Here’s a quick underwater shot of one of the caves at Niue I quite like (I’ll post a preview of a few more pictures when I get back). Shannon and Crystal run a very professional dive operation. Highly recommended.
Niue’s in the can (I’ve just spent a week swimming with venomous snakes, cave diving and wandering jagged island tracks) and I leave on a seven day cruise of the Fiji islands tomorrow…….that’s assuming I can turnaround my washing in time. I’m told that if I catch the 11.30 flight tomorrow night , I’ll arrive at 4.30am in time to board the ship.
I’m also seriously excited about the idea of staging a photographic exhibition involving the three Melanesian countries (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and The Solomon Islands) titled Ancient Rituals of Melanesia. Oh, and then there’s the idea of guiding a handful of travel photographers to the Naghol next year. (Phew).
Here’s the e-card (below) I’ll send out shortly which I’ll link to a tentative series of prints from the Land Dives for the exhibition. Give me a week and click onto the card below to have a look. As I wrote earlier, the Pentecost Land Dives I just shot ranked as the most enjoyable three days of shooting in my entire career (has it been 25 years?). Hopefully, the resulting images will reflect that.
Santo’s President Coolidge may well be one of the worlds great wreck dives but, to this hesitant diver of deep, dark innards, plunging 30 metres to get to a hole in a deck, then dropping down inside it to make your way along a eerie corridor so you can plant your lips of “The Lady” (a ritual for anyone diving on the President Coolidge, I’m told), falls well into the realm of those long effected by nitrogen narcosis.
I guess it was only a matter of time before someone attached a GoPro camera to a Pentecost land diver, so I figured it might as well have been me (a hundred year old ritual trashed in two seconds you might suggest. I can only hope not).
As you can see from the last photograph (attached), the camera didn’t quite travel the full distance but it did provide a rare insight into this ancient, death defying ritual (and, like the land diver, the camera too survived).
When I get back, I’ll edit the footage and post it.
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