Everyone at the dive centre was ecstatic this morning when we dropped onto the canyon at our world famous Manta Reef and found a gorgeous and massive oceanic manta ray on the cabbage Coral cleaning station.
The gigantic ray was enjoying a slow swim around the cabbage coral whilst being cleaned by a myriad of smaller fish. Luckily we were a small group and everybody knew how to dive properly with mantas. We all hung down on the edge of the canyon and were treated to at least 15 minutes of viewing as the manta swam lazily around enjoying the tickling fish, cleaning its gills. I was especially pleased that I had pitched up for this dive as I was only seconds away from cancelling due to slightly bumpy water and having woken up late! Fiona Ayerst September 2017
For the fourth year my underwater photography program has run in conjunction with Africa Media and Guinjata dive Centre, in marvelous mozambique. This August we’ve had 5 keen students learning to hone their photography skills. One of my favorite things about the program is that it brings people from different countries and walks of life together and here we live eat and breathe underwater photography for an entire month- can life get any better?
I’d like to introduce my five brilliant students and some of their macro shots from the past 2 weeks. They’ve been working super hard and I hope you enjoy them? Here we are starting out on the desk, learning manual settings.
Feel free to comment. I’ll showcase 3 of them tonight and 2 tomorrow.
Let’s start with the fairest sex first!
Humpbacks in the bay
German born Sibylle lives in Dubai and has the most understanding boss in the world! Sib loves dive travel and spends a lot of time annually doing just that.sometimes I feel like I know what Sib is going to say before she says it and I think we have a lot of similarities and even similar tastes. I’ve known her 2 weeks but it feels much longer ~ in a good way. Sib is one clever, sassy lady and I hope I’ve made a friend for life.
Rob is from Holland and is Sib’s ‘other half’ and he is a ‘toy’ junkie with some exceptional equipment and skills. Rob clearly does his homework and everything about him just -works! Rob loves diving and shooting everything that moves. With his exceptional diving skills, Rob manages to capture tiny details and I’m in awe his super macro work and jealous of his equipment. I hope to travel with Rob and Sib someday.
Ryan hails from a ‘land down under’, Perth, Oz. His fascination with the ocean and its inhabitants is infectious and refreshing. Sometimes it feels like Ryan has two ‘ left thumbs ‘ but it seems to work as his photos are incredible. He knew nothing about photography when he arrived and in 2 short weeks just look at his work! I expect great things from this young man.
Tomorrow, I’ll introduce Waiganjo from Kenya and Miguel from Puerto Rico.
Whale sharks really are the gentle giants of the sea. Encounters with these beauties rank near the top of any diving bucket list. With a head like the front of a bus, a dotty body and tiny eyes that don’t match its girth, this gentle animal is the largest fish in the ocean.There is an intense thrill in diving or snorkeling with the docile whale shark. This causes thousands of hopeful thrill-seekers to flock to places where the sharks may be found. Thus the charismatic whale shark is an ambassador for the ocean and a tourist draw card bringing in much-needed moola for poor countries. Strangely enough, the whale shark is often found in the shallows of some of the poorest nations on earth. I wonder if this is a co-incidence?
Mozambique is home to one of the greatest concentrations of whale sharks in Africa. The coconut lined beaches and colourful reefs of Mozambique are swoon-worthy, off-the-beaten-path adventurous places that win you serious bragging rights on social media. Most encounters with the whale sharks happen whilst you are on snorkel and when the animals are feeding on plankton and krill near the surface.
When to Go: November through February offers the best conditions to view these animals.
Operators: Guinjata Dive Centre is a friendly and efficient dive centre based South of Inhambane and offers ocean safaris to see the whale sharks. Price Tag: Ocean Safari’s are around R350 per person but the center staff can tailor-make something to suit your requirements
I have added an album of some of my favourite photos of whale sharks which I hope will get you in the mood to visit.
2 November 2015
Capturing video of whale sharks
a different type of wildlife encounter and SCUBA is not a requirement
This shark is feeding krill at the surface
Trying to keep up
following the gentle giant
The sheer beauty is incredible
Being so close to such an incredible animal is amazing
Diving in the Inhambane area isn’t complete without a dive in the estuary.
Whenever the underwater photographers from Fiona Ayerst’s month long program are here we ensure that a visit or two to the estuary near Barra takes place. We spend hours in the water finding all kinds of critters to shoot. Some of our clients say it’s like diving in the “muck” in Indonesia, due to the fact that many of the animals we find are really strange. We think it may be a nursery area for certain of the animals we find in the open ocean? In this album we have uploaded just a few of the more fascinating ones so that you can see the huge diversity of life we have in the area. Come see for yourself !