Thursday, 28 February 2008

Nikon D100 and DX-D100 housing, My Choice!

The Nikon D100 is an excellent single-lens reflex digital camera for professionals and anyone who wants to shoot like one. The DX-D100 housing takes full advantage of the camera's innovative features and still shoots like a conventional housed film SLR camera. It's versatile: It allows a variety of lenses on the camera to handle images from macro to wide-angle, and it accepts all the NX ports for the Nikon series of Sea & Sea housings. Whatever the requirements, you can configure this digital trendsetter to capture the images you want.

Main Features:

  • Compatible with all NX housing ports and gears.
  • Provides access to most of the Nikon D100 features underwater.
  • Designed to meet the needs of professionals.
  • Provides the controls necessary to get smooth gradations in images not possible with a conventional compact digital camera.
  • Includes a quick shoe mounting system that holds the camera securely and makes camera installation and removal easy.
  • Has a port lock to prevent accidental loosening of lens ports.
  • Comes with a strobe connector (N-connector).
  • Includes locking latches to prevent accidental housing opening.


I shoot with one and LUV it! See more here:
http://www.seaandsea.jp/products/digital_slr/dxd100/index.html

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Fiji Special Photo-Site by Don

"I am glad to have a chance to have experienced a memorable trip to Matava. Also, you guys there have done a fabulous job contributing lots to the education of our fragile environment and needs to conserving them for the future generations, cultural as well as Improving the social status of the locals. Hope the “Fiji Special” will contribute towards your goal."


Vinaka

Don, Hin Lim




274, Victoria Street
Richmond 3121 Victoria,
Australia
Tel: +61 (0) 3 9421 1548 (available on Thursday and Friday)


HP: 0401 012 374

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Richard Akhtar makes another good call

Let’s try Naiqoro,” said Richard at breakfast. I wasn’t sure conditions were right, but, as usual, it was a good shout from the boss. We went to Spot X and had a cracker.

My group of 6 dropped in a bit further out than Joe’s group, as we were sure we’d catch them up easily enough. Joe had 3 marine biology professors and 3 of their students, all from Long Island University and they are as happy in a pile of rubble as they are in a school of sharks. As we watched them burrowing in the sand, I laughed as we watched 3 white tips circling them, which I’m sure none of them saw! As we left them in our wake, we started drifting along the wall, in water so clear we could see the surface from 30m. Surrounded by yellow tail fusiliers, schools of snapper and above us Crocodile Needlefish; trevallys and Jacks having fun with the bait fish, it was one of those dives that just makes you smile.

Then it got really interesting. A big walu came sauntering past, as they do, about 3m away from us. Nice. Then I saw something a bit bigger.
A grey reef shark. No, 2 grey reef sharks. Wait, 3, no 4,5,6. We think 7 was the final count. 3 smaller ones on the reef behind us and 4 bigger ones staying out in deep water.

Then a huge Spotted eagle ray, with the most beautiful markings I’ve ever seen, came swooping past and from the opposite direction an enormous napoleon wrasse cruised by. It was one of those “where the hell do I look” moments. If Jason wasn’t so big I would have hit him for letting me know at that point he was low on air!!!.

Oh well, you have to come up some time and the sun was shining and we all had stupid big grins on our faces – even Nikki!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Fiji forums: Anybody ever been to Kadavu? - TripAdvisor

Fiji forums: Anybody ever been to Kadavu? - TripAdvisor

"i have written many notes on Kadavu, check out the Kadavu posts. We stayed at Matava...unbelievable...

There was a family just before us and the little girl, while visting the village, wanted to go to school. Each day, the school children would walk from the village and get the girl, returning her each day. The place is magical. If you need any more assistance, let me know.

Google Matava.com and talk with Jeanie, Please tell her that Carla and PEter from Idaho sent you.

