Monday, October 24, 2016

What Lurks Beneath

This is the rainy season, but we have had some fabulous days that call us out onto and into the water.
Morning view across to Greater Monkey Cay, 0.8 miles distant.
Our new dock gate.
We had to put a gate on our dock.  You will soon see why.
Standing on the dock looking north.  Greater Monkey Cay is just of view to the right of this shot.  When it looks like this, the kayaking is great.
I have learned to get the kayak ready from the dock rather then on the beach, clipping in the seat, positioning the live vest, stowing water bottle, snack, and camera.  This is much easier without help from Barnie!
Poor Barnie can't come through the gate onto the dock.
It got worse for Barnie, too.  Before I got in the kayak, I put her on the chain in the shade of the seagrape so she couldn't swim out after me.  I could hear her howls of despair across the water as I paddled out.  Sorry, Barnie, until your new CFD (canine flotation device) arrives, you are not allowed to go so far from shore.

I had unearthed my old underwater housing for a little Canon PowerShot A95 camera.  My old and well-used PowerShot fritzed out some time back, but Dennis had found a refurbished replacement on eBay and squirreled it away for later.  As eventually happens, later became now.  I got it going with new batteries (thanks, Dennis!) and decided to try it out by just holding under the water.  What better place than the corals around Greater Monkey Cay.  I took the following photos by holding the camera down into the water while leaning over the edge of the kayak.  I basically shot blind and wound up with lots of worthless images.  But I did get a few keepers to show what lurks beneath.
Hard and soft corals near the cay.  The water is a little murky.
The PowerShot does OK.  It has a very small chip, so you can't crop the shots very much.  It does have an underwater setting that seems to work all right.  I still have to white balance the shots after the fact.
In bright sunshine and with minimal ripples on the water's surface, it does pretty good.
The fish moved too fast for me to get any good shots of them, but there were lots around.
Sea fans and brain corals. in dappled sunlight.
Now I must get busy learning the names and types of corals.
I was fairly pleased with the results.  I will take it snorkeling next.  This will be a good way for me to learn more about the local sea-life while getting more experienced with underwater photography.  Not sure if I will upgrade to better equipment or not; underwater camera gear is quite expensive.  For now, I am enjoying this setup very much.

My dog-loving blogging friends will be happy to know that after this trip I went back for Barnie and we spent about an hour paddling along in the shallows.  She is getting better behaved with each trip.

22 comments:

  1. Those are some great underwater shots Wilma. Looks to be a new avenue for post images in the future.

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    1. Thanks, Roy. I am sure having fun with it.

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  2. Poor Barnie, but your photos are beautiful.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. She is a sad sight, but she gets plenty of water action so don't feel too sorry for her. Glad you like the photos.

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  3. Brilliant Wilma: You are going to have a lot of fun with that set up.

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    1. Thanks! I think it will be too, John.

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  4. What a stunner that third photo down is, puts into perspective all the reasons that you moved there, oh to be there on a kayak. Can't wait to see Barnie in her floatation gear.

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    1. Four years here and I never tire of the views or the sea. I foresee a struggle to get Barnie into the CFD, so I can't wait to see it myself. I bet it will be highly entertaining to anyone watching (Dennis!) the first attempts.

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  5. The underwater life is fascinating. It's amazing what you can achieve with a small battery powered camera!

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    1. I know - I was pleased with what that inexpensive and older model point-and-shoot camera could do.

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  6. What a beautiful surprise to see your underwater photographs from the Cay. It's grand to be reminded that while we are generally so concerned with what's going on above sea level, there are fascinating lives being lived below.

    I do hope that you will continue posting such incredible views!

    What a welcome sweet Barnie must have given you when your kayak neared the shore...and she realized that she was about to do some adventuring with you. xo

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    1. We zip past that cay all the time, never realizing what beauty is under there. I intend to be out there at every opportunity to enjoy it and will share the good stuff.
      Barnie was very excited when I came back for her; she loves it out on the water. But I wouldn't go so far as to call her a "sweet" dog; she is mostly a big pain in the butt! I hope she outgrows her jumping and nipping in excitement. She does sit on command and I am training her, but it is an ongoing process.

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  7. It's funny to see Barnie sitting at the gate waiting for your return. The underwater shots look awesome. You've opened a whole new world to photograph.

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    1. Even when I walk out to the far end of the dock, Barnie will follow me to the gate and then lie down in front of it waiting for me to come back. I am excited about the underwater photography. I hope to improve as I get more experience, but just being out there is wonderful. Are there any calm days on the beaches near you?

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    2. Wilma,
      We have had some really beautiful days for taking under water shots. It's kind of funny but it was our trip to Belize that I got the under water camera for Silke. Some of the nicest shots that we got were there. We took the kayaks out across the bay and ventured around the little island. The shots were so clear and sharp it was amazing. The camera still works great here as well. BTW - What ever happened to Wooster and Jeeves (The two dogs at Stepping Stones)?

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    3. Is Silke's camera the Pentax? I have thought about getting one, but the reviews are so mixed. The dogs are with a very nice family who recently moved from Texas to start a little ranch near Chris and Sue. They have a 14 yr old daughter who loves the dogs and spends lots of time with them.

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    4. Yes, Silke has a Pentax WG-3 camera that she still likes to use. She wrote a review about it in 2014 - http://www.jagerfoods.com/entertainment/underwater-pentax-camera-review/ She would like to get an underwater GoPro camera next, we see them being used a lot here in Hawaii. Awesome news about the dogs!

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  8. What glorious locations, colors, and views. I'm not sharing this with Jerry. The first thing he'd say is "THEY have a kayak!"

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    1. Ahhhh, but we don't have a new Prius! We are surrounded by beauty.

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  9. Wow view from your dock is gorgeous.
    Aftet quite a time saw such wonderful underwater shots

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    1. The views here are wonderful, so glad you enjoy them too. I will keep working on the underwater shots; thanks for your encouraging words.

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