Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hammerhead Update!

Good evening!

Just some quick updates from today!

We got some close-up pictures of the Hammerheads today.  We'll share them soon.  There weren't a ton of sharks, but the ones that were around were pretty curious.  We can't imagine what it would have been like if we were down there on rebreathers!  We'll have to get on our friend Todd to get our training going soon.

When we arrived back at the dock, Gwen was there to greet us with a Hammerhead shaped cake that she had made!  It was for a diving friend's birthday.  It was very cool, and who doesn't like cake?  Not bad for a homemade cake!

Oh yeah, not only did we get to see some cool Hammerheads; we also got to swim with dolphins!  I will let the short video clip do the talking...

Swimming with Dolphins from C3 Submerged on Vimeo.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Submarine & Trumpets


It's been a busy week!  We got to go out with Atlantis Submarines and take some test footage of the sub sinking and surfacing.  We actually strapped one of our cameras to the "roof" of the sub; it was very fun.  We jumped in the water too to video from a different perspective.  The guys that operate the sub are so much fun to work with, and super talented as well.  We were amazed at how good they were at piloting that sub!  If any of you ever visit an island with an Atlantis Submarine: take the tour, it's worth it.  We put together some clips for the guys to see what the camera picked up, enjoy:

Atlantis Submarine Test Shoot from C3 Submerged on Vimeo.

We are hoping that we will get the chance to work with these guys again.  We learned a lot from the first shoot, and we're excited to try again and mount the camera to different parts of the sub.  We'll keep you all posted on how it goes; hopefully we will have more footage to share.

We got a new lens this week, a beautiful 14mm aspherical, it's awesome.  We hope to have some new shots out for you soon.  Oh yeah, if you haven't noticed our website is under a bit of construction.  We're updating/changing some things to make it better.  We hope to have it up and running efficiently soon.  Actually, we're hoping to have some Christmas specials and some free t-shirt give-a-ways as well.

We also wanted to share a funny event from earlier today.  First, we have to say that we are not big fans of people touching the marine life, nor are we fans of finding animals dead or dying, as you may have picked up from our earlier video about the dying Chocolate Margin Nudibranch.  However, it was hilarious when Dan found a dead Trumpet fish today and pretended to play it.  We think the funniest part was the look on his face.  Luckily, Gwen was out and able to capture this even for us all to share!

All kidding aside, let's take a moment of silence for the Trumpet fish.


Poor guy.

Tomorrow, we head back over to look for Hammerheads!  We really need some close up shots for a magazine, wish us luck and great visibility; tomorrow could be the day.  Either way, one of us will have the video camera so we might have some cool clips from the day anyway.

Until next time, Aloha!

*Don't forget to watch America's Next Top Model.  I think we're on soon, either this Wednesday or next!  Wednesday nights at 7 on the CW channel.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Possibly Sappy Content Warning


     So, by now you probably know that Dan's band won the Battle of the Bands here on Maui last night.  But, you probably don't know how awesome it was!  For all of you who either weren't on Maui or just couldn't make it down to the Cellar last night, let me tell you how great it was.

     The Cellar is a huge place, for Maui, and last night it probably had over 150 people watching the three bands perform.  (You mainlanders have to remember that we're talking about Maui, a small island...)  Black Powder played last because they were the local favorite and the promoters didn't want all the people to leave after hearing them play, which was smart because the first two bands had a much different style.

     The first group brought back memories of an early Metallica style and the second group seemed exactly like a band we all used to see on the old Bevis and Butthead show on MTV.  Remember when they would rock out to their TV watching some death metal band, those were our flashbacks last night.  Anyway, they were both really good, not our type of music, but you could appreciate the talent that the other musicians had.

