Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last seven years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Focusing on the island's coral reefs, he has worked hand-in-hand with several businesses and environmental groups, including SECORE, a marine conservation organization based in the Netherlands. His image of a research submersible was recently featured on the cover of DIVER magazine.
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Dec 11, 13 Comments (0)
By overwhelming request this morning I’m posting our Driftwood Christmas Tree for your Holiday viewing pleasure. It took us around a year to collect the wood for this tree as we only wanted the coolest, smoothest, most beautiful pieces of driftwood we could find which is not as easy as you might think. We hiked up and down the coast week after week and even hunted inside the mangrove trees and most trips we would only find one or two nice pieces. And don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of driftwood to be found in Curacao, but not what we considered “the good stuff”!! All the pieces of wood are completely balanced and resting upon each other meaning there are no nails, screws, zip-ties or string holding it together, it’s like a giant JENGA puzzle! Setting this up along the windy North coast was no easy task because of the high wind, as you can see I had to place heavy rocks on the base just to keep it up and from falling over. The tree breaks down and fits into a bicycle box and really doesn’t weigh that much because of how dry the wood is. The tree is now reassembled in our living room decorated with fun ornaments, lights and flip-flops and we are praying it doesn’t fall over!
A big thanks to my loyal readers out there, you are the reason we do this every day!!
Merry Christmas from Curacao,
Barry, Aimee, Inca and Indi. (and the cat and 4 baby turtles)
Dec 10, 13 Comments (0)
Hi all, I have a lionfish eyeball for you all today mainly because I don’t have anything else to send! How is this possible you ask when I am always in the water with a camera?? Well, most days I’m just shooting the submersible with it’s passengers and lately at night only blue-light photos so I really don’t have anything new at the moment. We did do a deep-water fish collecting dive yesterday so I may have some new rare aquarium fish pictures for you soon but they are still out on the reef and take a week to decompress and acclimate to the warmer temps. I took this lionfish eye photo the other night while out searching for small corals that we had previously shot with blue-light. Lionfish can be tricky to photograph as they always face towards the reef when first approached with their venomous spines erect signaling to one and all to keep away! This is where another diver (lionfish whisperer) comes in handy to help turn them a bit into the camera so you don’t just get a rear end photo. At night these fish like many others are very easy to approach and it’s the best time to get some cool photos, especially close-ups!!
It’s hard to believe Christmas is just a few weeks away, where-o-where did this year go??
Have a wonderful day all, Barry
Dec 9, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning from sunny Curacao. How was your weekend out there?? Did any of you get around to digging your Christmas decorations out?? We did but I made the mistake again of taking down the lights (last year) from the tree and all over the house and because I was in a rush just tossed them all together in one box!! Yeah, you know where I’m going with this, what a tangled mess! I almost threw them all out and swore I would be more careful this year when putting that stuff away, it kind of kills the Christmas spirit!
I had a very busy but very fun weekend! Our weekend started Friday evening with a fun night dive, Aimee and I did blue-light photos while Stijn swam around us cleaning up unwanted lionfish. We have a giant spotted moray eel who has become a pet of sorts and every lionfish we shoot goes directly to him, he loves them!! I told Stijn next week we have to get that on video of the moray eating the lionfish, it’s so cool! Aimee and I found all kinds of new blue-light creatures but most are so light sensitive that trying to get one good shot can be a major challenge! We found some of the most beautiful little anemones I had ever seen and you would never even know they are there without the use of a blue light. Almost every night dive here in Curacao involves a close-encounter with an octopus or a squid. You would think at some point we would get sick of seeing them but the fascination with these beautiful creatures just never seems to end!! This one here was happily parked on top of a mound of finger corals surrounded by yellow sheets of fire coral. Most of the time these Caribbean Reef octopus are so busy hunting that they completely ignore the divers and seem to know we are not a threat!!
