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Stuff you have seen?

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Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
Underwater world is such a facinating and different and there is all kinds of things that you might not expect to encounter. So if you have seen something that scared you, facinated, made you sick or other ways affected you as you dived share with us?
I remember diveing in the red sea and I saw this white plant down "deep" and I thought that I just dive down there and see what it is like if I look at it close, so I did... at that time it was aroun my limits probaply about -15m or so, but it felt like it was mmiles away.
I made it down and looked at the plant trying to decide if I should touch it or not..(I used to touch everything..untill I met electric ray :eek: ) I started to turn back up and I saw this shark swim by me! it was white tip reef shark, about 2m long, now I know that it is not dangerous...usually, but then I panicked and swam to the safety of the coral reef as fast as I could! Ever since I have been trying to find some sharks they are such a different animals than any other marine animals I have seen..
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Hi Pekka, mosy of my diving is done in mountain lakes where there is not a lot to see, but is still very rewarding. Give me a bare wall and I'm ecstatic!
However, I have been lucky enough to freedive with some beautiful beings.....I spent an hour in the waters of the Northern Pacific with 2 Grey Whales...14 metres long, but they might as well have been 100 metres long when your up close...definitely an amazing point in my life where I said a silent prayer of thanks for the experience, feeling that if I died at that moment, that would be ok...I had seen enough in my life!
Near the same area, I shared the sea with approximately 400 Pacific White-sided Dolphins....mind blowing.
In Playa Del Carmen, I was diving in 25 metres of crystal water when I encountered 2 big Bull Sharks. I was not too happy about floating at the surface like dead prey while they circled below, but I would not have missed it for the world.
I also freedived with a pack of 1000 lb and up Stellar Sea Lions off the West coast of Canada, for about 20 minutes. They are incredibly agile, and seem to get a little aggressive after about 20 minutes or so.
I dove with a big black-coated 220 lb beast called Freediver48 last summer. He was approachable and friendly. Some day I will return to see if he's still out there.
I spent a few days playing with a couple of monofinned silver-skinned creatures in September called Laminar and Eric. They were quiet but generous, teaching me about the sea in their own passionate way.
Every time I dive, I encounter a mysterious creature that is always at the edge of my vision, I don't always see it. I can always feel it though, just.....there. I have an idea what it is, but that I will keep to my Self until I meet it face to face ;)
Namastay,
Erik Y.
 

Angus

New Member
Apr 2, 2001
190
4
0
68
Tarpon

Pekka, nice of you to bring this up. There has been little discussion and sharing about the life in the blue wilderness.

I was in Belize last March and was diving at a marine preserve called Laughing Bird Caye (pronounced "Key"). I was diving out past the reef where it was 40+ meters deep and then dropped off from there to 80+ meters, but had little animal life. I had been slowing circling the Caye and was surfacing from a 25 meter dive when for some reason I looked down. I felt a sudden jolt like we get when we experience someone standing next to us but did not hear them approaching. Rising with me but about 3 meters below was school of about 40 Tarpon. I stopped my ascent to watch this amazing circle of very big fish as they slowly came up around me.

I finally had to surface and was vastly relieved to see the school staying about 10 meters below the surface and was still curious about me. I took my time breathing up even though I was consciously prepared to dive in an instant if they started to descend. But they were in no rush to leave. Over the next 15 or 20 minutes I dove to them several times. They had no fear of me but would only let me approach to about 3 meters.

My last dive with them was the best. It was also one of the scariest dives I have ever made. I decided that I wanted to go for a long down time and stayed twice as long on the surface breathing up as I had since their arrival. I dove on them again and swam done towards them at an angle until I was again surrounded by them. It seem as if I had been swimming with them for hours on this dive before I realized that I was pushing my down time. (I had promised my wife that I would never push the limits when diving alone.) Reluctantly, I broke off and started my ascent.

Fortunately, I was so engrossed in the majesty of the Tarpon school that it took me a while to realize that my ascent seemed to taking an unusually long time. I looked up and realized that the surface was much farther away than I thought it should be. I immediately concentrated on staying fluid and calm. At this point I was past my neutral point and had enough momentum that I could stop kicking and still accelerate with positive bouyancy. For an uncomfortably long time the surface did not seem to be getting any closer. But it probably wasn't that long because as soon I broached and took in three huffing breathes and one big slow inhale-exhale I put snorkle back my mouth and rolled over. The Tarpon were still visible and I was able to watch them drift down and disappear into the dark blue past the 40 meter ridge.

