After a life time of snorkeling and fishing I finally did a resort dive a few years ago in Maui.
Shortly after this my wife Gail gave me scuba lessons and I was hooked. I had operated under the delusion for 50 some years that diving just got you closer to the fish. I was wrong. True you saw lots of neat stuff, but it is also a major rush. As you slowly drift down and the wreck emerges below you, you stop and drift over it your rising or sinking controlled by your breathing. You can fly!
Some useful links
REEF Organization for ocean conservation and gathering data on fish populations with volunteer surveyors.
Aquatic Safaris Dive operation out of Wrightsville Beach.
Horizon Divers, several Keys dives
Sea Dwellers Dive Center, several more Keys dives
Ocean Divers Several more dives in Key Largo
American Pro, nice manatee snorkels, Rainbow River drift dive and King Spring
Jupiter Dive Center, Drift dives off Jupiter, Florida
Fantasy Lake Scuba park next to Raleigh.
Lake Rawlings Scuba park couple hours north of Raleigh
Mystery Lake Scuba park 30 minutes from Raleigh. They have warmer deep water. 80 ft most places. Temps over 70.
I am still working on learning how to photograph but here are a few pictures. Selected newer pictures are found at More dive pictures and still more dive pictures . All photos are mine unless they have me in them!
Latest Dive Photos from the Hyde - November, 2008
Latest Dive Photos from the Cancun 2008
Dive Photos from the Key Largo, March 2009
Dive on 23 Mile Ledge, June 2009 Note: These pictures were not shrunk before uploading so while the images are sized the photos may load slower.
Latest Dive Photos from the Key Largo, Oct., 2009 (Page 1)
Latest Dive Photos from the Key Largo, Oct. 2009 (Page 2)
Dive Photos from the Key Largo and Jupiter, Florida, March. 2010.
Dive photos from April to July, 2010.
Dive photos Key Largo Dec. 2010.
Dive photos Vancouver July 17, 2011.
Dive photos Vancouver July 20, 2011.
Dive photos Haikidiki, Greece, September, 2011.
Dive photos Key Largo, December, 2011.
NC dive photos first half of 2012.
Maui Dec. 2012.
Aug., 2013 Sue's ledge and Frying Pan.
NC Coast in October, 2013.
Casino Point on Catalina Island, 2013.
As of early 2014 I switched over to posting dive photos on Facebook. I may eventually post directly here again but it will be a while before I do.
I have also started sometimes using a wide-angle lens that gives more depth of field.
Unfortunately Facebook has now changed its policy to that I cannot post a link here for my photos. If you are interested in seeing them you need to send me a friend request on facebook and also why you want to be added as a friend. Friend requests from unknown people are not accepted unless it is clear why they wish to be on the friends listed. My posts are almost entirely dive and fish id related.
Steve Campbell's Facebook Page, To see dive photos you need to go to albums. The photos section is mostly family stuff.
My new camera can shoot some video. Videos are here
Let's go diving!
Me about to dive on the Stone Tug. Photo by dive buddy Pete Smullen
The Hyde and the Markham are two ships sunk as part of an artificial reef program. Both are in about 80 ft of water 18 miles from shore. Hours ride out and generally good viz.
My favorite picture so far from the Hyde. A school of spadefish going up the side and onto the top deck. The small fish are juvenile tomtates.
Spadefish on the Hyde
One of several large schools on the Markham
One of several sand tigers at the Markham. 12-13 ft long.
Part of a large school of atlantic spadefish on the way down to the Markham.
The stone tug is a tug boat in 60 ft of water about 14 miles out. A small but very nice site. Big schools of fish including amberjack.
Top deck of the tug.
There were a number of large schools covering part of the wreck.
Trigger fish can be territorial and will come out and face you down. If you are not careful and get too close they can also nip an ear or a nose.
One of my favorite fish is the queen angel. This one stayed in the shadows so i had to use the flash.
A common occurrence when diving NC wrecks is that barracuda will follow you around. This one joined us at the hang bar while we were doing our safety stop. A medium sized one.
The Alexander Ramsay or Liberty Ship is a ship only 3 miles out the inlet in 50 ft of water. It is broken up now but has several large pieces. It is a popular site for training dives. The viz is less than further out. I have done 4 dives there and always had at least 10-15 ft of viz. There is a lot of fish life and some coral.
Taken 20 ft down at the top of the bow section of the liberty ship. Fish is one of the Wrasse family.
There are two types of urchins.
I like star fish.
You see some tropicals also. These are butterflyfish, probably spotfins. They were in the shadows and it was getting late so the lighting is not as good. You see these often.
Lots of Keys pictures. Will add more later. See also More dive pictures and still more dive pictures .
Nurse Shark. About 6 ft long.
The even prettier French Angel
Pair of banded butterfly fish
Very large ray on bottom between coral fingers
Blue Chromis. Schools of these bright blue fish swim in the open water above the reef.
Blue Parrot fish.
Scrawled File fish and one of the parrot fishs. See also More dive pictures .
Honeycombed cowfish. See also More dive pictures
Large brain coral.
Flat Stanley is an elementary school project where a student sends off a flat cut out to someone, they take flat stanley around, and send back pictures and stories to the students class room where they discuss, look up on a map, etc. Well a nieces child, Lauren, sent me a flat stanley and stanley went diving at Fantasy Lake with myself and ken.
Flat stanley and Ken (swampdog) get on the underwater bus.
Stanley drove the bus.
Flat stanley and I
One of Flat Stanley's new friends.
Fresh Water Jellyfish
In the fall we often see the freshwater jellyfish in NC quarries. They are not true jellyfish but are in the same family. First cousins so to speak. They are circular, like a fan and have little tendrils hanging from the outer circle. When the light hits them right they are quite attractive. They are quite active and reach about 1.5-2" long. They are harmless. They are also hard to photograph. Here are two pictures taken in November in fantasy lake. A thanks to Dave for putting his glove behind one without moving it out of focus.
I lifted this off the Aquatic Safaris web site. I am the one is front. Judging from my attire (a 3 mm sleeveless shorty over my 4/3) I am guessing this is early summer with the water in the lower 70s.