You won't forget this place. Food is wonderful, the place is an organic farm. enjjoy"

Fiji forums: Anybody ever been to Kadavu? - TripAdvisor

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Program

Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Indonesia : Asia-Pacific Coral Reef Program


Coral reefs of the Asia-Pacific region contain the most diverse concentrations of life on the planet. Indonesia and Papua New Guinea form two sides of the renowned diversity hotspot know as the “coral triangle,” while Fiji, diverse in its own right, is famous for its spectacularly colorful coral communities and array of endemic species. WCS operates a marine project in each of these countries, integrating ecological and socioeconomic research to provide novel approaches to conservation and management while meeting community needs.

The Human Aspect
The majority of coastal communities throughout Indonesia, PNG, and Fiji rely heavily upon marine resources for sustenance and income. With coastal populations rapidly expanding, and a move towards more modern, efficient and damaging fishing methods, many reefs in the Asia-Pacific region are facing threats of overexploitation and destruction. This in turn is affecting the livelihoods of the communities that are so heavily dependent upon the marine environment. Achieving marine conservation in the region requires finding a balance between conserving biological wealth and maintaining the livelihoods of the communities dependent upon the marine environments.

Threats
The most significant threats facing coral reefs in this region are overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and coral bleaching. The generally long life spans of targeted reef species, as well as the relatively low productivity of reef ecosystems, makes reef fishery stocks particularly susceptible to overfishing. Furthermore, a number of fishing methods commonly employed in the region, including dynamite and cyanide fishing and the use of monofilament nets, not only deplete fisheries stocks at an alarming rate, but also damage or destroy essential reef habitats. The bleaching of corals from elevated sea temperatures is also significantly changing reef habitats, and the long-term impacts of this phenomenon are still largely unknown.

WCS Activities
WCS uses an integrated natural and social science approach to identify which types of management are successful in maintaining or improving reef ecosystem condition and which socioeconomic factors are responsible for this success. So far, WCS has found that management systems that are most responsive to the needs and priorities of local communities achieve the best compliance with management regulations and subsequently achieve the greatest conservation success. WCS is now beginning to implement identified successful management strategies in receptive communities. In PNG and Fiji, existing systems of customary marine tenure (community ownership of reefs) will be used as an avenue to implement and enforce management strategies, while in Indonesia, alternative systems of management will be implemented and tested within the framework of national park zoning plans.

The long-term success of conservation strategies in the region will also rely heavily upon a strong local scientific staff to implement, monitor, and adapt management strategies. One of the major objectives of this program is to build the capacity of young local marine scientists to carry out research and monitoring within each country. WCS’ activities to achieve this objective include marine training courses, supervision of postgraduate projects, and one-on-one mentoring of interns working with the program. It is hoped that through these activities, WCS can build a strong local scientific contingent to continue conservation efforts in the Asia-Pacific region well into the future.

Important Next Steps

  • Continue to identify the most effective management strategies.
  • Develop optimal management strategies tailored to local social, cultural, and economic conditions.
  • Implement optimal management strategies in receptive communities as part of a locally managed marine area network.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and adapt management strategies to ensure their long-term effectiveness.
  • Train young scientists, conservation practitioners, and managers to be able to implement and adapt management strategies and to train others in marine research and monitoring techniques.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Team Japan - Maro and Hiros

Last week we had 2 Japanese guys, Maro……… and Hiro ……. From …….., who were staying at Matava while making a 2 hr documentary on Fiji. So I took them diving, with their enormous cameras and lighting and we had a great time.

The first day we did 4 dives, the first 2 at Naiqoro Passage, where we saw grey reef and white tip sharks, giant groupers, turtles and huge schools of snapper. In the afternoon we headed to small point and had a nice chilled out time on the stunning hard coral, where the visibility was lovely. Then in the evening we headed to one of the beacons near Korolevu Passage and had a fantastic night dive.

The next day we went to Manta Reef and on the first dive got some great footage of a manta. Dive 2 was excellent. After just a few minutes, the same manta as the first dive turned up and came pretty close to the camera. As he cruised past and Maro was filming, I saw another one coming behind him. His face was hilarious when he turned round to see a 4m manta basically flying into his camera. A mixture of holy #*&! and pure excitement. We had a third manta join them towards the end and when air was getting low it was hard for me to persuade them to ascend. The footage was fantastic though.

