Thursday, September 07, 2006

Layang Layang 2

Layang-layang is famous for its pellagics (big fish) as well as sharks and manta rays. There is a 70% chance that you'll get to see at least a shark or a ray on each dive... or so the divemasters there told us.

So, I obviously had a lot of expectations for my first dive also known as the 'check-out' dive i.e. we check out our gear, required weights and refresh our diving skills.

This is a typical view of the divers descending, some faster, others slower depending on your ability to equalize. It doesn't matter how experienced you are; sometimes, you just need a bit of time to get reacquainted with the whole thing.

And this was what greeted us at the bottom: corals, corals and more corals. Its blue-ish hue is due to the filtration of the 'warmer' colours as we descend deeper. So the deeper you go, the more bluish (and darker) it gets.

Very often, in order to take more chromatically accurate pictures underwater, I have to adjust quite a bit of the parameters in my camera, eg. the white balance, ISO, aperture, and flash intensity. And it's quite cumbersome to do so underwater, when you also have to worry about all the stuff like your own air, equalizing, and buoyancy. Oh, and also lots of photoshop-ing afterwards.

The first thing we saw was this huge jellyfish. It was the size of a beachball and although you can't see it in this pic, there were a lot of fish fry seeking shelter and food within its tentacles.... or were they food / bait? Hmmm......

Manta ray! Yanni hit her pointer on her tank like crazy and signalled us to look up. This was what we saw. A school of manta rays gliding past us effortlessly and serenely.

I swum up to take a closer look. This is the underside of the manta. And no, there are no stinging barbs on its tail.

This is our beloved divemaster, Yanni aka Borneo Turtle. I met her on my diving trip to Southern Thailand two years ago and we've dived together lots of times since then.

This is Rich, our videographer. His job is to take video footage of us during our dive, and then compile the best footage into a DVD movie for us to take home as a momento. Fantastic diver in his own right and I truly admire his buoyancy skills.

There were not many fish partly because we had gone quite deep (hence the blue of most of the pics here). This is the exception: a school of jackfish in a tornado of feeding frenzy.

We also managed to see a school of pygmy devil rays as well as some reef shark. However the pics of them did turn out well, so sigh.... maybe the next divelah, hehehe.

1 comment:

Asther said...

The videographer guy is Kriss, not Rich. Hehehe... He's one of the senior staff in ScubaZoo Images. Very experienced & full of passion for underwater videography. He's very into big stuffs though, not so much on macro. ;)