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March 28, 2011

Sea Lions at Breakwater Wall!

If you live in Northern California and long to dive with sea lions, head to Breakwater Wall in Monterey. More sea lions than you can shake a stick at have returned from breeding in Southern California and Baja and are jostling for space along the rocky wall. Yesterday, several friends and I headed down to dive Breakwater Wall. While visibility was poor -- only 15 feet -- the sea lions didn't disappoint. See for yourself:

Sea Lions @ Breakwater Wall from Joe Roualdes on Vimeo.

Posted by jroualdes at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2011

The Frugal Photographer: UW Tripod

This is the first video in a new series we're calling "The Frugal Photographer." So what inspired this series? My macro videos we’re shaky, and as a result, unappealing to view. When I began researching underwater tripods to stabilize them, I was shocked by how expensive they were—$400 and up. After some deliberation, I decided not to purchase a tripod since I’d already spent a lot on a Canon 7D, Ikelite housing, multiple lenses and ports and an Ultralight arm and SOLA1200 video light. Inspired by Tony Wu, I made one myself for just $60.

Next video, we'll illustrate how to build an inexpensive snoot. Let us know if you have any questions or requests for future Frugal Photographer videos.

ScubaDiverInfo, The Frugal Photographer: UW Tripod from Joe Roualdes on Vimeo.

Posted by jroualdes at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2011

Only 219 Great Whites Live Off California's North Coast

That's according to a recently published, first-ever census conducted by post-doctoral students at UC Davis over the three years.

"The number seems incredibly low--it was very surprising for us," said Taylor Chapple, who published the report in this week's journal Biology Letters. "If you look at other protected marine mammals such as polar bears or killer whales, their populations are far bigger than white sharks."

Chapple's team floated seal decoys between Bodega Bay and Monterey. When the sharks surfaced to explore the decoys, his team took photos of the shark's distinctive fins, which were used to help tell the sharks apart and calculate the total population.

Unfortunately, this study is the first-of-its kind, so it is still uncertain whether or not great white shark populations are rising, falling or stable. On the bright side though, this is a step in the right direction.

Posted by jroualdes at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2011

We're Going to the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival!

ScubaDiverInfo is attending the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival--a volunteer-driven non-profit dedicated to using film to increase public understanding of the environmental, social and cultural importance of marine ecosystems and foster a spirit of ocean stewardship.

We're attending "Program 7: Sharks & Vanishing Marine Life" Saturday starting at 1:00 pm PT. If you're interested in attending the festival, but can't, don't worry--we're tweeting live throughout. My Twitter handel is @jroualdes if you're interested in following the conversation online. I'll also post an article shortly thereafter summarizing key takeaways.

While all of Program 7 looks promising, I'm personally most excited about the "Sharks, Fins and Sustainability" panel starting at 3:15 pm PT.

Posted by jroualdes at 01:37 AM | Comments (0)