Underwater in Pulau Weh


  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I finally ironed under the surface, with delight, in the waters of Pulau Weh (Indonesia). The underwater fauna is dense and varied. The two short weeks of my stay here will not be enough to explore everything!

The Big Fancy Camera

A nice moray, who agreed to show me his teeth for the photo ... (Pulau Weh, Gapang Beach).
A nice moray, who agreed to show me his teeth for the photo ... (Pulau Weh, Gapang Beach, March 2010)

To begin with, pictures taken with my new toy: the Canon Eos 7D in the Ikelite waterproof case who's fine. See also:

→ Diving and photo: my equipment

→ 6 tips to make your underwater photos a success when you start

I only have a few of them, because I'm still taming the monster, aka "The Big Fancy Camera", as Mike would say, an English instructor working here.


With an SLR camera in a large housing, everything changes underwater compared to my small compact: the weight, the aiming, the lighting, the focusing distance?

I released my new gear this morning, dive from the edge, in front of the beach of Lumba Lumba. I still have trouble correcting the flash light, but it improves, little by little.

My pictures are also a little yellow. I have to check the light temperature settings, I think. And that I am also improving post-treatment. I still have a lot of progress to make, but I learn by doing ...

Nemo's daddy says hello! (Pulau Weh, Gapang Beach)

A mischievous fish-ball, who loves to pose ... (Pulau Weh, Gapang Beach).

A scorpion baby, all wings out (Pulau weh, Gapang Beach).

So much for the very first tryouts this Thursday. Happiness of the day: the meeting with a not very shy turtle, at the end of the dive, in front of the beach...


Small animals

Tomorrow is Friday, no morning dive, we're settling into the Muslim rhythm. But the diving can still resume from 2 pm!

I'm going back to the house-reef, to continue to familiarize myself with my new box. And show me places where there are pretty sights, in the style fish toads (antennas) and harlequin ghost fish ...

That said, Harlequin ghost-fishes, I have already photographed some of them on Wednesday, during our boat trip to Batee Tokong, then on the small wreck of Sabang, in shallow water, near the port ... But with my small compact.

That day was the day I was back on the flippers after long months without bubbles. And then, as there is often current on Batee Tokong, I preferred not to jump into the water right away with the big box for the 7D. In the end, we had no current at all! I was able to photograph quietly, with my small camera, a whole bunch of nice critters, spotted by one of our Indonesian guides, Midi.

Small coral crabs photographed at Batee Tokong (Pulau Weh).

Leaf fish, photographed at Batee Tokong (Pulau Weh).

Harlequin ghost fish, photographed at Batee Tokong (Pulau Weh).


  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

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  1. Great... 🙄
    Tame, tame... But, it's not bad with the SLR. You have to have fun. Enjoy The Big Fancy Camera. Looking forward to seeing the rest 🙂

  2. Beautiful photos! but, the first, the "open mouth" that could swallow us all in less time than it is necessary to click, what is "underwater" creature? ❓

    A "candid" ignoramus ... but admiring.

  3. It would be almost ... the happiness of the first dives and find the blue and fish ...
    Congratulations for these first photos with the "Big" ... What a beautiful light ... we are quiet: your photo galleries will still leave us admiring ..

  4. finally you took the step of putting your camera in a box 😉 not bad the result, more than good even, I like your balloon fish, and I envy you for the harlequin ghost fish that I have not yet seen in diving and as I do not think he has any in the red sea I will have to wait at least 1 year to hope to cross one!!!
    Continue flopped all the way, that we can share all that !!

  5. Oh dear, that's good! By the way, you did not have any trouble with your new wheel bag ??
    A quick question: why do not you take your regulator in hand luggage?
    Trrrrrres beautiful photos with your new travel companion! NOT.

  6. Great beginnings! I love the moray ebb in action, the curiosity of the balloon ... bravo!
    Like you, I'm finally going back under the Indonesian surface in a very short time... I'm going back to Bali tomorrow! ... with my old camera... but you'll end up making me want to!!! 🙄

  7. @Alice: Thanks, miss! I must say that I have fun with this new toy.

    @Lydie: This is a moray, very nice, very cooperative, she deigned to open the mouth three times for my camera, really nice ... In fact, if you click on the image, normally it opens more tall, with a legend above to accompany him.

    @Malene: Thanksiiiiiii !!! Yes, the light is much softer, more natural, with the 7D and the external flash, than with the small compact. But I still have to learn to find the right angle for the flash. With each new shot, you have to readjust the arm, a bit in the judgment ...

    @Laurence: How? No ornated ghost pipe-fish in the Red Sea? Can someone confirm? that's it ... Well, do not worry, you'll end up crossing one, one of these days ...

