Giants of the Deep

Goliath

Every September, on the south eastern Florida coast, there is an opportunity to see and film Goliath Groupers. They gather there to mate. They are gentle giants and they move slowly; seemingly content to weave in and out of divers. I joined Pura Vida Divers, from Riviera Beach Dive Shop, on their boat – The Aurelia – for the chance of seeing them and I was in luck. As soon as we completed out first descent, there they were, as if they had been waiting for us. Fortunately there was little to no current. It was overcast and threatening to rain so the light was not kind and my filter was not up to the job of restoring all the lost colours correctly and in balance but this dive wasn’t really about that. It was about the experience. To float along with these creatures in communal bliss and some kind of unspoken understanding is a privilege and if I have conveyed that with this single image; then I am happy. This kind of image is more frequently linked to sharks who are associated with fear and danger when viewed overhead; lurking; sizing up potential prey; assessing their moment to strike. It is shame that any marine life is tagged with these undeserved characteristics but an image like the one I have produced hopefully goes some way to correcting such negative reputations. I was diving at ninety feet and the sun, even though hidden behind the clouds, still managed to pierce the water and place the Goliath in silhouette. It makes for a more startling image; I hope. I have produced a four minute video of the highlights of this dive, which is on my YouTube Channel Mediterranean Blue Films and four shorter segments on my Facebook page. If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, please go and take a look and sign up. My underwater art playlist grows weekly.

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