Then I realized that I had been so focused on them that I had not realized that they had been descending as we circled each other. I have no memory of clearing as I descended from -10 meters to past -30 meters with them. I am pretty sure if I had panicked and started pumping for the surface I would not have made it. I have no idea how long I was down with them but it was probably over 4 minutes. But what has stayed with the most is the memory of sheer and awesome beauty of the Tarpon.
 

Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
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I went down to the bottom of Dolphin (freedive tank) the other week, and saw these two big blobs - prodded them - and they turned out to be Howard and Lee!!!!

Scared the living daylights outta me and I headed right for the surface!!!!!


Seriously though I have seen some amazing sights while freediving, moray eels, Octopus, cuttlefish are funny things, loads of other things too.....
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
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I am jealous...

Gray whales...oh my..that sounds so great! And the tarpoons as well
Thanks guys...I'll have to get into water soon again, there is nothing quite like the underwater world!
Iam planning on doing some night diveing in the red sea, hopefully find lots of interesting things while doing it..:confused:
I read the shark attack article and in it they suggested that one should not go diveing when it is dark...does anyone know if it really is dangerous to dive at night in the Red Sea? I dont want to ask the local people..I mean I did already and they told that if I go over the reef I'll be instantly eaten by a shark...I don't think so..
Well thanks guys it seems that you guys have seen some amazing things while diveing...I am still working on it..
 

bam bam

New Member
Sep 22, 2001
99
13
0
I dived in the Red Sea (near Shalm, which is where you're going in a few weeks). There was one acount of a shark been seen, while is was there for two weeks, of two great hammerheads in about 3m of water!!! Not to put you off, it didn't to me.

I did a couple of night dives. the first was very eairy as you couldn't see without the aid of the toruch. I turn it off a few time and switched it back on to see some barracuder quite close.

I would still recomend night diving, just to watch all the scuba divers below lighting the phospers and the stars above lighting the whole of the red sea to Saudi. One of the most increadilble thing that I have seen.

I was probably lucky when I did it, so stay near the scuba divers and hopefully all the noice that they produce will scare the sharks away, if that is what you want!!!
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
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41
night diveing

Well I am not planning on going with scubadivers....I thought of going with my buddy..thats why I thought if it is safe or not...I mean there would be no sound at all, are sharks really that agressive when it is dark? does someone know? I think we will go diveing at night anyway with my brother...perhaps with first with scuba people but perhaps just two of us too...
What do you guys think is it dangerous?
 

Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
118
I would NOT dive in the red sea at night, creatures like Nurse sharks would probably be resting / sleeping, but sharks that shoal in the Red Sea include Oceanic White Tip sharks and Hammerheads / Great Hammerheads- these are not to be mistaken with White tip Reef Sharks. Oceanic White Tips are considered dangerous due to their extremely unpredictable / volatile nature, they are liable to (and have been known for) "one hit" attack / bite you to see what you are instead of circling / bumping you.


I am sure that if you treat them with respect, and use common sense.......e.t.c e.t.c you will be fine, but....without wishing to scaremonger - because sharks are a hugely misunderstood creature.....I would be cautious regarding taking a boat out (or shore diving) into the red sea (least of all at night) and diving without some sort of guide who knows where the sharks are popular, or who has local knowledge of where / when to dive.....

For general guidelines on what / where not go / do......the Shark attack file has some useful information.......

Once again though.......I am sure that if you use common sense and caution, and gain some local knowledge you will be FINE.....Sharks are misunderstood, and education should be the key to our co - existing with these remarkable animals while respecting their habitat.
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,804
667
268
42
Yup

I agree with Crispin, in reality we know very little about sharks and you need to dive with caution around them. I dove off "The Brothers" in the Red Sea last year and the group before us had an aggressive Silky Shark bump them several times which needless to say scared the living daylights out of the them...made for some great video footage though!

