I finally got around to editing the videos I took from a vacation to The Big Island of Hawai'i in April 2013. I took tons of footage of dolphins and manta rays - some good, some bad - but it took me awhile to sift through the footage, take out the good shots and put it to some decent music. Anyone who has edited lots of footage gains immediate respect for professional editors. It's a tedious task that I don't enjoy too much and it doesn't help that I'm both a lazy and bad editor - so don't expect much! All footage was taken with my underwater rig described in my previous post. Onto the videos...
The first video is from a snorkel trip aboard One Love One Spirit, a beautiful boat guided by Captain Ray. We took off from the harbour in search of a pod of spinner dolphins. We found some just off shore from Kailua-Kona. My version of snorkelling includes throwing on my Cressi fins, my wetsuit and a weight-belt for some free-diving action. It's absolutely surreal swimming with those beautiful creatures and watching them effortlessly glide through the water.
An interesting tidbit - the circular wounds you see on the dolphins are made by cookie-cutter sharks, a nasty night time scavenger.
The second video is a longer one, but it's worth it. The manta ray night dive off The Big Island is something you cannot leave off your agenda if you ever visit The Big Island. Snorkel or SCUBA, it doesn't matter. Just do it. The premise is that plankton are attracted to light and plankton are the main food source for manta rays. If you shine a lot of light in one area, many plankton will concentrate and manta rays will come and feed. It's an amazing up-and-close experience with these majestic animals. On our dive, we had seven manta rays around us the whole time (although it felt like more!). These graceful massive creatures will feed on plankton literally within a inch of your head. I even had a few incidental manta ray collisions, which you'll see in the video. We also had a rare visit of two bottlenose dolphins who came in to check out what was going on (they come in at 6:22 of the video). I ended up having over 40 minutes of footage of manta rays dancing around my face along and two bottlenose dolphins (sometimes in the same shot!).
I cut the footage to just under 15 minutes. Sorry it's a bit long but there was too much good stuff. I tried to put it to some decent music so it's not too boring. My good buddy, Matt, accompanied me on this dive while the rest of our group (including my wife) snorkelled at the surface. We all had an absolute blast. I could barely sleep that night because I was so fired up and couldn't stop thinking about it. Just an amazing experience.