On Saturday Stijn and I left the house at 6:00am with the dogs and took off to get some needed work done on our new mountain bike trail that is currently being built. Then about thirty minutes later three other friends showed up and joined in the digging fun, it’s amazing what you can get done with a little help! We ended up staying out there for around three hours, that’s about all our backs could take! Once home we all (Aimee included) decided to drop everything and go to the movies for an afternoon of popcorn and relaxation. We ended up seeing the movie “Home Front” and folks it was great!! On Sunday, Stijn and I left the house again at o-dark-thirty and got in a fun three hour ride to the Hato airport and back. Since it had rained hard the night before we ended up just riding all over town and doing a lot of road riding instead, it was super fun and I found all kinds of new places to go back to and explore later. After our ride we went for a dive and again fed our pet eel who almost seemed to know we were coming! He again gulped down a few lionfish and after every one he swallowed came back for more, what a pig! That’s my weekend in a nutshell, what did you guys do??
We have a bunch of submersible dives going on today so I need to get moving!
See you soon, Barry
Dec 6, 13 Comments (0)
Hi all, I have a jumping baby dolphin shot for you all my dolphin lovers out there today.
We are gearing up for a busy weekend starting with another blue-light night dive this evening. Tomorrow it’s trail work first thing in the morning followed by a dive, then a long walk with the dogs, a three hour bike ride Sunday morning and a long hike at Porto Mari in the afternoon! Stijn is being dropped off this afternoon at our house with his bike and will be spending the whole weekend with us for once, so while we are doing the blue-light photos tonight he will be looking for lionfish for dinner.
Yesterday Aimee and I hauled our driftwood Christmas tree to the North coast and spent two hours setting it up on the sharp limestone cliffs overlooking the sea. The reason for all that work was to photograph it and use it as this years Christmas card which I will be posting soon, we hope you like it. After the shoot we took it all back down, re-boxed it and hauled it back home where it is not re-built again in our living room soon to be covered in lights and ornaments.
Be safe out there and have a great weekend!
Cheers from warm, sunny Curacao,
Dec 5, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning from warm, sunny Curacao! I have a beach photo for my friends locked in winter temperatures today that was taken a few months ago when our friends Nancy and Kaya from South Dakota came to visit. This was shot on the tiny island of Klein Curacao which is about 15 miles from Curacao and takes a few hours to get there by boat. If your lucky enough to be the first ones there like we were you have the opportunity to lay “first tracks” in the super soft, warm sand. Each morning the waves erase all the tracks from the day before and it’s like your the first person to ever visit here, it’s really something to see!
Klein Curaçao or little Curacao, is a 1.7 square kilometres (170 ha; 0.66 sq mi) uninhabited island south-east of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea, and is part of the country of Curacao. The only structures on the island are an old lighthouse, a beach house, and several huts. This little island is locally well known as a beautiful diving-spot because of its coral and underwater caves and it’s fairly easy to spot colorful fish and sea turtles when snorkeling. Klein Curacao has no permanent inhabitants, only a few palm-frond covered sheds for day trippers from Curacao, and apart from some coconut palms has little vegetation. There are some fishermen’s huts where fishermen normally stay for a few days at a time. They get water from the Coast Guard of Curacao. The windward side is a graveyard for boats which currently consists of a giant rusted tanker called the Maria Bianca Guidesman, a massive yacht now in a million pieces and a bunch of small fishing boats.
Keep warm out there, Barry
Dec 4, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning all. Remember last week when I said trail work was halted because of a nest I encountered with two eggs in it??? Well, we ended up going back out there twice, once to shoot the eggs and again before sunrise to catch the mother sitting on the eggs. I was pretty shocked how close I was able to get to the nest with momma sitting there, she never moved a muscle and was very patient with me and the camera, three photos and I was gone! This is Common Ground Dove and her nest is only about two feet off the ground in a thorn bush, I am actually amazed that her eggs have not been eaten by an iguana or larger bird as they are very much in plain sight?? I will now leave this section of the new mountain bike trail closed until the babies are born and gone, then once everyone has left the nest we can open this last section.
