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Wetpixel/JASA Sharks & Dolphins July 2010


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#21 MikeVeitch

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:42 AM

great reports Alex and some fine photos.. Can't believe the heineken didn't get drunk the first time it fell out of the fridge :)

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#22 cor

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 05:07 AM

Awesome trip report Alex. Say hi to Frank from Julie and myself :)
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#23 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 05:22 AM

So I guess I should add some concluding comments on the big talking point of the week - Jim not being on board. Although nobody has asked here - my inbox has three emails from Shear Water veterans, all with the questions along the lines of "what was it like without Jimmy?"

Posted Image

The trip is definitely poorer without Jim. His passion and enthusiasm for sharks is incredibly infectious and his stories about those who have been on board and their adventures are always fascinating and fun to hear. The enjoyment of Shear Water trips are not just the in-water time. Although he certainly has an ability to make things happen underwater. Dives with Jim are always action packed. That is not to say the dives this week, were not. Those who have dived with Jim will know what I mean.

There aren't really any advantages to him not being aboard. Apart from jokes about scary movies, butter, more space for cameras etc! Being on a liveaboard for most of the year - is a tough life - and I am very happy for Jim that he is able to have a break.

I guess the main issue was the group (myself included) didn't know Jim wouldn't be on board until we arrived at the Dive Shop. So it was an immediate let down for the group and not the best start. Made worse because I had sent round an email at the beginning of the week, to get the group in the mood, listing many of the things Jim brings to the adventure.

Every magazine write up I have seen on the JASA trips has always featured Jim as the star alongside the sharks. So it is certainly a disappointment for those who were on their first trip not to have him there. Those of us who have been on trips with Jim before (5 of the 9) actually really enjoyed the differences. And I would certainly be happy to go on another non-Jim charter (although selfishly I'd prefer him there).

In conclusion, I think it would be good to tell groups ahead of time if Jim isn't going. One of the group suggested offering a slightly preferential rate, I'm not sure about this?

Alex

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#24 MIKE POWELL

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:23 AM

Hey Alex,

Is that Jim in the dolphin pic and what is that between his legs...a scooter?

I've been on two Shear Water trips with Jim and I can see where some excitement could be a lost along with the great stories...I for one could do without his underwater verbal abuse and body slams when I couldn't move "the line" fast enough or spin my head 360 every second, but what the hell that would take all the fun out of the trip...right!?

I've also been on two trips aboard the Dolphin Dream which is much roomier and more laid back....oh and open bar! Probably not as many opportunities to see numerous Tigers in a single dive as they don't use as much bait as Jim the Tiger trainer, but I dig the laid back diving....give them a try one day.

Great pics by the way!

Mike

So I guess I should add some concluding comments on the big talking point of the week - Jim not being on board. Although nobody has asked here - my inbox has three emails from Shear Water veterans, all with the questions along the lines of "what was it like without Jimmy?"

Posted Image

The trip is definitely poorer without Jim. His passion and enthusiasm for sharks is incredibly infectious and his stories about those who have been on board and their adventures are always fascinating and fun to hear. The enjoyment of Shear Water trips are not just the in-water time. Although he certainly has an ability to make things happen underwater. Dives with Jim are always action packed. That is not to say the dives this week, were not. Those who have dived with Jim will know what I mean.

There aren't really any advantages to him not being aboard. Apart from jokes about scary movies, butter, more space for cameras etc! Being on a liveaboard for most of the year - is a tough life - and I am very happy for Jim that he is able to have a break.

I guess the main issue was the group (myself included) didn't know Jim wouldn't be on board until we arrived at the Dive Shop. So it was an immediate let down for the group and not the best start. Made worse because I had sent round an email at the beginning of the week, to get the group in the mood, listing many of the things Jim brings to the adventure.

Every magazine write up I have seen on the JASA trips has always featured Jim as the star alongside the sharks. So it is certainly a disappointment for those who were on their first trip not to have him there. Those of us who have been on trips with Jim before (5 of the 9) actually really enjoyed the differences. And I would certainly be happy to go on another non-Jim charter (although selfishly I'd prefer him there).

In conclusion, I think it would be good to tell groups ahead of time if Jim isn't going. One of the group suggested offering a slightly preferential rate, I'm not sure about this?

Alex


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#25 cor

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:38 AM

I agree with Alex it would be better to let trip organizers know if a significant element of the trip isnt there. I would be really disappointed if Jim wasn't there. Part of the fun of that trip is Jim. Then at least the organizer can manage expectations.
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#26 Simon Rogerson

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:11 AM

There's a coincidence. While you guys were enjoying a JASA trip I was giving a JASA talk at BSoUP. I understand your team's disappointment that Jim himself wasn't there, but from my experience all JASA dive team are a pretty dedicated crew. Regarding the question of whether trips sans Jim should be discounted, you might equally argue that trips with Jim could be subject to (heaven forbid) additional charge! I think the key point is that you're diving the sites that Jim has fostered/discovered. There's nothing else like it in the world.