     Finally after about two hours of holding our ears and waiting for the speed metal to stop, Black Powder took the stage.  It should also be noted that Black Powder is comprised of 5 guys, three of whom are in a Motorcycle club called Koa Puna, Dan is one of the two who is not in the club but they want him to be.  Imagine Dan in a biker club?  So most of Koa Puna showed up to root on their band, which made it so much fun.  Everyone was very into the music and hooting and hollering for the band, they won in a landslide.  Their mix of Tom Petty and Rollingstone style stole the show and they won a chance to record an album for free here at a big studio on Maui.  We'll share the results when we get them...

     It was an awesome thing to witness our little brother up on stage rocking out!  We were so proud to see him up there having such a good time and doing so well.  We put together some video clips from last night so that we could share a bit of the night with anyone who wants to see, (Mom, Dad, etc...)  I wish that my words could do the achievement justice, and i don't mean the winning of the contest, (which was awesome), I mean watching Dan kick ass on stage.  It was very cool.  One of those moments where you stop and realize just how great life can be.

BLACK POWDER from C3 Submerged on Vimeo.

     Even though we were tired, we got up and all went diving today as well.  And, even though we were tired, our good moods carried us through the day.  I got to dive with my wife all day long and we even had a small group so we led together.  Cute, huh?  We swam with sharks and even saw an eagle ray.  We checked on the rare Chocolate Margin Nudibranch which is doing quite well, it even laid some eggs!  We also saw a huge Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, it was awesome.  But I think my best picture of the day was my last one before I got back on the boat.  A self portrait with my wife, Gwen:

    Have I told you that I love my wife and my family lately?  I am going to go home and tell them now!

     Goodnight all, talk soon.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Black Powder


     We're all very excited today because we get to watch Dan's band, Black Powder, compete in the Battle of the Bands at the Cellar tonight in Lahaina.  Anyone who is in town and can make it should come to support Black Powder, the Battle of the Bands starts around 9 and it's just $5 at the door.  Just come and cheer for the best band to win!

     Hopefully there will be some good pictures to post on tomorrow's blog for those of you who won't be here on Maui to witness the event.  Let's hope they win!  If you are out of town you might be able to catch the bands on the radio tonight at 9, on KRKH Maui's K-Rock 97.3  I honestly have no idea if that radio station has a streaming online link, but it might.

     Anyway, we're all super proud of Dan.  We can't believe that he's gotten this good at the guitar while doing all of this diving/photography stuff we've been doing.  He's truely the man!  (He's single too.) 

     We'll update some more tomorrow!  Good luck Black Powder!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to work!

     After another weekend of selling our photography under the beautiful Banyan Tree, we were back to leading dives and shooting pictures.  Mike and I usually work the tree on the weekends, while Dan drives the boat on Sundays for Lahaina Divers.  Dan gets his art fair on Wednesday's down in Wailea at the Four Seasons.  The art fairs are pretty fun, we get to meet a lot of people and talk about our dives.  It's funny to talk about our photos because it seems like it doesn't matter how much time has gone by we can remember the exact dive and even the situation that enabled us to get the photo.  The only problem we have is that we're not very good sales people, it always feels strange to push your own art?  We still sell pretty well, but we usually just wait until someone just loves one of our pieces so much that they have to have it.  It's probably amazing that we're still in business.
     Today we were back in the water.  We got to go looking for Hammerheads again with the hopes of some more close up photo's.  Much like Friday, We had no luck getting the pictures that we had hoped for.  But, much like Friday, we did have another cool day of diving.  We got to swim with about 200 Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins.

     I guess that we can't be too upset about not getting the Hammerhead shots that we want!  I wish that you could have been there to see them.  The whole group was getting a little bummed about not seeing as many sharks as we had all hoped, but then we started hearing the tell tale whistles and squeaks that give away the fact that dolphins are in the water nearby.  We started looking up towards the surface in all directions hoping to catch a glimpse.  The minutes passes as we waited and waited, we even stopped looking and went back to scanning the depths for the sharks.  Then all of a sudden a pod of 200 Spinners was right in our face.  What made the encounter really cool, is that they didn't just swim by real fast, they swam by slow, then they all turned and swam by again, and again, and again!  They swam through our groups 4 times.  It was great.  We'll attach a few photo's from the day to prove it.