The Common Ground Dove is North America’s smallest dove and is one of the world’s smallest by mass. This species ranges from 15–18 cm (5.9–7.1 in) in length, spans 27 cm (11 in) across the wings and weighs 26–40 g (0.92–1.4 oz). This beautiful little Dove has a yellow beak with a black tip and the feathers surrounding the beak are pink in color. The feathers on the head and the upper breast have a scale like appearance and the tail feathers are very short and similar color to the back. The plumage on the back of the bird is brown the coverts and wing feathers are also brown but have black spotting on them. The Common Ground Dove has chestnut primaries and wing borders, which can only been seen when the bird is flying. The Common Ground Dove shows some sexual dimorphism in their plumage. The males have slate gray feathers on the top of their heads and pink-gray colouration on their belly while females on the other hand are more gray than their male counterparts and are more evenly colored.
The Common Ground-Dove flies fast, with its short wings beating rapidly, almost like those of a quail. When it walks, it nods like a pigeon. It searches for seeds on the ground but requires low brush for nesting and roosting. Most courtship behavior takes place on the ground, with the male pursuing the female, bobbing his expanded neck in rhythm with his monotonous cooing. The nest consists of two little white eggs which can be on or close to the ground, often hidden in a tuft of grass or among weeds.
I am off to the sea for an early morning dive, have a wonderful day all!!
Dec 3, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning friends, so finally I have a before and after photo of a small coral under blue light and the same coral under normal white light for your viewing pleasure today. Almost a week ago Aimee and I hit the reef late at night with our blue-lights and shot a bunch of photos which I did post and you can still see by scrolling down the page. On that night or any blue-light night dive I am unable to shoot a regular photo with normal light because of the yellow filter that is screwed onto the front of my lens which is sealed under the port. So what we are doing now is marking the best corals we find with a floating buoy (plastic bottle on a string) and going back in the evenings with just our normal white flashes so you can see what they look like before and after, it’s pretty cool huh?? We have actually really started getting into this and will be doing this more and more, it’s not only a thrill a second, it’s a major challenge!! Besides the corals we are starting to find animals that fluoresce as well like the fireworms, lizardfish, and the eyes of many fish like the flounders so stay tuned for more.
Fluorescence is the name for the absorption of light at one wavelength and its re-emission at another wavelength. What that boils down to is that some things will glow when you shine the right light on them. The ‘right light’ can be different for different targets. We are most used to seeing fluorescence produced by ultraviolet light, often called “black light” because we humans can’t see it. So I recently purchased these new lights from Night Sea WWW.NIGHTSEA.COM called; specially filtered blue lights, because the blue has proved to be better at making most things underwater fluoresce. Fluorescence is kind of magical, especially at night and underwater. You point one light at a target and a totally different color comes out. One of the characteristics of fluorescence is the intense, highly saturated colors. We are used to seeing things illuminated by white light, which contains all the colors of the spectrum. When something fluoresces it usually emits only a narrow range of colors, making it appear like a pure color. There are fluorescent items around you all the time. Highlighter pens, orange traffic cones and safety vests, and bright plastics for children’s toys are just a few examples of the way fluorescence is used. The fluorescence of these products is what makes them appear especially bright.
We have a semi-quiet day going today, will be biking tonight after work and then we have a Substation Christmas party at a fun meat-on-a-stick place!
Have a wonderful day all, Barry
Dec 2, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning friends, well good news, Dorian and I won the 60k (short Loop) “Curacao Extreme Mountain Bike Race” and Stijn and his team-mate placed second in the longer 80k loop. The race started at 7:00 Sunday morning and to say it was a full house would be an understatement, I never knew we had so may bikers in Curacao! This is an endurance race consisting on single-track trails, paved sections and dirt roads which we completed in under 3 hours with no bike problems at all! Stijn was seconds away from placing 1st but with a very narrow finish line it could not be done. I am super proud of both Stijn and Dorian, they have been my two star pupils for years and finally all our riding and technical training is paying off, these two have mountain bike skills that so many lack here.
