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Love Frogfish? Then you will love Atmosphere!

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Love Frogfish? Yes? Then you are going to love Atmosphere Resort & Spa! Located in Dauin, on the island of Negros Oriental near Dumaguete, in The Philippines, this is frogfish heaven. Whether you are diving the famous Apo Island, with its wonderful coral reef (more on this another time) or exploring the local reefs and muck dives, there are frogfish wherever you look. This is the capital of the world for Frogfish.

We love frogfish so much, we named our company after them. So, it was with some excitement that we headed to Atmosphere, as not only did we know that we would be spending lots of time with our favourite weird fish, but Atmosphere has another treat for all frogfish fans – a resident expert – Daniel Geary (or Dr Frogfish)!

Daniel wrote the PADI Frogfish Specialist Course and teaches it exclusively at the resort. The course starts with a two hour classroom session. Daniel goes into detail about the history of frogfish, such as the first ever drawings/encounters written in history, working our way up to the present and highlighting some of the important scientists that furthered our knowledge of frogfish.

He talks about general frogfish biology on subjects such as body morphology, predation, reproduction, movement, and distribution. The final topic is the identification segment, and, according to Daniel, that is the most important part of the course. He goes through a few main species in heavy detail, then talks about some of the rare species in moderate detail, touching on the super rare species just to show they exist and to see cool photos.

The course is centred around Indo-Pacific frogfish, but he can add frogfish from anywhere to tailor it to the diver taking the course. Participants then go for two dives, with the dive site chosen depending on the abundance of frogfish at that time of the year.

Daniel says: ” Normally we see between 2 and 5 species. We can expect anywhere from 1 to 30 frogfish during a course. My record is 36. During the dives themselves, our main objective is to locate the frogfish. We then measure them, take notes of habitat and any behaviour observed, and if brave, the students can guess identification underwater using hand signals. I bring my camera, and students are encouraged to bring theirs, so that we can properly identify the frogfish after the dive.”

After the second dive, the students have a debriefing session where they go through the photos. As a team, with the students leading, we identify each frogfish we spotted and look at their behaviour as well. The objective is for the students to identify the frogfish with minimal help. After the course, they get a free t-shirt, PADI certification, and a pdf file of Daniel’s custom Frogfish of the Visayas ID Guide.

Alas, there was not enough time on our trip for us to complete the Frogfish Specialist Course, but we did attend one of Daniel’s talks on his favourite subject of Frogfish, which are a popular evening event. We got to hear first-hand about his passion for frogfish, see some of his impressive images and learn plenty more about them, whilst sipping on a cool beer, after a great day of diving.

The diving was a real treat, and whilst we took in far more than just frogfish on this trip (more about this soon) it was amazing just how many different species and individual frogfish we encountered, from the miniscule ones, barely bigger than a grain of sand, to the very large ones camouflaged against sponges. Frogfish are incredible fish, with the ability to blend in to match their surroundings and then strike at their prey with ferocious speed. They use a special appendage to “fish” for their prey, dangling a lure out in front of their mouths. They tend to walk along the seabed and look clumsy when trying to move from one place to another. Be careful – they can become an obsession!

For more information please follow the links below:

Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

The Official UK Travel Guide for The Philippines


Underwater Photography Equipment Used:

  • Olympus OMD EM-1 MKII with 60mm lens
  • Nauticam housing
  • INON Z-240 strobes

and

  • Nikon D800 with 105mm lens
  • Nauticam housing
  • INON Z-240 strobes

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

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Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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