Underwater photography workshop with Anders Salesjo

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Underwater photography workshop with Anders Salesjo

This week, we welcomed on the Fiji Siren Anders Salesjo, a very well-known and accomplished underwater photographer from Sweden. He brought with him a whole gang all the way from the other side of the world to check out some warm water diving. All were from Sweden and Norway.

Not long after embarking on the Fiji Siren,  Anders had everyone around the salon TV with his first presentation of many that he would be doing for us. Our plan for this cruise was somewhat different with us moving a lot less and staying at sites for multiple dives. The first location for us was to be Vatu-I-Ra. For our check out dive we split up as all had been diving in Fiji for the previous week and needed little in the way of ‘Checking out”. All weights had already been sorted and cameras all tuned to their liking with all being comfortable in the water with them. Purple Haze was the kick off dive with is magnificent section of purple corals littering the reef wall. We had a couple of morays and a sea turtle floating around us for part of the dive.

TEPPER 5

The other group had a dive to Black Magic Mountain where they had a few sharks, trevally and barracuda following them around. The last dive was to be at Instant Replay for the day. We had a couple of Juvenile reef sharks and plenty of coral which was a great way to finish the day. First up next day we had Mellow Yellow and G6. We had the abundant yellow soft corals and thousands of reef fish at Mellow Yellow and at G6 we had schooling trevally, schooling snapper and many more cool things like lion fish hanging around the top of the reef. After the third dive it was time to move the liveaboard to its next location. We were to be diving at Nigali Passage way down south at the Island of Gau. We had planned on two days down there diving the passage multiple times.  We would be doing a split dive on the passage with one dive in the morning then another dive to be late in the afternoon.  

barracuda 700

The first dive we swam the length of the passage spotting all of the barracuda and lining up for where we would be placing ourselves for the shark feed dive. For the middle two dives we moved to Anthias Avenue and Jim’s Alley.  Both small beautiful reef with soft coral and small creatures. Back for the second day in Gau we had the passage once again and with all of us having done the passage everyone knew the drill and what to do.  Shortly after the third dive we picked up the anchor stated our journey back up north to Namena where we would be for four complete days.

IMG 3557

As we had four days of diving this area we spread out the dives and repeated a few of the site so we could change lenses and shoot both macro and wide with a mix of creatures.  For a start we had Chimneys and Black Forest on the schedule. We split so that the group could spent a little more time with the pigmy’s at Chimneys and not have to worry about so many other people lining up to see them. We had leaf fish, lobsters and octopus also on these dives. We switched over for the second dive so each could get their turn moving around each site.  For the afternoon we had a move out to the north. We would be diving into Schoolhouse for this dive. We had reef sharks and schooling banner fish, schooling trevally and finally the loveable dory from Finding Nemo.

Shooling Grey Reef Sharks at School House 700

We stayed close in for this diving at Neds and the other pinnacle of Black Forest but then moving into Nick Place and South Save A Tack Wall for the next two. We had plenty of people for the night dive all the time so we sent out both guides to the sites. We had quite a few small critters this day with a juvenile rockmover wrasse and even one manta ray at Black Forest. The next day, we started repeating a couple of sites so we could get some more photos after having a bit more of a plan on what to shoot. We said hello to the pygmies at Chimneys and to the ribbon eel at Black Forest. 

plenty of tropical fish

Entering into the last day at Namena, we had a couple of dives out to Grand Central to try and locate the other variety of pygmy sea horse.

 pygmy seahorse

For the very last day of diving we moved the Fiji Siren back to Vatu-I-Ra and E-6. We spent both dives on this wondrous site getting pictures of the Cathedral area and the massive deep walls that create this big reef. From here it was a slow journey back towards Volivoli and disembarkation. This was one fantastic group. Everyone got along swimmingly and made for a group for the crew to look after. Definitely some new friendships came out of this group.
Vinaka Vakelevu to Anders for all his hard work and many presentations. I hope to see you and your group again very, very soon!

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