Here is a little parrotfish, either a striped or a princess (I can’t tell) excreting a mucus slime that will cover it’s whole body for the long, dangerous night ahead. We don’t see this too often but we know a lot of parrotfish are doing this every night because of all the empty slime sacks we see floating around the reef in the morning. My experience has been if you really want to see this you have to dive a bit later in the evening as it takes them awhile to make and excrete the cocoon. The few I have seen are also very hidden in the rocks, I have never seen one do this out in the open and they seem to do this more here in the shallows than deep.
A number of parrotfish species, including the queen parrotfish (Scarus vetula), secrete a mucus cocoon, particularly at night. Prior to going to sleep, some species extrude mucus from their mouths, forming a protective cocoon that envelops the fish, presumably hiding its scent from potential predators. This mucus envelope may also act as an early warning system, allowing the parrotfish to flee when it detects predators such as moray eels disturbing the membrane. The skin itself is covered in another mucous substance which may have antioxidant properties helpful in repairing bodily damage, or repelling parasites, in addition to providing protection from UV light.
We have a sub dive in a few minutes and I have a night dive as well tonight, will write more later. Hope you all had a great weekend!
Nov 29, 13 Comments (0)
Good evening one and all, so sorry again about not getting this out earlier but like I have said all week, I just can’t find the time lately. I trust and pray that all my Americans out there had a wonderful turkey day with all the fixins! Here in Curacao there was no turkey to be found so instead we went out to eat at our favorite place called “the Ribs Factory”. Aimee had ribs I had hot wings, it was the closest thing to turkey I could get and I must say it was down right delicious but with that said it still wasn’t the same as a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. I know, quit your complaining you live in the Caribbean!!
So today went by so fast I can hardly recall all I did. The day started with an hour walk with the dogs, then watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire that my mom recently sent down and then off to work for a dive with the sub which brings us to your photo of the day. As much as I hate these lionfish for invading the Caribbean and gobbling up all our baby fish they are still one of the most beautiful fish I have ever seen and I honestly can’t resist the temptation of photographing them on a daily basis. I think one of the top reasons I find them so intriguing is because unlike so many other fish that don’t want you anywhere near them, these fish will pose all day long for you and seem to have no fear of anything! This one here was at around 90 feet just hovering completely motionless above a coral head and let me get within inches of him or her for this shot, again it could have cared less!
Lionfish or Pterois volitans, which makes up approximately 93% of the invasive lionfish population, is also commonly called “red lionfish” and Pterois miles is often called the “common lionfish” or “devil firefish.” However, their common names do not match the origins of their scientific names. The genus name, Pterois, pronounced (tare-oh-eese) is defined in modern dictionaries as simply “lionfish”, however the word Pterois comes from the Greek word “pteroeis” meaning “feathered” or “winged” and the Ancient Greek word, “πτερόν” (pteron), meaning “feather” or “wing”. The species name, volitans, pronounced (vole-ee-tahnz), is Latin for “flying” or “hovering” and the present participle of the Latin word “volitō,” which means “to fly” or “to hover. ”The species name, miles, pronounced (mee-layz), is Latin for “soldiering” and the present participle of the Latin word “mīlitō”, which means “to soldier.
No one is quite sure where the name “lionfish” really came from but it would be a logical guess that when both pectoral fins are completely extended and fanned out a head-on view of the lionfish might resemble a male lion’s mane. Others have also suggested that it might be a tip of the hat to the lionfish as a ferocious predator.
Dinner is calling! Have a great weekend!
