THIS WEEK (March 24-31) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE
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REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT
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Want to travel??? Upcoming 2019 vacation trips:
• Yap Immersion - March 11-24 (WE JUST GOT BACK!!!)
• Bonaire - Mid-May (exact dates TBA)
• Indonesia - July 6-17 (Murex in Manado - 6 going so far)
• Isla Mujeres - August (Whale Shark congregation)
• Maldives - October 12-24 (SOLD OUT!!!)
• Sea of Cortez (Cabo Pulmo) - December 4-10 (SOLD OUT!!!)
GET MORE INFO ON ALL OF OUR VACATION TRIPS HERE: http://www.reefseekers.com/foreign_trips.html
Upcoming local dives & classes:
• Thu., Apr. 4 - Redondo (Vets Park) - Squid Dive (FREE!!)
• Sat., Apr. 13 - Redondo (Vets Park) - Navigation techniques ($25 - single-tank dive)
• Wed., Apr. 17 - CLASS - Fish ID (Reef Seekers Westwood - $25)
• Sat., Apr. 27 - Catalina Express Avalon Underwater Park ($150 - 3 dives)
• Wed., May 1 - Chamber Day/Eve 2019 Support your Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber
To sign up for any of these dives, either call us at 310/652-4990 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I normally don't get jet-lagged but this time I feel a bit like a burnt wire . . .
BACK FROM YAP - Landed Sunday at 5:20AM after travelling for close to 24 straight (Yap to Guam to Honolulu to LAX) but absolutely a small price to pay for the phenomenal time we spent in Yap. I'm still tweaking pictures - over the course of 25 dives I shot 3600 images - and need to work on the trip report as well, but the short version is that we all had a blast. On top of that, two of our dives qualified as "Lifetime Top 10 Dives." One was the first dive of only two we made in M'il Channel (generally choppy and murky most of the week) where we had 100-foot vis and non-stop action for 54 minutes. This included seven different individual manta rays (belly shots of each for ID purposes), a squadron of Eagle Rays, a number of Whitetip Sharks, a small fleet (maybe 10) of juvy Grey Reef Sharks, some Bumphead Parrotfish, numerous Titan Triggerfish, and schools of Bigeye Trevally, Whitemouth Trevally, Black Snappers, and a whole lot more. It was never-ending action, including a manta fly-by (who I couldn't shoot) at our safety stop. The second LTTD was out at Land's End (SE side of Yap) where we hit the late afternoon bite where everyone was feeding or cleaning, including ANOTHER squadron of Eagle Rays (we estimate 25 or more). It was like being in the middle of Blue Planet Live. I will detail these in greater length in the trip report which I will send you to separately later this week.
IN THE MEANTIME - If you haven't had a chance to look at our Yap Daily Top 10 pix, here's the link. I posted 10 pix each of the 10 full days we were there, including our one non-dive land tour day, so you've got 100 images to choose from. Choose any day (or all of them). The images display as a collage. You can click on any individual pix for a full-screen image: YAP DAILY TOP 10 PIX.
MY FAV - This was definitely my favorite shot of the
trip, plus just a wonderful encounter. This is a very large (2
feet long) Cuttlefish we encountered at Cabbage Patch. We
assuming this is a female guarding eggs since she never moved
much, even on close approach. (Or it's a Cuttlefish on Xanex.)
But watching up close was really a treat.
HOTO FUN - If you'e not a photog, you can skip this but if you're looking for ways to make your pix better, maybe this will contain some hints. Lately, I've been shooting most of my stuff at 1600-ISO, mainly to get the advantage of higher f-stops which should give a bit better depth-of-field as well as provide some focus leeway. But I've also felt, even though my D750 is supposed to be very good at handling the higher ISOs, that some of the shots, especially if I cropped significantly, came out a bit grainy. So this time I decided to shoot at 200-ISO and even shoot a bit underexposed (again to go with a higher-number f-stop, usually around an f10 to f20 for me) and I would deal with any under-exposure issues by playing wit the RAW file in Lightroom and adjusting exposure there. I was generally pretty happy with the outcome overall. And the point of all of this is to encourage you to try new things when you're out shooting. There's an advantage to locking into a protocol that you know and with which you're comfortable. But there's also advantage in taking what you know and tweaking it a bit and see if you like the new results. In my case, I did. That's also the nice thing about digital. You can always change what you're doing even underwater. With film, not only did you not know how things were going to turn out until the film was processed, but you only had 36 exposures/roll to play with. I now average about 140-ish frames/dive. More room to play. But getting a good daily workflow of reviewing what you shot is essential or you'll just be inundated with images and the volume can be daunting.
CHAMBER DAY CHUGS ALONG - We're a little over 5 weeks out from this event that's essential to the financial lifeblood of the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber and we hope to see your name on one of our rosters soon (if it's not there already). The Cee Ray (our official Ch-Day boat) is already SOLD OUT but we've still got room at our Chamber Eve table, plus there's always room for you on the Flying Dutchman &/or on the Chamber Challenge. Sign up here: CHAMBER DAY 2019.
HOW ABOUT SOME VGD? - If you're going to Chamber Eve (with anyone, not just us), give some thought to adding on a VGD (Very Generous Diver) package to your Eve dinner ticket. The VGD gets you early access (5PM) to the Aquarium, a private area with hors d'oeuvres and drinks plus a great view of Rainbow Harbor, a free Ch-Eve t-shirt, and free parking. Best of all, you also get two additional Grand Prize raffle tickets. These will NOT be available for sale night-of so the ONLY way to increase your chances of winning the Grand Prize (a fabulous 9-night "Passport to Paradise" with our good friends at Murex in Manado, Indonesia) is to get a VDG ($75) in addition to your Eve ticket. Here are the details on the VGD (Very Generous Diver) and here are the particulars on the Grand Prize itself (PASSPORT TO PARADISE WITH MUREX).
NEXT WEEK - Next Sunday is March 31 and you'll get a TWARS on that evening. But you know what day comes after March 31. You've been alerted . . .
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go
Owner - Reef Seekers Dive Co.
NAUI Instructor #5936