Life on a Life-Boat Davit

18-Mar-2012 Back to Image Gallery

Life on a Life-Boat Davit

Many of the shallow shipwrecks in the calm, clear, sheltered waters of Truk Lagoon are so encrusted with corals, sponges, anemones and sea fans they resemble a living coral reef in the shape of a ship. This habitat attracts beautiful tropical fish and marine life in abundance and I have often commented that I could easily produce an entire portfolio of coral and marine life images and no one would recognise the images were captured on shipwrecks. This image of soft coral, hard coral, tube sponges, razor clams, anemone, anemone fish & damsel fish living on a lifeboat davit is just a tiny sample of the transformation that has occurred all over the WW11 Japanese Transport ship Fujikawa Maru. There are many more ships at Truk Mother Ocean has converted into coral gardens. For the landlubbers, life boat davits are the curved metal thingies on the ship’s deck that life boats hang from. For the wreck diving enthusiasts, penetration into ships’ holds will reveal Zero aircraft, mines, artillery and tanks so it’s a win win situation for everyone.

Photo Data: Location: Shipwreck Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon, Micronesia Genre: Wide Angle Close Up. Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 10.5 lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Sea Flash150 Strobes, Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100. Exposure f10 @ 1/60th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: The water column of the lagoon is often very clear but lagoons contain plankton which will cause backscatter in your images due to reflection off the plankton from your strobe beams. It is very important to use edge lighting techniques. Edge lighting is achieved by aiming your strobes outwards not directly at your subjects so you illuminate with the edges of your strobe beam rather than spilling useless light into the path of your lens where no subject exists. The key equipment element with this image is the use of my Seacam Flash arms. These arms are available in a wide range of arm lengths and feature the most powerful locking clamp mechanisms available worldwide. This is especially important when long arm segments are in use. I often supplement some of the arm segments with float arm segments to negate the weight of the camera system underwater.

Interesting Facts: Truk Lagoon was the largest Japanese Naval Base in the Pacific. The Japanese equivalent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Fleets of ships, squadrons of aircraft, and battalions of troops moved through Truk during the Japanese invasion. Incredibly, the American Fleet of aircraft carriers, battle cruisers and destroyers destroyed the Japanese base using the same surprise attack tactics that the Japanese used to destroy Pearl Harbour. Not a single Japanese aircraft got off the ground to fight or warship escaped the harbour to defend their base. I guess you could call that `Karma’

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