Nov 28, 13 Comments (0)
Good morning friends, I first want to apologize for the lack of blog information this week but I just don’t have time!! We have had a crazy week here with our super cool little submersible and today again we have three dives scheduled! I just got back from a fast two hour mountain bike training ride and now have to get my gear on and get myself and the camera underwater for the first of the three dives. This Sunday is the “Curacao Extreme Mountain Bike Race”. I’m doing it with my buddy Dorian who is only 13 and I think we have to ride around 65 kilometers which is the short course, Stijn and his team mate have to ride 80-90k which is the normal course.
Above is another fun shot Aimee and I found late at night out on the reef with our blue-lights. This is a little Bearded Fireworm, Hermodice carunculata strolling around in search of a midnight snack on top of some glowing star corals. We normally see these fireworms out mostly during the day and boy do they love eating dead stuff!! Finding them at night is not as common but when searching with a blue-light they are very easy to spot!
Bearded fireworms are usually between 5–10 centimetres (1.9–3.9 in) in length, but can reach up to 35 centimetres (13.8 in). They have a group of venomous white bristles on each side, which are flared out when the worm is disturbed.
Bearded fireworms are usually found on reefs, under stones in rocky areas of the sea, and on some mud bottoms. They live throughout the tropical western Atlantic and at Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic. They can be found near ocean reefs and at depths of up to 150m. They are very common in Caribbean reef systems across the Antilles, where they are often spotted by divers at a wide range of depths. They are also common in the Mediterranean Sea in the coastal waters surrounding Cyprus and the Maltese archipelago.
The bearded fireworm is a slow creature, and is not considered a threat to humans unless touched by a careless swimmer. The bristles, when flared, can penetrate human skin, injecting a powerful neurotoxin and producing intense irritation and a painful burning sensation around the area of contact. The sting can also lead to nausea and dizziness. This sensation lasts up to a few hours, but a painful tingling can continue to be felt around the area of contact. In a case of accidental contact, application and removal of adhesive tape will help remove the spines; applying alcohol to the area will also help alleviate the pain.
Thanks for tuning in, Barry
Nov 27, 13 Comments Off
Hi friends, we are having a crazy busy week here at Substation Curacao and I unfortunately have no time to write. I just took this photo at 100 feet about an hour ago on my way back from shooting our little submersible. The current is really strong today as you can see from the bent gorgonians above and I about wore myself out getting back to the entrance area. This is one of the thousands of big, beautiful Giant Barrel sponges, Xestospongia muta that reside here on our reefs and I usually have to stop every time I pass to photograph them. This one had a lionfish at the base that was just laying there motionless without a care in the World.
Have a wonderful day, Barry
Nov 26, 13 Comments Off
Good morning from wet Curacao!!! We have very overcast skies today and most of us are cold, we are not used to 70 degree weather!! Last night when Aimee and I got out of the ocean it was raining and it was so cold!!! I kid you not when I say the ocean water was warmer than the surface temperatures! The “blue-light dive” last night was again a total blast and well worth all the work it took to prepare for it earlier in the afternoon. We jumped into the sea last evening at around 7:30 surrounded by curious hotel guests and a security guard that was shaking his head in disbelief. Many people here think I must be insane to go under the sea at night and I guess they could be right but I will never admit it! The dive I did this weekend with Stijn was to go out and place plastic bottle buoys near or next to some of the corals that Aimee and I had found a few days earlier on our blue-light night dive. The reason I’m marking these spots is so I can go back out at night and photograph all these beautiful blue-light corals in regular white light so you can see a before and after photo. Your photos today are more examples of the beautiful little corals we have out on our reef and with the addition of fluorescent blue-light the reef is instantly transformed into a glowing underwater World.
Very busy day, we have three submersible runs so not much time for anything else!!
