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About melia01

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  1. Does anyone know how to get in direct contact with the person or people at Discovery who are responsible for approving what shows become part of Shark Week? I am normally a fan of the company's general programming, but I have some concerns about Shark Week that I would like to voice. Thanks!
  2. OK -- my two cents! I have worked on the T&C Aggressor for a few years, and I can tell you that they only intentionally dive off of Grand Turks twice a year (on their way to the whale charters), unless the weather is really bad and coming from the West (that may happen only a few times a year). The VAST majority of the time, the T&C Aggressor dives off of Providenciales, West Caicos and French Cay. The diving is great no matter if you like Reef sharks and Eagle Rays or gaudy clown crabs and cleaning shrimp. Although there are better spots in the Caribbean for individual types of animals, In my opinion (having dived most of the C. -- including utila) I believe the Turks & Caicos Islands offer the best overall diving in the Caribbean! Off of each of the three islands you tend to see slightly different marine life. In my opinion, Providenciales offers great macro subjects (my favorite stuff), French Cay is a great place to find Wide Angle stuff like sharks, Rays and beautiful reef scenes, and West Caicos offers the best of both macro and WA. All three islands are terrific! I have also lived in Utila for short while (land based) and although the visibility while I was there just about the best I have ever seen, I found the fish life a little disappointing. The Sea Mounds surrounding the islands are the most diverse and of course, in Utila you always have the possibility of spotting a whale shark. The T&C Aggressor boat is very nice and quite comfortable however the Utila Aggressor is less then a year old now and while I haven't been onboard the Utila Aggressor, I have heard great things about the new boat! I hope this helps, and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to Message me. I am also a photographer so I would be happy to discuss specifics with you if you like! Happy Diving! Melissa
  3. elbuzo -- great point. this week the boats had to come in a day early because of strong winds.. it's just kind of the risk you take to be in the middle of nowhere..... in winter!! Mike - it doesn't look like I will be there next season, but who knows things in this industry often move very quickly! If you want to see some picture, I've put a bunch on my website at http://www.glassfootphotography.com - just click on the Dominican Republic album. The pictures were taken over about 10 weeks last year.. but it might give you an idea what the encounters can be like!
  4. OMG -- that is hilarious!!! HAHAHA soooo smart and funny!!
  5. HAHA thanks Simon.. I still tell people about your flamboyant cuttlefish babies -- A great video!!! Give my best to Zoe!
  6. WOW that video presentation is incredible! great science!
  7. I have worked on the T & C Aggressor for the last two whale seasons (20 weeks), so I though I could shed some light on the expeditions... As for the best time to go: the whales are in the Silver Banks from January through April. The 10 weeks that the three boats (T&C Aggressor, Sun Dancer, and T&C Explorer) are there is the "middle" of the season. The whales are all around throughout the 10 weeks, but the types of encounters that we see change throughout the season. In the beginning of the 10 weeks, you can find mothers and calves, but the babies are very young and therefor the mothers a little more protective. It is sometimes a little more difficult to have a settled in-water encounter with these pairs. You do however typically see more "rowdy groups" which are lots of males chasing a female thats ready to mate. (For me, personally... these are the best encounters. You do not get in the water with these whales - for one thing they can be moving incredibly fast.... but the chases are incredible - two years ago I saw two male whales breach on top of each other. I'm talking both animals were COMPLETELY out of the water and one landed on top of the other. and it was about 40 feet from my chase boat) And in the beginning and into the middle of the season you are more likely to see 'dancing whales' or 'valentines' -- where a male and a female are about to mate. This is not necessarily a common experience, but if you catch it right, you can be in the water for hours with adult whales performing their pre-mating ritual -- Absolutely MIND-BLOWING. In the middle of the season, the mothers and babies are starting to get more comfortable and the moms are relaxed -- more likely to allow you to spend lots of time in the water with them. You still can get rowdies and dancers at this point as well. Towards the end of the season, the babies are getting much bigger and more playful. You can have great inwater encounters and lots of babies playing on the surface. The moms have to teach the baby all the acrobatics that she has perfected, so you often see mom and baby breaching class, pec slaps, tail lobs and lots of exciting surface stuff. When you get settled inwater encounters -- they are often great and can last several hours or even days. The key to having a successful week with the whales is to remember that it is not Sea World. These are wild, huge animals and they are free to do whatever they want. You might have an entire morning where you only see one or two blows, then all of a sudden in the afternoon you get in the water for an hour or more. If you go into the week hoping to see whales... you will. But if you go into the week expecting to be in the water 24 hours a day... its not gonna happen. If you keep your mind open and listen to your crew.. you will have an amazing time. The encounters that you will have will blow your mind!! It's truly incredible!!! If anyone wants more info please feel free to send me a note. Hope this helps!!
  8. Great Steve -- thank for the advice.. Good point about naming the images... I'll see what I come up with.
  9. Hi Everyone. My name is Melissa and I am hoping to use this great forum to help introduce my new website to the world. I have compiled a collection of some of my underwater photographs from a variety of places and put them at http://www.glassfootphotography.com. This is my first website and if you have any suggestions on how to make it more visible to the world I would love to hear from you. I hope you enjoy!
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