Some fish

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:32 am
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Most of the corals are dead, but there is still some life.

Mooray eels, turtles, snorkelers, big groupers:
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Full album link.
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The weather was terrible and I caught cold, so I was only able to go freediving 3 times during last week in Pula.

Ppl were having fun. I was just passing this place on my way to reefs and caves.
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All pics are in the album, not many this time.
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Still I was a bit disappointed:

In the Red Sea, even in Eilat, there is more diversity in coral species. Even more so in Indonesia.

More fish and the most dangerous animal in the sea are under cut.
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All pics are in the album
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Most reviews of our hotel I read on tripadvisor indicated "bad snorkelling". Let's see...

This unicornfish and a small shark swam just ~30 meters from our room door. (20 meters to the shore, then 10 meters towards the reef). But there was a small trick.. I actually chased these two buddies towards the coast from deeper waters :)

Some more sea life under cut.
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I am back online.

Very good freediving and snorkelling experience it was, now when Jacob is almost two it is much easier to travel with him.

P.s. I will get back to my work stuff on Monday.
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About sports. I am doing this for leisure, but still interesting to see how I compare to others.

These are the standards:
AIDA 1 Star Freedive, 8m CWT, 1'15" STA, 25m DYN.
AIDA 2 Star Freediver, 16m CWT, 2' STA, 40m DYN.
AIDA 3 Star Freediver, 24m CWT, 2'45" STA, 55m DYN.

My current stats: 12m CWT(Eilat'2015), 1'40" STA(home, should be better when mammalian diving reflex kicks in in water), 35m DYN (~1.5 25 meter pool laps, no fins. So with fins should be 3 stars actually). Should be straightforward to get to 2 stars, but I don't see any realistic progression path towards 3 star let alone 4 star..
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At work, debugging stuff I just developed. Dreaming of a tuna sandwich

and a vending machine only sells chocolate and cheese sandwich. I think on a pic is a shoal of tuna swimming next to me. Or is it mackerel?
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After I tried scuba, it took me a while to understand why I still like freediving more. The main reason is degrees of freedom.

A scuba diver has the following degrees of freedom: buoyancy (1), forward-backward(~0.5), roll (~0.5), yaw(1), pitch (~0.5) - total 3.5
A freediver has foward-backward (~0.5), roll(1), yaw(1),pitch(1), buoyancy (~0.5) - total 4.
Plus speed of manoeuvre is so different!

Did I miss something?
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The last post with underwater photos from my recent vacation. This time it is about people, not fish.


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This time I failed to find any interesting creatures in the sea - no turtles, no stingrays. So I was mostly taking pictures of simply fish in coral reefs.

Actually not only very simple fish, there was a crocodile fish, roaming mooray eel, snake eel, and a lot of tropical fish - surgeons, groupers, clown fish pairs with their anemone, parrotfish, cleaner wraths and bigger wraths.

Some more pics under cut.
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All pics are in a picasa album
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This time we were not able to spend as much time in the sea as we usually do. But Yulia told me that this time I can post her picture in lj/facebook.

Only the picture has to be that small :)
And I have no size constraints:
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Eilat

May. 7th, 2015 06:49 am
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I am in Eilat, our first trip with our small baby. He likes the sea :)

Me too.

Can you see a big fish on this pic? Hint:
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I still manage to do some freediving training once a week in the pool, but can't plan for any trips anytime soon.

So have to look at my old pics.

I was diving to this company many times, but I did not find out why they all gathered at a boring sand spot. They are all from different families/species with different food preferences, and they were all looking for something.
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The best time to see stuff in a busy is early morning. Water is usually very calm, and animals are not scared away by hordes of intro-divers.

Unfortunately, the light just after a sunrise is not good for making photos under the water.
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Location: https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5091848,34.9235322,197m/data=!3m1!1e3
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During this holiday seasons several of my colleagues will go diving to warmer waters. I would like to go somewhere too, but this time I have to skip. So all I can do now is to whine how diving sucks.

80% of the divers I see when I free dive look miserable.

They are either doing intro/discovery diving with an instructor like this un-sporty gentleman on the right,

Or getting their first OWD certificate,
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Or they are training to use a sign language,
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Or aware fish ID course
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Another thing where diving sucks is if a diving spot is far from an entry, and a boat is not available. Swimming on the surface with a scuba is not very pleasant especially when waters are not calm. Swimming beyond the surface will consume all the air in the tank before you get to the spot. Also for a freediver getting through a rocky entry or high surf is much easier.
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For example, this picture just cannot be taken by a diver :)
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Much like in a healthy coral forest, fish is abundant in a kelp forest.

Garibaldi fish is smiling and watching me. Garibaldis are the least cautious and friendliest fish out there.

The most common is perch
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I don't know why the sharks roam on a sand bank and do not approach kelp forests
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where there is more fish.

A school of bigger fish.
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And smaller.
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And the biggest.
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A starfish.

All my pics from Malaga cove and Bluff cove dives last weekend are in a picasa album
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When freediving, one has to move the limbs slowly and placidly to conserve oxygen in the muscles.

It is even more important when flying through a kelp forest - or else it is easy to get entangled. Just in case, I was still setting aside ~30 seconds on every dive.

The colors are blue, all shades of green and red.
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So it is more fun than in real forest (and I am a very big fan of walking in forests)

Tropical seas are the brightest of course, but kelp forests are not far behind.
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Individual kelp plants are more sophisticated than most corals.
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I am in LA until this Friday, attending a conference. This is the first time at this conference when my presentation was ready one month in advance (thanks a lot organizers!). So I had more time to prepare for a freediving trip I planned for this Sunday.

These days the waters of Pacific near LA are extremely calm:

The ocean waves are coming from south, so to make it even better I selected north facing beaches for our trip: Malaga cove and Bluff cove. Now I recommend Bluff cove, my experience shows that it is reasonably safe to ignore danger signs there.

In Bluff cove, there are two juvenile sharks (each about 1 meter long) hunting on a sand bank.

They were very afraid of me and it took me some time to take a picture where they are somewhat visible. Now I am processing other photos. I have a lot of time in early morning because of a jet lag :)
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Thanks to Picasa, I have discovered an artifact of an ancient underwater civilization, guarded by a kraken.
Just compare to
, looks like they share the same author!

Staffelsee

Jul. 23rd, 2013 11:27 am
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This Sunday we went to a big lake in Alps. The water temperature was +26, very good for swimming. All major lakes in the Alps are fed by mountain streams and are extremely transparent and cold. There are three major exceptions: Chimsee, Starnberger See, and Staffelsee. They are not as cold and a bit murkier because they are big enough to accumulate some heat from the Sun.

The warmest of them all is Staffelsee. That is because the water enters the lake through the Murnau swamp. The downside is that the water has a thick brown color, and visibility is only about 3 meters.



The lake is very crowded on Sundays, so come early to rent a boat!
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Boat is the only option to explore the lake's islands, so a lot of ppl bring their own. Rental boats are good for up to 4 ppl.

Several pics are in a picasa album
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