So.Cal. Diver Amongst Big Animals in Galapagos

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Posted by Dick J on September 12, 2006 at 09:26:51:

I know this bulletin board is dedicated to So.Caifornia diving, but I make this posting as a thank-you of sorts to all my local diving friends who introduced me to the marvelous underwater world, and guided me along the way as I tried to capture what I saw in photographs. It was exactly two years ago this month that I first jumped in the ocean with a regulator in my mouth, at Casino Point on Catalina. Last month I went on a 10-day diving trip through the Galapagos Islands –- kind of a graduation exercise if you will, as I passed from a novice diver into someone who could at least put their gear on the right way on a fairly consistent basis. I even completed my 200th dive while on this trip.

The big attraction to diving in the Galapagos Islands is an opportunity to observe many of the ocean’s largest creatures in a completely natural setting –- no baiting or chumming required. And on this trip we were rewarded with big animal encounters beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. At Wolf Island the hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks were out and about in large numbers, and at Darwin Island the whale shark activity was extraordinary. In the course of 10 dives off Darwin Arch I logged 27 whale shark encounters, and one pair of divers had 33 whale shark sightings while there.

Without further ado, here are a few images of the biggest of the big ones.

Sometimes they came in pairs.

A magnificent encounter.

Indescribable beauty as this lovely lady passes by.

The aqua-paparazzi.

With a subject this size, at this distance, even the widest-angle lens is not up to the task.

Awestricken divers.

I hope you enjoyed these photos, and thanks to all of you for helping me discover this new world.

A link to more of my photographs from this trip is found below.

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