Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fiery Sunrise

This morning, the sunrise was particularly orange, due to the smoke from the Poomacha Fire, not far to the south of my house. Happily, all of my friends and family have weathered the fires without loss.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Truth Trip VI

On September 19, 25 intrepid souls set forth from the Seaforth Landing in Santa Barbara, eager to explore the waters surrounding the Channel Islands. Although the adventure was known as "Truth Trip VI", in all truthfulness, we were actual going out on the Vision, sister ship to the Truth. Our itinerary was to start at San Clemente Island, followed by Anacapa Island, and then a stop at the oil platform Grace. We actually ended up at Catalina and Santa Cruz, with no hope of Grace. This change of plan was caused by bad weather that followed us all weekend. Still, even with hail at the surface, we were enjoying the world below.

The storm did stir up the water, decreasing the visibility and making it difficult to take any decent wide angle shots, so most of the trip became a nudibranch hunt. I saw at least ten species, including a few that are shown here. The white on red nudi is a Festive Triton. Below, there is a picture of a very small Spanish Shawl with my glove behind it. This Shawl was only a few millimeters in size. Click on any of the pictures for a larger image and a description.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The story of Sean Penn, official blog mascot

Sean Penn the Octopus is the official mascot of the Underwater Paparazzo blog. Like his Hollywood namesake, Sean got a bit annoyed with the flashing camera of a paparazzo (singular of "paparazzi", you know) and took matters into his own hands (six of them), literally.

I was diving in Honduras off of the island of Roatan. I came across Sean taking a siesta in a crevice under a rock. I took a few photographs, and then a few more, and then maybe a few more. Sean's temper got short and he reached out to grab my camera, probably intent on smashing it into the nearby coral. He actually reached out with six of his arms, covering the front of my camera housing and grabbing on to the various buttons and levers. I would have taken a few more up close and personal photos, but he was holding down the zoom lever on my Oly 5060, keeping me from being able to trip the shutter.

My short photographic career almost over, I fought back, pulling Sean completely out of his crevice. At that point, he decided the best plan was to let go and slither back into his hole.

I kicked Sean Penn's butt. Mano-a-mano. Well, really mano-a-ocho-manos, which would be a lot more impressive if he had been a Giant Pacific Octopus instead of a little Caribbean Octopus.

Welcome to my new blog

Thank you for dropping by my new blog. I look forward to sharing with you the things that I see underwater. I think of this website as a way of freeing more of my photos from imprisonment on my computer's hard drive, a final destination with much resemblance to an electronic Alcatraz. Not only do I plan to share underwater photos, but also stories from some of my trips, gear reviews, and perhaps some events from those periods between dives known as "surface intervals" - those periods spent out of the water earning money to get back into the water, preparing gear for those water adventures, or cleaning up gear from the last trip into the salty underworld.

Once again, thanks for dropping buy. Feel free to leave a comment or two. This whole online sharing thing is a little new to me, so I'm open to suggestions.

P.S. The photo above is a close-up of a starfish, taken at Santa Cruz Island in Southern California. You can click on it to see a larger image.