ENTRIES
Welcome to Eric Cheng's online journal! You are not logged in. [ Log in ]
«  :: index ::  »

Bahamas Sharks and Dolphins, May 2009

:: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 @ 11:14:55 pm

:: Tags: , , ,


beautiful Bahamian sunset

I have been going to the Bahamas to photograph sharks for eight years. Last week marked my 10th trip aboard the M/V Shear Water with Jim Abernethy. This time, I was part of a private charter for my good friend, Lucien, who was there on the very first dive I made with an underwater camera back in 2001. Lucien, Richard and Jacques joined me, Jim and crew members Don, Mike and Ed for eight days of cruising in the Bahamas for with tiger sharks, lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, Atlantic spotted dolphins, and more. The weather forecasts were good: light winds with afternoon showers every day.

Unfortunately, weather forecasts seem to be wrong most of the time, and the first three days ended up being rough and windy. You might as well ignore forecasts.

I convinced Jim to bring the flying boat on this trip, and on the first day, Jacques went up in it (with Jim) and had the time of his life! Unfortunately, the seas were rough and caused some problems, which ended up shelving the boat for the rest of the trip.


Jim and Jacques take off in the flying boat

I was disappointed because I wanted shots of Tiger Beach from above — I was imagining an aerial shot of 10 tiger sharks and 50 lemon sharks clustered around the Shear Water! It didn’t matter — it wouldn’t have happened on this trip because there were only half a dozen lemon sharks at Tiger Beach. It was totally bizarre, and unprecedented. We did, however, have a very-pregnant Emma come straight in (without warning — I’m sure it scared the crap out of our first-timer guests), and ended up seeing probably 6-7 individual tiger sharks over the course of two days at Tiger Beach.


Emma, so pregnant that her belly drags on the sand

We spent one thoroughly-enjoyable afternoon snorkeling with a large pod of over 20 Atlantic spotted dolphins. Two juveniles in particular were quite playful, zooming around in spirals and following us repeatedly as we dove down to the bottom. We lost the pod at dusk as they moved into deeper water, so we shut off the engines, turned on the lights, and drifted in the Gulf Stream. After a couple of hours, about eight dolphins showed up, actively hunting the schools of squid that had floated up from the deep, attracted to our lights. Although the surface was calm, a wind had started blowing, which made it hard to stay near the boat while we were in the water. Still, the dolphins were a lot of fun to watch; I am always incredibly impressed at how fast they move when they are hunting.


Playful dolphins!

We also dove reefs for a couple of days, enjoying the lush gorgonian forests while watching Caribbean reef sharks and various species of grouper and jack swim around. I particularly enjoyed a patch of hundreds of yellow-headed jawfish in the sand by a dive site Jim calls “Hammertime”.


My favorite: lemon snaps!

Overall, this was one of the most relaxing JASA trips I’ve ever been on. Because none of the guests were photographers, we settled into a slow rhythm. Lucien did up to three dives a day, but Richard and Jacques averaged two. I ended up diving only 1-2 dives a day, spending the rest of the time reading and napping: true luxury!

| Palm Beach, FL | link | trackback | Jun 2, 2009 23:14:55
  • EggRollMonster

    Hey Eric, I saw a little clip of Sea Shepherd on either Extra or Access Hollywood tonight. Paul Watson was on for maybe two seconds. Sorry I couldn’t tell you more. Wifey had the remote and I was good 30′ away from her. Regards,

  • http://www.passion-plongee.com David

    What amazing Pictures, especially Sharks one.

    Great Work Eric and Respect in the same time.

    Keep up the good job and good winds

  • http://www.martysteinberg.com martys

    beautiful collection from the Bahamas Eric, hard to imagine how each gallery is better from the last. Love the new slideshow plug-in on the site as well.

  • John Teng

    great picts, Eric. Good to see Lucien in your picts again. I dove with TopDive back in 2002, during my honeymoon where I got certified. Lucien was a huge help as he help organize our entire itinerary (!) Give him my regards if you talk to him.

    JT

  • Christina

    OMG Are you serious !!! I’m so impressed by the underphotography !!!! Wow divers like you really do exist !!!! Freaking amazing !!!!

