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Cenotes and Whale Sharks 2010, Mexico, trip thread

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Shawn - the 3D is not working for me at all. There is no 3D information in the blue!

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Darn it! Back to the drawing board!

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Ok. Trying to preserve some blue. Dropped blacks, pushed whites and dropped saturation further. Are we getting there?

 

[vimeohd]13987909[/vimeohd]

(Decent on 17in, not good on 24in)

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Wow! Incredible images and footage!!!

 

I was on Holbox in 2007 and saw a lot of Whale Sharks too. But you guys had much more visibility. One more question: I don't see a lot of Manta's. We had a lot of them near Holbox, even more than whale sharks I think...

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I am hating everyone on this trip LOL!!

 

I did the "tourist" thing with a day boat to the same area on July 20th - seas were too rough to enjoy the trip, thrown from bench to floor more than once so I just stayed on the floor.

 

Whale Sharks were just as amazing as you experienced, but my day was cut short since everyone on the boat (except me) was seasick :unsure: - I think I got 5 times with the whale sharks, which was amazing, but annoying since I wanted the entire day.

 

Too many whale sharks to count, too many boats to count and not one manta in sight.

 

Maybe next time.....

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I've just got back from a fantastic week as part of the second group. The shark numbers thinned out towards the last couple of days but we still had some truly excellent conditions and whale sharks in abundance. No complaints from anyone in Eli's group!!

 

Here's a few photos...

 

post-11877-1281495428.jpg

 

post-11877-1281495440.jpg

 

post-11877-1281495448.jpg

 

post-11877-1281495460.jpg

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That black and white is outstanding.

 

I assume it was taken in color, what program did you use to convert it!?

 

Steve

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(Great pics Julian, thanks for posting!)

 

Eli here, just back from a fantastic week in Isla Mujeres with the whale sharks, following right on the tail of Eric's trip. Our group included Lachlan (Lachy) Bursle, Evelyn Conley and Marty Silveira, and Julian Cohen and his wife Ildi.

 

After meeting up on Wednesday with Eric's group for dinner and hearing about all of their great encounters, we headed out Thursday morning full of anticipation. We were not disappointed! Upon reaching the site, we found ourselves surrounded by 100+ sharks, and us more or less the only boat in the area. This was my first time in the water with whale sharks, so needless to say I was enormously stoked! Those who know me are accustomed to the fact that I am inordinately fond of black & white images (which was perfect in this situation!) so please excuse the fact that most of the following images are B&W.

 

967762532_Jkd32-XL.jpg

Close brush with a big tiburon ballena

 

On the second day, there were noticeably fewer sharks in the water (around 50), but we still had a lot of fantastic encounters, especially in the morning before the other boats started showing up.

 

967763217_LSAZZ-XL.jpg

 

967763796_JKpNR-XL.jpg

Two big sharks pass each other on a quest for more fish-egg deliciousness.

 

A bit of wind and whitecaps on the water on the third day made us worry that the sharks might be hard to locate, but our fears were unfounded as captain Rogelio located them with just a bit of extra search effort. This day also held a special surprise: a friendly shark who circled just below the surface for over 20 minutes, allowing all of us plenty of encounter time.

 

967764126_VEDd2-XL.jpg

Evelyn and Marty with the friendly shark.

 

(report continues...)

Edited by ewoolery

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Hey Eli, welcome back. Looks like the good stuff continued. Sandrah saw all the shots and says we really have to see if we can make the trip next year...

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On the fourth day, the wind had come down, but the swell was up, which made the sharks a bit tougher to locate while in the water (in essence, you had to do a water-polo goalie move to get up high enough to see them and try to intersect their path). That didn't stop us from having more QT with the sharks though. Evelyn also had a less-than-friendly encounter with a remora which snuck up behind her and bit her on the finger! None of us had ever witnessed such cheeky behavior from a remora before (I have video which I will post as part of a montage later).

