We've just returned from a week-long shoot near Akumal, Mexico, part of the Yucatan Peninsula. South of Playa del Carmen, this area is home to vast landscapes of incredibly beautiful cenotes.
A cenote is a deep well or sinkhole, formed by the collapse of the surface limestone, often exposing water filled caves. It is a beacon for cave divers and explorers from around the world, and at the center of it all is Under the Jungle, a unique cave diving operation, owned and operated by Natalie Gibb and Vincent Rouquette-Cathala.
Unlike a lot of dive operations, Under the Jungle aren't looking for a mass of tourists eager to strap on a tank and go for a guided dives. In fact, their very location makes it unreachable for most. Instead, they're much more focussed on providing top tier service for experienced, passionate, and responsible cave, cavern, and technical divers.
Our relationship with Under the Jungle began just over a week ago when we touched down in Mexico to begin a week-long shoot for an upcoming Shearwater Research project. Natalie and her husband Rory, were our guides, hosts, and models for the week. We quickly learned about the area, the cenotes, and the way they do business. To say we had a lot of fun, adventurous, and great experiences would be an understatement!
Such focus on quality rather than quantity is rare within diving, but these guys truly mean it. They want to promote safe diving, cenote conservation, and responsible diving practices. They have a respect for the land, the locals, and the future of the area. It shines through in their business and is an reassuring attitude to be exposed to.
Natalie Gibb is herself, fast becoming a well known figure in the diving world. Her years of work exploring Mexico's cenotes is substantial, and her attitude towards sharing it is infectious. Her recent speaking tour in the US and Canada was hugely successful, and her video work increasingly impressive.
We had a fantastic time exploring and shooting inside the cenotes with Natalie and Rory. We can't yet share the results with anyone as it's an ongoing project. But rest assured, we got some awesome video! We'll also be putting together an interview video with Natalie, so keep an eye out.
For now though, give serious consideration to joining the Under the Jungle team in Mexico, they have an excellent training program, great accommodations with their onsite Limestone Lodge, and unparalleled knowledge of the area. We can't wait to return!
Seaproof.tv's Trisha Stovel was recently part of a shoot for Volkswagen. The goal for the underwater team was to get a shot of their new car travelling over an ice road in Yellowknife, northern Canada. Discovery Channel's Daily Planet were also there covering the event, their segment screened a couple of days ago and you can watch it above, including Trish on camera - instead of being behind it!
We’ve just returned from a fantastic week in Ottawa where Trisha Stovel and Russell Clark both had the pleasure of being elected as Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
We're very honoured to be amongst such distinguished company in the RCGS College of Fellows, all of us charged with making “Canada better known to Canadians and to the world”.
We had lots of fun visiting the amazing new RCGS HQ on Sussex Drive, checking out the excellent giant floor maps, catching up with Jill Heinerth, and another BC diver Andy Lamb (also made a Fellow this year), playing a game of “No, you first” door tag with the Prince of Ethiopia, and of course meeting lots of interesting Fellows from many walks of life.
It’s a great end to an incredible year for us. We have some fantastic things planned for 2018, and we’re looking forward to sharing a submerged Canada with as many people as we can!
Our latest project is now online - introducing #BeneathBC
What do we do with all those hours of British Columbia underwater video? Those extra photos, extra thoughts and stories? Well now we channel them into this new little website called #BeneathBC. It's aim is super simple - to show people what lays beneath the waves in British Columbia.
This website isn't really meant for local divers, though I'm sure it will be of interest. It's meant for those that don't dive, for those that have a wee bit of interest, but need somewhere to go that makes it easy for them to re-discover BC. It's a showcase for things we see, places we go, and stories we want to tell. It's a way we can share our view of British Columbia with others, and hopefully inspire them to learn to dive, to snorkel, or to just take more of an interest in BC's submerged life and geography.
#BeneathBC is also a hashtag we hope other BC divers and explorers will start to use, together we can create a wealth of online media, easily accessible, and fun for people to discover.
Visit, share, contribute, and enjoy #BeneathBC
It's always nice to walk the halls of the worlds largest dive industry trade show and see your videos being played. As we write this the corridors of the Orlando Convention Centre are crammed with divers at the annual DEMA Show, and amongst the hundreds of exhibitors you'll spot a few of our videos.