There are a couple of articles on Deeper Blue that might be of interest here:

Shark Attacks - What the statistics say!
Sharks, Divers and Watersports - The lowdown

We also have a special feature series called Shark! which might be of interest.
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
1,805
332
188
81
biggest fish

Aloha Pekka

I like this 'talking story' stuff

What's the biggest fish you ever saw? What's the biggest fish in the world? Trick question.

One day, about 25 yrs ago, I was trying to shoot big fish in deep water with my tag gun. My favorite thing at my best spot. The place where I got my first one. The place where, on my best day ever, I tagged three. All about 100 kilos.

The diving was surprisingly easy. The outer edge of the reef is about 25 meters and the sand almost 30. When the fish showed up, they would swim along the edge at about 20. With 25 meter visibility, I would drop to 10 meters and hang for 30 seconds and sink a little while keeping my eyes open. Then, I was no longer able to go down and intercept a fish anyway, so I returned to the surface, rested a few minutes and did it again.

On one of these 'hangs', I looked out into the blue and saw an oval grey mass with a huge dorsal fin headed my way. There was no place to hide, it kept coming at me and got bigger and bigger. About the time my pulse maxed out and all the adrenaline was used up, it turned sideways. She was the size of my living room wall with a conical eye as big as a dinner plate. A 14 foot long weird shaped Mola Mola. I was used to the hawaiin sunfish, they showed up off S. California any time that the water was gloppy, but this was ten times anything I had seen before.

I didn't think anyone would believe me so I didn't mention the size until I did some research. In those days that meant a library. I found a picture of one on a Japanese fishing boat that was about 5 meters long and weighed almost two tons. They said something about the biggest fish ever recorded since sharks and rays don't qualify as fish. I warned you it was tricky.

Bill
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
big fish!..

Yes I would have not known the answer to your question Bill...must have been scary experience... I felt so out of my element as I saw the shark...
 

Tom Lightfoot

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2001
105
29
118
55
Six-Gill Shark

One of the biggest thrills of my freediving life was when I got to see a six-gill shark while freediving. Six-gills are typically a very deep water shark and reach up to 15 feet in length. Hornby Island is one of my favorite snorkelling/freediving places and it just happens to be one of the best places in the world to find these sharks at depths accessible to recreational scuba divers.

I had been trying to spot one of these sharks for four years, both on scuba and snorkel. I usually get one chance per year but no luck, including two years ago when two days of scuba in June and one day of freediving in August failed to reveal any sharks.

Last year my luck changed. I went out with my friend, Dan and my wife, Helen. It was a fairly rough day so it took me a while to set up my descent line and get into the groove. On about my fourth dive to the 70 ft range I looked ahead just in time to see a shark about 10 feet below me. It was about seven feet long, darker than I expected but with the characteristic lack of a dorsal fin, and the long thresher like tail. It didn't seem to notice me at all and lazily swam along a ledge and disappeared into the darkness.

I almost couldn't believe my eyes because I had been looking for so long. I bolted towards the surface, eager to tell Dan and Helen. I think I started yelling "Shark!" before I broke the surface.

After I calmed down, I made a few more drops but each time was like all the other times, just a silent wall and blackness with no sign of movement..

This summer my good luck continued and Helen and I saw a larger six-gill at the same spot while scuba diving. The shark obviously didn't want to be near us though and made a few turns to see if it could go past us without leaving the wall and changing its depth too much. While I got more of a look on scuba, it cannot compare to those first few seconds seeing a six-gill shark while freediving. It was a much more natural experience for both me and the shark and it made me appreciate just how silent these creatures are.

Tom Lightfoot
Vancouver, Canada
 

shorty

New Member
Dec 9, 2001
13
0
0
44
No matter how often I see turtles, which is almost every time I dive, they still amaze me. The largest turtle I've seen was about 5ft long by 4ft wide, just the shell. I also watched a school of dolphins swim right past me.

The biggest I have seen was a 14 foot Galapagos shark. It swam past me while I was frozen stiff. Not in fear, just pure amazement. To watch this huge shark swim so graceful. The fear did not come till after when I realized I was in 8 feet of water and just because it's shallow doesn't mean that big sharks won't be around.