So if you’re in Japan in February, watch some TV and you might see Matava become famous!

Domo arigato Team Japan.

Shane Elder – Adventure Diver

Congratulations to Shane Elder for passing his PADI Adventure Diver course in December.

First of all, well done for managing to complete the whole course (including the theory) in just one day. Secondly, well done for persuading his wife, Nicole to let him do it – they were on their second honeymoon and he had to start by getting permission, then he had to try and fit in the diving around all the fishing, kayaking and waterfall trips they were doing. Good work Shane.

It was a really fun course, the highlight probably being on his naturalist dive when a manta ray nearly flew into his head. Shane was trying to work out what I was pointing at/looking at/screaming about, when he turned and saw a 4m manta about 2 feet in front of him. His expression was priceless.

Shane was hoping to go to New Zealand and do his Deep and Navigation dives to upgrade to PADI Advanced Open Water.

Good luck mate.

Thanks to Long Island University Marine Biologists

All the staff at Matava would like to say a massive thank you to the 19 students and 3 professors from Long Island University. It was an amazing 3 weeks and we miss you all.

Once Claude, Sazie, Camille and Bridget (well done all of you), had all passed their open water course, we had 17 divers and 5 snorkellers every day. It was hard work, but by far the funnest group we’ve had. The competition was hot between the 3 dive groups, but Team Speed just pipped “The Diggers” and “Te’s Babies” for the title. Coincidentally I was guiding “Team Speed!”







Cheers Jason, Nikki, Marijah, Sara and Amanda for all the laughs.






So after 3 weeks of sharks, turtles, mantas, beer pong (Team Taco sucks btw), thumper (Ray you are a legend),two up (sorry Amanda) and general hilarity, its back to the norm for us here.



We’re enjoying the rest, but it sure is quiet.






Thanks again and we really hope you come back.

Matava’s latest PADI Open Water Divers


Congratulations to Matava’s latest PADI Open Water Divers. Part of the Long Island University Marine Biology group, here for 3 weeks, these girls had only just been snorkelling for the first time then one night at dinner decided they wanted to learn to dive. After only 2 days they had already established themselves as the loudest and most troublesome members of the 22 students, so I thought, “hmmm, this could be interesting.” It turned out to be one of the funniest PADI Open Water courses ever.

It was a bit slow at first, with both girls trying to convince themselves that they weren’t actually going to die. But confidence grew, skills were mastered and I was even reprimanded for a couple of incidents. Firstly I was stopped half way through a demonstration to be told that I was too close to the coral. Fair enough, I thought. Then I was told even if I am holding onto a BCD for safety, I am not to touch the boobies!! We laughed so much for 4 days straight, I’d like to thank both girls for making it so much fun.

And our Favourite quote from Camille, when a 4m manta was heading straight towards her –
“If I just stay still, maybe he won’t eat me!”
Brilliant. Thanks girls and massive congratulations.

Ayoumi and Taki

Domo arigato to Ayoumi and Taki for being such fun on their recent trip to Matava.

Here on their honeymoon, the fearless couple decided to try out scuba diving with a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience. It was a big enough challenge just to get the wetsuits on, after a bad case of sun burn from the previous day, along with Ayoumi’s 3 inch fingernails which had been specially done for the wedding. But after only 2 hrs we were suited up and ready to go.

Having only snorkelled for the first time ever on this trip, it was pretty brave of them to be scuba diving. After the initial panic’s were over, they were looking more comfortable and they were both clearing regulators and masks like professionals - so we headed down to 12m to check out the fish. Ayoumi didn’t let go of my hand for the entire dive and Taki looked like he was flying.

After we surfaced I asked them if they enjoyed it. I will remember their responses forever. Ayoumi just said, “I need to pee!” – But after a quick visit to the toilet, she told me she loved it. Taki’s answer might be the best I’ve ever heard.


“It was like being in a dream!”

Couldn’t put it better myself.