Mandarin Magic in the Philippines
The Mandarin fish has to be one of the most exquisite fish in existence. It has a simply wonderful colouration, pattern and delicacy that makes it a real treat to find and photograph. We have done several dives dedicated to finding these delightful fish that hide amongst both dead and living hard corals and yet have never really had that “wow” moment … until our recent dive with Magic Island Dive Resort in the Philippines.
We had arrived in the early hours of the morning and had grabbed a quick snooze to recover from the long journey, but wanted to get diving and pack in as much as we could on our short stay, so we chose an afternoon house-reef dive and a shallow dive to see mandarin fish mating at dusk. The afternoon dive ensured that all our equipment was working and we were hoping that the dusk dive was going to set the tone for this whole trip. Whilst, in the past, we have seen the male dart around looking for the smaller females in the coral, we really wanted to capture the moment these gorgeous fish rise up, out of the coral, to mate.
It is a challenge for underwater photographers for many reasons. We were asked not to use any lights (not even those with red as an option), as this can make the fish shy and less likely to perform. We were wondering how our cameras would focus in the diminishing light. Our guide, Jason, said that he would use his torch, mostly covered by his hand, to illuminate the fish using a small beam of light, from between his fingers, when the moment was right. So, we hovered over the coral, letting our eyes adjust to the gloom and waited.
We were rewarded with a spectacle like we have never previously witnessed. Rather than just the usual toing and froing of the mandarin fish in the reef that we have seem so many times in the past, the pairs rose up in a beautiful dance above the coral and then in a flash (releasing their eggs and sperm) they were gone. The male performs his courtship dance to a handful of females that gather in the same area, and so we were treated to several of these rituals on a single dive. We were the only divers in the water and, with the dive site only a short swim from the dive centre, and in only 6 or 7 meters of water, we had plenty of time to take in this incredible display.
What an incredible start to our time with Magic Island Dive Resort! Elated, we finished the dive, hung up our gear and headed to join the other guests staying at the resort for dinner. We shared tales of our diving day whilst all sitting together for a wonderful meal, a few drinks and some great scuba stories. A perfect start to our trip.
For more information about Magic Island Dive Resort, visit their website by clicking here.
For more information about the Philippines click here.
Freediver Ruth Osborn sets new National Record
British freediving athlete Ruth Osborn has set a new National Record in Free Immersion, breaking one of the longest standing freediving records.
The 15 year old record of 81m was set by Sara Campbell on 21st October 2007.
On 18th May 2023, at Freediving World in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Ruth Osborn set a new British National Record in Free Immersion diving to 82m in tough conditions with a dive time of 2 minutes and 53 seconds.
Ruth’s dive is the second deepest dive ever done in competition by a British woman.
You can see a video of the record breaking dive here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CsbYy31PVQN/
Congratulations Ruth from everyone at Scubaverse!
New Fins from Scubapro
Continuous development and innovation have always been a top priority for Scubapro. The new Seawing Supernova high performance fin, introduced at boot 2023, is currently revolutionising the dive fin market.
Now, Scubapro is implementing its new innovative two-piece design to another fin model – the new S-Tek Fin. Furthermore, the company is launching the Gorilla version of the GO Sport in two colours and four new colours of the popular GO Travel Fin!
NEW – S-TEK FIN
A new addition to Scubapro’s S-Tek line of technical diving equipment, the S-Tek Fin is a purpose-built, next-gen technical diving fin providing maximum power when needed and featuring the innovative two-piece design like the Seawing Supernova.
NEW – GO SPORT GORILLA in Black & Orange
While identical in design to the GO Sport Fin, the Gorilla features a slightly stiffer blade and heavy-duty bungee, providing that extra umph for experienced divers manoeuvring through demanding conditions.
NEW – Available in black & orange.
NEW – GO FIN in 4 new colours
The GO travel fin combines the benefits of an open heel fin, with the comfort and barefoot freedom of a full foot fin. The GO is lightweight yet virtually indestructible, plus it is a fast and nimble performer in the water. The popular leisure fin is now available in the new colours blue, yellow, pink, and turquoise.
More information available on www.scubapro.com.
WIN a c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with c-monsta to give away one of their wetsuit hangers as a prize!...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag as...
Win a Vasili Lights Fish Lantern!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Vasili Lights to give away one of their beautiful Fish Lanterns! Inspired...
WIN a Beuchat Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!...
News3 months ago
Diving with… Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven, Sunchaser Scuba, British Virgin Islands
Marine Life & Conservation3 weeks ago
The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back!
News4 days ago
Philippines Fun-Size: Critters and macro life
Travel News1 month ago
Diverse Travel expands Philippines portfolio
News2 months ago
Palaemon Divers shortlisted for top Business Award
Marine Life & Conservation Blogs2 months ago
Creature Feature – Megamouth Shark
News6 days ago
Jeff chats to… Christopher Bartlett, MD of Indigo Safaris, about scuba diving in St Helena (4 of 5)
Gear Reviews2 months ago
Gear Review: Quilted Polar Hat from Otter Watersports (Watch Video)