Uchben Bel Ha – Mexico

by Sergio Granucci

A new cave to explore just 5 minutes from my house…

Over the past years, the Labnaha exploration team has explored more than 80 cenotes north of Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.   In this area, a great number of cenotes are still waiting to be discovered and explored.

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Basic Open Water

Scuba diving training involves taking a course from a training agency such as SDI, NAUI, or PADI.

Basic open water scuba diving training is a process of going through classroom lectures and practical exercises and making multiple dives in a pool environment and then in the open water. Once you successfully complete the classroom portion, pass your exam, and complete all of the pool and open water session requirements, you then become a certified diver. Your instructor will provide you with a temporary card until the training agency you certified under sends you your permanent card. You’re then ready to begin your diving adventure.

Once you complete your open water certification, you can move on to an advanced level certification.

When you begin pursuing getting your diving certification, there are a number of questions you may have and there are a number of questions you should ask your dive shop or instructor. See FAQs for some of these questions.

Jeff Hawes


I started diving back in the mid 70s, while attending the University of Minnesota. It was after moving to Oregon in the mid 90s where the water was saltier and even colder, where I really became enamored with the sport. I could be found every weekend splitting time between assisting with new students, spearfishing, and underwater photography. While in the Pacific Northwest, I spent time divemastering aboard the 116-foot live-aboard Nautilus Explorer in British Columbia and expanding my underwater experiences.

Back in the corporate world, numerous opportunities for travel came with my job, and I was able to bring my dive gear around the world several times. I would always pack my dive and photo gear and as a result, I have enjoyed diving in many rather diverse locations. Sweden, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, Cabo, Bonaire, The Channel Islands, Coz, and BC to name just a few. I have often been asked where my favorite diving is. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I always try to find what makes a dive site most unique and interesting and strive to enjoy the site for what it has to offer. That way, they can all be great. How can I begin to compare the wonders of the Cenotes, to the Kelp forests of the Pacific, or the massive schools of circles barracuda found in the Solomons?  Treasure them All!

With my wife looking for warmer waters, we finally settled in the Palm Beach Area of Florida and can be found photographing the extremely diverse undersea realm this area has to offer.










Nick Pearigen – Jun 07

My father got me interested in diving when I was 15 years old. Once certified, I quickly became hooked and eventually became an instructor.  Having been diving for over 14 years now, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel throughout the Caribbean and dive the South Eastern U.S. for some unforgettable diving.  My certifications include: Open Water Instructor, CPROX Instructor, Nitrox diver, Dolphin Rebreather diver & Limited Visibility diver.  I’ve more recently gotten into underwater photography and underwater video, with a few lucky shots to my name.  The thing that I enjoy the most about diving is the ability to escape the fastpaced world that we live in today.  Being underwater allows me to truly relax and enjoy life.  Some of the things that I have seen and experiencedunderwater have changed how I look at life.  I have looked over walls that drop over 5,000 feet; seen logger head turtles mate; swam with sharks and watched them feed; explored wrecks; hovered over reefs to watch its inhabitants play, the list goes on and on.  I have also had the honor of meeting Jean-Michel Cousteau, whose advise to me was to teach people to stay off of the reefs.  As memorable as these experiences have been for me, none would have been possible had I not taken the steps needed to become a certified open water diver.  So do your part and start your experiences today with your local dive facility.




Fill the Frame

Figure 1
Figure 1

Fill the frame refers to the idea of having your subject take up all or nearly all the space in the frame. Doing this makes an image bolder, simpler, cleaner and less complicated for the viewer. As an added bonus, images of potentially dangerous or scary critters that look “too close” can have an added momentary startle or “wow” effect. The “that’s closer than I’d get” response. They don’t have to look for the subject, it’s right there in their face. The idea is to cut the clutter out of the picture. That is, eliminate the extra “stuff” around or near the subject that doesn’t help present the image you want to show. Figure 1, Spotted Moray, is the usual view that divers see when looking at a moray. But, this photo has too much distracting clutter. Figure 2 is the same dive, same moray, same camera and lens, I just moved over a little, turned the camera vertical and got closer with the Nikon 60mm micro lens.

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