ARCHIVES
Journal Home
Where is Eric? (password)
Stuff for Sale
February 2014 (2)
December 2013 (1)
October 2013 (1)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (1)
February 2013 (2)
January 2013 (3)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (3)
September 2012 (8)
August 2012 (8)
July 2012 (8)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (8)
March 2012 (15)
February 2012 (7)
January 2012 (6)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (10)
October 2011 (12)
September 2011 (8)
August 2011 (14)
July 2011 (9)
June 2011 (9)
May 2011 (11)
April 2011 (11)
March 2011 (12)
February 2011 (23)
January 2011 (22)
December 2010 (16)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (26)
September 2010 (24)
August 2010 (24)
July 2010 (30)
June 2010 (26)
May 2010 (21)
April 2010 (26)
March 2010 (19)
February 2010 (17)
January 2010 (29)
December 2009 (21)
November 2009 (23)
October 2009 (32)
September 2009 (19)
August 2009 (34)
July 2009 (21)
June 2009 (30)
May 2009 (23)
April 2009 (18)
March 2009 (6)
February 2009 (25)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (6)
November 2008 (22)
October 2008 (27)
September 2008 (25)
August 2008 (34)
July 2008 (34)
June 2008 (32)
May 2008 (26)
April 2008 (15)
March 2008 (19)
February 2008 (31)
January 2008 (43)
December 2007 (33)
November 2007 (29)
October 2007 (29)
September 2007 (9)
August 2007 (19)
July 2007 (10)
June 2007 (17)
May 2007 (26)
April 2007 (38)
March 2007 (39)
February 2007 (13)
January 2007 (35)
December 2006 (35)
November 2006 (14)
October 2006 (6)
September 2006 (20)
August 2006 (24)
July 2006 (32)
June 2006 (17)
May 2006 (23)
April 2006 (16)
March 2006 (16)
February 2006 (26)
January 2006 (33)
December 2005 (17)
November 2005 (21)
October 2005 (18)
September 2005 (17)
August 2005 (5)
July 2005 (15)
June 2005 (20)
May 2005 (25)
April 2005 (7)
March 2005 (22)
February 2005 (20)
January 2005 (38)
December 2004 (6)
November 2004 (24)
October 2004 (16)
September 2004 (22)
August 2004 (12)
July 2004 (17)
June 2004 (15)
May 2004 (11)
April 2004 (35)
March 2004 (40)
February 2004 (29)
January 2004 (36)
December 2003 (20)
November 2003 (18)
October 2003 (10)
September 2003 (18)
August 2003 (10)
July 2003 (34)
June 2003 (12)
May 2003 (49)
April 2003 (42)
March 2003 (42)
February 2003 (15)
January 2003 (7)
December 2002 (17)
November 2002 (19)
October 2002 (24)
September 2002 (22)
August 2002 (20)
July 2002 (21)
June 2002 (14)
May 2002 (15)
April 2002 (11)
March 2002 (13)
February 2002 (20)
January 2002 (17)
December 2001 (16)
Even Older Journal
Travel Journals

CATEGORIES / TAGS
(25) (2) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (3) (11) (8) (3) (1) (1) (4) (2) (4) (2) (1) (6) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (5) (1) (1) (23) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (14) (1) (10) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (27) (6) (3) (2) (4) (4) (1) (1) (41) (11) (12) (4) (38) (1) (3) (2) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (25) (8) (3) (2) (3) (2) (1) (5) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (14) (1) (5) (1) (1) (5) (43) (1) (1) (1) (3) (24) (1) (1) (1) (1) (5) (1) (4) (1) (1) (10) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (6) (5) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (69) (4) (3) (7) (3) (1) (16) (6) (1) (29) (1) (7) (1) (4) (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (4) (4) (2) (1) (89) (14) (1) (2) (79) (2) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (3) (2) (3) (1) (1) (24) (3) (5) (4) (1) (2) (1)
MOST POPULAR
Most Popular Posts of All Time


Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Journal RSS
Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Comments RSS

proudly powered by wordpress
script exec time: 0.73s
i hate computers.