     Oh yeah, we just finished making a short video of the Hawaiian Monk Seals from Friday.  Please check it out and see what you think.  It's pretty cute.  One of the customers at the camera store who reads the blog said we should put it up, so here it is:

Monk Seals from C3 Submerged on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading. We recieved a few really nice comments and emails about the last few blogs, thanks so much. As long as the ocean keeps providing us with adventures, we'll keep sharing.


Monday, October 12, 2009

A day away

     Friday we got a chance to pack up Mike's boat and sneak away to try and get some more Hammerhead pictures.  The weather was beautiful last week, flat calm seas and zero wind.  We were able to travel across channels that are usually extremely rough.  Unfortunately the calm weather did not translate into great Hammerhead diving, there just wasn't enough current out there.  We're convinced that current brings sharks, so with no current there are no sharks.  We only saw about three sharks, and they just didn't come close enough.  We're really trying to get some good close up shots and I think that it is just going to take a bunch of days out there shooting.  We were joking about taking a month off, and just going and shooting in the same spot every day and then we'd be sure to get some good photos and video.

    Our day away did yield some interesting shots, we ran into two very rare animals.  First was an extremely rare pair of Hawaiian Monk Seals.  There are only about 1,200 Hawaiian Monk Seals left in the world.  We were very excited to find this pair sunbathing together.  We packed up our land cameras into pelican cases and swam across the water to some nearby rocks, climbed up, dried off, kept our wetsuits on so that we wouldn't get sunburned and tried to take some pictures.  Hawaiian Monk Seals are protected, much like whales and dolphins, so you can't get very close to them at all so that you don't disturb their natural behavior.  Luckily, Mike packed our extreme telephoto (100 mm - 400 mm) lens into one of our dry cases.  We usually use this lens for shooting whales breaching during whale season, but it worked pretty well for Monk Seals too.  Here are a few shots:

Here are the two sleeping happily on the rocks probably resting and digesting from an early morning feast.

They were very cute, but very tired.  They didn't do much except sleep, which is a good sign that we didn't bother them.  We've had Hawaiian Monk Seals at some of our divesites in the past, and they can be pretty friendly.  Although, whenever we see one waiting around at a dive site it usually means that someone is feeding it.  Recently, there was a young female that got a little too friendly with another dive boat, she actually climbed up on deck following the divers out of the water.  She even started almost snapping at the people because she wanted food so bad.  Long story short, she won an all expenses paid trip to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands courtesy of N.O.A.A.

     The Second rare animal we encountered was a much smaller critter that we found feeding on the algae in the shallows and in small tide pools.  We weren't totally sure what they were at first because they looked a bit like a nudibranch, but they had s small shell on their back, but they didn't really look like a true snail because the shell almost seemed internal?  We knew that there were animals like this in the ocean, but we hadn't seen too many.  After a bit of research, we learned that these little guys were called Cymbal Bubble Shells.  There shell is not actually internal, it's just transparent, which is what allows the colors of the animal to be seen through the shell.  We also learned that during certain times of the year these Cymbal Bubble Shells can "bloom" and that there can be thousands feeding on the algae in shallow waters and tide pools.  We're pretty sure that we were witnessing one of these "blooms" because we saw a bunch.   We also believe that we found an egg case among a group of the Shells, it resembled the egg structure of the nudibranchs we were accustomed to find.  We also saw three of the Cymbals in a train type formation.  We always thought that these trains have something to do with mating, but we really don't know.  Maybe an expert will read this and let us know.

     We also had a playful group of bottle-nose dolphins show up on our surface interval.  We hoped that we might find more Hammerheads on the second dive, but we didn't even see one.  We did find a couple of Eagle Rays that decided to do a Safety Stop with us a the end of our dive, but not one shark.  We'll have to continue our adventures and keep trying to get a couple of nice close ups of those elusive Hammerheads.  I think that the Rebreathers will help, we'll get working on that.

