I've always been a huge fan of the underwater world. They're so fascinating yet so peaceful. My friend, Mario, called it meditation when he asked me to take him diving in Bali. I couldn't agree more. With nothing you can do underwater, somehow minds are liberated from stupid lingering thoughts from the dry land. 

On the other hand, the underwater world is definitely fascinating. With it's huge number of different species, you will always find something new in the ocean. I've had my portions of sharks encounter, so this time I was quite excited to explore the USS Shipwreck in Tulamben, Bali. Little did I know that I was going to encounter freaky creatures such as this giant moray eel!
Gian moray eel! It may look angry, but it was just opening its mouth to orally pump down H2O in large gulps. 
The day started out with a cloudy chance of rain. But that's the beauty of diving, rain won't stop you from having fun. Mario and I were picked up at Legian by Wayan, our dive instructor for the day, and we drove to Tulamben for 3 hours. After such a long drive, one plate of roast pork and conversational topics from the radio industry to investments, we finally arrived at Tulamben with rain pouring down on our heads. 

It was my first time diving with Nikon Coolpix camera! Wayan generously lent us his Nikon Coolpix for us to take great underwater shots. In my previous diving experience, I've always used a GoPro. That's why I was very excited to try something else to document this dive.
Dive buddy, @pratamamario.

Since Mario had zero diving experience, he took the fun dive course that is very much suitable for the currents in the USS Shipwreck diving site. At the end of our first diving session, he was ready to take on the second one!

Back to the camera!

The first thing that I love about this Nikon Coolpix is it's colour scheme. With the ever changing depth, a few buttons pressed and it will adjust it's white balance according to what's needed. With GoPro, there are very few options of shots you can take with the red filter.  
It's good to be back under the water again!
Photo with the noob.
My first shot with Nikon Coolpix.
If I'm not wrong, that photo above was one of the very first shot that I took with Nikon Coolpix. I love the fact that it captures enough colours to radiate the skin colour of the fishes, all the while giving enough blue-ish background to give the sense of being in quite a depth.

Since the camera was new to me, I surrendered all control to it's automatic focus and adjustments. I would adjust the white balance a few times, but that was all that I could tweak under the water in such a limited time. However, I'm pretty happy with the results! Here are some of the shots that we took under the water with Nikon Coolpix's automatic adjustments.
Yellow dotted fish? I wish that I know their names!
A Go Pro wouldn't capture such colors.
Thousands of tiny little fish.
Definitely the best shot that I took that day!
As you can see, it's quite acceptable. However, speed was quite a limitation. After going deeper, I notice that it kept on reducing it's shutter speed instead of cranking up the ISO. I wasn't sure if it was already the highest ISO it could reach or was it only dealing with the shutter. 

Here are some blurry images that we took.

Giant grouper fish! Definitely the biggest I've ever saw. Too bad it ran away after I approached it with excitement.
This was a very tiny fish. Although it's macro functions were great, the use of flash was quite difficult to handle due to the pushing currents. Plus, the shutter speed were probably very low on this level of depth.
I'm not complaining. I am very much happy with the results of these photos. On the side note, I am actually looking forward to purchase my own Nikon Coolpix and tweak it myself! A GoPro isn't that bad. If what you have is an action cam, then a red filter will give you great results under the water. Although to my understanding, it will give you quite a problem in macro shots that involves moving in very close to the object. It wouldn't be much of a problem if your object is as still as a rock. Be it a tiny clown fish and you will lose the ability to shoot up close.

The shipwreck itself was quite a bummer. I was expecting to see a full body of ship, but the ship has been there since before my parents were born. They are mostly disfigured and covered with moss and corals. You can see huge chunks of it, but you can't really tell the shape of it anymore. 
Entering the ship's hull.
Is it the ship's wheel? I'm not pretty sure myself.
Pillars and boards. I'm assuming that this was the deck of the ship. 
Inside the hull.
Two dive sessions were more than enough to explore the whole diving site. Luckily, we only booked for 2 dives that day since another one would be pretty much boring to do in the same spot. There was nothing much to see inside the ship, but there were pretty interesting creatures! 

I was thrilled to spot a sleeping stingray hiding in the sands during our last 3 minutes stop time. After we were done with the dive, it was now our turn to sleep the whole 3 hours journey back to the heart of Bali.
And that's why you should always keep your eyes wide open under the water.
PS: What do you think about Nikon Coolpix? Anything else that I should take note of before buying the camera? Leave your comments below.

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