Connect with us
background

Blogs

Photographing the Hammerhead Sharks of Bimini, Bahamas (Watch Video)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Published

on

If you want to get up close and personal to photograph Great Hammerhead sharks then Bimini, in the Bahamas, is the place for you. Every winter, Great Hammerhead Sharks frequent the shallow clear waters around these tiny islands and divers flock to see them. The conditions are usually perfect for underwater photographers, as the dives are in shallow water (7-10m), giving plenty of natural light to work with. The water is warm and the visibility great, so you can stay underwater for long dives to maximise your photographic opportunities. The sharks come in very close, attracted by fish in a metal bait box, so you can use a wide angle or a fish-eye lens to get dramatic shots.

We always dive with Neal Watson when we head to Bimini. Throughout the season, which runs from December to April, you can do a 2 tank dive each morning and experience something very special. Your two guides will get into the water first and get the bait set-up in the correct position depending on any current. We have never had to wait long for the first shark to turn up and you can see them swimming over the sandy sea bed from the boat as you gear up. The Great Hammerhead Shark can grow to over 5m in length and are impressive at the best of times, but when you have one swim right over your head, it is something to behold.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Great Hammerhead sharksAs you kneel on the seabed the sharks will follow the scent up current and make their way to your location. There are usually around 8 divers in the water, positioned in a line with the bait and guide in the middle. The sharks swim slowly past on their way to and from the bait box and seem to take it in turns, making this dive a photographic treat. It is not at all chaotic, like some shark-baiting dives, giving you time to compose your shots (once you have got over the initial excitement). Our record is 8 individual Great Hammerhead Sharks on a single dive.

While you are visiting Bimini, make sure you visit the Bimini Shark Lab, where you can get a tour to see the amazing work they do here to gain a better understanding of sharks and the ways we can help conserve them and their environment. Watch the bull sharks cruise around the harbour at Bimini Big Game Club. Head out to swim with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. For such a tiny island, there is plenty to keep an ocean lover and photographer entertained!

Great Hammerhead sharks

This is a perfect stop on a multi-island tour of the Bahamas. If you want to photograph sharks, then these islands have a huge amount to offer. Watch out for next articles about photographing Caribbean Reef Sharks in Nassau and Lemon Sharks in Grand Bahama.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Tips for Great Hammerhead Shark photography

  • Try to position yourself so that you are not shooting directly into the bright sun.
  • Try to avoid the sand stirred-up by both divers and nurse sharks in your shots.
  • The most striking thing about a hammerhead, obviously, is the shape of its head and the position of their eyes, so try to get shots from different angles to show this feature off. From above looking down on the sand; at eye level up close, or as it swims over you.
  • By conserving your air consumption, you can stay longer and have the dive to yourself and your buddy, later on!
  • Remember to enjoy it! Put your camera aside every now and then so that you can take it the beauty of these incredible apex predators.

Video Clips

Further Information

www.biminiscubacenter.com

www.biminisharklab.com

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and they are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Blogs

Diving with… Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven, Sunchaser Scuba, British Virgin Islands

Caribbean DTA Team

Published

on

In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven

What is the name of your business?

Sunchaser Scuba

What is your role within the business?

Owner/operator

How long has the business operated for?

32 years in total and we have been here since 2010, working for the previous owner, then bought the current company from him starting in 2015.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

Ben since 2003 and he is a PADI MSDT and SDI instructor
Kay since 2010 and she is a PADI MSDT and SDI instructor

What is your favorite type of diving?

Ben loves pinnacle dives; Kay loves shallow coral dives

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you, what would it be?

We offer valet diving for a trip of your lifetime. Personal service is key in our business, together with small groups.

What is your favourite dive in your location and why?

Ben favorite dive is the Invisibles because of the amount of marine life; Kay favorite dive is the wreck of the Rhone, because of it’s historical value, marine life and the amount of coral growth on it.

What types of diving are available in your location?

We offer reef and wreck diving, rendez vous diving with your charter boat so we can pick you up straight off your boat.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Being able to dive every day and show the underwater world of the BVI

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Ben’s favorite is sharks and for Kay it is dolphins.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Ever rising supplier prices.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Yes, we do treatment for STCLD, shark sightings and beach clean ups

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

The hotel we work out of is still recovering from the 2017 hurricane so more places to stay will be coming along in the future. We have an amazing local non profit called Beyond The Reef in the BVI who are always making new artificial reefs.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

We feel it is a great industry and it is very rewarding being able to teach people to dive and therefore increase awareness. One of the biggest changes that would be great to change is to be able to make things cheaper so it is more accessible to our local kids/divers and therefore increase the number of divers in our local community.

Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

The BVI is very underrated and untouched, making it a great destination for both novice and
experienced divers.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

www.sunchaserscuba.com
info@sunchaserscuba.com
+12833442766
https://www.instagram.com/sunchaser_scuba/
https://www.facebook.com/sunchaserscuba/

Continue Reading

Blogs

Lovin’ Saint Lucia: Two wreck dives and a wedding (part 3)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Published

on

Whilst we have been lucky enough to dive in much of the Caribbean, Saint Lucia was still on our wish list. Until November when we got a chance to visit this beautiful island on a 6-night diving trip that would see us enjoy with incredible scenery both above and below the waves. We were able to sample three different hotels, dined at a host of local eateries, spoke to local school kids about the ocean and even took a tour into the rainforest canopy. Find out all about this trip over this series of three blogs on Caribbean Dive Adventures.


Our final day of diving saw us heading south again to the wreck of the Lesleen M. The wreck was sunk as an artificial reef in 1986. It sits upright in the water just off Anse Cochon in about 20m of water at its deepest point. AS it has been in the water for over 3 decades, it is now covered in marine life. Yellow and purple sponges rise up from the deck and off railings. Gorgonian corals created huge curtains across the walkways and on the bow and stern. The prop is covered in orange sponges and cup corals. Barracuda and porcupinefish cruise the middle section of the boat. Schools of reef fish live in the covered section of the stern. There is life everywhere you look. To make the most of this dive, bring a light, as the colours are incredible.

We were lucky to have been able to dive the wreck as a buddy pair, without any other groups. But we loved the dive so much we asked if we could join the group for another dive on the wreck as our final dive of the trip. However, the group we were going to dive with were a little bit special! Two of the group had got married the day before. Nine of the family (mum, dad, the happy couple, sisters, brothers, and their partners) who had come to Saint Lucia for the wedding were on our boat. We offered to take an underwater photo of them. Getting the shot was not as easy as we had first thought though! Getting them all still, in the same place, not blowing bubbles at inappropriate times turned out to be a challenge! It was, however, a joyous way to finish off our diving on Saint Lucia.

Our final day saw us heading to new heights, via a cable car experience into the rainforest canopy. Not only does this trip offer stunning views over the island, but our guide was so knowledgeable we also learned plenty about the local fauna and flora of the island. This is the perfect activity for the non-diving day at the end of a trip. A final cocktail in the beautiful setting of the Harbor Club as the sun set saw us reflect on a super trip. We barely scratched the surface of what Saint Lucia has to offer. Alas we never got to experience the diving in the north of the island, so we will have to return to rectify that. Hopefully sometime soon!


Nick and Caroline were hosted by:

Eastern Caribbean Diving

Bay Gardens Marina Haven & Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa

The Harbor Club

Travel Saint Lucia

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Trending