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Drew

Wetpixel Ocean Safari begins Monday

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Just went out this morning and again the players were all out there. Just not a lot of action as it seems the predators are all satiated. I'm skipping tomorrow to concentrate on my volunteer project. Hopefully the guys heading out will find some great activity.

 

The great torpedo whale... Bryde's (B.Edeni)

 

Great shot Drew - decent bryde's shot like this is one thing I want to do next time I go to Wild Coast. Good luck !

Edited by pats0n

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More b/w shots.... this time of 60+ gannets in the water at the same time. It should be added that this baitball at that time was at 35ft/11m. A few scientific studies of the Morus Capensis claim max depth depth of the dive alone is 9m but I've seen them hit 14m/50ft to hit prey. They also can swim quite a long time (up to 20 seconds) before having to surface. I've seen them down at 70ft/20m before. They may not be shearwater class of divers but they sure are spectacular to watch.

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More b/w shots.... this time of 60+ gannets in the water at the same time.

 

Aarrrghhh... 60 gannets, whatever. ... (crying) I had to extend, I had ! :P

Edited by pats0n

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What a spectacular dolphin shot, like jets in the water! Wonder how those gannets clear their ears? :P

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Today was a nice day. Had another Bryde's whale buzz the baitball but we all missed it AGAIN! I think I'm going to just wait for the whales to come through and not shoot anything else. That's the 2nd time I missed it.

The usual predators were again present in great numbers to feast on the red eye herring baitball. Hopefully I'll catch the Bryde's again tomorrow but I may not head out.

 

What a spectacular dolphin shot, like jets in the water! Wonder how those gannets clear their ears? :P

Errr Jeff the shots are mostly of gannets. They do exhale through their beaks :)

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Today was a nice day. Had another Bryde's whale buzz the baitball but we all missed it AGAIN! I think I'm going to just wait for the whales to come through and not shoot anything else. That's the 2nd time I missed it.

The usual predators were again present in great numbers to feast on the red eye herring baitball. Hopefully I'll catch the Bryde's again tomorrow but I may not head out.

Errr Jeff the shots are mostly of gannets. They do exhale through their beaks :P

 

I had to extend I had to extend I had to extend I had to extend I had to extend I had to extend

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Errr Jeff the shots are mostly of gannets. They do exhale through their beaks :)

I was trying to be funny; guess I wasn't. :P

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Good thing about church is the kids are all going there... so I'm free to go out to sea in the morning instead of working with the kids. :P

Tomorrow I'll be heading out with the guys from EarthTouch.

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Very nice sunday morning. Started out with hundreds of birds diving and we jumped in on a VERY small baitball and still had 20 odd dolphins and sharks chowing. Then as we had our surface interval and let the 2 teenage sons of my host have a turn in the water... a Bryde's whale pops its head out of the water mouth open, devouring the redeye herring which were so abundant and feeding on the surface. There was so much fish that the gannets stopped diving because they were FAT and there weren't enough dolphins around. Even the sharks look disinterested today. I was laughing at the newbies who thought this activity was normal every year. Oh to have a dry week or 3 again just to show them what waiting is like really.

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Those shots are AWSOME, wow. Ive got to go :P

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Very nice sunday morning. Started out with hundreds of birds diving and we jumped in on a VERY small baitball and still had 20 odd dolphins and sharks chowing. Then as we had our surface interval and let the 2 teenage sons of my host have a turn in the water... a Bryde's whale pops its head out of the water mouth open, devouring the redeye herring which were so abundant and feeding on the surface. There was so much fish that the gannets stopped diving because they were FAT and there weren't enough dolphins around. Even the sharks look disinterested today. I was laughing at the newbies who thought this activity was normal every year. Oh to have a dry week or 3 again just to show them what waiting is like really.

 

 

Sounds fantastic, Drew, I'm very glad you had such a wonderful days this year ! How long it may last theoretically ?

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Today was very interesting.

I was on the Earth Touch boat with Barry SkinStad (you springbok fans should know his very big cousin), who likes to launch predawn. We went out to a gorgeous predawn sky and I spotted some birds about 3km away. Turned out to be a major feast with Bryde's whales, sharks and common dolphins with gannets thrown in. It was moving quickly and the guys tried to jump in front of it but they failed 3-4 times before they managed 3 minutes in the melee of predators and prey. We'd all assumed it was redeye but Barry caught a sardine with his barehands while shooting the baitball (well it was injured!) and so we saw a mixed bag of sardines and red eye herring, not the first time this has happened.

The viz was ok but not great. Barry had 2 dusky sharks bump him for good measure and we saw 2 husky bull sharks again. Seems the action continues to be good but the weather is moving in.

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A few shots of topside pandamonium. Sharks and dolphins punching the baitball from under the water, pushing the herring right out of the ocean:

 

 

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A few shots of topside pandamonium. Sharks and dolphins punching the baitball from under the water, pushing the herring right out of the ocean:

 

Unbelievable ! Small fish flying in the air - such an action. Can't wait to come back next year.

 

Thank you Drew again for sharing with us this incredible experience !

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Sounds great. When do we see some pix? :lol:

 

 

Yes really I also want to see some new pix.

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I do not know any english words to describe the envy I feel! :lol::lol:

 

did you take the pictures down? as I cannot see any.

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I do not know any english words to describe the envy I feel! :lol::lol:

 

did you take the pictures down? as I cannot see any.

 

Drew and myself posted few pics above - please go to previous pages :lol:

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Didn't launch today despite the good weather due to the arrival of present day living legend Kingsley Holgate and his family. Kingsley is on his last leg of circumnavigating the African continent and his "one net one life" anti-malarial campaign for the entire continent has been a success.

Ross Kingsley, his son, whom I'd met years ago, accompanied him on this epic journey. I'll write more about it in another thread.

Some things are more important than baitballs and action at sea. :lol:

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Drew, your report and pics have been awesome! I've already booked my trip for next year :lol:

 

Phil

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Sorry no updates for the next 2 days... my dirty weekend time :lol:

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Sorry no updates for the next 2 days... my dirty weekend time :lol:

 

 

What - your not washing .......... :lol::lol:

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Maybe that's your idea of a dirty weekend Peter, but you are older than I am. :)

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Cool ! You went to Makarevich art exhibition in NY ? Was it his personal or with group of other people ?

 

In drinking frenzy of last night I forgot to ask Igor (guy who introduced us to Andrei) for his e-mail, but hi has mine, if he did not lose it - if you see him just nag him for that pictures of us with Makarevich (you can give him my e-mail again :)

 

Anyway, here is few first pics from Wetpixel Ocean Safari - not the best ones, just sampler:

 

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taken with Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm in Sea&Sea housing with NX Compact Dome with two YS-250 strobes.

 

Alexander Safonov

http://pats0n.livejournal.com

 

Just fantastic images!!!!!!!!

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cool stuff!

 

just curious: do you guys wear helmets or something when you dive? what happens when a gannet dives on you?

 

or is this just a dumb blonde question... heh heh.

 

how do i get myself on a trip like this for next year?

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He he. The ocean safari is never the same and never predictable. You have no guarantees of any one thing. You will certainly see amazing stuff, but likely not what you expected. A must do but keep your expectations in line!

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