FOCUS: PHILIPPINES: Dumaguate - Ligpo Island - Malapascua - Dauin - Profile: Phil Nyutten :: Guadalupe Sharks :: Worlds Deepest Wreck Dive :: Portfolio: Ray Troll : Valentines Gifts :: The First Frogmen, part 2 :: Nova Scotia :: Photography and Travelling ... and much more more
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I checked in at Gatwick Airport on Saturday, the third of December, with three very large dive bags containing all the necessary equipment to make a descent, hopefully, to the deepest wreck ever dived.
I arrived at Sharm El Sheikh airport to be met by my deep diving buddy, Leigh Cunningham, who drove me to my hotel.
In the years prior to World War II, the Italian fleet had developed a new underwater weapon, the SLC, a slow torpedo which was manned by two divers. Submerged, and thereby unseen, the frogmen on the SLC could get close in to the enemy ships and mine them. The frogmen trained in attacking their own ships, and after many excercises developed a procedure for approach and placing mines under the ships.
As soon as the submarine was in position, and the frogmen were out, the containers were opened and the SLC drawn out. The frogmen then tested all the functions of the SLC before setting out for the target.
My first shark appeared head-on in the distance slowly swaying from side to side. With elegant grace and composure it continued towards the cage with mouth opened just enough to boast a healthy set of triangular teeth. Like the star of a grand performance, the shark held everyone in awe as it turned slightly just in front of the cage to examine an offering of tuna.
It was a huge 14ft (4m), 2,175-pound (987kg) female. Her body was sleek and muscular, capable of high speeds if necessary. She ignored the bait and gave the caged divers a once over then slowly swam away, never changing her pace.
I can not stop feeling, that I am at the White Sea in the northern part of Russia. Mirror of blue water, islands and islets, bays and small bays. Clear water, birches along the shores. The difference becomes clear when you step out to the road. Good asphalt, bright yellow marking lines. What else strikes my eyes – everywhere ashore there are placed, as if by a landscape designer, dry tree sculptures, decorated with algae.
Where did you dive this summer? If a person is satisfied with the brief answer, “In Canada,” that means the person probably missed all his or her grade school geography lessons. Canada is a country of real contrasts. It is bath a densely inhabited strip of land along the US border with huge metropolitan centers such as Montreal and Toronto, where there are sky-scrapers and big businesses, as well as a vast country of wilderness territories in the north stretching out along the coastline.
“If you think about it, the space between the highest mountain peak which is seven miles high and our lowest point in the ocean which is about seven miles deep… that’s just 14 miles of space in which all life, our lives, can exist. Our naked bodies cannot survive outside this small zone on the planet, which actually appears like a smooth ball with a few stains on it from outer space.
So says Dr Phil Nuytten, inventor of sub sea submersibles and the NewtSuit, a deep-sea hard suit employing break through technology that allow scientists to walk the bottom of the ocean in one-bar atmosphere with a freedom and range of movement unsurpassed by other devices.
Ray Troll, 51, was born in Corning, New York State, USA. His father was in the US Air Force, so his family moved quite frequently, perhaps eleven times as Ray grew up. His father moved the family to live in Japan and Puerto Rico. It was in Puerto Rico that Ray fell in love with the ocean.
“I was 10-13 years old, when we moved there from Pennsylvania and plunked down in a tropical island,” said Ray Troll, “We lived in a house on a cliff right above the ocean. I’d hop over the fence and hike down to the beach, look at the tide pools and poke around at the fish.”
Have Camera...Will Travel.
Travelling with cameras, selecting a photo-friendly operator.
Through trial and error, as well as a significant investment in time and money, we feel we have found how to improve your underwater photography through travelling a certain way and properly configuring your dive equipment.