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Archive for January, 2015

Rhinebeck – Again


This young gal in gingham is a teacher who volunteers and helped organize the airshow. This much I remember. I regret not having spoken to her more. Sometimes you see someone and later wonder why or how their life turned out. It has happened to me on occasion.


The gingham dress is presumed period costuming. One of the bright ideas was to allow the audience to participate. So there were period costumes available and you got to parade for the rest of the crowd.





These fish are predators that swim fast – up to 27 mph – in short bursts. They are considered to be dangerous. However attacks on humans are not common. But like sharks it is advised not to provoke them. It all sounds like good advice to me. This one solitary fish swam circles around my small dive group of three. We all had a shot. And I waited until the fish swam into my view. I got a couple shots and then confirmed this was a barracuda. Though dangerous as a shark, I did not feel any apprehension as it swam around me. I think a shark would generate much more cardiac palpitation since I have seen “Jaws” and remember the movie well. Da dah da duh…..oh you know the theme if you ever saw the movie. And if you did not – good for you. But, have you been under a rock? After jaws I did not go in the water for a couple decades. And I am not ashamed to admit it.


Rhinebeck – Old Time Outfit?



When we were going to Rhinebeck and Charlie was giving helicopter rides, he cooked up the idea that we should also wear something more in the spirit of the place. He got me some suspenders. Yup. I looked pretty period. DSC_0029

He’s a handsome devil. I wore the stuff because he was my ride home. I didn’t want to walk.




My early shots were side views and tail views. The fish is a predator on the reef. Certain areas of the world have a bounty on the invasive fish. It is alleged to have poisonous spines. Simple rule: don’t touch anything. Just don’t and you will not come away with any nasty surprises. Trust me on this – don’t touch anything! A head on shot is hard to do. The big eyes see me from a mile away. The fish always turn and head away. They sail majestically. There is no hurry in the fish. The best strategy is to have another diver chase the fish in toward you and then you reciprocate. I usually don’t have a knowledgeable partner. Then, you just swim like mad to get in front. Hey! Sometimes it works that way too. Lionfish eat about any small fish they can catch. They are not good for the reef. But as near as I can tell they are living in harmony on the reef I dive.



It’s upstate New York and there is a grass airfield where on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance.


The grass field is just that. It is not paved. To make matters worse, the biplane are all pretty delicate. But in the interest of authenticity it was an unpaved ungraded field. At least the grass was short. But the landings were ever an adventure.


It’s upstate New York and on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance. Well, truth be told Charlie i hoovering and I am taking the shot because he moved the helicopter into position to be offering rides. I was his assistant. I told the patrons to keep their head low or risk a messy haircut. Everyone did as they were told. Imagine that!

Boxer Shrimp


We were swimming along the reef in a group. I saw an anemone. They are always good for a shot or two to catch the guarding clownfish. It turns out they were guarding more than the anemone. I spied the antennae. Aha! Boxer shrimp. Two! Now to get a shot… The clownfish made life hell. They kept swimming into my shot. And the boxers were shy. But there was a little trick. The other side of the coral had a hole. So as the boxers retreated I could poke the other side and they would reappear. Nice! I got a few nice shots. This just illustrates that there were two and the anemone was just to the left in the image.




Ordinarily I might go through the archives to pull out a New Year picture. Too lazy. Lisa and I never celebrated new year. She was usually asleep by midnight. The kids would be out all night as they were older. I would get a call to be sure they were safe. Last year the kids were here in Jeddah and we dove on New Year’s and ate in a nice restaurant. This year is a different one than any others I have had. It will be special too.

Lionfish. It turns out they are shy. The usually point away from you. They swim slowly. They are predatory so there is no need to hurry. One strategy is to use two divers. The diver to the far side guides the fish toward you and you do the same for him. It is the head on view that is striking and hardest to get. You can do it the hard way too – by yourself. Lionfish are usually not out in the open and they don’t line up with a nice blue background. This shot looks easy. It’s not.