Performance Freediving International have a ton of videos playing in a lovely little loop, Master Liveaboards and Solomon Island Dive Expeditions are showing our promo videos, and above you'll see everyone's favourite dive computer manufacturer - Shearwater Research playing our video at their very popular booth.
There may also be another couple of videos on show elsewhere - there's a lot to take in at DEMA!
So if you're walking the halls (and for some reason reading this), stop by and tell them you like the videos!
Dive computers don't come much better than this. Maybe a little. But that's only because Shearwater also make the NERD 2, which we'll talk about in a later blog post.
Shearwater research's tagline actually sums up everything perfectly. "Powerful, simple, reliable". Their entire range of computer, but most recently the PERDIX AI and the NERD 2 embody this ethic without missing a beat.
The PERDIX AI is a wrist mounted technical and recreational dive computer, and where used with up to 2 transmitters, it offers incredible air integration options.
We will be producing a blog post that looks specifically at our usage of Shearwater's products from a videography point of view. But for now we just wanted to get this video posted so you can see how awesome the PERDIX AI is.
For more info visit Shearwater Research.
Nanaimo Dive Outfitters have been a well respected and reliable dive business serving Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia for many years. But for a lot of people outside of their regular, and very happy client base, they may not know how much NDO really offer.
In addition to their well stocked, lovely looking store Nanaimo Dive Outfitters also offer a wide range of recreational and technical diving training, regular international dive travel, a ton of local diving opportunities, and have their own charter boat.
We were commissioned to make this video to help showcase the multiple aspects of there business. Released a month ago the video has already proven to be a huge sucess, both with the client, and with social media followers.
So next time you're in Nanaimo, pay them a visit!
We had an EPIC day on the water with Big Animal Encounters a week or so ago. Speeding out of their Campbell River location, we zoomed down to Mitlenatch Island in British Columbia where we saw about a dozen humpback whales, and about 6 orca. After sitting with the boat engines off for about 15 minutes two out of a group of three humpbacks surfaced right under the boat!
We've seen humpbacks before, in South Africa, Hawaii and BC, but this was closer than ever, and an incredible marine life encounter.
We stayed on the water for about 12 hours that day, heading back out for dusk, only to be greeted by the same three humpbacks. Simply amazing.
CTV picked up on the footage floating around on social media, and ran a story on it on their evening news shows, using our footage.
British Columbia is becoming a real hotspot for incredible encounters!
Still Standing is a unique, funny, and interesting look at Bell Island, Newfoundland. As STV followers will know, we love Bell Island - the wrecks, the mine, and of course the fish n' chips.
CBC's Johnny Harris is a stand up comic with a unique take on documentary making, mixing local personalities and history, with a some good laughs.
Our favourite dive store Ocean Quest Adventures gets a good bit of screen time with the ever excellent Rick Stanley taking the host on a memorable dive of the - he can also be seen chuckling his way through the episode!
Still Standing - Bell Island, a great way to spend twenty minutes, just click on the image above to watch the full episode for free. Then head over to the Ocean Quest website and get your ass on a charter - it really is some of the best diving you'll ever do!
July 1st, 2017 - the 150th Birthday of modern day Canada. We decided to spend the day underwater of course, diving two of our favourite sites - the SS Capilano shipwreck, and Vivian Island.
Both are just off the coast of Comox, British Columbia, and together they make for one of our favourite days on the water - anywhere in the world!
The SS Capilano sits at 100 feet and is a stunning wreck covered in plumose anemone, and huge ling cod. There's lots to see down there, as the video below will give you a glimpse of.
Vivian Island is a little-known gold mine of a dive site. On one side you have a few hundred sea lions, though visibility at this time of year in the shallows means you don't see them much. The other side of the island has the remains of the SS Shamrock plus a deep wall with boot sponges, and then at the far end as you come up for your safety stop - sea lions!
There are few places in BC that offer wrecks, sea lions and walls in one or two dives, and we have it right on our doorstep, and there's no better way to spend Canada Day than right there!
You can book a charter through our friends at www.pacificprodive.com