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About chrism

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    Wolf Eel
  1. Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I haven't been on this board in many years. Up until 2005-7 or so was diving a lot, taking photos with a 5050 then a Canon D-Reb. Did some other things, got sick, yada yada, and just came back from a N, Channel Islands dive trip, first UW shots I've taken in over 4 years. In addition to rusting of skills, I find the complexity of the DSLR to be overwhelming (and frankly, I was as a general rule happier with my 5050 shots than my D Reb shots). Thinking of reverting to a P&S, perhaps a housed G12, rather than continuing with my 6 MP dinosaur, or upgrading at a $3-5K price tag to a new camera body and housing. Anyone else taken this route and have any advice and/or regrets?
  2. Unless it's somewhere else on the site, divernet's got the pic http://www.divernet.com/cgi-bin/articles.p...c=1080&ac=d
  3. {also got here by googling albino whale shark} We were on the week after you, same itinerary. We were told Seymour was out. While we had what seemed much better conditions at Mosquera (50+ foot viz), it's still the stepchild of Galapagos diving, although I thought the Seymour dives we did last time sucked worse. Frankly, I was glad my wife had a couple dives at Mosquera to get in the rhythm before heading to Wolf (and the Seymour land tour is very good, although they have restricted access to a very narrow trail). The second dive at Mosquera was actually pretty good, fish soup. We got in 7 Darwin dives, most very good, but only about 12 whale shark encounters (2 of which were absolutely outstanding though). We did 3 dives at Wolf/Landslide that absolutely blew, but we did one dive on the way back that was much better, though still not as I remember it. We also had very good viz at Cousin's (and 72 water temps) an got our two dives in, getting back on the panga at 11:57. I was surprised, as we did 3 dives at Darwin and one at Wolf the day before, and still made it in time for the two dives. Hit the seahorse, frogfish, fur sea lion trifecta, so it was good (although the barracuda were not there). We also had a very very benign Gordon Rocks dive, basically no current, but then again also not a whole lot of life. The day we went to Darwin, there was (supposedly) a new reg in place that limited Darwin to one operator per day. We didn't see Deep Blue until we were leaving. Not sure if this was accurate, and if so whether designed to ensure there's boats there all week to keep an eye on the fishermen, etc. My take on the itinerary vs. the permits is that the permits are silent on day to day issues. For example, we were told Plaza was closed to diving after a snorkeler got bit by a sea lion. Seymour was closed for some other reason I forget. I agree with your last paragraph. I thought this might be my last trip there, but hey, can't give up on Darwin's Arch. Having done the land tours 2X that's not an issue with me. But it will be intreresting to see what itinerary they come up with given the restrictions to be out of the water by noon. Not sure anyone's gonna pay $3800 (the soon to be new rate as I understand it), for 3 a.m. dives and then sitting on the boat all afternoon....... Oh yeah, I thought the Agg boats did a horrendous job of scheduling. Both I and II were at Wolf and Darwin, and it was up to the guests to request a pre breakfast dive so they we could spread out (and be first on the reef....). The Agg boats should do this themselves. On one dive, they came in about 30 minutes in and planted themselves right below the platform at Darwin, so we moved on. Come on, there's only two boats. LAst time I was up there there was more than 4 boats, and I saw less people......
  4. Just got back from Ecuador, was on the 8/31-9/6 Aggressor II charter (followed it up with a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon, highly recommended), and things changed even while we were there. On our first morning at Darwin, we were told by the DM that the PNG had just approved a new itinerary that allowed only one boat (or operator, since Agg I was up there at the same time) at Darwin on a particular day. If true, this would allay concerns that Wolf/Darwin would be deserted and open season for fisherman for days at a time. Not sure if true or not, but Deep Blue did not show up until we were leaving Darwin. Also, changes in dive sites. No more diving at Seymour, so diving is at the sand spit called Mosquera between Baltra and Seymour. Also, were told that a snorkeler was bitten by a sea lion at Plaza, so no diving allowed there either. Other things we heard from the DM (Solon Intiago, originally from Deep Blue) confirmed that as of 2008, there will be no dive/land tours. Dive only, or land only, not both (as an aside, both trips I've been on we did Wolf /Darwin and 4 land tours incl. Darwin Res. Stn). Also, this wasn't clear to me but it sounded like there's discussion that all diving has to be done by noon, to accomodate snorkelers. This didn't make sense (who snorkels Gordon Rocks... or Cousins? or Seymour? maybe someone does) but it would wreak havoc if you had to finish diving by noon and couldn't land tour. At any rate, looks like things will change somewhat over the next few months. It'll be interesting to see how it shakes out. Although there are many places to go in the meantime, looking forward to going back someday.
