursday or Friday ...
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#11 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:12 PM

Hi Jeremy, say hi to Derek and Annemarie from Julie and me :P

I dove with Derek today and he sends his regards. Annemarie is on her way back from Holland ... I may see her Thursday or Friday.

He told me about one time when you guys found a pigmy seahorse on the mooring line that was basically microscopic ...

I like diving with him a lot! Big thumbs up for N2Blue on St. Croix.
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#12 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:23 PM

Hey Jeremy, nicely done with the unfamiliar Olli... So where's the G9 and UCL's? Have a nice trip, Tim

Thanks! I sold the entire G9 setup this year as I decided I was gonna house my D700 (or get a G10) ... and then I lost my job ... :P

I'll hopefully buy something soon once I'm gainfully employed again .... I've been using DS-125s down here and I'm thinking I'd like to get an Ikelite D700 housing and twin DS-160s. I'm enjoying using TTL flash control on macro shots .... if I'm feeling rich, I'll go Sea & Sea with twin Z240s.
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#13 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2854 posts

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:28 PM

I'll hopefully buy something soon once I'm gainfully employed again .... I've been using DS-125s down here and I'm thinking I'd like to get an Ikelite D700 housing and twin DS-160s. .


FWIW Nikon cameras can TTL with Ike strobes in other housings with the proper connections, an advantage of Nikon over Canon :P

http://ikelite.com/w...tl_adapter.html

#14 cor

cor

    The Hacker

  • Admin
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:18 PM

I dove with Derek today and he sends his regards. Annemarie is on her way back from Holland ... I may see her Thursday or Friday.

He told me about one time when you guys found a pigmy seahorse on the mooring line that was basically microscopic ...

I like diving with him a lot! Big thumbs up for N2Blue on St. Croix.


Julie actually has an image from that seahorse online :P It's obviously not a pygmy, just a very small baby sea horse. Although you cant tell from this picture:

Posted Image
Cor Bosman - Nikon D2X Subal ND2 - Nikon D7000 Subal ND7000
website | tripreports/journal | facebook | wetpixel map | twitter


#15 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:44 PM

Ha, ha yeah I hope you get to go to pier with Doreen, she is the critter queen, I see more frogfish and seahorses on dives with her than I see when I am REALLY looking myself! Like Derek said, she should be consulting the DM's. (Tho the truth is that she is so concerned about the wellbeing of her critter friends that getting her "STX critter whereabout report" is a bit of a special deal).

Cor, that is a super cute little seahorse! So cool! I've seen "pregnant" seahorses here, but never actually any juveniles. Way cool shot!

#16 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:10 PM

Cor ... Wow ... nice!!

Here's one of the few non-Christmas tree shots I took today ... not the greatest eel shot, but he was in quite the awkward spot. I saw a baby one of these yesterday that was TINY.

Posted Image
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#17 dweekley

dweekley

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:33 AM

Hi all, I had to log in to follow Jeremy's picture posts from here in STX. I generally don't post (as you can see) but Jeremy and Marjo were being so kind I had to say thanks. LOVE the photos so keep them coming - hopefully there will be more to come this week.

Glad you had a good time Jeremy but where is the turtle eye photo?? - LOL. Doesn't it just figure that with your super macro lens setup we'd get a turtle to almost kiss you.

I'd be up for a pier dive if you have the time either Thur or Fri. If we're lucky some of our favorite creatures will be in their favorite hiding spots. MARJO, wish you could join us, call if you find you're coming down with a little dive fever and need to leave work early!

#18 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 10 June 2009 - 10:17 AM

Hi all, I had to log in to follow Jeremy's picture posts from here in STX. I generally don't post (as you can see) but Jeremy and Marjo were being so kind I had to say thanks. LOVE the photos so keep them coming - hopefully there will be more to come this week.

Glad you had a good time Jeremy but where is the turtle eye photo?? - LOL. Doesn't it just figure that with your super macro lens setup we'd get a turtle to almost kiss you.

I'd be up for a pier dive if you have the time either Thur or Fri. If we're lucky some of our favorite creatures will be in their favorite hiding spots. MARJO, wish you could join us, call if you find you're coming down with a little dive fever and need to leave work early!


Hi Doreen! Unfortunately, the camera's 'premature actuation' issue (it has a HAIR trigger) and the 12 second write time totally fouled up that turtle opportunity ... I got two completely out of focus and poorly framed shots ... I thought the first one I was trying to take might have worked by sheer luck, but it didn't. My hat goes off to all the Oly 8080 shooters out there. I've seen some great shots from that camera and now I know what went into achieving them.

Given how quickly we got back from the boat dives yesterday, I think a pier dive after the boat dives sounds like great idea. Tomorrow would be good.

I'm not diving today, but the ocean looks even calmer and clearer than yesterday - hope that lasts for a while. I had some great snorkeling this am with my son ... we saw two juvenile spotted drums, a kind of trunk fish I've never seen before with orange rings around the eyes and a really cute barracuda about 10 inches long ... When he saw it, he said: "What's that one?" I said: "A baby barracuda" ... at which point he laughed and said: "I thought they were fierce!" ... to which I replied: "Only if you are a little fish" ... and he laughed again.

Marjo ... I think you were looking a little pale yesterday, are you sure you aren't coming down with something? Are there any mysterious tropical illnesses that are cured by sipping air from a tank under pressure? :P
Jeremy Payne
My Website

#19 Marjo

Marjo

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:St. Croix USVI
  • Interests:Conservation photography, climate change resilience, species and habitat conservation

Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:08 PM

Oh yes I really think I am coming down with that tropical crud that can only be cured by a nitrogen fix! Yeah... but I don't think my boss will fall for it, he's a pretty sharp dude (Doreen will agree) and unfortunately I am all tangled up wrestling with the IT gremlins and probably will be doing so for the next few night trying to get the resort all prepared for my prolonged absence a week and 3 days from now. Glad to hear you got some snorkel time in with your son today Jeremy, lookes like really calm seas today! It is kind of torture to sit here in my office looking out over the perfectly glassy ocean wishing I was in the water rather than behind the desk... I'll try to catch up with you "post dive". So glad you are getting in some bottom time on our awesome "secret" reefs!

#20 jeremypayne

jeremypayne

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1199 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:49 PM

Today, I left the camera behind for the boat dives in the morning saving the batteries for a pier dive afterward ... went looking for frogfish and seahorses with Doreen.

We did find a small, black frogfish ... but he was in like 2 feet of water and the current made a photograph impossible ... too bad - he was cute.

I did get a couple decent shots of some seahorse:

Posted Image

Posted Image

One more day of diving tomorrow, then back to Babylon ...
Jeremy Payne
My Website