From the photographs, it looks like you had a great time. Shame you didn't get the breaching tigers, so please excuse me if I cannot resist showing off mine, plus a cover shot taken at Cover Shot. Site lives up to its name!

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D001_Cover_DEC09.jpg

_DSC0243.jpg

_DSC0181a.jpg

Edited by Simon Rogerson, 27 July 2010 - 07:15 AM.


#27 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:34 AM

Nice pix, Simon. Yep - that is what we were hoping for.

Typically timing with your BSoUP talk - when there were 5 Brits on Shear Water that week! Hope it went well.

Alex

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#28 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:54 AM

It was a great talk, made me start saving my pennies, oh and your photos have done the same!
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#29 Scubysnaps

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:29 AM

Aweome awesome awesome!
Cheers
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#30 Tjsnapper

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:14 AM

Hi Alex, well, there are some fantastic shots from the trip. This post coupled with a fascinating talk from Simon at BSoUP last week has convinced me I need to get on the Shearwater!! :)
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#31 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:21 AM

there are some fantastic shots from the trip.


It should be on everyone's list, Tristan. It is certainly one of THE experiences in diving. I have not shared any of my best images yet - only two here (lemon silhouette and lemon on reef would be in my top 100 from the trip).

I hope I'll be running the same trip again for Wetpixel next July.

Alex

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#32 MikeVeitch

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:29 AM

its def on the top of my list if i ever make it to that side of the world

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#33 davichin

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:34 AM

It´s always a pleasure to read your trip reports but in this case, since I was there some three months ago, it was even more enjoyable. As always great pictures and I don´t want to imagine the ones you keep for your limited access web!

Regarding Jim, he was in my trip and is one of those persons you end up "loving" with just one week of lifesharing. His style of guiding pushing your limit as much as you want (as long as his rules are followed) is something I really enjoyed as I wanted "heat" and, in the end, we had some hot monster chaos :) ,but there where some divers that preferred somewhat more relaxed diving and chose to go in the other guide´s group. All this to say that the operation is a success with or without Jim and I will repeat the trip anyway, but I would to have Jim with us!

That´s me with a good old tiger :(

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#34 yahsemtough

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:18 AM

Posted Image

Posted Image


Cheers

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#35 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:30 AM

This isn't shark baiting. This is photographer baiting!

Alex

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#36 Simon Rogerson

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:15 PM

In for a penny...
night_dolphin__Bahamas.JPG

#37 echeng

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:13 PM

I should take some of the responsibility of not knowing that Jim wouldn't be able to be on the trip -- I just assumed that he would be! Having said that, I knew that Jim would be in Isla Mujeres around now, and just didn't put the two together. I agree -- JASA should tell people whether Jim will or will not be on the boat before hand. We were not explicitly told.

It does seem like you had a fantastic time anyway -- the images certainly look fantastic! Thanks for a great trip report.
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#38 sterlingz

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:30 PM

Great images and report Alex! Sounds like a wonderful trip, even sans Jimmy.

I cannot agree with you more about the Zen 230 - I am in love with this dome. It helped bring me back into the Subal fold! Just had the chance to run it for 9 days in Cocos, and it was terrific with the Canon 17-40.

#39 rabbit fish

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 07:09 PM

Cool report Alex!
I really enjoyed this one even without Jim, the “shark whisperer”.
The crew did a good job keeping everyone happy given the unusual summertime rain, winds and swell...and we had a good group of divers. The food was also quite tasty and with the help of Ed’s new outside camera table and the absence of Jim’s camera shop we actually had comfortable space for everyones gear!
It is nice to be home and sleep without getting tossed out of bed... and enjoy the use of some truly clean towels :)
The pics will take a while but here are a few favorites so far.
One of the dolphin pods we ran into was really excited (physically!). The bottlenose bulls were just unrelentless. Fortunately, dolphins are smart and don’t molest humans otherwise I would have been...
Will post a gallery when the edit process is complete.
Cheers,

Frank

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#40 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:33 AM

Really top shots, Frank. Really looking forward to seeing the rest - I know there are some very special shots not yet released!

Love that late evening lemon. And you've got some great formations with multiple dolphins - very nice. We had an interesting debate on board about the advantages and disadvantages of using a mini-dome for dolphin shots with the 10-17mm. On DX/APS-C cameras it gives good results - OK, the corners (particularly the surface, at the top of the frame) are not perfect, but in blue water is it that critical. But they are fine. The mini-domes allow you to swim much faster and get in better positions, which is perhaps more important.

Here is a photo Frank took of me with the same dolphin group:
frank1.jpg

Alex

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