Back Under the Sea

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On Saturday, after what seems like a year, but was only about six weeks, I went back into the water. It was a grey day and Astrolabe Bay  was calm. I went out on Sanguma  with Richard Jones.

Since Faded Glory  rolled over and sank in about two metres of water in front of my dock the day we left for Australia to get medical treatment for Eunie, I have no boat at present. It is at the marine repair shop waiting for me to pick it up. Trevor Hattersley has checked on it a couple of times and says that it’s running well. If the control cables don’t rust and freeze up, she should be good to go.

I tie the stern to a mooring point well out from the dock – usually. Over several weeks the mooring point had been moving closer to the dock. I did not know why. I do know that it was too close. I couldn’t get enough pull on the stern from the mooring, so at high tide the bow of the boat got hooked over the edge of the dock. When the tide went down . . . well you can guess what happened. Water came seeping, then roaring over the transom and the back end of the boat settled on the bottom and she rolled over on her side.

When it rains it pours.

Anyway, this afternoon Richard Jones brought Sanguma  over to my house and I put on my dive gear and went out and wrapped a big chain around the engine block that is the base of the mooring point. I then tied a new piece of rope around the chain and put a float on the end of it. Okay, now I can go over to the marine repair place and get Faded Glory  back home where she belongs.

Isn’t that exciting? One less thing.

At Planet Rock  the water was full of particulate matter. That makes for pretty poor picture taking unless you are up very close. The marine photographer’s mantra in murky water is “the closer the better”. Any time you see a Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)  is reason enough to take a shot at it:

This is certainly not the best shot of this critter that I have managed. In fact, it’s rather ho-hum. Nevertheless, I saw it and here it is for your viewing pleasure. I have heard that some restaurants serve cuttlefish. I wouldn’t eat one if I were starving (well, maybe). It’s not as if they are endangered, it’s just that they are my friends. One doesn’t eat one’s friends.

The Magnificent Anemones (Heteractis magnifica)  were splendid. The whole top of the rock is plastered with them in many riotous hues. On Saturday most of them were in their “jug” configuration. I confess I don’t know what this indicates. They are usually stretched out more or less flat for feeding. Possibly the day was dim enough that they reckoned it was night:

Who knows what an anemone thinks? I certainly don’t.

This one shows one of the many bright colours on the underside:

I have some more shots of other colours which I will post in a day or two. I’ve backed off to posting every other day, since I need to conserve my strength to mine the mountain of paperwork that has been generated by Eunie’s passing and still do my work at the office. Who knew I would be so busy? I didn’t expect it. Add that to the list of Things I Never Thought Of.

Th last shot here is my favourite. These are Pickhandle Barracuda (Sphyraena jello)  with a couple of Bigeye Trevally at the bottom of the image:

They led me on a merry chase to get the shot. When playing with such schools one needs to be careful not to ascend too quickly. That can lead to serious consequences. “The bends” or Decompression Illness is only one mistake away.

For those out there who are checking up on me I’ll say that I’m “doing as well as can be expected”. Actually, my friends are telling me that I”m doing considerably better. I’m having a hard time seeing it that way, but I’ll take that as encouragement. I will go to Divine Word University on Thursday morning to make arrangements for a memorial service in the chapel there. Rich Jones is going with me as an advisor and to hold my hand. I seem to need a lot of hand-holding these days.

Hey, that’s what friends are for.

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22 Responses to “Back Under the Sea”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    Loved the shots Jan!

  2. Helen Jones Says:

    Hey Jan, I have been following all your news regularly and having just got back from a business trip to Vegas wanted to say hi and to say how everyone can only have admiration for you. The one left behind has the toughest time of all and you have amazing support to help you move onto the next phase of your life – tough though eh? Take care and accept our love and thoughts Helen & Martinxx

  3. kristy Says:

    Your photos over time have definitely put PNG on our diving map! Just have to get a good set up to take pictures underwater! Do you use a flash?
    Paperwork sucks!
    Still saying prayers daily for you!

  4. Ali Says:

    Love the photos Jan…. Cuttlefish are just SO cute !
    Bumma! about “Faded Glory” but great news that she’s up and running agian!!
    Thinking of you.

  5. Ray Selby Says:

    Jan, I have been out of range of the internet for a while. I am so Sorry to learn of Eunie. Good to see you are still active, it will help.
    My prayers are offered for her loved ones.

  6. Pam and Gary Says:

    Hi Jan, ” I just called to say, ‘ I love you'”. We both do and it was great to see you are back in the water. Loved the photos! We remeber (and have a photo) of the day the Tallimbun barge arrived and dropped that engine block into the water to be your mooring, outside the house. You in the water in dive gear giving orders (as usual) to some not so co-operative guys. It bring a smile to us but probably a frustrated grimace to you. Ahh memories! I’ll keep checking up on you and pray that with Ricks help you’ll get through the memorial service. I known how much it meant to us and therefore will to all the friends up there. Bless you heaps, BIG HUGS and love Pam

  7. Kate Says:

    Welcome Home, Jan
    Ples Bilong yu

  8. Mick Says:

    Hey Jan – good to see you are back in the water and to hear that you are doing better than should be expected. Hang in there bro… There are many people thinking of you at this time

  9. kristy Says:

    How will the nickel mine effect your diving area? just read an interesting blurb about people gone missing.
    Still praying for you as you get things done.

  10. Lorraine Collins Says:

    Im looking forward to holding your hands soon.

  11. Steve Bennett Says:

    Cuttlefish are tasty though….

  12. MadDog Says:

    Ali, Faded Glory is finally back home. Check my recent posts.

  13. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Ray. There are a lot of sad, sad people now.

  14. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Carolyn.

  15. MadDog Says:

    Helen and Martin, it’s easily the hardest time of my life. I always hoped that I would be the first to go, because I knew that Eunie would cope better than I. All that I can hope for is to feel better a year from now.

  16. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, you can’t do better than a Canon G11 with the Canon UW housing. It’s fairly cheap and does pro quality images. I usually avoid flash if I have enough light to make the shot. However you have to shoot in the RAW mode and use appropriate software to make the colour temperature and tint corrections. Photoshop is my tool of choice for that.

    YES, paperwork sucks! Thanks for the prayers – I need ‘em.

  17. MadDog Says:

    Steve, you won’t catch me eating one.

  18. MadDog Says:

    Mee too, Lorraine. See you soon.

  19. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, from the scientific reports that I have read, most of them agree that there will very likely be no significant damage to the marine environment at shallow depts. They seem to be more concerned about the surface operations near the plant. I haven’t heard about any people gone missing, but I don’t read the newspapers – too depressing. However, it wouldn’t surprise me. The whole situation is quite tense.

  20. MadDog Says:

    Mick, I have to do some “normal” things to keep my balance. I’ll also say that it really feels good when the love starts coming back to you. I always knew it was there, because I have invested my heart in it. Now I’m getting it back in spades.

  21. MadDog Says:

    Thank you, Kate. I was almost fearful of coming home. Here is where I’m surrounded by things that make me more aware of my loss. It has been much better than I thought it would be. That’s because here is where I’m surrounded by my friends.

  22. MadDog Says:

    Pam, thanks for the amusing comment. I know that you both love me, as I love the two of you. I remember that frustrating day. I found the engine block to put in a new mooring for Faded Glory. Keep an eye on me. I’m not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot. It certainly meant a lot to me to see you at Gympie. – Love, Jan