Islamorada, Florida Keys, U.S.A.

Scuba Diving

Utila, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Cozumel, Mexico

Florida Keys, U.S.A.



My Aquarium

Finally! I get to do a lot of diving that isn't from a cattle boat. In fact, I towed my own boat from Illinois just so I could dive where and when I wanted to. Man was that sweet! I hope to be able to do this again in the near future. Sitting back after the fact I'm kind of annoyed with myself for not taking more photos of my boat being in the ocean. All I got was this one photo -

But hey, at least I got that much - the prop and aft of ole Mental Floss just off the coast of Islamorada. One less thing to scratch off my list :)

This tripped marked my first dives with my Nikon 5700 digital camera with Ikelite housing. For the most part, the pictures turned out well. I am still missing the strobes I plan to add to this package, but I stayed shallow for most my diving, anyway, so lighting wasn't an issue. Still, macro strobes would have helped immensely on photos like this one -

Still a good photo, but just missing the proper coloration. I'm sure I could adjust colors in Photo Shop to make it appear as I had better lighting, but I both don't like the idea of editing my images as well as I'm not proficient in the use of Photo Shop so it would take me hours to break the learning curve.

This photo represents my first run-in with a Green Moray. It's a horrible photo, but the only one I got. Typical for Florida Keys Morays, this guy came out for a closer inspection of *me.* I panicked and fled. You would, too, if it were your first time seeing a Green moray in the wild and the sucker came right out to greet you!

So I worked around the lighting issue as best I could and was rewarded with several really nice shots thanks to natural sunlight. This Cocoa Damsel, Stegastes variabilis, framed himself nicely for me and thus I was thankful enough to post it here. This is the juvenile color phase, while the adults are almost entirely chocolate colored (hence their name).

Christmas Tree worms were very plentiful in the Keys, and seeing as they were easy to photograph, I made them the subject of many images. Sometimes I would find them as solitary individual on large moon corals -

But other times I would stumble across them in large groups. Regardless, the coloration was highly variable -

Check out these stinging hairs, called Nematocysts, found upon the Caribbean Fire Corals. Normally these guys are hard to see with the human eye, but my macro lens captured them well enough to make them just barely visible. These micro-fine hairs are what cause the excruciating pain and welts resulting from brushing into Fire Coral.

I think this may be one of my all-time favorite photos regardless of how many more times I have the chance to do underwater photography. It is called the Stoplight Parrotfish aka Sparisoma viride, and is seen here in the Terminal Phase for males.

To give you an idea of how different the Terminal Phase male is different from the Initial Phase female, here is a nice close-up of the female color variation.

Everybody loves a Puffer fish, and this Diodon holocanthus, referred to as a Balloonfish amongst divers, gave us a good view of their starry eyes.

The Florida Keys fish were overall very friendly, with few exceptions, which made photography a bit easier. Additionally, the Keys experience very little current on the shallow reefs which makes diving as easy as swimming in a pool. Both factors contributed to getting close to normally shy Butterfly fish, like this adult Foureye aka Chaetodon capistratus.

This little guy was pretty cool, too.

Queen Angels were almost always present on a dive.

Overall I had a great time photographing the reef off of Islamorada. I was able to capture many images which I will be proud of for years to come. To see all the images from this underwater excursion, nearly 200 in all, please view this link.

To check out the story and photos from the top-side of the Keys, please click over to this page.

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Utila, Honduras

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Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

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