Beyond the lens – 70…

“It happened on the third day of our safari… While we were snacking sprawled out on the leather couches in the back of Cassiopeia, my fellow divers signaled that they noticed something moving by the farther end of the reef.

At first I wasn’t sure what they meant but when a couple of them began to whistle, it dawned on me – dolphins must be somewhere near us. I quickly removed the 2 complete flash systems from the casing and since the camera was already equipped with a wide-angle lens, I was able to jump right in the water with it.

I grabbed a pair of fins, mask and snorkel and we were already sitting in the zodiac tearing up the water towards our beloved dolphins. Unfortunately when we got into the water the sun was beginning to set, limiting our photographing options but it was still an amazing experience being able to swim (“fly”) with the dolphins and we were able to watch them for about half an hour gliding up and down in the blue surf. At that time I thought this was the most beautiful and most exciting day of our tour.

Dolphins Red Sea
Two days later after a dive that was spiked with a smaller school of barracudas, the others told me that nice looking jellyfish are in the water! They asked if I had taken pictures of them. Not having taken any pictures of them, I hesitated a bit to get back into the water as I had already cleaned and rinsed my camera equipment but I did and I was able to take a few nice shots.

Jellyfish Red Sea Egypt
I once again cleaned my camera and casing and put them away thinking I would not be taking any more pictures that day. As I was taking a leisurely walk on the deck, a couple of vigilant divers pointed to a zodiac leaving another boat and said that there must be dolphins again…

I couldn’t believe my ears! My first reaction was that I was no going into the water again with a camera as I had just cleaned and put it away for the second time in about an hour… The others were trying to talk me into going and I figured I would put my gear together and if they were still there, I would go with them and take a few pictures.

This was the biggest experience of my life! Topping our meeting 2 days earlier, this time around a pod of 70 dolphins was swimming and playing along the southern, more shallow end of the Shaab Marsa Alam reef. We were able to spend close to an hour and a half in the water all fired up on adrenaline. I could almost touch them they swam so close and many of the divers did so but my mind was working on one thing only…

Dolphins Egypt
Would I be able to take a picture that would show the whole pod?!

Well, I guess it was worth going back for the second time… J

Text and photos by Balazs Kurucz

The Pipefish in Focus

Don’t bet an eye!

Pipefish Red Sea“I have no idea why but I began to focus on the two tiny strands of seagrass gently floating close to the sea bottom. Perhaps I was drawn by the perfect harmony of their movements. I descended near them in the sand and began to watch them from even closer as if I already knew this was going to be some sort of hoax. And I was right – the macro lens, when aimed just right, was able to see through the tiniest mimicry. We could say – the lens doesn’t lie. There they were, flashing their greenery before me. And let’s be honest, seagrass doesn’t really flash, now does it?”

Robust Ghost pipefishThe Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus) drifts almost motionlessly with its tiny fins barely moving as it approaches its prey of tiny crustaceans which it sucks up into its snout. It prefers open waters except during breeding when they tend to move closer to the coral reefs.

Pipefish EgyptDive site: Shaab Mahmoud (close to the wreck of Dunraven)

Text and photo by Csaba Tökölyi

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