A very full day today. We started with a dive off the dock here at Buddy Dive, went into town, did two boat dives, saw a slide show by the guy running the photo center, and then went out to dinner.
I used the first dive to test out the new camera housing. With the housing loaded only with tissue paper, I took it out on a dive to make sure there were no leaks. It passed the test, and I was ready to start shooting.
After the dive, Henri and I picked up our rental car and then Paul led us into town to pick up groceries– it’s much cheaper and faster to have lunch in your rooms than it is to get lunch in the restaurant. It was only the second time I’ve driven a standard shift car, and it showed, but everyone survived and I’ll get better.
Paul promised us something special for the boat dive today, and delivered. He took us to see a “bait ball”– a swirling, writhing ball of fish, all frantically swimming in circles, kept intact by hovering predators. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it was totally awesome. We swam through the ball, and then they swept past us, then switched directions and bowled through us. In the middle of it, it was like being in a sandstorm of fish.
The second dive wasn’t as dramatic, but was still good. The dive spot is named “Just a Nice Dive” just off Klein Bonaire and it was nice. Nice coral formations, nice schooling fish, nice eel, and the guide pointed out a not-so-nice looking scorpion fish to me.
So far, I’m pleased with the way the new camera and strobe are working. The camera still has some shutter lag, but not nearly as much as the S70. The strobe generally covers the picture area well, and I’ve gotten a general idea of the power settings to use. I have lost a few shots to mis-fires, but I was using some batteries that weren’t entirely fresh. The bigger issue is learning to be patient, get close, and wait for the fish to settle back down.
At the end of the day, we went over to the restaurant at the resort down the street. It was fun watching Nick and Paul play off each other.
Update: More pictures here.