Feb 17, 2008

Da seaweed is always bluer

When your hotshoe wiring comes unseated during your backroll into the water, so you have no external flash on your camera.

That may need some translation...

I went diving today! Wahoo! Which marked my second dive on the stunning, the beautiful, Bianca C, a cruise ship that sank into the 50s and is now sitting with its props around 150 feet (haven't been all the way down there) and its pool around 90 feet down. For those unfamiliar with the properties of light as you descend, colors start getting filtered out the deeper you go, with red taking off in a hurry.

Your brain can somewhat compensate for this so you'll think you saw colors that you didn't. Your camera, sadly, cannot, thus any color you get down around 100 feet other than blue is going to be due to the light you bring with you.

Since I'm an idiot and hadn't had my camera underwater for a while, I forgot that the seating to my hot shoe (which I wire to my external flash) is loose and will not stay in place if the camera is jarred at all (like by holding onto it and falling backwards off a boat) unless I have jammed a small piece of rubber into it. Sadly, I had not.

But we're just going to call this heavily photoshopped one "artsy" instead of "drained all the blue out of it and added aged newspaper effects, so it looks in some way, deliberate:

The nice thing about camera woes is that it means all the cool critters come out to play. So I tried to do the best with what I had, since I could use the camera's own flash to get some color back, though it does tend to cast weird shadows when I do that:

This guy stuck around for a while and even let a couple of us touch its shell! Anyone know what species it is? I can't tell turtles apart.

Spotted eagle ray sightings!!!!

Dive 2 was in Sponge Valley and I botched the ending of it. I was trying to get some pictures of an uncooperative little moray eel (which didn't turn out), when I realized I'd been hanging out for too long and turned back to see which way the group had gone.

Whoopsies. So I headed in the direction they'd been going for a little while, because since this is a boat dive, I had no idea where I was, and what was overhead, so hoped I could figure out where the divemaster was... until I got a bit low on air, so thought "dammit, I'm stupid; I'll go up" and heard an increasingly loud buzzing noise.

Ya know what sucks? Being low on air, knowing there's a boat over you *somewhere*, not knowing where, but knowing it's way bigger than YOUR boat, and additionally realizing that in your rush to leave the house, you left your surface marker at home so you can't even send it up as a signal to politely ask the unseen vessel to change course and not chop you to chum in its propellers.

Sigh. It's like an idiot sandwich. So I decided to chill out around 15 feet and burn the rest of my air and wait it out, since going out of air at 15 feet is not ideal but doable, but getting hit by a Carnival cruise ship pretty much only has one outcome.

Good decision too. Not thirty seconds after I'd decided to hang out, a LARGE Heineken catamaran passed directly over my head, twin props spinning (Heineken, what up? I thought we were friends!). So I surfaced sheepishly with a little air left, and our boat captain was polite enough to not make me pay the penance of swimming all the way over to the rest of the group and came over to pick me up. Didn't even get yelled at. Good people. Good dives.

Since I hadn't made enough stupid decisions for one day, I decided to lazily dry off in the sun, forgetting that sunburns don't show up instantly, so now I'm a bright flush shade of painful scarlet. On the plus side, my legs finally have some color.

So I had an incredibly fun day, despite my efforts to the contrary, and got to play with turtles and rays on a sunken wreck. This makes it so very much harder to pick back up and study like a good girl. It's also notable that though I haven't been to lecture since the first week of class, I hopped right out of bed at 7:15 to go diving. Priorities?


Anonymous said...

I'll be seriously disappointed if you don't attend my lectures this week. Love your website.

Ishie said...


Thanks for reading! This is quite an honor.

Millicent said...

Chelonia Mydas. Green sea turtle. Big nesting sites on Puerto Rico, etc.

Ishie said...

Awesome! Thank you! I'm bad at turtles, snails, and crabs. I think I have a shell bias!