22:11 - What a day! Lazaro (who is active on our wetpixel forums) took a day off of work to come dive Breakers and Playpen with us. Coincidentally, a researcher had stopped by with 22 baby loggerhead turtles for us to release, so each photographer was given a little turtle to photograph while the little guys experienced their first few breaths of freedom. Unfortunately, many of those first breaths included bouts of aggressive posturing at (and attempting biting of) our dome ports. I guess they weren't used to seeing their reflections (or seeing shiny reflective things). :) The second dive of the day was at Playpen; Laz and I were dropped off at the wreck of a small-ish barge, where we descended into a large school of great barracuda. As we were poking around, I was almost run over by two large eagle rays! Luckily, I took a photo through sheer reflex before they glided gracefully into the milky distance. As we drifted along the rubble pile towards Playpen (dive site name), I spotted a floating "plant" less than an inch long, which turned out to be a tiny squid. I snapped off some shots with a 16-35L lens (w/+4 diopter) in an 8" dome port and managed to get the little guy to ink me a few times. Shooting something so small with such a wide lens is not ideal.
Lunch at Mondo's followed the dives, and then Laz and I drove off to visit Douglas Seifert and Trinka at Douglas' place up the road. Douglas has an amazing top-floor flat filled with rare books and nice screens. If I were a Mac guy I might have left his place soaked with puddles of drool. I took a look at his Apple Airport (wireless networking) settings because he was concerned about the security of his network, and the process turned into an hour-and-a-half long fiasco because 1) a password was forgotten and 2) his dsl connection decided to have issues at the same moment. Due to these problems, Douglas almost lost faith in my so-called "expertise" in computers, but by the end of the evening his faith -- and internet access -- had been restored. Doug has some amazing images, by the way. I should trade him a good web reputation through repeated mentions in echeng.com for an autographed image. I left instead with his Tiny Bubbles Expeditions jacket, which he is lending me for the upcoming shark trip. :)
It was fantastic to meet Laz! I had been told repeatedly by Jimmy and Anna that he was a "really nice guy"; they were definitely right. I hope I didn't keep him out here too long. :)