Monterey: Day 6

Day 6 in Monterey was my last day of diving. In the morning, I didn’t have a dive buddy since it was a Saturday and everyone from the shop was busy. Still, Berkeley agreed to take me out on his boat. I went with the fisheye lens again, and we went back to the breakwater, focusing on over-under shots of sea nettles below, and the sea lion colony above. After a few minutes I was informed by a park ranger that I was getting to close to the marine mammals, so switched my dive plan. I spent the rest of the dive chasing jellies, trying to find where they were the most dense, get under them, and shoot up, framing them against the sky. In a tangled web of potential subjects, it’s really about finding the perfect composition.

In the afternoon, Becca came on-board Berkeley’s boat and joined me for a scooter dive! I’d never gotten the chance to use a dive scooter before, but it was a ton of fun! After some initial adjustments, I mounted my camera on the top of the scooter and Becca showed me how to use it. After a few minutes of getting used to, it was a ton of fun. I was quickly able to move back and forth along the dive site like I never have done before. The real highlight of the dive was the jellies. We were back at the sea lion colony, but headed out to sea where the jellies were thickest. I turned off the flashes from my camera, and shot bursts of photos, and some video as I cruised through the swarm. Suddenly, I found myself in an immensely dense patch, surrounded by a huge swarm of jellies in every direction. Here I got my favorite shot of the trip which I later changed to black and white, showcasing the eerie swarm of jellies slowly floating through the water.

Unfortunately, I did get stung a number of times… it would be hard not to, given the huge number of jellies I was swimming past. They didn’t hurt too bad but by the end my lips were definitely tingly. At the end of my dive, I’d gotten split up from Becca, but I suddenly saw a dead sea lion, partially decomposed on the bottom. Eerily, another sea lion swam down to check him out, juxtaposing life and death with the jellies right behind. It was an amazing end to an incredible week of diving.