    @Cathy: Yes, she was very very cool with me, this moray. She began to yawn just for my goal!

    @Nani: No, zero galley with the bag on wheels. It's even the opposite, I spared myself a lot of sweats ... If I put the regulator in the bag that goes in the hold, instead of taking a cabin bag as before, it's because my cabin bag already weighs more than 10 kg all by itself, because it contains my two boxes, the big flash, the two cameras, a macro lens, a computer, etc. etc. No more room for the regulator. But with the configuration of this bag with wheels, it is well protected, if it is placed well in the middle in the combi.

    @Manta: Thank you Manta! Ah ... change your device underwater, it's a new challenge. You have to relearn everything, change your habits, but what satisfaction when you see the result. The dive is infinitely better, the light is different, the depth of field more controllable, etc. etc. It is an investment, but when we love ... In the meantime, I wish you a very good stay and great dives in Bali !!!

  8. @ Jean-Loïc: You posted your comment right when I answered the others ... So I add my answer below. Thank you for this little word, it's really fun. But if you want to see the top of the top in sub and macro photography, I invite you to visit Hélène Caillaud's website:
    I still have a big margin of progress, before getting to his level ...

  9. Not used to correspond via a blog but I must admit that it's great. You are better photographer than I had imagined during your story in Fougeres. Bravo especially the self-portrait with open mouth. I'm kidding, do not be angry. Kiss of the grisaille fougeraise.jl

  10. eh eh a glimmer of hope appears to me... while poking around on the net I just saw that there are harlequin ghost fish in the red sea! 🙂
    I'm going to look for them !!
    On what type of 'support' do you usually cross, corals, gorgonians ??

  11. @Laurence: Ah, all the same ... it seemed weird, not found in the Red Sea. They are often stuck in underwater "fern" species, comatulas I believe.

  12. @Laurence: Yes, they also like the tentacles of crinoids (comatulas, that is), but here I was thinking of fixed flora or fauna... In short, they like anything that has "branches" in which to hide... 🙄

  13. Very impressive "your" first beast and therefore a moray that I would have taken for a snake. Very successful these pictures ...
    I know that you are more diving than beach but can you still tell me if there are some nice on Pulau Weh, if the water is clear and if there are small excursions or nice walks to do on the ground ? What does the weather look like in February-March-April? I thought about this destination for "our" summer. Transfers, prices ... from Bandah Aceh? And your long-haul flight?
    In short, if you could give even more details trip outside the "underwater", finally when you have time, of course, it would be good. Thank you in advance and enjoy, veinarde "off-season".

  14. @Sarah: Thanks for the compliments... 🙂
    To answer your questions, Pulau Weh does not have "beautiful" beaches in the sense that most people hear, even if I find them beautiful. There is a lot of dead coral on the beach, so it's not always great for swimming. The water is clear according to the weather: when there is wind and waves, the visibility is very reduced at the edge of the beach, it brews a lot. But it seems that the snorkeling between Iboih Beach and Rubiah Island is pretty. I think the weather is rainier in January-holidays-March-April, but I did not get a very clear answer on that. The seasons are not really marked, it seems.
    Finally, you should know that the place is very "traditional" Muslim, so outside the two more touristy beaches that are Gapang and Iboih, it is impossible for a woman to put in a shirt ... Question walks, the main road is good and allows nice little rides on a scooter. There must also be ways to organize treks in the jungle, and I know there is a waterfall to see (but I have not found the time to go).
    Finally, in terms of travel, it's very easy. My long-haul flight was with Emirates: Paris-Dubai-Kuala Lumpur (A / R about 560 €). Then fly Kuala Lumpur-Banda Aceh with Air Asia (A / R at about 60 € with my big extra baggage).
    Be careful, you need the Indonesian visa in advance, not yet Visa on Arrival in Banda Aceh. Then, transportation to the pier with a detour through the city to change money, I spun 90 000 Rp (or 7-8 €) to a guy who offered his services, then the ferry to Pulau Weh offers three price categories: 45-55-85 000 Rp, if I remember correctly, then the transportation to one of the beaches costs 50 000 Rp ... Generally, I avoid truffle my travel stories of this kind of not thrilling details ...
    I can only advise you to register on the forum Tashi Delek, where Yann Senant, who made the trip with family, and others, will also be able to give you their impressions. Finally, you can read the page on Pulau Weh from the excellent site Transverse notebooks. There is plenty of practical information and a map of the island with its centers of interest to download.
    Good preparations!

    @A World Elsewhere: Thank you Marie-Ange! Me too, I think it's my favorite. I start to progress, little by little ... I will deliver new photos sub very soon!