See you tomorrow all, Barry
Nov 25, 13 Comments Off
Good morning from Curacao, how was your weekend out there???? Mine was two days of non-stop fun from start to finish! Saturday morning I met Dorian and Stijn plus about 20 other riders for a three hour mountain bike ride to Porto Mari and back starting at Piscadera Centrum. The goal of the morning was to pre-ride this coming weekends “Curacao Extreme” course which is a team event that I will be doing with Dorian who is only 13. We will be doing the 60k race while Stijn and his team-mate are racing the 80k loop. The race course is a mixture of trails and road and should take around two and a half to three hours to finish. Our ride Saturday was more of a fun ride and we had to stop quite a bit to let others in the group catch up and we ended up finishing in around three hours, a long time to be sitting in the saddle! One of the best parts of this ride Saturday was learning about new trails that I never knew existed and will going back soon with Aimee and the dogs to do some more exploring.
On Sunday I left the house at 6:30 in the morning with the dogs and a whole lot of water and went to work on the new mountain bike trail that I started a month or two ago. At around 7:30 Stijn surprised me by showing up and with his help we got a lot done in two hours. At one point the trail work came to an abrupt halt as the shrub I was about to cut through had a nest in it with two new bird eggs. We quietly backed up and I made a temporary trail around the nest and just continued building the trail behind it, we will wait until the babies are hatched before we mess with that area. As we continued to work the momma bird, a beautiful little dove, came back and laid on the eggs the whole time and could have cared less about the dogs or us walking by. Later in the day Stijn and I went back and even took a photo of the two little eggs in the nest but because of the sun now shining on the eggs momma was not to be seen, would still like a photo of her sitting on them. At around 11:00 Stijn and I went for a dive and carried with us some plastic bottles attached to strings to mark some of the corals I shot the other night with the blue-lights. The goal for this week, starting tonight is to start marking the corals we shoot with blue-light and go back later with normal white light and re-photograph them so every out there in cyber-land can see a before and after photo, great idea right??
So I had a few folks ask me this week or actually wondering just how shallow the Elkhorn corals live and why they are in so much danger. I think the deepest Elkhorn corals we have on the Sea Aquarium reef is at around 20 feet and most of the others are at 10-15 feet. The corals in the shallows do much better than the deeper ones as they seem to love an area with constant water movement meaning the love areas with waves passing directly overhead with plenty of circulation. Most of these corals are in water that is so shallow that even just snorkeling through them or over them can cause them severe damage! I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen a person accidentally kick a coral with their fins, they break so easily! The #1 biggest threat to these fragile corals at the moment is global warming. If the temperature in the ocean changes by just a few degrees the corals start to bleach and if it gets too warm they will die! We also have the constant threat of storms which has destroyed countless endangered elkhorn colonies, they love normal waves passing overhead but only to certain extent, if they are too big the delicate arms will break. Once an arm breaks new colonies can re-grow from these broken pieces but those broken chunks must quickly get wedged tight into the reef and not move in order to grow, otherwise if it’s moving around it will die. So besides global warming, storms, human impact and coral diseases, we also have runoff which here in Curacao is almost as bad as changing water temperatures. We have two kinds of runoff here, one is raw sewage being pumped into the ocean and the other is caused from tropical downpours. During a big rain think about how much silt and sand, human contaminates, trash and especially gas and oils get washed into the sea, it’s unbelievable! After any big rain here in Curacao the ocean turns into a muddy mess and if you were to look underwater you would see all that sediment falling onto our delicate coral reefs! My wife and I have spent countless dives “fanning corals” after the big storms trying to remove as much sand off the top of them as we can but really it’s like to trying to rid the ocean of lionfish!!
I have to run, need to get registered for the big race this weekend.
Have a great day all, Barry
Nov 22, 13 Comments Off
Hi gang, it’s finally Friday!! So what are you all doing this weekend?? And don’t tell me nothing because even if it’s cold there’s something to do!! I have to say, the one thing we miss living down here are the seasons!! It’s always sunny and always hot and unfortunately we have to run our air-co’s every single day just to survive, especially at night! This past week was really brutal with the no wind and the recently hatched mosquito population which we are battling non-stop with our electric mosquito zappers that look like miniature tennis rackets.