  5. Searched, but didn't find anything Galapagos is blue water shooting at anywhere from 30 to 120 feet. Low light, murky, subjects usually too far for strobes, hi ISOs required. I got super frustrated last time. going again in August, would like to improve my odds, would a magic filter help? If you shoot RAW auto white balance is irrelevant? Also, I found that I was shooting up, out and down, depending on what critters came by. I assume if I am shooting jpegs that I would have to recalibrate white balance for each orientation (up (bright) , out (medium) and down (dark))? Not sure is that is possible (or something I want to take time doing). Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
  6. Not sure if this should go here or Dive Destinations, but it's pretty big news......... Apparently the Galapagos National Park has banned all liveaboards except the Aggressor and Peter Hughes. Scuttlebutt is Agg and PH are the only two ops that have proper dive licenses/permits. All of the others were operating without permits and have been banned. See below for email that was sent out..... Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 12:08:08 -0400 From: Galapagos Adventures <ken@galapagosadventures.com> To: Galapagos Adventures <ken@galapagosadventures.com> Subject: Your Galapagos dive trip may get canceled The majority of the dive trips in Galapagos have been cancelled by the Galapagos National Park. I have some very unfortunate news. On Tuesday, July 10, 2007 the Galapagos National Park suspended ALL dive operations in Galapagos. This decision took effect immediately and is going to effect countless divers worldwide who are booked on numerous yachts including some people who are already in Ecuador. There are no less than 14 yachts which on a regular basis operate dive trips and all but 3 will be effected by this decision. The only yachts which apparently are not effected by this decision – at least not immediately – are the Sky Dancer and the Aggressor. All the other yachts were told that if they are caught operating dive trips, their permit to operate in Galapagos will be revoked. Apparently the GNP is now monitoring the islands of Darwin and Wolf with an aircraft. It certainly makes me wonder why these same resources are not used to monitor and catch illegal fishing boats but apparently the GNP director has priorities that are different than mine. No one is quite sure the motive behind this insane decision. One thing that is certain is the director of the National Park either does not understand or does not care about the economic effect this is going to have on the local community or to Ecuador as a whole. They stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in lost revenue and countless Ecuadorian people will be unemployed as a result of this action. The Galapagos dive industry will to be set back years, if not decades. The owners of the Deep Blue traveled to the GNP headquarters on the afternoon of July 10, 2007 to plead their case with the director in hopes of savaging the dive tours that are booked on their yacht but their pleads fell on deaf ears. Every possible compromise that they suggested was vetoed without discussion. They called me right after the meeting and told me what happened and informed me that there was going to be another meeting of all the owners of all the yachts that are affected by this decision to discuss bringing litigation against the GNP. However, as I am sure you are aware, litigation, even if successful, will take months. They informed me that they have no choice but to cancel all the dive charters until further notice. The conversation ended when the managing partner / co-owner of the yacht said – “I have to go now Ken. I am feeling very sick.†Many divers worldwide are getting the same news that you are as the tour operators that have dive charters on the various yachts begin to cancel their charters. I know this for a fact as my phone has been ringing off the hook and my email box is full with divers worldwide seeking information and/or looking to replace their cancelled tours. Unfortunately under the current situation, there is no way to replace any tour because all of the yachts are in the exact same situation.. On Wednesday, July 11, 2007, I was told that the yacht owners had banned together and had collectively hired an attorney to filing an emergency appeal with the supreme court of Ecuador. The local Galapagos politicians are now involved with this issue and they have requested an emergency meeting with the President of Ecuador for the yacht owners. Unfortunately President Correa is currently in Europe. No one knows where this is going to lead but at this point in time, there is a fairly good chance that all the dive trips on the Deep Blue and most other yachts in Galapagos will be cancelled. I will let you know as soon as I know more. I apologize for this serious inconvenience but I sure you understand that neither I nor anyone else can control the actions of a bureaucrat in Ecuador. I know that this is disappointing news but please keep things in prospective. Many people in Ecuador are going to lose their livelihoods over this decision and by the time all the refund are made, numerous companies including Galapagos Adventures could possibly be out of business. All the above information is being sent to all divers and tour operators who have trips booked with me. The information below is specific to your trip. I’m sure that you may want to call me to discuss this but please understand that everything that I know about this situation is in this letter. I have no additional information at this time. As you can only imagine, I have countless hours of work ahead of me to try to do my best to clean up as much of this mess as I possibly can. Therefore please give me a couple of days to work on things before you call. