I’m starting a new series, hopefully a series with many entries, about my original passion, underwater photography. Way before I bought my first DSLR, way before I took my first lesson on basic photography, I was consumed with the hobby of underwater photography. I loved capturing wildlife and scenery under the sea because it’s a totally new planet down there, with everything looking very alien to our landlubber eyes. After I took photography lessons in 2008, I completely forgot about underwater photography. I got into landscape and travel photography full time, so when we finally got back into the water last Saturday, I was sooo happy to be back. I was praying that my underwater casing wouldn’t flood, since I haven’t used it in years, and thankfully, it cooperated and stayed sealed for the 2 dives. So despite a free-flowing regulator (thank goodness our instructor had an extra) and some Eustachian tube issues (had a hard time equalizing), we finally descended to 60 feet and was transported back into inner space.
We got our gear serviced, got in touch with our dive instructor, and finally went back to Anilao to dive after many years of being dry. Wer went to Twin Rocks, one of my all-time favorite dive spots, with it’s big fish, very friendly to divers, swimming fearlessly near us, with no skittishness whatsoever. But to our surprise, there was now a lot of new undersea creatures that are resident to the area. Apparently there are now several sea turtles residing there, so it’s almost a sure thing to sea a turtle or two. True enough, within minutes of descending, we saw a turtle patrolling the huge block of concrete that’s a landmark in Twin Rocks:
And we were surprised to know that there is now a huge school of jacks in the area! We usually see large schools like this in Bohol, but not in Anilao, so close to shore! It was an amazing sight.
It was like rush hour, fish-style! It was an incredible experience. At one point, I was almost inside the swarming ball of rushing jacks. The had these large, blank eyes, almost lifeless in their one-mindedness, just swimming where everyone else was swimming. Until now, I couldn’t get over how majestic the whole experience was. After Twin Rocks, we did our surface interval time ashore, then proceeded to our 2nd and final dive at Solana. If Twin Rocks had large fish of types, Solana had more of the smaller, but no less spectacular fish, more suited for macro photography.
It was like a psychedelic explosion of colors! My favorite subject nudibranchs, different species of clownfish hiding in different types of anemones, and a treasure trove of photo subjects if you’re just patient enough to look for them. I was just so happy to be back. I hope I get to dive and shoot regularly after this. Diving is the perfect activity during the rainy season, because barring typhoons, you can dive even with rain pouring down, it’s usually calm underneath even if it’s rainy on the surface. I feel most alive when I’m in the water, so I really pray I spend more time diving, snorkeling, and swimming. I’d be a happier camper for it.