Please don't steal my pics, or at least TELL me when you link/download them. Thanks. Also, you need to view this in Millions of Colours, or the pictures look "Grainy".
-James Stapley, 10/9/1998.
ARRRRGH! Get rid of that Frame! I can't see all of the picture at once! Just click here.
Some Anthis squamipinnis otherwise known as "Wreckfish". These small fish are found in huge numbers on all the reefs in the Red Sea; at Ras Mohammed you can swim through a shoal that must contain several thousand individuals! The species exhibits sexual dimorphism - i.e. the males and females look different, with the males being more colourful. They also change sex from time to time; when the male dies, the most dominant female will turn into a male. Also in the picture is one of the Tangs endemic to the Red Sea (dark blue with yellow fins). You can see a bubble coral and some fire coral as well.
A shoal of Goatfish. Also in the picture is a lot of coral, much of it Acropora.
A school of Flutefish. This picture was taken at about 10m - the camera was probably not too impressed with the depth, only being rated to about 6! :) You can see the white coral sand that is found at the bottom of all reefs in this picture as well. Notice how the colours are bluish from the depth.
A nice picture showing various types of coral (Acropora and Fire Coral- Millepora sp. as well as a few other species). Also there, but very hard to see in the scanned image is a Coral Grouper.
A Shoal of Fusiliers. This is another common species of fish found wherever you jump in, usually out in mid water. This picture was taken heading back from the reef to the boat - the cloudiness of the water is due to a plankton bloom.
In the middle of the picture you can see a Sea Cucumber nestling in amongst the coral.
A vivid purple coral found on the reef flat (Very shallow water), surrounded by other species. Notice how the coral is smaller and less abundant than in deeper water.
A Sohal Surgeon Fish (Acanthurus sohal) cruises over the reef.
"Panoramic" shot of the reef to show what it looks like as a whole. Notice the school of Anthias squamipinnis and the lone Butterfly fish (the bigger yellow and black one). Notice again how the water filters out colour with depth and distance with the background looking bluish.
A Clownfish (Amphiprion sp.). Not a brilliant shot, but at least here it is. I'd quite happily take rolls of film of these fish, which are my absolute favourite. Notice the anemone it's living in; you don't find Clownfish without anemones, and on some reefs, you don't find anemones which don't have a Clownfish in residence either, because the anemones are sometimes eaten by Butterfly fish. The Clownfish drives them off - it will try to do the same to you if you get to close too! The Clownfish also gets protection from living in the anemone, as most other fish are stung to death by the nematocysts in the tentacles.
A Giant Moray Eel. This one is pretty big; the picture doesn't do it justice. Also, it's mostly hiding in its hole. Sometimes you can entice them out, but I didn't fancy risking my fingers...
Not a great shot; I was trying to get a shot of the Green Chromis (Chromis caerulea or viridis, the fish in the middle of the shot) but every time you get anywhere near them they hide in the Acropora so this long distance shot was a compromise. There's also a Tang and a few Fulsiliers.
A Pufferfish. Quite a nice shot if I do say so myself :)
Well, this out of focus shot is a disgrace, but you can still see the Acropora. See the yellow smudge? That was the point... It's a rather nice little goby or blenny. But you can't see it :) sorry.
Well, that's it for underwater pics; I was conserving film for the next time I went, but I didn't go again :) To tired or something on the last day... But to keep you going here's a few of the above water snaps...
I really can't remember what most of the shots are; I was just riding along on the boat and thought. Ohh Kodak moment and got the odd snap here and there. I'll caption a few of them, though if there's something of note.
"Ooh isn't that nice..." As you can see the sea is a nice deep blue colour. The land is desert, part of the reason why the reefs in the red sea are so good - low rainfall means little silt gets into the water to damage the coral by smothering/cutting out light. I think this was taken in the Straits of Tiran. Look at the sky! No clouds :) Bliss!
The darker patches in the sea in this photo are the reef. Now you know what a reef looks like from above the water. The very light coloured bit is a lagoon, which is just coral sand with the odd bit of coral. Great to swim in, because it's nice an warm. Shame the life is limited. Good place to look for Eelgrass, and in that, Seahorses! The hills in the background look nice too.
You can see how dry the land is pretty well on the headland in this shot.
Well, there's Will on the Prow of the Colibri.
Well, when you've got sun, use it! Another shot of the Colibri, the boat belonging to the Colona Dive Club we used while we were there. Free plug for Colona. How about a discount? :)
Sami, our Dive Guide for most of the Holiday. Top bloke!!! What the hell is the horizon doing???
O.k. here we have James on the Left, looking rather smart, and heading off to the Summer Ball. And Charlie on the right... I personally think it is impossible to get pictures of Charlie doing anything normal, as you can see later on... The picture, by the way, was taken in our old front room, otherwise known as the "Bike Shed"...
And here's James looking really pleased to be doing some washing up!
And there's James again, Climbing up the BT pole outside the house, on a top secret mission. Taken from my bedroom window.
It's Photogenic James! Off to the Summer Ball, no doubt.
OH NO! It's Charlie! He's got an Ice Axe, and he's not interested in having the gas meter read today, thank you very much!
And here's Charlie again. Blissfully oblivious to the fact that his top secret status as a member of the elite SAS is going to be blown on the WWW, here he is on a mission. Notice he's obviously in command, as he's got the radio and is blatantly not in camouflage gear... I wonder what he's saying. Notice the camera is not level; that's because I'm laughing. A lot.
And here's the old road in snow. In April, just after I got back from the Red Sea. Bit of a shock that... Our old house is the first door you can see on the right.
The "View" from my old window. Great, huh? ... not ... :)
Oh, one last thing! Here's a picture of me (James Stapley) taken by Dafydd, on a Sea and Sea underwater camera while on a dive.