Last Saturday, Simon and I went down to Swanage Pier in Dorset to do a few dives. We hadn’t realised that a huge restoration project had begun! Diving is still going on though, with a few safety guidelines in place. Visibility underwater for photography wasn’t particularly great, probably only about a metre, in fact it made navigating our dives pretty tricky! Couldn’t resist having a look at the work going on on the piles and timbers of the pier as we made our way back in. A total of 41 piles are being completely replaced! A massive undertaking but with experts in the field carrying out the work the Swanage Pier Trust hope for it to be completed by August. I can’t wait to see the Marine Villas renovated to create a new, accessible visitor centre with exhibition space, shop, café and a glazed extension. Hopefully the pier will continue to bring joy to visitors above and below for years to come! This is my entry for this week’s Fotospeed fsprintmonday challenge. I will include a few from underwater, see if you can spot the giant spider crab!
An underwater apparition from the flooded quarry at the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC). Simon and I went up to the centre, near Chepstow, on Saturday to get in a couple of freshwater dives. This British Aerospace Jetstream 200 has been one of the attractions at the site since 2006 and can be found at the north end of the quarry, at a depth of eleven metres. Visibility is usually better than the five metres, or so, that we had this weekend. I rather enjoyed seeing the various wrecks appear, like ghosts, from the gloom ahead of us though. Taken using the Olympus Tough TG4, this image is my entry for Wex Mondays this week. Good luck to everyone taking part!
The dusky grouper we encountered during our dive on Saturday seemed to be quite fascinated by me! I was practically nose to nose with this character for quite a while.
We did two dives from the boat off the coast of Kos with Arian Diving Centre in Kardamena. I can thoroughly recommend joining them for a day if you’re over here!
Diving is one of the best things I have ever learnt to do!! I feel so free in the water. There’s so much beauty in the landscape, plants and wildlife. I will definitely write a longer blog about our experiences when we get back to the UK but I only have my phone with me to process images and post blogs at the moment!
I’m posting this for both the Fotospeed challenge and Wex Mondays this week, along with a gallery of a few other groupers! Enjoy 😀
When the bustle of activity around the dive centre on Swanage Pier has finished for the day, all that remains is the calm stillness of the waters and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, now that Simon and I are fully qualified PADI Open Water Divers! This is my entry for this week’s Fotospeed Challenge. It’s from a four second long-exposure of the old pier struts, next to where the dive boats moor during the day. Despite the overcast skies I didn’t have enough filters to get a longer exposure! I will have to get some Lee Big Stoppers before our next dive there.
It’s been a truly amazing week! Simon and I have been hard at work completing our PADI Open Water Diver courses. Wednesday saw us at Wraysbury Diving Lake, dropping to depths of around eleven metres, to perform particular skills underwater and enjoy a bit of exploration around some of the sunken objects that can be found at this popular dive centre. As a trainee, I couldn’t take my camera down with me but there was plenty to see around the lakeside too! These mating damselflies were perfectly poised to capture the moment that the female (below) accepts the sperm from the male (above), by looping the end of her abdomen upwards, while he grasps her behind the thorax with the terminal appendages of his abdomen. Together they form a heart shape with their slender bodies. This image of love is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.
These pretty little blue-finned fish are found in the seas of the Eastern Atlantic and The Mediterranean. It’s called a Damselfish (Chromis chromis) and we found these small ones in the seas off Kos this year. They are mostly juveniles, going by their colouring. They swim in shoals at depths between two and forty metres. I was incredibly lucky that this shoal came closer to the surface, while feeding on the rocks, where we were snorkeling!
We snorkel every year and I have been desperately trying to improve my few skills in underwater photography on each trip. The time has now come to attempt to delve a bit deeper into the blue seas of the Mediterranean! In order to do so, Simon and I are starting our PADI Open Water Dive (Scuba) training. At the moment we’re working on our coursework (knowledge development) with the dive video and manual. Lots to take in and memorise before our classroom theory, confined water and open water dives, starting in a couple of weeks time! I may not be particularly responsive online until we finish our course and, hopefully, get out certificates on December 5th. Keep your fingers (or fins!) crossed for us! I’ll try to keep posting (more fish perhaps?) but I apologise if you don’t hear anything more from me.