Diving , more than a hobby : a mindset 

Scuba diving is one of these moments where you forget your daily troubles.

That moment when you meet another world, a marine world.

That moment when we discover , and discover new sensations.

More than a hobby or a minute of escape , diving is first of all a mindset that rules all sealife lovers.

 

Scuba diving : the technique at the service of the discovery of the seabed

« This morning , I woke up smiling because I knew I was gonna go diving  »

Diving isn’t just a lapse of time from the moment you step into the water to the moment you come back on the boat.

No         

Diving starts from the moment you get your gear ready , where you envision the beautiful things you are going to see .

Rig your block, check the pressure, the regulators, the BC…

This little ritual before the dive puts you in condition for the upcoming minutes underwater.

 

Photography while diving

For underwater photographers like I am , the preparation of the case , the lubrication of the joints, the verification of the connections and the charge of the batteries is a moment of joy .

But a tough choice must be made !

« Should I set my camera for wide angle or macro ? »

Often, it is the choice of the site to discover that defines the configuration, but you can never know how clear or murky  the water will be !

If I have no idea where I will be diving , I trust my gut feeling …. it works most of the time !

« Today, let’s go wide angle !»

Without losing more time , I load the gear on the boat , without forgetting the essential equipment !

That those who have never forgotten their mask, their fins, their level parachute, their combination …… throw me the first stone.

 

Know how to prepare your dive

There comes the moment of the dive director’s briefing.

With a moment of absolute silent , almost , he describes the choosen diving spot.

Then comes the usual security instructions :

  • half pressure at 100 bar
  • provision at 50

Firecracker reminder and rising to the recommended speed

End of the brieffing , while some divers haven’t opened their block yet , I am already set to go !

Fin du brieffing, pendant que certains n’ont même pas ouvert leur bloc, je suis déjà équipé with a mask on my neck, fins on my feet, I’m ready to do that jump that will get me to this other world.

“The first big moment : let’s jump and discover this beautiful world !”

1…..2…..3…. let’s go

PLOUF ! A cloud of bubbles is surrounding me , I can’t see anything for a few seconds.

Here we go , these bubbles are gone , I can see my binomial.

Everything seems to be great .

I drain the air of my vest and we are gone for a descent to this underwater world.

From now on , I decide to go deeped, I can feel the pressure rising at my ear level.

I rebalance regularly, then look at the bottom, although my eyes only distinguish blue.

They will need a few seconds to get use to the low ambiant light.

I can finally distinguish these shapes , they are coral heads who contrast with the white sand . The details are getting sharper and sharper , I can start to see fishes  ! All types of them !

Some colors begin to appear.

I inflate my vest to slow down my way down.

When I get  3 meters from the bottom, I take a good breath , my lungs  are full, the ballast effect allows me to stay above the corals.

 

An underwater 3 dimensional world under my eyes

I just came from a 2 dimensional world to a 3 dimensional one.

My eyes are now used to the light, I can clearly see some reafs starting to appear.

I check my binomial once again, everything seems to be fine, let’s go and explore !

In front of me , the entrance of a canyon is inviting me to come in .

I go up this one by a few meters. The light beams cross over faults creating beautiful atmospheres. They seem to dance in sandstone waves that curl the surface of the water, a few meters higher.

 

Taking pictures of these hidden treasures from beneath

In the hollow of a fault, a Javanese moray  is cleaned by a shrimp couple . A little further, a lion fish, or Pterois, seems to be levitating.

Around it, a shoal of glassfish forms a dense and compact ball

« Are they aware that they are so close to a terrible predator ? »

I already visualise the picture I am gonna take !

I get closer and closer without any sudden gestures, without moving and sand with my fins.

I hold my breath for a few seconds in order not to scare the fish .

I already have the eye in the viewfinder .

There we go ! I am at the right distance, I frame my shot , and fire. My strobes are having fun.

The glassfishs are starting to be scared by the flashes, they move fast but in coordinated moves .

The syncronised movements of a fish shoal has always amazed me .

 

Scuba diving is timeless

I have a look at my binomial . The notion of time is disturbed in this world.

We are now of this canyon, now crossing a sand tongue and here we are on an herbanium .

Some nudibranchs are scattered  here and there , they  catched my attention, but my camera is equipped with the wide angle, it will be for a next dive ….

I can see a green turtly on the herbanium . It raises a huge cloud of sand with it’s pectoral fins in order to take the sand off the small grass.

After a few minutes staring at it,  a shoal of small barracudas come visit us above our heads.

They spin above us , seem to play with the air bubbles.Photo plongée sous marine-Anthias-Ambiance dans le lagon de Mayotte

The décompression

I have a look at my manometer , I already used half of my air !

My binomial and I decide to climb up the “hill” to start our decompression.

Once we get in the -10 meter zone , we found soft corals.

Around it, are clouds of orange Anthias , they contrast with the sea bleu !

A shoal of blue trevally is next to us , the reaf is under panic !

All the fishes are on alert !!!

A trumpet fish , head dowm is next to coral , the mimicry  seem to work

A bit further back, I can see an eye coming out of a hole. I didn’t move for a few minutes in order to secure the octopus, I was waiting for it’s curiosity to step up.

Carefully , it starts one of it’s tentacles to touch the strange visitors that we are …

50 bars on the block , I am already on the provision.

The bearings have disapeared while we were in shallow depth .

I take out the parachute and inflate it with my octopus .

The regulator fuse, the bubbles escape from everywhere while I see it soaring towards the surface.

3 minutes later , after doing our security bearings , we reach the surface . The boat isn’t far from us , he picks up another diver a tenmeters from us.

End of the dive , an hour underwater, but I feel like it only laster twenty minutes.

On our way back , we talk to the other divers about the encouters we had .

For my part , I have a ton of images of images on my SD card , but especially in my head. Enough to feed a few dreams waiting for my next dive.