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ajay

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Everything posted by ajay

  1. Ha.. sounds like you are ready to move on to behavior photos. Cheers Ajay
  2. There have been many good images posted by Mike Bartick and others from Anilao lately, that I'm almost afraid to post mine. These are form a short trip to Anilao at the end of May. Notable for me: First time that I saw the Ocellate octopus (a type of blue ring) and an interesting fight between two octopi during a night dive. I expect there may be more _really nice_ images form Anilao coming on this forum -- a gang of people with really nice gear and better skills than me had just concluded the Reef photo gathering in May. I look forward to their posts. There is a brief trip report and more photos on my website. Cheers Ajay
  3. Great video.. perfect choice of soundtrack :-) Ajay
  4. Thanks for the report & fantastic (!) photos. I think I may need to put Dumaguette back on my bucket list of places to revisit. Ajay
  5. Hi all, We did six days of diving in Triton Bay in Mid December, inspired mostly by Paulo's trip report that appeared here a few months ago. The attraction for me was the promise of the combination of whale sharks and excellent macro. Promise delivered, and then some -- the resort has resident Epaulatte and Wobbegong sharks just in the house reef. My trip report, together with images can be found here: http://iez152.ieda.ust.hk/TRITONBAY_DEC2018/TRITONBAY_DEC2018.html Here are a few photos, hope they add some color to your day to start off 2019. Cheers, Ajay.
  6. Hi friends, Need your help to identify the critters in the two attached images. The mollusc (??) burying itself in the sand is ~2cm; there were many of these spread out around the sandy bottom at the house reef on a night dive. The tiny orange critters on the sponge are no more than 1mm each; they look like baby shrimp/crabs just emerging out of eggs?? Any help appreciated! Ajay
  7. HI Mike, I am guessing your group is expereinced with Raja Ampat already, but in case anyone is interested to know how the diving was last month, on the same boat, here is a link to my trip report and photos. Cheers Ajay.
  8. I was also using G10 as my second camera until this Jan, when the housing showed signs of possible leak. I decided to switch to G1x mark 2. The other cams I considered were Pana GH4 and Sony Rx100 III or IV. But the latter two require expensive Nauticam housings. With Canon, I can use the much cheaper Canon housing. The only down side I see is that the G1x II does not have 4K video. Haven't tried it under water yet, but happy with it so far as a carry along camera. I was also looking at G7x, but decided to go with G1x II under the assumption that bigger is better (sensor). Cheers Ajay.
  9. Thanks jander, Tim, Vilamendhoo is looking interesting.. maybe no hammerheads, but mantas will keep us happy. Ajay
  10. Hi folks, Been doing a bit of research on this on this site and others, but I would really appreciate some wisdom. Looks like I may be able to make a quick journey to Maldives for some diving in late Dec/early Jan. Probably have no more than six days; so with two days taken in flights etc, should have four days to dive -- so liveaboard seem to be ruled out. Ideally, would like to head to a resort near places with hammerheads, and maybe mantas. and if the resort has a house reef, that'll be nice since we may just go diving by ourselves to make the most of the meager four days. Any advice? Thanks! Ajay.
  11. Been to both. Both are good for macro, but personally I'd think there is a lot more diversity in Lambeh. There is some reef diving in Ambon, but it's a bit of a boat ride away, if I recall; for reef/wall, I think I would just take a few days off from Lambeh and go to Bunaken/Bangka. Another thing I like about Lambeh is that eth resorts are _much_ nicer (better living, camera rooms, much better food).. cheers ajay.
  12. Having acquired a GoPro Hero 4 recently, I am also looking at how to set it up. Right now I have a Sola800 and an AdventureX 1200 making somehting like 2000 lumen, and I am hoping this will work for nearby stuff, say, a trumpetfish at 1m. I fear it will be no use for sharks or schools of jacks etc. I am willing to try with filters (any advice which ones?) before plunging into massive video lights. Appreciate any advise. Ajay
  13. Yes, the marlin skeleton is still there -- on the ledge along the cavern (before entering the tomb). I think it was placed there by a DM. I suppose the cavern shelters it from any swells/currents, so it's not moved much, if at all.
  14. Good point.. let me modulate my opinions a bit.. by and large, I think the map shown on this website (link below) is close to what we dived: http://www.planeth2o.me/www.planeth2o.me/Blog_2_Turtle_Tomb.html But then I started thinking.. there were definitely some narrower cavities (tunnels?) behind one or two of the skeletons where I'm sure we didn't quite poke our heads inside. Maybe there are even some more smaller tunnels inside that we didn't explore at all? This calls for a revisit, I think :-). Ajay.
  15. Hi Moses, I think we were in there for around 40 min or so.. could've been longer -- they planned for us to start the exit when we reach 130bar, but we really felt no pressure from the DM about time. Much of the time inside the cave we're at 10-12m, so in fact you don't really use that much air. You're right about the vave -- ~20m channel to enter the cavern, and just one big main chamber with a couple of smaller chambers. Straightforward. I woldn't go all the way to Sipadan for this dive, but the other diving was pretty good also. cheers, Ajay
  16. Hi Moses, Yes, we went into turtle cavern. MWB charged us extra (around USD100 each) for this dive. We did a briefing on the night before, basically watch a video, and then go through the dive plan (there are a few extra procedures, since we go down with an additional tank, which is clipped to the rope at the mouth of the cave -- we pick it back when we exit the cave). I'm not aware of the death or the circumstances of that case either. I think it's a fairly easy dive actually -- there isn't a maze, the cavern is large; and there is a tiny but visible window which I think anyone can locate in a few minutes by just going along the cave wall -- this window gives a clear and easy reference to the entry/exit channel. Of course, we were two divers following our DM, so we were just following the man :-). I think he said he's been doing this dive only 3-4 times a month. By the way, although I've been calling it 'Turtle cavern', the map tells me it's 'Turtle tomb'. Ajay.