Thanks for reading.  We hope that you are finding this interesting on some level, I know we're having fun sharing our findings with everyone.

On a different note: Remember to watch America's Next Top Model on wednesday nights.  There is an episode coming up that we helped film!  There is even a chance that one of us might be in front of the camera.  We'll see.  We can't talk about it too much, but we can tell you that the episode is coming up.  I think that there are 8 models left and we were around when there were 5 or 6 models left.  So keep watching!

     Also, if anyone is here on Maui on Friday night, October 16th, Dan's band (Black Powder) is in the "Battle of the Bands."  I think their going to win!  If you're around, come down to the Cellar in Lahaina town.  See you soon.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Found some clips

Good morning!

It's thursday morning, Dan's day off.  We all had a great time out at the Cellar last night listening to Black Powder, the band that Dan is in.  It was also Captain Dan's birthday, he's the super talented musical leader of the band and he's also the head captain at Lahaina Divers, sort of a cool guy!

Anyway, Dan is still sleeping and Mike and Gwen got up early to take out the Lahaina Divers boat to Molokini, which leaves me with some office time.  So I decided to clean up some storage space for movie files and I came accross some cool clips from August.  I didn't wan to put too many together and make it boring, but I think I found some cool ones for you to see:

A few clips from August from C3 Submerged on Vimeo.

Dan just called, so it's time to hit the Dirt Bike trails.  I'm not sure if we'll video today, but if we do I'll share.  

Write soon...


Wednesday, October 7, 2009



Dan and I went searching for close photo's of the Hammerheads on Tuesday morning, with no luck!  We're going to keep trying, and we'll obviously post if we get any.  We have a few ideas in mind to get closer, one involves rebreathers.

If you don't know much about scuba diving, you probably won't know about rebreathers.  Rebreathers are a different way of being underwater with the fishies, totally different from Scuba Diving.  Without getting very technical, rebreathers allow you to stay underwater longer and they are silent because there are almost no bubbles escaping, so fish and other marine animals are not scared away.  Normal Scuba, as you see on TV, is called Open Circuit scuba diving, and that is basically exhaling bubbles out into the water, which is very loud and we think it might scare the animals away.  Obviously, scaring animals away is not ideal for shooting photos' and video underwater.  So we're working towards using rebreathers!

So, yesturday (tuesday) afternoon we met up with our friend Todd, who owns North Shore Explorers, and he took Mike and Dan out diving on rebreathers.  I have dove them before and can actually teach a semi-closed circuit system, so it was more fun for Todd and I to watch Mike and Dan try them out for the first time.

We used an Inspiration System and another Navy Seal type rig called a Lar V.  They are both rebreathers, but very different.  The Inspiration is huge, and it looked hilariously overwhelming when Todd strapped it on Mikes back, plus it weighs a ton.  It's a great rig for going deep for a long time, which we think might come in handy down the road, especially when we want to sit down at 100 feet waiting for some Hammerheads to show up.

Dan was diving the Lar V, which is very small.  It's a chest mounted system that enables you to breathe 100% oxygen, which means you can only go 20 feet underwater.  (too much oxygen isn't good for humans, and depth underwater makes the dosage of O2 go up)  At first Dan was scared because Todd did a great job telling him how he could die if he goes to deep, or how he could die if he takes his mouth off the rig to breathe normal air then breathe off the rig again, or how he could die, etc, etc...  The whole system is pretty simple when you're actually using it, but it sounds pretty scary when you hear about the 15 or so ways you can die on it.

Todd and I were using regular scuba so that we could help Mike and Dan if they had any troubles, and we went on a shallow dive (obviously above 20 feet) to test these things out.  After breathing on each rig for about a minute, Mike and Dan were hooked.  They were swimming around like happy little fish, amazed at how silently they could move through the water.  Todd was so impressed with their skills, that he had them switch rebreathers underwater, it was awesome.

