March 31, 2012


This weekend divers from Serbia visited us. I called a friend who can organized dives to them so they were able to see the flooded mines of Kőbánya and Várpalota. We invited our guests to have a lunch and we discussed diving possibilities in Hungary.

When I thought about this I realized how many things changed during the last decade- the period since I dive regularly. In the past many dive clubs went to the lake of Budakalasz but it isn't recognized as a dive spot now. The lake of Csepel is similar than it was 10 years ago. They made dive centers near Kiskunlacháza and Pilismarót but both of them were closed after one season. In Kiskunlacháza everything was perfect, the facilities, the attractions (they sank a plane for wreck lovers!) but the visibility. I knew I reached the plane in the murky water when I touched its hard metal surface. The dive center in the lake near Dorog moved from one side to the opposite and a few years later they built a second one- at the old dive site.

There are many spectacular caves for experienced divers but in this moment the most famous ones, the Molnár János and Hévíz are forbidden to dive. There are recently opened sites, the two mentioned flooded mine for example. And there is a very new dive site in Tata called Fényes forrás: in the 1960's it was a popular dive site but later the spring dried and the lakes disappeared. A few years ago when they closed the mines in the area the water started to flow again and it's possible to dive in all year round 22-23 Celsius degrees warm water. Hopefully someday I can dive it.

What's my conclusion? In only ten years they closed and opened dive sites, in a relatively small country. Those who don't know my country maybe surprised but for me it's way too typical. Here nothing is that simple. Divers, bikers, climbers and everybody else experienced the "excitement" when heard about the changing rules. I don't know why it has to be so difficult, but it seems it's the part of the game: diving is not only fun...

March 29, 2012

Youth Me

For a recent article I looked for old scuba diving photos of me. Well, there aren't too much but luckily I found one which was taken in a pool with a simple analog waterproof camera. The result was less than satisfying but in this moment it seems fine. It was the first ever underwater portrait of me. Well, I gained some weight since then but hopefully at least I dive better and safer...

March 27, 2012

Weird and wonderful

I collected some interesting videos to share.

The first one is a special epidose of Strictly come dancing: they went under water to dance with scuba gear. The result is surprisingly good.

Many divers love sharks and the most adventurous join the trips to Bahamas where they dive without cage. We heard the sad news of a diver who died there and there are gossips of shark attacks. The huge tiger sharks and the smaller lemon sharks come too close during feeding. This video shows a lucky but frightening moment which didn't make me organizing a trip...

And the last video is a really spectacular animation of ocean currents from NASA.

March 26, 2012

The friend of sharks

Recently a friend won a very prestigious award: the Best of Show picture in the Beneath the Sea international contest. Because he already won many major awards I decided to write more about him.

Daniel Selmeczi is Hungarian as me, a young man from the town Szolnok who fell in love with diving a few years ago. He started to take photos and his talent made him one of the most renowned underwater photographers in a few years. Despite his age he isn't concentrating only his own career but helps the other photographers with advices. He helped our Red Sea shootout as the owner of the Cassiopeia boat, and worked a lot as the main organizer of the last National Underwater Photography Contest too.

Certainly he still travels and dives a lot and certainly takes awesome photos. He visited many distant destinations to shoot photos of sharks. As all of the divers, Daniel worries for sharks and writes articles about the cruel shark finning, and with his pictures he can show how wonderful animals are they.

If you're interested in his photography art, I recommend to check his website:

March 13, 2012


I remember the preparation for my deepest dive. It was in Croatia, we dived a wall near Pag island in the Adriatic Sea.

With my long time buddy we discussed how and where would we dive. I think before a deep dive it's quite useful to agree the maximum depth. The descending wasn't special, but from 25 meters depth we checked our instruments and each other more often. When both of us showed "OK" signals we went deeper. My goal was to control the dive even at the deepest point so I decided to stop when my computer shows 40.0 meters and stay on this level. I succeeded, I confess I was proud.

Anyway I didn't feel I was a special a diver because I went a bit deeper than usual. Although it was years ago I never felt since then I should go even deeper. Maybe I'm older, safer diver or simply learned I can find many cool things in shallow water? Who knows? Anyway, that 40.0 is still a milestone for me. I've reached the limits of my certification, and enjoyed it. I was able to do it.

And that's all. Sadly I can't remember if we saw any special but those numbers on the display of my computer. There are too much more spectacular things under water so I remain a shallow water diver and need to check my depth rarely...

March 11, 2012

Underwater panorama

When I was considering about underwater cameras I looked for cheaper ones. The DSLR-s are too big and too expensive, and sadly the MILC cameras would cost too much for me as well. So I decided to buy a compact again, these are cheap and affordable, the newer models' quality is adequate, and at least I don't have to buy a new strobe for it. It wasn't easy to choose, there are plenty of options. For macro the Canon G-series seem the best choice but what if I'm into wide angle photography? It sounds funny when I talk about compact cameras, but there are some solutions. The Sony H55 or HX7V and Panasonic TZ-s starts from 25 mm and you can attach wide angle lens to the underwater case. Better than nothing. So I narrowed the selection for the Sony H55 and Panasonic TZ7. After I read many reviews I made my decision: I chose the H55.

I had a good reason. In my opinion one of the most overlooked features of the Sony compacts is the sweep panorama function. I found quite usable under water as well- for those who look for a cheap solution to make wide angle photos this is something to consider. (Certainly my DSC-H55 has some minor problems and the Ikelite case is far from perfect but should I wait for that money?)

Since I used that camera during many dives. When I do macro shots it works well, but I got the really surprising results with the sweep panorama. Even my photo expert friends say it's quite good for a 600 USD camera and case set. I already posted some panorama images in this blog but now I attach them again to demonstrate its capabilities.

March 10, 2012

Underwater Explorer

I like books about scuba diving. I especially love the stories from the beginning of underwater exploring and those handbooks which are easy to read but helpful. As a diver I realized many years ago everyone can learn how to clear mask or be perfectly buoyant- sooner or later. But to enjoy diving is something else.

Certainly all of us look for different adventures. There are guys who feel an inexplicable love for underwater caves. Another ones adore the world of extreme depths. Wreckers, photographers, dolphin maniacs- surely a lot of way to enjoy being under water.

I think majority of us have a common favorite: shallow reef dives in warm waters. Maybe that is the most perfect environment for recreational diving. We don't need bulky thick wetsuits there, the air in a tank will last easily for an hour, and so much to see!... How much, exactly? More than you'd think.

Recently I ordered a book from Annamarie and Danja Köhler because it seemed interesting. The Underwater Explorer is colorful with dozens of wonderful photos but the words are even more exciting. The authors write about what and how to see in a coral reef: what kind of animals live in the bottom or holes, how can you find the shrimps or frogfish, and so on. And it tries to teach how to SEE and not just swim under water. It's as important as mask clearing skill if you want to be a competent diver. So I recommend this very useful work for everyone who after less (or more) dives wants to understand a little bit more the life of coral gardens.