  17. Hello friends. Just want to report about our dive trip to Sipadan in Jan. The diving was pretty good, though the waters were slightly cool for me (although not for the young S African boy who was diving with us in shorts). Before booking the trip, we were told by Mabul Water Bungalows (where we stayed) that they could only gurantee one day-trip to Sipadan during our six days of stay. But January (and should I say, these last couple of years) is off-season, and we managed to go pretty much every day to Sipadan island. I think part of the reason is that this area has seen several kidnappings/shootouts over the last couple of years (I was told, four incidents spread over four resorts, although here in Hong Kong papers we only saw coverage of the young lady from China who was taken by her kidnappers to Philippines, and later released after perhaps ransom was paid). Anyway, all this hasn't really deterred the brave Chinese: over half of the people staying at MWB over our trip were snorkelers from China. This probably explains why MWB has created additional wooden frames as artificial reef over almost 100m along the shallow waters off their resort. I am sad to say that the real cost of these kidnappings shows up pretty clearly -- now there are four armed guard on this, and I'm sure, every other resort, 24-7. About the diving -- it was very good to be back in Sipadan. The schools of baracuda, jacks and bumpheads were there. The leoprad sharks were missing, but it seems there a lot more white tip and grey reef sharks than the last time I was there, a decade ago. We took the opportunity to dive into turtle cavern this time -- I havent' dived any caves before except the one in Palau, and got to say this one is pretty interesting once you stop thinking about the poor turtles who suffocated to an early death here. Here is a link to my trip report and images. And a couple of images to add some color to this post :-). Kind regards, Ajay.
  18. Sangalaki area is one of my favorites for the diversity of diving experiences. I stayed in Derawan a few years ago, and a pretty nice bonus there was waking up to find turtles grazing on leaves outside your water-bungalow window. On my secind trip to the area, we stayed at Maratua paradise, which I think is slightly better to live in. The house reef is splendid. The resident thresher shark didn't show up during our stay (this is why we chose Maratua), but we nevertheless enjoyed loads to time with grazing bumpheads, an occasional eagle ray floating past. It's easy to make day trips to Sangalaki -- which has fantastic dives. Or, as Drew suggested, you can split your stay with some time in a resort on Sangalaki (Nabucco looks nice, I think we had lunch there on a day trip once). By the way, I am not sure of the science on this, but maybe you can find out if more Manatas prefer to show up during some phase of the moon or another.. if your dates are flexible, it couldn't hurt to try and improve your chances. Our trip reports and photos are linked from here: http://iez152.ieem.ust.hk/DERAWAN_AUG06/DERAWAN_AUG06.html and http://iez152.ieem.ust.hk/MARATUA_AUG11/MARATUA_AUG11.html cheers Ajay.
  19. .. Just want to add a brief note to Drew's comments on Seraya: I like the food in Seraya more than in Mimpi area (although my experience from Mimpi is from several years ago; we were in Seraya this Easter -- for the third time). Excellent dive shop also, very nice guys.
  20. If I was doing Bali for a week, I'd plan almost exactly what Mike said: 2 days in Menjangan, then move to Tulamben for the rest of the trip, with a day trip or perhaps two (depending on how rough is the channel crossing) to Nusa Penida. For me, Bali is a level higher in dive quality and visibility than Similans (with another day or two diving the popular Phuket sites). Of course, if I had to fly that long a distance to dive, I'd give up a bit more in travel time, and then spend my time in Raja Ampat :-). Or, if you're averse to flying too much, maybe Palau? cheers ajay
  21. Personally, I don't want to think of the relationship of greenhouse emissions with diving: every one of my favorite dive destinations requires major amount of flying and motor-boating to reach (and often using local airlines that fly the less fuel efficient planes). Ajay.
  22. There was a mention of ecocean (www.whaleshark.org) on this week's discussion on the Babbage section of The Economist, under the general topic of citizen science. I got all excited to post about it here, only to find this thread. I guess this is as good a time as any to bring this thread alive momentarily. cheers, Ajay.
  23. Hi. I have a G12 also (it's a second camera for me, the primary used to be Oly E-PL1 so far); also use the Canon housing. Since G12 focuses really close in super-macro mode, I never even bothered to see how to latch my Inon 165 to it.. reckon I'd have to be a much better photographer, before that'd pay me dividends -- the dof will be thinner than I can hold the camera in most situations. I think getting a good strobe (or even two) is the first thing that'll improve photos.. definitely for macro, and perhaps even those sharks that'll come close to you (I haven't been to Cocos, but I've been close enough to sharks in S Africa and Fiji so that strobes could be used; on the other hand, in Palau, I was shooting natural light only -- sharks were further away). Since you're considering putting down a fair amount of money on a housing (not to mention the trip), why not consider getting a camera that has faster autofocus than G12, and makes good images in low light situations? G12 could be a good backup. I used to think the expense of backup cam was just stupid, but changed my mind after I flooded two cams in one trip to Lambeh. I do look forward to hearing about your experience in Cocos! It's high on my list of places to visit. Ajay.
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