Long story short, if you have any interest in trying a rebreather, do it!  If you are on Maui, call up Todd over at North Shore Explorers and you will have a blast.  Tell him that we sent you and maybe he'll call us and we can all dive together.

We're hoping to get certified to dive rebreathers soon, and I will keep you posted on the progress.  I might film some clips to share the experience next time.

Thanks for reading!

Oh yeah, there is a chance that you can see some of our work on T.V.  I guess there is even a chance that you will see us on T.V. too, but mostly our work.  In one of the next few episodes of America's Next Top Model, see if you can figure out what we shot.  It should be fairly obvious.  I think it will be in about a week or two, I'll keep reminding because we're kind of excited about it.  I hope it doesn't end up to be nothing.

Also, our friend Todd posted a short video he made on Youtube called "Hoover gets sucked," its pretty funny and amazing, check it out!

Stay in touch.

Talk soon,


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Moustache Contest

In the first week in September Dan out of his bathroom sporting a pretty sweet beginnings of a moustache; Moustache September was born.

For some reason, unknown to Gwen and Jamie (John & Mike’s wives), the three of us thought that it would be a great idea to just let the old moustaches grow for the whole month.  It wasn’t long before Jarett, (our cousin Amy’s boyfriend, who’s birthday it is today HAPPY BIRTHDAY) decided to play along with us and join in.  Jarett is sort of a self-proclaimed mountain man when it comes to facial hair growth, so he thought for sure he’d have the competition in the bag.  Little did he know that three short kids with Italian roots, with a week head start, would give him a run for his money regardless?

In short time, most of the local harbor folks were jealous that we hadn’t included everyone in the plans.  Sometimes things just happen, we said.  I am pretty sure that from now on, however, Lahaina Harbor on Maui will be full of Moustaches each September.

If you get a chance to check out our Facebook page you’ll get to see some of the pictures from the month. Our friend Chelsea wasn’t shy to post a million pictures of us, thanks a lot Chelsea, especially the ones from your birthday underwater…

Anyway, after the monthly Lahaina Divers staff meeting, Dan was voted best Moustache by a few single girls that happened to be drunk.  They must have been drunk because my moustache was the best.   So Dan is the 2009 champ of moustache September!  I think we’ll take him next year. 

I should mention that Mike was the first runner up in our books, even though no one voted for him.  We decided to give him that honor because he decided to wear a wife beater all night long so that his chances would go up.  Good effort!

Talk soon,


Friday, October 2, 2009

Rest days & Nudi update...

First I'll begin with the serious news:

Gwen, John's wife, was diving out at Molokini Crater on thursday morning and reports that the sick/possibly dying Chocolate Margin nudibranch was no where to be found.  The remaining spongemate was in a hiding spot on the small rock and it took her a minute to find it.  She reports no strange behavoir so far, but we'll keep you posted. 

On a different note, for the first time in almost three years Mike, Dan, and I all got to go out and have fun together at the same time during the daylight hours!  We jumped at the oportunaty and after doing a bit of work in the mroning, we packed up the dirtbikes and took a trip to a secret track.  (Yes, John's is still a broken mess of parts on the floor, but luckily Mike and Dan share.)  Gwen and Jamie, Mike's wife, came along too.  We had a blast.  Dan suffered the only injury of the day with a sprained ankle.  He limped around all afternoon and still walks with a funny limp today.  It was great to see him in a bit of pain for a change because Mike and I have been doing most of the wiping out lately.  Now we don't have to hear how old and weak we are anymore!

Gwen and I have been working on some mountain biking as well.  We've been hitting some trails upcountry and having a blast.  The higher elevation brings vegitation a lot like back on the east coast, so we feel a bit at home.  We're hoping that all five of us will get to go biking up there together someday soon, we'll try and post some pictures of the event.

Thanks for tuning in, it's fun to hear all of your comments each day.  (Mom, I am glad you finally figured out how to read this...)