Underwater Photos of Guitar Sharks
Capturing underwater photos of guitar sharks is a real talent, as these creatures can get spooked really easily, and are able to glide quickly and effortlessly through the water. Once again we were aboard MV Sea Esta with Adrenalin Dive out of Townsville, Queensland, for a three day, three night live-aboard trip, giving us the time and chance to get these illusive shots.
Day one started at Wheeler Reef, a small reef located just north east of Townsville, on the western side of the Great Barrier in the Coral Sea. There has been a resident guitar shark in this area for some time now, and fingers crossed, we would come across him on our first dive of the day. Wheeler Reef was as stunning as ever and full of diverse and abundant marine life. Near the end of our first dive at ‘Student’s Bommie’, we came across this magnificent fish resting peacefully on the seabed. A marvellous looking creature, with similarities to both sharks and stingrays, they are very exciting to observe underwater. Slowly approaching and staying calm, so as to avoid spooking the beautiful fish, I attempted to capture a close up. Just a couple of meters short and he was up and swimming away. A disappointment that I have not always had to deal with while capturing underwater photos of guitar sharks. I seem to have the uncanny ability to get close to a lot of marine life, as I too feel at home under the water. There just isn’t anything like it; it is my favourite place to be.
There were a group of divers on board from the Brisbane Dive Academy, accompanied by Mick, their course director, doing some re-breather diving. The advantage of re-breather diving is longer dive times along with the ability to get especially close to marine life, as there are no bubbles escaping as you exhale to alert them to your presence. Something I may look into in the future to allow me even better access to marine life close ups, not to mention the ability to stay longer in the one place that I truly feel at home.
The next time I saw my new guitar shark buddy was on our last dive that same day. Jumping into the water at the mooring for a dusk dive, we had strong expectations of witnessing some exciting action at that time of day. Upon descending, we slowly explored a beautifully colourful and lively series of bommies on the eastern side of Wheeler Reef starting just under our top-side vessel. Bump headed parrot fish, lagoon rays, and an abundance of other reef fish created a scene teaming with life. As we rounded the last corner, about to make our way to the shallower depths of the reef, there he was, once again, resting on the sea floor. I was unable to get as close as I had come the first time that morning, as he felt my presence even sooner and was up and swimming away. However, this wasn’t to be the last time we were to see him that dive. We continued along, exploring the shallows of the reef, when to our surprise and delight, my dive buddy and I both spotted him coming around the back of us. He continued to swim around our circumference, giving us a once in a lifetime show that I know we both thoroughly enjoyed. That wasn’t to be the last time either, as we slowly made our way back to the mooring, exploring the beautiful underwater scenery around us, he showed up again. We were starting to feel like we were the ones being stalked by this big and beautiful creature. My buddy and I both started keeping a lookout all around us, almost forgetting the rest of the surrounding beauty. He did show up once again, and it was as exciting as ever, as he circled around us, trying to figure out just what we were and what we were up to. Not once did he make any kind of manoeuvre that should have made us nervous, this was just an incredible experience to add to our underwater collection. We made it safely back to the mooring, beginning our slow ascent to the surface, as to our dismay, our dive was coming to an end. We did however, get one last showing as he swam around the mooring as we headed for the surface, presumably still looking for those strange creatures that kept pursuing him.
I was able to capture some beautiful underwater photos of this guitar shark on his many trips around us, and I’ve included a few in this post which have since been added to the website for purchase.
These underwater photographs of our friendly guitar shark would be a beautiful addition to any marine life enthusiast’s or diver’s wall.