While in Australia we had the barrier reef on our “to do list” and for me, I learned an expensive lesson there.
Over the years I have had a lot of trouble with face masks and leaking. I recently upgraded all of the family’s gear (we love to snorkel) and had some success with masks.
However, the same thing kept happening over and over on trips. The longer we were at the hotel/resort, the leakier my mask would get. It was was driving me INSANE. The family had gotten use to it and was convinced that I am just finicky.
We traveled all the way out to the barrier reef and the same thing happened, I spent more time clearing my mask than snorkelling. The mystery being that a couple of days prior I had snorkelled for 4 hours with no issues. What was I doing wrong?
The skipper finally solved the mystery: my beard. When I go on holiday I like to skip shaving. As the week progresses, it gets thicker. At a certain point, the mask is incapable of making a seal with my skin due to the stubble and starts leaking. Mystery solved: shave. Which is alright, there is a surprising amount of grey anyway (smile).
The boys have no such issue, they swim like fish.
The tide goes out in the afternoon providing excellent access to the reef system off the beach. You walk in ankle deep water for 300m and then make your way out to the system. The wind and waves will determine the visibility. On boxing day we spent a couple hours snorkelling with excellent visibility. I was swimming with my Canon G12 and an underwater case.
The coral is beautiful.
I have no idea what type of fish this is but the camouflage was very impressive.
There were a few jellyfish so you had be careful. Most people were not wearing a stinger suit.
I happened upon this huge sea turtle grazing. No one else was around so I just hung out for 30 minutes swimming beside him/her and snapping shots. They are such magnificent creatures.
He/she was not bothered at all.
The turtle was over a meter long. Beautiful.
For traveling I have two camera choices – the full rig (Canon 40D with a number of lenses) and a portable. The portable (And old Canon SD1000) was carried in my laptop bag and was primarily used for underwater shots …. thanks to an amazing waterproof chassis that I grabbed after a trip to Bora Bora when a friend took this shot with the same chassis.
It has been a great product that we use all the time. Below are a few underwater photos from a trip to Mexico in August. The quality is fantastic for a 7 year old camera.
But it was time for an upgrade. For Christmas I received a Canon G12 and a WP-DC34 underwater case. I cannot wait to test out full HD video, RAW and the advances that the camera offers when we are snorkelling in Grand Cayman. Can’t wait.