But the most fun I had was when a Hawaiian Monk Seal swam right up to me. I was stalking a fish when something grey was to the right of me. I turned to look and I just about jumped right out of the water. This seal was a monster!!! Head just as big as mine with big black eyes. It must have been about 5ft 6in and 300 lbs. After I calmed down, I watched it play with my buoy. Hitting it with its nose and pushing it around in the water. I would pull my tag line and it would chase after the buoy. Good thing I didn't have any fish then. After about 5 min. it swam away. That's about it.

Shorty
 

Matt Moore

New Member
Dec 10, 2001
1
0
0
ive seen some cool stuff

I have seen some weird shit in my days of diving, I am only 18 years old but I've been all over the US and the dutch antallies,( a wonderful place to freedive) and the florida keys. I have been down 30 ft. and had a large black grouper take me for a ride for about 40 meters underwater before i could get to the surface to get air. i have had a 5 ft atlantic hound fish come within 2 feet of my face. I have got a chance to dive with spotted eagle rays wheni was hunting horse eyed jack. I have seen hammerhead sharks off the pinnacles off Saba and a 4 foot puffer fish. I have seen my fair share of turtles too. Also off of Saba on a reef formation called ladder labyrinth i have seen a couple of red seahorses which are very interesing to watch. Other than the numerous morays and such I have not seen much compared to what other people have seen, but Im young and i think i have seen my share of cool things.

first mate Matt Moore
 

andrsn

Just visiting...
Aug 26, 2001
1,213
75
138
48
encounters

hey everyone...

i pretty much have only been freediving in the florida keys. i'm anxious to try it elsewhere(invitations welcome :D ) but i'm happy with the marine life that i've encountered where i go.

i have a thing w/ turtles. aquiles always laughs when a turtle comes through our group cause for some reason they always head straight over towards me. i don't know if i have banner on my chest.. "all turtles, come say hi" or what? it's truly amazing. the best thing is that i never try to touch them but just swim along side them or just sit on the bottom face to face. i think they somehow sense the lack of hostility and just come in for a chat whenever they feel like it. sometimes they come in at the most in-opportune times, like when i'm chasing a snapper or something. maybe they're trying to tell me something, dunno?

anyways, aquiles and i were drifting over patch reefs one day and as we were over the white sand between the patches i noticed a medium sized green turtle just laying on the bottom. the odd thing was that as i was drifting over it, it kept facing me. like it was turning on the sand watching me. well, i let my gun go and went down to check it out. the floor was about 80feet and when i got down to about 60 it actually came up and met me. it freaked me out at first, but then it casually started doing circles around me. it had the most beautiful eye that seemed to look straight into my soul. i felt like i was being judged or something. actually, it kinda made me feel bad about shooting some of the fish earlier ;).

well, the circles got tighter and tighter as it swam around me. finally, i had to put my hand on it's back to keep it from swimming into me. we continued doing these quasi pirouettes until my fins hit the sand. then, the turtle just straightened out and slowly glided off out of sight.

that was the longest swim up i've ever had to do. maybe i should ask for a ride up next time :D


cheers,
anderson
 

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
Save the manatee

This may not qualify because it involves snorkeling, not freediving, but I'll post it anyway.

For those of you who happen to be in Florida during the winter, you really must visit one of the freshwater springs known for the large groups of manatee that congregate there for the warm (72 degree F) when the ocean temperatures drop. These gentle marine giants (some weigh up to 1000 lbs. / 450 kg) are an endangered species, being victims of motor boat propellers in the ever-more-crowded waterways of Florida and other southestern states.

Last weekend I snorkeled at King Spring on Crystal River with my wife, son, brother and nephews. Before we even got into the water, two manatee approached our boat; one swam underneath and rolled onto its back along the port side to have its belly rubbed. I had to oblige. As I descended to set the anchor in the sandy bottom, another appeared and came right up to my mask, just to say hello I guess.

During the course of the afternoon we saw probably 20 - 30 manatee (I can't say how many different individuals - could have been 10 or 15 passing us twice). Some approached us curiously, some obviously welcomed contact, while others obviously preferred privacy - we let them decide - but all were beautifully peaceful creatures. They glide along slowly and quietly just below the surface, using their tremendous monofin in the most relaxed fashion imaginable, breaking the surface every so often for a big breath of air - but only one - their breath-up/bottom time ratio makes us all look puny. Babies follow their mothers closely, sometimes playful but more often shy. All but the youngest have hideous scars on their backs from unfortunate encounters with propeller blades. It makes you wonder what we are losing for our inability to slow down.