 

967767244_dZdud-XL-1.jpg

Backlit whale shark, with two more in the background.

 

967766573_ZKkCR-XL.jpg

Lachy gazing up at a smaller shark.

 

Our final day found us with many fewer sharks in the water, but by this time we were so whale-shark saturated (in a good way!) that any time with them was just a bonus. The killer remora also returned, chasing Evelyn out of the water, then coming after Marty, Lachy, Julian and me. It was a persistent little devil: despite our best attempts at shooing it away/karate chopping it in half, it was out for blood. Thankfully, it finally went away (hopefully inhaled by some voracious predator), and we were able to concentrate on the sharks again. I also saw a passing sailfish (way cool!), though was too distracted trying to get the others to see it to get a picture.

 

967765397_GQMR2-XL.jpg

 

We ended up taking the boat in a bit early that day and stopping on the way home at a nice little reef that Rogelio suggested. It was better than most of us expected: in addition to parrotfish and other reef fish, there was a turtle, barracuda, and nurse shark. A relaxing ending to a fantastic trip!

 

What really made the trip in addition to the sharks were the people; everyone was extremely friendly and a pleasure to be in the water and on land with. As with the other Wetpixel trips I've been on, I made friends that I hope to keep in touch with for years to come!

 

Viva el tiburon ballena!

 

-Eli

 

 

 

Hey Eli, welcome back. Looks like the good stuff continued. Sandrah saw all the shots and says we really have to see if we can make the trip next year...

 

Thanks Drew! I'd love to go again next year, hopefully we can be on the same trip! Say hi to Sandah for me!

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Great update and awesome images Eli! Thanks for sharing!

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Aerial footage sample:

 

[vimeohd]14143341[/vimeohd]

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Here's a little video montage I put together from our leg of the trip (make sure to stick around after the credits roll for a rare look at the behavior of a rabid remora):

 

[vimeohd]14247944[/vimeohd]

Edited by ewoolery

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Dr Fiscus and I just got back from Cancun, we played with the whale sharks, dove Cozumel and cenotes.

The whale sharks were awesome, there were at least 50.

 

Eric it seems our paths cross a lot, we missed each other in Dominica and now Cancun. Well maybe next time.

 

Elmer

post-8179-1282517653.jpg

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post-4865-1282567445.jpg

Dr Fiscus and I just got back from Cancun, we played with the whale sharks, dove Cozumel and cenotes.

The whale sharks were awesome, there were at least 50.

 

Eric it seems our paths cross a lot, we missed each other in Dominica and now Cancun. Well maybe next time.

 

Elmer

Wonderful trip with eyu and his family.

Cenotes were spectacular and the whale sharks were neat - and plentiful. Here are a couple of my photos.

Andypost-4865-1282567479.jpg

post-4865-1282567428.jpg

post-4865-1282567460.jpg

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Andy,

 

Wonderful cenote shots, the vis was like forever.

 

Elmer

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I really like this thread - been wanting to go to the cenotes for a while :)

How did you all find shooting in them? Easy diving one you're neutral?

Very excited, will be there next June w00t.

*Hey, I made it to lionfish :D*

Edited by MitHere

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I really like this thread - been wanting to go to the cenotes for a while :)

How did you all find shooting in them? Easy diving one you're neutral?

Very excited, will be there next June w00t.

*Hey, I made it to lionfish :D*

Diving the cenotes was easy - we just followed the guide - stayed neutral and far enough above the bottom that we stirred up almost no silt. I used my Tokina 10 - 17 with my flashes on TTL - opened up the f-stop a little - and was really happy with the results. Check out my cenotes gallery on my website - www.oceandoctorshots.com - lots of decent shots. I will admit that if one was not being guided around - and one was not outside the USA - a cave diving course would have been required but the cenotes we did were pretty idot proof for any experienced diver - follow the rope and guide and only one way in and one way out - and no tight spaces.

Enjoy.

Andy

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