olsob, whale sharks

KendrickWhaleshark

last week, i went to cebu and stayed at yoshi hirata’s resort in cebu (mactan) club paraiso / pcom dream. yoshi is a marine biologist who moved from tokyo to the philippines to start up his own dive operation. he is the #1 world premiere whale shark photographer (published by the likes of national geographic and BBC) and not only is he among the world’s best marine photographers, he is also a fantastic chef!  he arranged for us to dive with the resident whale sharks that frequent the shallow waters of oslob, 3 hours south of cebu. the following are some shots i got of these gentle giants. we encountered around 6 of them on 2 dives with the largest being around 10m (over 30 feet) long. i took these shots with the 5d mark iii in natural light with a nauticam NA-5DMIII underwater housing and ultra wide angle canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM lens. click the image for full size.

WS4

SFWhaleShark

WS1

WS3

WS5

Whale Shark Swim in Maldives

Just returned from my second liveaboard dive trip in the Maldives and had a fantastic encounter with the largest fish in the ocean – the magnificent whale shark (rhincodon typus). Our boat – Island Safari Royal 2 – found this slow moving filter-feeder at a site well known for whale shark sightings – Maamigili Outer reef. It’s located on the southern tip of the South Ari Atoll in the Maldives. After everyone gave up chasing the fish, I managed to keep up with it and swim with him alone for over 12 minutes – filming video and snapping photos. This is a condensed video I made for our Maldivian dive guide, Niyan, and presented it to him at the end of the trip as a thank you souvenir of the great dive memory. He can be seen swimming with the whale shark at the end of the video since we were the only two who managed to keep up with this gentle giant. It’s my second whale shark seen at Maamigili. I hope you can all come to Maldives one day and say hello to these friendly, peaceful creatures. Hope you enjoy the short video! 19 January 2011.

Jer’s Best of Maldives Dive Video

Have a look at a short video I made of my last dive trip to the Maldives. Enjoy!

squalo balena!

whaleshark-large

i just returned from a terrific dive trip in Maldives with a bunch of italian divers and we found what we were searching for! the infamous maldivian whale shark – known in italian as squalo balena!!  the 7-day liveaboard dive trip was fantastic. i did 19 dives in 6 days (with 1 day of rest!)…and i’m still not dived-out. aside from the squalo balena i ran into a friendly pod of dolphins, a curious napolean wrasse, swam with a group of more than 10 huge manta rays in the deep open ocean, saw more eels than i could count, and beautiful coral recovering from the effects of el nino and the recent tsunami. all the photos are posted on my multiply website which you can view by clicking here: http://esguerra1.multiply.com/ and selecting an album. a shout out to my new diving buddies from Rome at www.lunasub.it it was great diving with all of you! remember to swim slowly and watch out for strong current (east-to-west)…but only SOMETIMES! ciao!

p.s. yes, i took the photo above. we searched for the whale shark for 1 day and finally someone spotted it and we all jumped into the ocean…i dove down and got a pic of this gentle giant approaching me head on. afterwards i let him swim under me and off into the deep blue!

p.p.s. if you click the LunaSub link above to my italian friends’ website, there is a short preview video on their homepage (in the right-hand column) which they filmed from our dive trip. it’ll give you just a taste of what we saw! enjoy!