We had an early morning run today with the submersible meaning I was already underwater taking photos and am now waiting for it’s return. On my way out this morning at 13 feet I found a big octopus clinging to a small conch which he was using as a door to block his cool little cave, I will definitely have to go back later and try to get some photos. I also noticed my resident GIANT snapping shrimp is still in his same home after almost a year, I guess it’s all about location, location, location!!!
Your photo today is a cute Honeycomb Cowfish that lives on our Substation house reef and I see him or her just about every time I go out. There are so many different fish on our reef that have gotten used to seeing a diver on a daily basis and now, instead of fleeing, they will let you get pretty darn close, which is great if you have a camera! These cowfish are some of the most gentle creatures on the reef and are so much fun to watch. They have the ability to change or flash their colors in the blink of an eye very much like a squid or octopus, it’s one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
I have so much still to get done today including getting ready for a big mountain bike ride in the morning.
Have a wonderful weekend, Barry
Nov 21, 13 Comments Off
Good morning friends, we had another great “Blue-Light” night dive last evening which started at around 7:00 and lasted a good solid hour. Getting the camera and housing ready for this dive took a few hours during the day but like always the work is worth the trouble. I am currently using a Nikon D-800, 105 2.8 macro and a full Ikelite setup which includes a custom three strobe setup. Because of the amount of light that is needed for this kind of wild photography Ikelite made me a special cord to run three of their DS-160′s and it works great! All my blue-light gear was purchased through Night Sea (link below) which includes the yellow lens we wear over our masks, the blue, hand-held search lights, the blue covers for the strobes and the yellow covers for the lens although last night I just used a 52mm yellow screw-on glass filter instead of the plastic strap-on type.
For those of you wanting something new and exciting from your dives, get yourself a blue-light search light and the lens, it will change the way you look at the reef forever! On last nights dive Aimee was again in charge of finding the fluorescent treasures and like always she did great! Each cool thing we found she would illuminate/flood the specimen with white light using an Ikelite PRO-2800 video light system. Without white light you can not focus because of the yellow filter over the lens. And the other thing that is cool, you can leave the white light on while you shoot your blue-light photo, you won’t see any white light at all. When we spotted the little anemone above that was surrounded in red algae we both started screaming in joy underwater, talk about a great Christmas card!! After that we found some beautiful baby corals attached to the side of a big boulder, (2nd photo) they were so beautiful under the blue-light. We pretty much just swam from one glowing object to another and even found a little flounder to play with on the way out. I am one of those divers that really doesn’t get very cold, maybe because I am so busy with the task at hand but Aimee was frozen, I hate to say it but she needs a dry-suit for night diving! Besides all the beautiful glowing corals and anemones we came across a six foot green moray eel, a big octopus and countless lionfish out hunting, night diving just plain rocks!!
Fluorescence is the name for the absorption of light at one wavelength and its re-emission at another wavelength. What that boils down to is that some things will glow when you shine the right light on them. The ‘right light’ can be different for different targets. We are most used to seeing fluorescence produced by ultraviolet light, often called “black light” because we humans can’t see it. So I recently purchased these new lights from Night SeaWWW.NIGHTSEA.COM called; specially filtered blue lights, because the blue has proved to be better at making most things underwater fluoresce. Fluorescence is kind of magical, especially at night and underwater. You point one light at a target and a totally different color comes out. One of the characteristics of fluorescence is the intense, highly saturated colors. We are used to seeing things illuminated by white light, which contains all the colors of the spectrum. When something fluoresces it usually emits only a narrow range of colors, making it appear like a pure color. There are fluorescent items around you all the time. Highlighter pens, orange traffic cones and safety vests, and bright plastics for children’s toys are just a few examples of the way fluorescence is used. The fluorescence of these products is what makes them appear especially bright.
We have a dive with the submersible in an hour so I need to get moving! Have a wonderful day all!!