Monday, February 24, 2014


As I've said many times, the seas are filled with wonderful creatures. Including real live mermaids! Here is my favorite, Melissa, swimming along a reef ablaze in soft corals, deep in the heart of Indonesia. This photo was just published in Europe's leading scuba diving magazine, Tauchen. We've worked with them countless times over the last 20 years. I'm sure that Melissa has graced the cover at least 20 times! Indonesia boasts many of the world's richest reefs, and we thoroughly enjoy exploring this hotspot of marine biodiversity. There are more species of coral, fishes, and invertebrates in Indonesia than any other place on earth. We have loads and loads of underwater pictures from Indonesia, hundreds of which can be seen on our web site. 

We will be returning to scuba dive Indonesia in 2015 in the company of a great group of friends from around the world. There are two spaces left on the boat, so if anyone out there is interested in coming aboard to dive into waters dubbed "The Cauldron of Creation", please contact us. Future group diving safaris are likely to include exotic places such as Fiji, the Maldives, Tonga (for humpback whales), Bahamas, and more. Come join us beneath the waves!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


new underwater photos of Great Hammerhead Sharks from Bimini Bahamas by Brandon Cole
I recently returned from a shoot with Sphyrna mokarran, the Great Hammerhead Shark. To see a gallery of the resulting pictures, please click here.

This is one impressive fish, a solitary giant with a tall curved dorsal fin much like an orca whale. It’s the largest of the eight or nine species of hammerheads (family Sphyrnidae), which are immediately recognizable because of their flattened T-shaped heads. Some scientists surmise it acts like an airplane wing, providing lift during swimming. Certainly this "cephalofoil" enhances mobility, allowing the shark to make extremely tight turns, and the position of the eyes at the outer edges of the "hammer" likely improves stereoscopic vision.
Though usually not aggressive, the great hammerhead’s size, averaging 10-12 feet (females are larger than males), demands respect and caution from divers and swimmers. Up until recently encounters were hit and miss, but recent expeditions in the Bahamas Islands of the western Atlantic Ocean have proved reliable for winter-time sightings.
The Great Hammerhead feeds on a wide variety of mid-water and bottom fishes, including other elasmobranchs. Most noteworthy is its preference for skates and rays. At night it hunts stingrays, eagle rays, guitarfish and the like, using an amazing technique. Using the side of its hammer, it pins a ray to the bottom, then deftly rotates its head to the side and bites off a large chunk of the prey’s wing. The pin-spin-and-bite attack continues until the skate or ray is consumed.

These dramatic new images of great hammerhead sharks add to our legacy pictures of this enigmatic species. I will be returning to Bimini in the Bahamas in a couple of weeks to spend more time photographing this remarkable shark.

Monday, February 3, 2014


scuba diving with yellow fin tuna, photo made in Las Islas Revillagigedos
RM40291-D. Underwater stock photograph of Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacores), large (1.2 meter long) males with spawning coloration and banded pattern chasing females just before they releases eggs for them to fertilize. Socorro Islands, Baja, Mexico, Pacific Ocean.

Roca Partida is, in my opinion, one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Far offshore Mexico's Baja Peninsula, this remote rock is a magnet for big marine life- whales, dolphins, big fish like tuna, manta rays, sharks, sharks, and more sharks.  It is a challenging dive, with potentially strong currents, open ocean swell, and deep. A selection of our underwater images from Roca was recently published on-line at FishTrack:

Wait for 15 seconds, then move through the photos and read our captions to experience this unique place beneath the waves.