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerely Ken Weemhoff Galapagos Adventures August 6 - 13, August 13 – 20 and August 20 – 30 Groups I had no choice but to cancel the July 16 – 26 trip and notify all the clients. This trip will be the first trip that the Deep Blue has been forced to cancel. Many other yachts are also forced to cancel their charters for next week. Therefore as of today, no one in Ecuador has actually felt the economic impact of this crazy decision. Next week that will change. I can only hope that being unemployed will motivate some of the common people in Galapagos to protest against the GNP in Puerto Ayora. The lawyers should also be heavily involved by then so it is possible but not probable that the prospect of having to deal with lawsuits and protests will motivate the GNP director to reconsider her decision. As you can probably imagine, this whole thing is creating a very explosive situation in Ecuador. I expect very soon the international press will get word of this and then the pressure will really begin heat up on the Ecuadorian politicians. It is my personal belief that the director of the national park will probably lose her job over this decision but only time will tell. In my option, the sooner this happens the better. Unfortunately there is not much time before your trip and therefore is a strong possibility your trip will be cancelled. Here is what I recommend: 1. Be aware of the situation but don’t panic. This situation is very new and the effects of it have not been felt in Ecuador yet. Let’s give things a little time to see where they go. I would like to wait for at least two weeks (until July 27) before canceling your trip. 2. In the meantime, I would like everyone on these trips to consider whether or not they would be interested in doing a naturalist trip in Galapagos instead. I understand that you really want to dive in Galapagos and that is what you signed up to do but if that is not possible, the land stuff is also fantastic. The GNP is only targeting dive trips at this point in time so converting your trip to a naturalist trip should not be a problem. If enough people are interested in doing this so we can cover the cost of operating the yacht, I’m pretty sure the owners of the yacht would agree to it. At least this way your vacation would not be a complete washout. Very shortly I am going to ask each of you if you would be interested in doing this. That way I have an idea how many people are interested in a plan “Bâ€. 3. I have prepaid for all of your services in Ecuador. If the trip is canceled, I will cancel all your arrangements and I will work on getting refunds from all the suppliers. I will refund all the money you sent me for the trip after the money is recovered. 4. I have requested the email address of the Minister or Tourism for Ecuador but so far no one has been able to supply me with this information. If and when I get this information, I will pass it on to you so you can email her a complaint.
  7. Hi Kids, A fine cast of characters, ave chartered a boat for an amazing one week adventure to the Galapagos. The boat dates are August 30 to September 6, 2007 (yes, this August). We are doing a custom itinerary that will focus on Wolf & Darwin Islands (whalesharks, hammers, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, dolphins, eels galore, turtles, masses of schooling fish), as well as diving at the fabulous Cousin's Rock (sea lions, frogfish, seahorses, black coral forests, schooling barracuda). We will endeavor to do at least a couple of land tours. Normally, we are able to fill the boat from a pool of able and superkeen divers (as happened with this trip right from the start), long before we ever need to publicly advertise it, but unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, a couple of people have had to drop out late in the game and so we have some open spots. This boat was booked two years out, and as any of you know who have attempted to book this trip, that is about the current waiting time for a primetime whaleshark season charter such as this. Please: Know your limitations, experience and capabilities. This is no place to get into trouble. With that in mind, and at the risk of sounding elitist, we reserve the right to politely decline if you tell us you're 3 weeks out of BOW, or that you haven't dived in 15 years, or that you've never dived in some type of current. Here's the sweetener - because we charter the boat, we get a hefty group discount, which will be divided equally amongst all attendees. Regular fare is $3195 per person (not including airfare from Quito to the islands which will run about $500 pp), nor hotels in Quito or your airfare from home to Quito. If we go with 14 divers, per person rate for the charter will be a very sweet $2510. With 13 price goes up to $2710, which is still a heck of a deal. You should plan your arrival into Quito for August 28, to ensure your dive bag arrives on time and to offset any airline fubars that may cause you to miss the boat. Many of us are doing a land tour on August 29 out of Quito - lots of options for guided day trips to choose from. Right now we are at 11 divers. Note that no one is getting a freebie and any discount we get by adding more divers is split equally amongst all. Email me at cjmenjouAThotmail.com, or Judy G at judygATawoosh.com if interested
  8. Definitely strobes, there are enough dives you'll want them (Manuelita Inside), and a nice strong focusing light for the Manuelita shallows night dive See Rand McMeins site www.greenwaterimages.com for some nice macro work he did there, although the opportunities are limited Never used hte magic filter, but with the exception of Alcyone (pic below) dives are all different levels. Limited opps for topside photos, 2 land trips, but the long lens will come in handy on the mainland. Alcyone, July 2006
  9. Nice Pics! Your perspective on the St Anthony makes it look HUGE!
  10. excellent excellent excellent! So you can take fantastic pics AND write too!
  11. Well, it is neon, and matches the title... it's a compelling shot But the seam down the middle... ugh
  12. Thanks lanierb, I'll have to check out the settings I've used recently and see if they are similar to that. And Alex, pure genius
  13. Can't add anything but to say when I push 320 with my Inons I get masking at the bottom. (Ryan modified the hotshoe connector to allow higher shutter speeds). Herb, any way to explain how you are getting no masking at 320? I still haven't found an appropriate replacement setting to my old 5050 to get black background when shooting kelp in the daylight, a la:
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