Monday, 21 April 2008

Fiji Diving - Thorn Tree Forum - Lonely Planet

Fiji Diving - Thorn Tree Forum - Lonely Planet

Dived at Matava, Kandavu, Fiji in 2002 after reading in the LP about a dive site which always had mantas. Was already in Fiji backpacking but before booking the internal flight to Kandavu phoned Matava to confirm the manta story and was told there were some happy divers who had been diving with mantas that day. Booked flight and stayed for one week.

Great place and always always thinking of going back. There is a site that was generally used once per week where I was told they see mantas on 8 to 9 out of every 10 dives. Dived at site Xmas Eve and saw mantas on both dives. The 2nd dive was a re-run of the 1st dive - all 4 divers in the group wanted this rather than an alternate 'non-manta site'. (even though there was the chance of destroying the memory of the 1st dive - by not seeing mantas - it was just too good a dive not to repeat In fact due to work committments didn't dive for a long time after that trip - and I mean a very long time - but the memory of these two dives kept me going.) I think it's sensible to only dive at the site once per week. Guides can 'tweak' diving skills and ensure mantas dont get too much hassle before the trip. Don't know how things have changed over last 5 years! They did say mantas were there all year but best to email to check.

It was a very emotional and humbling dive. The dive site was pretty good without mantas - a lovely swimthrough with glassfish. The mantas swam to us out of the blue and then spent around 30 mins encircling us always at about 10m distance. They were curious to see what was going on and didn't seem at all frightened by the experience. Would recommend a trip - Google Matava should do it.

Fiji Diving - Thorn Tree Forum - Lonely Planet

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

21st annual SCUBA Show, Long Beach, USA

SCUBA Show exhibit space is 92% sold out

Don't be left out. Largest scuba event in the United States promises to be bigger than ever in 2008!

The 21st annual SCUBA Show, taking place June 21st and 22nd at the Long Beach Convention Center, has already sold out 92% of its 76,000 square foot exhibit hall. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with some of the most active divers in the nation.

Now the largest consumer dive expo in the United States, The SCUBA Show was created to give scuba businesses valuable face-to-face time with potential customers. Started by the publishers of California Diving News, the SCUBA Show has consistently brought in over 10,000 eager consumers from all parts of the west coast and the southwest.

Last years attendance was over 11,000, and the producers have begun a marketing campaign to capitalize on last year’s attendance. Next week, over 30,000 past attendees will receive brochures detailing the weekend’s activities and encouraging them to pre-register for the weekend. This will also coincide with the launching of a newly designed, which will include an interactive floor plan, links to exhibitor websites and complete details of the weekend.

In the coming months, consumers will read about the SCUBA Show in California Diving News, and begin to see advertisements in various scuba magazines throughout the country. Discount coupons will also be available through California, Arizona and Nevada dive stores and clubs. SCUBA Show has also purchased various billboards around Southern California’s busy freeways.

For more information about exhibiting please call 310-792-2333 or visit

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Why I love my Focus Light!

Underwater Photography - Why I love my Focus Light!

By Brad Brown

"I first fell in love with my focus light on a clear star(fish) filled night in Indonesia. Earlier that day, with the assistance of my light, I’d managed to photograph orange pygmy seahorses, ornamental ghost pipefish and a myriad other macro critters I'd anticipated seeing on this first trip to Lembeh Strait. It wasn’t until that night though that I came to the realization that my focus light and I were going to become inseparable. Several minutes into the dive I spotted my subject: a flamboyant cuttlefish. I subdued my excitement and focused (literally) on the task.

After getting down low, made a few camera adjustments and fired away. The brilliant flash of the strobe, normally especially apparent at night, was absent. All thoughts of the perfect cuttlefish shot were thrown out as I began to consider the possibilities. Did I flood my housing? The moisture sensor was not blinking. On a hunch I decided to raise the ISO setting on my digital SLR from 100 to 400 and shoot again. A very dim review image appeared on the LCD. It became apparent that the camera was functioning fine. The strobes were simply not firing. That night my focus light was doing double duty as my primary dive light. I subsequently found that if I adjusted my ISO to 800 and moved very close the subject I could capture marginally passable images by focus light illumination alone.

Imagine the frustration I would have had to endure had I not been able to photograph the second Flamboyant Cuttlefish I encountered later that evening. Post-dive I discovered I had not properly seated the strobe connector to the camera hot shoe. The strobes had not been receiving the signal to fire."

Backscatter Underwater Photography - Why I love my Focus Light!: