One of the many reasons I love my job is having the opportunity to host such a variety of people from across the globe, socialising in-between dives and over dinner creates a great atmosphere so I was elated when I saw the guest list of our latest trip….
Similan Liveaboard Guests
Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan and Korea. I think we have the globe pretty much covered with this line up! And all converging on MV hallelujah with one common goal. To go scuba diving in the Similan Islands.
Discovering Macro in the Similan Islands
Having hosted, taught & instructed many many guests in the Similan Islands over the years I have found quite a common theme. A lot of recreational divers (let’s say, sub 50 dives) are oblivious to the world that is within the blue world we are visiting. Allow me to clarify; I’m talking about macro, the small stuff that unless you are very close to the reef, boulders, rocks or seabed you simply end up passing it by.
We can all see the big stuff if we are in the right place at the right time, so I must admit to getting a little kick out of finding a tiny nudibranch or pipefish and post dive chatter reveals that my group and I were the only ones to see the subject.
A Whole New World
Since joining Big Blue Diving my eyes have been opened even more so when it comes to macro, to the point where I no longer believe it’s a tiny world in a big world of blue water, but in fact an entire universe just waiting to be discovered.
The nation who is responsible for this eye-opening life changing moment is Japan. I have to admit that until I started diving with a camera I could not understand why people would want to dive in the same area, or in some cases the same spot for the entire dive. Now I get it, the opportunity to see and photograph some of the residents of this miniscule universe makes it all worthwhile.
These guys and girls have it nailed, post dive chats and cameras feverishly flicking through the shots revealing fish I never even knew existed. So a quick thanks to all Japanese divers that have already provided me with awesome tips on not only finding these little critters, but how to get the best out of my camera too.
How To Find the Special Things
So how do you get to see all the tiny stuff too? Well, don’t be too hasty to zoom around the dive site, let your dive guide know that you would like to see some macro, be patient and focus on a small area for searching, use a torch to aid focus, control your buoyancy (perfectly demonstrated below).
The best advice I’ve received so far is to look for the food source of the animal you are searching for. You wouldn’t search for mantas or whalesharks in an area of the world that doesn’t provide them with food, so why do the same if you are hunting for nudi’s like the blue dragon seen here.
We have a vast array of knowledge on our Similan Liveaboard team. We have a substantial library onboard the MV Hallelujah Similan Liveaboard, and it’s all at your disposal. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Do a little research, ask to go hunting for your target and hopefully you will be back on deck sporting a unique photograph and getting that little kick out of being the only diver to have it on show.
Thanks to all our guests on this Similan Liveaboard trip on Big Blue’s MV Hallelujah. If you joined us then please leave a comment below and we hope to see you again!
Blog written by Matt Waters