Caribbean Travel Blog
This is the space for blogging about Antigua and Barbuda.
The two dive sites were quite close - but it didn’t take long for Indigo Divers new boat engine and improvements to get us there ! A speed of 28 knots.
Barracuda Reef – 55 feet this site did give us Barracuda – and black tip reef sharks that I hope to get saved and edited and uploaded here on our youtube channel. The other dive site was Salomon trail – we did again see sharks but it wasn’t as good as the first dive. I didn’t get any really good footage as I am still learning how to use the rig I have and the light is a bit underpowered. I hope to make a semi decent quick video as you may be interested in sharks. The puffer fish shot was not bad. I was very annoyed to have forgotten to add the red filter I had brought all the way from home. I think you need to dive a lot more to get good footage for moments like this. Simply put there is so much that goes wrong on the boat with your gear your head etc that volume is what can work. Conditions for example should have been a lot better with the vis but untypically rain has been around. Check the video anyway.
I took a good while to again get familiar with adobe after effects during the making of this short video that had almost everything in it. Sharks topped the order then it was familiar friends and some less known guys like puffer fish and spoted drums. There was some nich schooling action going on which I caught a bit of. A massive lobster that didnt make it into the video due to time of all things.
Problems I had were in keeping the go pro steady and getting enough light on the subject to allow the colours to come through. Publishing the colour correction via adobe after effects was a lot faster than using photoshop I noticed and my flow was this
- trim the footage in gopro studio (I think would skip this step next time !!! BIG TIP)
- take that footage into after effects (its great to get the zoom control and I played with using some stabilization like on the Barracuda)
- lay the after effects exports using imovie (not using adobe premiere as imovie works great for me)
See the video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Zbe1Rl_Wc
So its the old two steps of working on clips that get to be part of the bigger story when you remove the first step above. I used to use adobe premiere for that last step but pushed for time imovie does well. I loose some control but thats fine for this. As I sy the footage was a little dissapointing so burning more time is not going to happen. It's cheap and chearful ll the way :)
This was a very typical moment while diving in Antigua this kind of sized Barracuda would come in close sometimes with friend. Always curious (with friend bi-curious ok bad joke). Am glad I managed to get some video up about it, can't wait to try out my go pro as you can see this is not taken with anything near sophisticated for todays market.
Here is a cool post on what might be happening when a barracuda follows you- https://xcalakmexico.com/snorkeling-barracuda/
You can see some of the settings I used in Photoshop here to achieve the result (ignore the bottom two layers and know just one of these is your photo OR video)
The layers will be as shown above the first (bottom) 2 but you may get away with fewer - just make sure to have the two shown selected in the images here. Any problems and you can ask me from commenting below. I will help you set up your photoshop files for you.
What I like about this video is that it accurately shows the quality of diving that the Caribbean and Antigua in particular has to offer.
I used to teach Discover Scuba Diving so it is always great to see this course in action. It has its critics but it really has upped the inflow of new Scuba Divers to the sport. That is a good thing. Yesterday Donald from Indigo Divers took a couple of gals out and they took to the water like fishes. I was observing them while waiting to get back on the boat for our second dive. Antigua is a great place to learn to dive. Twee had talked her two mates to do it as she was an open water diver who was doing all she could in her new found sport - they are an active bunch from Texas and I am sure they will be doing a Scuba Vacation next time.
The first dive was excellent for me as I love barracuda and here there were good schools of them - I got some good shots. And again there was a nurse shark, holed right in a tight crevice my camera flash got him out a bit - a wee chappie that kept my diving days to seeing sharks ratio at at least one shark per day.
Location : North West Antigua, Dickenson Bay.
A potential chapter from Tales in the Tropics.. Image thanks to Ocean National Geographic
It was an amazingly calm day so much so that there was no sail fun to be had. So a Kayak it was then, fuelled by some baileys on ice and a massive all inclusive buffet feed I was ready to go. In need of some exercise I decided to head along towards the right and a trail I had done before - it was so calm maybe I should choose another course. Maybe I could get to Millers bar if I turned left instead.I decided to start off left and see where the fatigue set in. Amazingly I had a super energy day. Maybe the biorhythms were good in the physical we had a session playing tennis earlier in the extreme heat. The small islet off diagonal has been teasing me for a long time and it was still so very calm.
"I had visions of them sticking on the paddle and as I brought the paddle up they would wander down and attack me to death"
I felt good and went to see how I could get there. It felt I was further out than I was since there was a large tanker refuelling the island at the offshore tanks. The first thing I noticed was how clear it was a spectacular visibility. And then I kept seeing very small surface disturbances. In no time at all I crossed a very real line into a thick shoal (swarm) of moon jellyfish, the classic shaped ones purple trim and mauve clear see through amazingly pretty and scary in the sting kind. I was not sure if they were so dangerous to the sting. But what was concerning me was if I was to get stung this far out I could start to get in some trouble, the jetskis were now behind me but I am sure it would have been ok.
South and dived out of Falmouth area is Hercules Pillars - named for the pretty rock formation above the water. Underwater is a large plateau of coral getting shallower to large flat faced boulders. Here are some photos from that very dive today.
and here is a taster
The official hurricane season for the Caribbean is from 1 June until 30 November.
For Antigua the period 15 August - 15 October is considered the active period peaking middle of September.
The last three hurricanes to hit the island directly were 1995, 1998 and 1999.
The official exchange rate is US$1 = EC$2.68 with variations based on the bank (currency code: XCD)
Info kindly provided by indigo divers Antigua.
Today I went out with Jolly Dive for a couple of tanks. The first dive (Dive 1) was at Cades Reef - a firm favorite here as it provides a good dive almost every time. My dive was no exception - Nurse Shark, Octopus, Ray, and then some smaller stuff flamingo tongue - sea slugs. Paul took the effort to point out the various unidentifiable for me using his slate. The purple patches of Sargent Major eggs for example that the other fishes were taking bites out of ! The vis was good but apparently it wasn't I was told we could see 20ft ! A good torch and the ability to look into all the crevices pays dividends here and at this Paul and Connie the dive masters are excellent.
The second Dive (Dive 2) was a shallow 30 ft max dive on Bluff Cut. The vis was again not to the normal high standard for Antigua and this was due to slightly wet weather systems around. I am always confused as to the poor reviews given for Antigua Diving and I have to imagine that is is the first impression of steep dropoffs or walls isn't there - but the diving and fish life are equal to many other islands. See the videos here on this site for tiger sharks !
The weather is a bit off and on this time of year but it was in fact very enjoyable for us in total for 2 weeks there may have been 3 hours of rain at the most and it was refreshing along with the ever present winds.