diving pictures: cocos island (CR), and belize

willienelson

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had a elos midi that I shut down before a move two years ago. recently got a 170 peninsula waterbox. I included a few images of the new setup and some of my fish.

Between tanks I did some diving.

Highlight of my life thus far probably was my 14 day trip to cocos island 350 miles offshore of costa rica on the pacific side.

The first images that are less colorful are from Cocos. Our average diving depth was 80-120 feet. I was part of a marine conservation team serving acoustic receiver stations, and tagging scalloped hammers, and tigers :skull:. There were some BIG galapagos sharks :skull:, which were amazing to see and I got to see a few solo tuna! A flash doesnt help too much with big pelagic shots as the subjects are too far.

The belize images are much more colorful. I got the opportunity to go down to the stalactites 130ish feet in the greast blue hole but it was far too dark for images. got many more micro shots here.

hope you guys enjoy,
Willie
 

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willienelson

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Wow ,,,, yo how did you get those sharks to like not eat you man

their preferred prey (seals, sea lions, etc) are generally at the surface. 100ish feet down they think you're just another big predator -- it's the getting in and out that can be a little scary.

We generally dove the "cleaning stations" where barber fish (you can see several in the images) reside and the sharks come in to get cleaned off, I imagine this means they are in a bit of a docile non predatory state of mind.
 

Chefjpaul

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Great Dive photos.

I'm diving Cozumel this week and with Bull Sharks yesterday.

Where in Belize did you go? We Dove there last year.


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willienelson

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Great Dive photos.

I'm diving Cozumel this week and with Bull Sharks yesterday.

Where in Belize did you go? We Dove there last year.


Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

Thanks! Turneeffe Reef Atoll. It was great!

I've been wanting to do cozumel as I love the weightless flying sensation you get from drift dives. have they been epic? Hope the rest of your week is amazing. I know its early in the season, but wishing you whale shark sightings.
 

Chefjpaul

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Thanks! Turneeffe Reef Atoll. It was great!



I've been wanting to do cozumel as I love the weightless flying sensation you get from drift dives. have they been epic? Hope the rest of your week is amazing. I know its early in the season, but wishing you whale shark sightings.
Epic- yeah.

We were here in August diving and swimming with the whale sharks.

That's how much I love the drift diving of these coral walls here. Insane.



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Timbo

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That is one big hammerhead!! I dove in Cozumel years ago and it is cool to jump in and really not have to do anything but ride the current along the reef. I was a beautiful place to dive.
 

Ziggy

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Do you actually see anyone standing on corals? I see one picture, where you might think that is happening, but I assure you it is not. I assume you are referring to the diver holding onto a boulder with his hands while a large hammer swims by? There is a drop off and channel before the reef that I am above. Admittedly it is hard to see in that image. There are other images where we were wearing gloves. The environment is such that gloves are required.

The swell and current around this island are intense. The rocks and reefs are volcanic not calcium bicarbonate skeleton based. The rock is sharp and generally covered in barnacles particularly where most of the cleaning stations are. The diving is in fact dangerous even if you exclude the animals in your risk calculus. This is not your typical diving reef -- it is an extreme hub of marine life and oceanic energy (there is one coral lagoon on the island -- I must say it's amazing; I dove it at night gloveless).

Generally in the scuba diving community it is not considered acceptable to use gloves or generally to touch anything with your hands or any other part of your body. I have always done this and firmly believe everyone, who is diving on vacation, should practice this policy. My buoyancy control while diving, and more importantly, photographing while diving, are first rate. I have many hundreds of underwater time. I refer you to the belize images in this post and the other threads that I shared:

https://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/photography/152623-diving-roatan-honduras.html


https://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/photography/157342-pictures-vieques.html


In this particular instance there are some extenuating circumstances. I would have gladly engaged you in a discussion about cocos island, and the role of the Costa Rican citizens working in the fishery, and how the Costa Rican government is handling the issue. This is an incredibly important UNESCO world heritage site (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/820)

I was part of a group working to substantiate and protect the Cocos Galapagos Swimway. More can be read about that here: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/22/611955569/scientists-take-a-ride-on-the-pacifics-shark-highway Essentially there is an underwater mountain range connecting these two wonders. The costa rican fishermen have historically used this fishery. The particular group I was with acted both by, trying to effect political conservation law protecting the swimway, as well as documenting and substantiating scientific observations. I was diving with a group of 14 led by https://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/randall-arauz/ and https://seaturtles.org/about-us/our-team/todd-steiner-3/

I brought my camera down for maybe 5 of 25 dives. During every dive we were cataloging and counting species in 5 minute intervals. In addition we serviced acoustic receiver stations all around the island (physically brought old data up and new storage media down). Sure, there obviously should be some basic analysis considering the cost of the conservation activities versus the benefits. In conservationism and ecological organized efforts generally these costs are dwarfed the benefit. But there is always an observer effect, which is a well known physics concept.

I just wanted to share as I haven't been on the forms in two years what I've been up to that the community might enjoy due to the commonality that we almost all keep reef aquariums. I hope you have a good day sir.

There is no need to get offended by my sarcastic question.
You are talking about all of different things but the truth is as a diver and reef keeper you should know that it doesn?t matter what kind of rock is it it?s still considering part of the reef. You mentioned your self there was a lot of stuff growing on it so it?s considered a part of the reef is it? Most of the places band wearing any kind of gloves while diving for one reason and one reason only. So people won?t touch anything. I have been diving in number of different parts of the world and I see that about 80% of divers have no clue about how sensitive coral reefs are and have seen a lot of divers trying to take that perfect picture and distroing reef behind them with ther fins with out even knowing. Any way we both know there is a lot to talk about on this subject.
I didn?t mean to offend you in any way! Welcome back to MR and happy reefing!
BYW while you are in Mexico you should go a cross from Cozumel to playa del Carmen and go cavern diving. My favorite! I am going there next Saturday again and will be doing cave diving only.
 

Chefjpaul

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Cozume this week & Bull sharks in Playa.

I Have a bunch drifting out in the open along the Santa Rosa Wall, but on gopro and not downloading properly.

And no one touched the reef in these photos... LOL.

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Virgilius

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I wish I could be able to dive the way you do and take these amazing pictures. I mostly use my paddle board and take some cool pictures close to the shore. Nevertheless, I think I might be taking some scuba diving classes soon I was one of my biggest dreams is to visit the coral reeves of Australia one day and take some amazing pictures and videos. I will also be taking my glide paddleboard as it's very light and it can easily fit in any airplane without paying too much. For now though until the restrictions are taken away I will be enjoying your pictures from home.
 
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