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My first steps into Macro Photography

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I have always loved looking at macro photos of the tiniest creatures in the ocean. I have a few dive pals who take exquisite macro photos… one of them, Diana Paboojian, was recently featured on Scubaverse.com in one of my ‘Amazing Women in Diving’ blogs. I finally went out and bought a macro lens, and while I cannot compete with Diana, I am enjoying learning to use it, and training my eyes to seek out the smallest creatures.

Have you ever seen Conch eyes? I love them. They are on stalks, and can look in all directions, which can have amusing results. The Conch is one of the first creatures I’ve tried my macro luck with, then I moved on to Hermit Crabs. Hermit Crabs also have stalks for eyes, and some crabs have bright blue eyes. I came upon an active, moving group of tiny hermit crabs, and enjoyed the milieu! They were in the process, it appeared, of finding new shells. These shells are so tiny! They were perhaps 3 or 4 inches long. As they grow they abandon their shells to find bigger ones. There was quite a lot of consternation in this scene! These were tiny little hermit crabs, and their eyes were a midnight blue. They resemble spiders when they are out of their shells, don’t you think?

Tam 5

Another wonderful encounter was with a baby Pygmy Filefish. To even see a Pygmy Filefish is rare because they are small and blend in perfectly with their surroundings, but a baby! This little one was about half the size of my pinky finger…and I have small hands. The Pygmy showed no sign of nervousness and had no intention of leaving its soft coral surroundings. It took looking through the bifocals in my mask to even see it!

Tam 4

And there is one of my favorite mollusks, the Flamingo Tongue. Flamingos are mollusks and feed on gorgonians. Their shell appears to be white with orange spots, but actually it is the slug itself covering the shell with their mantle! This sea slug covers its shell with its body as it eats. I am not sure why, but the result is gorgeous.

Tam 1

This little shrimp was barely visible, and the pipe seahorse tiny, tiny as well!

Tam 2

Even the small things can be exciting!

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

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Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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And the winner of our TUSA Paragon S Mask competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a TUSA Paragon S Mask from our good friends at CPS Partnership!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Lee Evans from the UK.

Congratulations Lee – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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