Jump to content


Member Since 29 Aug 2003
Offline Last Active May 23 2018 05:03 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Macro Dive in Tulamben-Bali : where Dive Guide can make the difference .

19 April 2018 - 06:04 AM


And  apologize  :mocking:  :mocking:   for  unecessary advertising  about Ajiex ability   ( he really doesn’t need ! )   ….. but  I hope  we  will have  always  a  priority line  in booking him  (   anyway  I already booked  him for  August 2019 ,  just to be conservative :lol2:  :lol2:  :lol2:  !! ) .



I see you have appropriately covered your backsides...  :laugh: ... so have I ! will be in T'ben diving with him early september, but this year  :innocent: ( trying Kalimaya on Sumbawa beforehand).

In Topic: Macro Dive in Tulamben-Bali : where Dive Guide can make the difference .

18 April 2018 - 05:54 AM

Hi Paolo

Very nice images, thanks for inspiring me with the RRM technique.

I pushed the vice to adding  a 21mm extension ring to a reversed 15-85mm and that is what you get with a hairy shrimp.




However let's keep our favorite dive guide Ajiex for ourselves and avoid spreading the word too much at the risk we won't be able to book him anymore.

Out of joke, Ajiex is also carrying snooting / multicolor light workshops with multi prize winners Lilian Koh and Mike Bartick.

In Topic: South Pacific diving recommendations needed

02 April 2018 - 06:06 AM

PNG i thought about it but didn't include it because i can picture myself living in South East Asia for some time in my life, and then it will be in easy reach. I am really looking to try one of those far-away destinations which would be tough to do when i am back in Europe or still far from central APAC.



I think you're confusing PNG with West Papua.

PNG is really a PITA to go from Europe, it's the epitome of far flung destination, believe me! That is why it is not so developped and you won't read much in european boards.

OTOH It takes two hours from Oz with a low cost carrier while you can't fly from anywhere else (except Manila) with another carrier than AirNiugini, which is considered like the most expensive carrier in the world.

Just to give you a hint from Europe, last year I flew Paris-HongKong, then HongKong Manila, overnighted in Manila, flew Manila Port Moresby, overnighted in POM, then flew domestic to Alotau. Compared to, flying to other places in SoPac is a breeze since it's almost direct or easily connecting like Fiji, NC, FP, etc.

I strongly urge you to go to PNG while you're based in Oz.


Maybe your Papeete experience is why you're not keen on French Polynesia - all the divers i know who've been there were soooo happy.


Well, if you read between the lines of some reports you will also find that FP is not very high on biodiversity. It's a bit like Maldives even more accentuated, and I 'm not a fan of Maldives either.

Add on top überexpensive life style, french inexperience for tourism and big resorts for american tourists.


 I am interested to know about B.A.D: in the way they operate, what would you say impresses people who are against shark feeding?



Sharks are heavy in Beqa Lagoon since killing/hunting sharks is taboo in Fijian culture (it's one of their sea gods with octopii), so all kinds have been prosperous around.

Any local operation in Fiji will setup a shark attracting operation, nothing for the show just a way to meet them on specific places but where they have been around naturally for decades, it's not like creating an artificial feeding spot.

THose shark ops will allow you get up close an personals with bulls and sometimes with big mama tigers. You should check pics from Deepbubble (Giancarlo) on Flickr and ask him what was his recent diving experience with them like.


I see here lots of people planning dive vacation in Vanuatu, i guess it's only around the President Coolidge then, and i wouldn't mind focusing on 1 wreck for creative photo projects, but i am wondering how crowded it gets? are there times of the day when its gets less busy?  


Unlike Bali, you can't go diving yourself on the Coolidge, it's a shore dive but the land where you start the diving from belongs to a dive op, be it Allan Power or another one. Since it's deep deco dives, you will be tied with the ops schedule.

that said, you'll be with your own guide who's going to show you how to dive and penetrate the wreck at different depths (from 25 to 60 and below...), I don't think you can call it crowded anyway (it's difficult to imagine Vanuatu as crowded).


In Topic: South Pacific diving recommendations needed

30 March 2018 - 07:48 AM

We could also have that discussion in french language, relocated on the other board you know.

My experience in South Pacific  (Disclaimer : Vanuatu is where I grew up btw, kantri blong mifala) : 


Fiji , absolutely lovely islands and people. You are a social freak if you don't shed a tear when they usually sing the "Isa Lei" on your departure. Diving wise, it's color paradise I don't remember a dive in the wild nearby Vatu I Ra or Bligh Waters where I didn't spot a reef sharks and large pelagics such as tunas or spanish mackerels.

Even people who say they are opposed to shark baiting/feeding are impressed with B.A.D. (Beqa Adventure diving) operation where tigers and bull sharks are regulars.  

Ovalau and Wakaya are supposed to host hammerheads too. 


PNG : Only went to Milne bay (Tawali) but I support the idea that it's probably the place where corals are the liveliest. Sometimes hammerheads are seen bit not frequently.


New Caledonia : lots of manta rays even on day trips from Noumea, some sharks and sometimes silvertips (Dumbea pass).  Expensive and not very tourist friendly, but easier for french speaking tourists, i wonder how exclusive english speakers can cope with NC (although it was once a prime destination for Japanese marriages).


Vanuatu : Forget the diving for a while and enjoy Vanuatu on land, best country in the South Pacific for topside attractions (tribes, culture, volcanoes) or... food (perhaps some of the best beef in the Pacific and also best snack in the world called Tuluk). only the Pres.Coolidge is worth the diving (Impressive even for the non wreck divers as I am).


French Polynesia... yeah, lots of sharkeys and rays, less biodiversity... uber expensive. Not that attractive to me since I was once stranded a month in Papeete maybe.

In Topic: Any tips for photography in Komodo Island..?

07 February 2018 - 03:37 AM

Hello Tim,

Wide angle and fisheye lens certainly will be your best photo friends in Komodo, while there are a few macro ops in Wainilu, Pink Beach or Siaba Besar in teh north part some more like Cannibal in the south.


Personally I like those spots for wide angle :

- Batu Bolong that you wil certainly dive it more than once,

I think it's worthwhile staying one full dive in the shallows around 10AM or 4PM while the light is soft and nice. It's full of anthias and you get a wonderful surface effect in your image.

- Tatawa Besar some of the best coral colors in Komodo, incredible flashy orange!

- Tengah Kecil, also named Pengah, it's an emerged pinnacle that shows lots of coral diversity and beautiful gorgoninans, the mountlike topography of the site makes it great for backgrounds.

- There is an incredible bommie covered with glassfish at the end of Shotgun.

- Crystal Rock and Castle Rock may have lots of fish but the current is sometimes so violent you cannot get out your shelter to shoot them.


Afternoon light in Batu Bolong



Wrasse mayhem in shallow Batu Bolong



Shallows on Batu Bolong (look close and you'll find something interesting ;) )



Deeper Batu Bolong :



Colors on Tatawa Besar



Gorgonians on Pengah



Final bommie at Shotgun



Surgeonfish on Crystal Rock





You may have a look at my Komodo gallery clicking here : https://www.flickr.c...157625084671506