Project Journal, May 22nd, 2012: “We have lift off!”


goliath1Like the NASA announcers letting people know their rocket ship was off the ground, so have we finally started filming! I’m so excited!

After many weeks of tracking weather patterns around the Caribbean and the Pacific, and not finding any windows that would justify the time and expense to move our whole team to any of those areas, we decided to start filming locally instead. We started with some beautiful and famous dive spots in Miami, but the water is so murky from all the bad weather, that the images were unacceptable, so we moved to the Florida Keys instead. And we are finally getting some footage on our hard drives. The weather in the Keys is not much better, but the choice of locations is much bigger, so we are ready to dive whenever a window opens up, however short it is. We spend all day and night following the radar, and as soon as we know there will be a couple of hours of calm seas, we head out, wetsuits already on not to waste time dressing up when we get there. For that, we have moved our boat, air compressor, video editing systems and even ourselves to the Keys! It is not comfortable, specially for our daughter Lara who is now living away from the comforts of home and her toys, but she’s coping well and we are making the best of it. We are finally coming back with images, so our documentary project is officially underway!

trumpetfishTalking to dive operators and friends from many parts of the world, everybody agrees this has been the worst season they have seen in a very long time. I was realizing that the ramifications of global warming when I tried to book a short 3 day trip to a resort to satisfy my other passion, skiing, and was told they had no snow left. Skiing resorts worldwide have declared this has been the worst season in 28 years, with no snow, heavy winds and avalanches on the rise. And underwater it is no different. The constant rains and strong winds have spoiled usually pristine locations. The coral reefs along the Florida Keys all suffer from very murky water, due to all the particles constantly being blown around. The resulting images are not as clean as we would hope them to be, but this is true sign of the damage the weather is inflicting on our oceans. On the other hand, some of the famous inhabitants of the Keys are still around, and we already experienced several encounters with the amazing Goliath groupers (Epinephelus Itajara), creatures that we call “chokers” for everybody will open their mouth wide when they see one, and usually swallow water and choke. Their fame comes mostly form their size. They can reach 8 feet in length and 800 pounds. The one in the photo is just a “baby” that weighs around 140 pounds.

Stay tuned for next week’s report.

Yasemin Dalkilic

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