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Posts posted by stewsmith

  1. Wow this thread made for interesting reading. I totally feel for anyone that were hoping to get theirs by a certain date only to not get them. Then be promised another date and to not get them again. My dealings with Oskar via social media messages has been absolutely faultless. He has always been polite, replied to many messages of mine almost immediately and warned me of when I would realistically expect to get my delivery if I was to place an order today. I will be making my purchase this evening and hopefully Retra will deliver when they say.

  2. I have had two cancellations for my Blue Manta liveaboard trip to Raja Ampat and Misool. The trip cost excluding park fees and flights is usually $4000. I can now sell these two places for $3400 per person excluding flights and park fees. The boat leaves from Sorong on the 7th March 2018 and returns on the 15th March. Transfers to and from the airport are provided.




    The usual price for this trip is $4000.00 Plus park fees, flights and gratuities


    Trip details;


    · Destination; Raja Ampat & Misool, Indonesia

    · Duration & Dives; 9D8N & 26 dives

    · Start/Finish; Sorong (SOQ) West Papua



    Departure; 5pm, 1st Day, Sorong, West Papua. Or earlier if everyone arrives before and all Trip Preparations have been completed. Free transfer from Sorong Airport or local hotel to liveaboard on Trip Departure day.

    Return; 6am, Last Day, Sorong, West Papua. After we give you a breakfast and after farewells take you to the Airport (SOQ) in time for Check-in & flight or local hotel.

    Last dive ends; 12pm (midday), Penultimate Day. Plenty of time for R&R while we sail back to Sorong where we spend last night onboard.


    Brief Itinerary (schedules are subjected to changes according to weather and sea condition)


    Day 1. (0‐1 dives) 5pm; arrival from Jakarta, Ujungpandang, or Manado to Sorong. Our staff will meet you at Sorong Airport and take you to the awaiting Blue Manta. Depending on arrival time we can do check dive.


    Day 2. (4 dives) Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock, & night dive


    Day 3. (3 dives) Misool; Boo Corner, The Window, Magic Mountain, sail overnight North


    Day 4. (4 dives) Yanggefo Island; Mayhem Ridge, Citrus ridge, Deep rock, & night dive


    Day 5. (4 dives) Mansuar Corner, Manta Sandy, Cape Kri, & night dive


    Day 6. (4 dives) Blue Magic, Sardine reef, Manta Spa, & night dive


    Day 7. (4 dives) Friwinbonda, Mike Point, Mioskon


    Day 8. (2 dives) Blue Magic, Mioskon. Manta Cleaning stations and shallow reef to finish. Sail back


    to Sorong Port. Plenty of time to wash & dry equipment, have lunch, and rest & relaxation.


    Day 9. (0 dives) 6am‐12pm. Check out after breakfast, farewells, and transfer to airport. Departure


    from Sorong to Manado or Jakarta or Denpasar.


    Diving days: 7 days (26 dives)


    Please email me at samui13@aol.com with Raja2018 as subject heading for details regarding paying a deposit and securing your place or if you would like any additional information

  3. A single place may be opening up on my 3rd Dolphin Dream charter. We will be heading to Bimini ( Great Hammerhead & Bull Shark ) and then heading to Tiger Beach ( Tigers, Lemons, Caribbean Reef and Nurse Shark )


    The trip starts on February 18th leaving from West Palm Beach and returns back to WPB on 27th February. I will know by mid November whether this single spot has become available due to a cancellation.


    The price of the trip is $3200 excluding tips


    For further information and to get on the waiting list please reply to this post

  4. Interesting comments Adam.


    You wrote


    " Every competition I have either judged in or administered has disqualified images that were thought to have been unnaturally moved. "


    So based on "thought" and not " evidence " images have been disqualified in every competition that you have judged in.



    • Like 1

  5. Ok so here's the deal. Various people have been constructive in promoting the awareness of critters being manipulated into better photographic positions to acquire a more dynamic image. For sure these images look very nice and to the lay person that does not enter into the underwater world, without doubt would seem genuine.


    From what started off as a concern regarding critter manipulation in photographs being entered into competitions, the topic soon changed course and then went into the ethics of touching, herding, feeding, using flash lights and more in general and not specifically for competition entries.


    My personal opinion is that if the critters are touched, moved by experienced guides and then returned to their exact original habitat after a few photographs then I don't think too much, if any harm will be done to the critters. I often use the analogy of taking a child to a rock pool with a net and catching crabs and shrimps. I'm sure more harm will be done to critters by the use of a net than by being moved by an experienced guide underwater. I know myself that had my father not taken me to rock pools in the West Country when I was a child then my passion for the ocean might never have started.


    What I am concerned about, is what the manipulation debate was born out of. It was regarding competition entries so I would like the topic to head back there and stay there. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the subject and nobody needs to be dragged across hot coals for having a different opinion than someone else. So please keep the discussion civil.


    For some reason judges are allowing what appear to be critter manipulated entries into competitions. Do you think that they are doing their job as a judge properly by allowing such images to be entered?


    A few people that have judged in competitions have come forward to argue that if they have no evidence that manipulation has happened then they can't disqualify the entry.


    Shark feed dives are also being discussed and again there are good points raised by both sides of the argument. Please don't bring this subject up as this will move away from the purpose of the post. Please just discuss critter re positioning for entries into competitions and whether you think that they should be allowed.

  6. I have a few spaces available for a Raja Ampat - Misool trip on the luxurious Blue Manta Liveaboard.


    Trip date: 7th - 15th March 2018 leaving from Sorong and returning to Sorong.


    The usual cost for this trip is $4000.00, I am offering this trip at $3600.00 excludes park fees, flights and gratuities.


    Only a 10% deposit required now to secure your place. The balance will be spread out over the next 23 months with a further 10% deposit required 12 months prior to the trip start date, followed by a 30% payment 6 months prior to trip start date, then balance required 2 months prior to trip start date.


    Link to video of the Blue Manta Liveaboard - http://www.whitemanta.com


    For additional information please email : samui13@aol.com with subject heading Raja18



    • Like 1

  7. I have mine locked off tight until in the water then loosen them off just enough so they don't collapse, but loose enough so I can adjust my strobe positions without having to touch the clamps. Then re tighten them on my safety stop ready for the boat boy to handle the rig and be able to put it down and the rig not move around once on the boat deck. I never let the guys on the boats put my rig inside a rinse tank either. Generally boat boys are good at handling rigs, but I always speak to them prior to getting in the water and ask them to pick it up in a certain way and also to put it down in a certain way as well.

  8. Who are you flying to Egypt with?

    For future reference if flying there again, either fly with easy jet as they don't have a weight limit for hand luggage. Or fly via Cairo with Egypt air as they offer great hold luggage weights. Flying through Cairo isn't that bad. Even with a 3 hour stop over, you get to Sharm before most UK flights even take off. Generally Egypt air flights are late at night, getting you to the Red Sea early morning. Most UK charters or schedules leave mid morning, so you get to the Red Sea early evening. I am in and out of Egypt a few times a year and will only fly with these two

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