Once, while gliding below my family and gazing up at them over my left shoulder for a few seconds, I turned back to my right only to be startled by a big, bulbous nose and fleshy eyelids not two feet from my face, just looking at me curiously. It was an exhilarating day in the water, but not an exciting one in the way we usually speak of excitement. We left the river with a sense of joy at having shared the time with some of God's most noble, peaceful creatures, but also a sense of sadness in knowing that their time on earth is running out. I'm not sure whether disease or motor boats are their greatest threat, but human impact has not been kind to these gentle giants of the sea.
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
night diveing...

I did go Nightdiveing in the red sea about 4times...it was cool, some of the creatures tha I saw I could not see at daytime.. It also was lot colder and you got that "JAWS" music playing in your ears...:duh But my Sunlight4 lamp worked fine in the water... I didn't see any sharks though...I am fine with that though...;)
 

Brad

Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2001
30
15
98
Brad

Last summer i was fortunate enough to encounter a pack of Soupfin sharks at a local island. These were fully mature individuals at about 6' in length. I would swim down and hide in a grotto with my camera and wave my glove. When the pack came streaming into the area, the one who saw the glove first would move towards it. That is when i took this picture:

http://www.loveofsea.com/images/soupfins.jpg


Brad

(loves the sea)
 

Abriapnea

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
678
43
0
58
Probably the most beautiful/scariest experience Ihave had while spearing occurred while investigating one of our virtually undived reefs close to the Mosambican border,in about 20 m. water.
I was looking for green jobfish ,a very shy gamefish that frequents the sandy edges of reefs.The accepted technique is to quietly dive down and lie motionless on the sand and avoiding any eye contact with the fish once spotted.Throwing handsfull of sand up into the water attracts them.
On my first dive down I did exactly this and was "rewarded" by the sight of a 5 metre great white slowly cruising up from behind me on my left ,with its pecs virtually trailing through the sand.
It proceeded to swim past my front and turn down along my right.During all this time it was close enough to touch with my gun.It then made a U- turn and came up my right side again for a look with its other eye.
Fortunately the sight of this huge fish gave me such a fright that I did not even twitch , but rather went completely limp.
Only after the tailfin disappeared in the distance did I return to the surface - slowly , with as little motion as possible.
I dont know how long this encounter lasted , but consider it one of my better breatholds to date!:D
 

gus

New Member
Jan 31, 2002
1
0
0
43
scary shark stories

hello all, new member here.
Just reading with interest some of the shark stories, and thought i would add an one of my own. i was free-diving the offshore reef Elphinstone, central red sea. The dive-master on the scuba boat i was on was strongly discouraging me from freediving cos a) i was on my own b) surf and crazy mixed currents c) very large sharks abound. Suffice to say, i was pretty scared, but decided hadn't sat on a boat for two hours to hear scuba's talk about their amazing dive. The dive-master relented as conditions calmed and off i went, heart pounding! Dive was astounding, with elphinstone's abyssal walls dropping to the infinite depths. Large moray eels were swimming about in open (one rather worrying appeared between my legs!), as were reef species at top of growth range. Also saw a few caranax ignobilis.
Anyway, i'm rambling. The moral of the story is that the whole time i'm pottering i'm being followed by an oceanic whitetip. Not a ratty reef whitetip, but a fat, inquisitive, fins-like-paddles oceanic. i don't realise it, but get that ominous i'm-not-alone-feeling. Anyway, i don't notice when on surface cos its behind me the whole time, never entering my line of sight and rolling with the surf at the same time i do just under the surface. only notice what its doing when i go down , look up and see whats following me! it doesn't come close, just acts very devious, disappears and then magically re-appears wherever i am not looking/facing. At this point i have really got the willies, and so head straight back to the boat, where the worried captain tells me he saw a fin follow me all the way back......lessons learnt? know your limits. I nearly drowned out there in the surf, and a friendly oceanic didn't help me keep calm. A great dive once on board boat, but terrifying at the time. and being on my own if i had been bitten, who would have been there to help.....sobering thoughts
 
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