Kate Jonker

Seeking the Dugong in Marsa Alam

December 13, 2018 - 14:29
The story is found: 
on page 48

Many years ago, whilst learning to scuba dive, I came across an article on manatees and dugongs. I was entranced. Not only were they cute, according to the article, they loved hugging divers, and once they held on to you, they did not want to let you go. The image of this human-hugging, underwater teddy bear remained with me and I was determined that one day, I would find one and hug it.

I started to research these creatures and discovered that manatees and dugongs were not actually the same animal. Although they belong to the same family (Sirenia), they are actually quite different.

Macro in Mozambique

June 15, 2018 - 18:24
The story is found: 
on page 42

There’s a cartoon that pops up on social media every now and again of a diver photographing a tiny starfish on a rock as a beautiful shark glides above him. The diver continues to concentrate on the critter as his buddies try, without success, to catch his attention. Such is the life of a macro photographer, and such was my recent experience in Mozambique.

I have been diving in Ponta do Ouro, a small Mozambican coastal village 10km from the South African border, since 2002 and love its laid-back atmosphere, rustic village life, long sandy beaches and warm blue ocean, just waiting to be explored.

Smaller is Better in Anilao

April 03, 2018 - 13:55
The story is found: 
on page 36

My dive guide finned quickly down the sandy slope and I kicked hard to keep up with him, my heavy camera and strobes creating quite a drag, slowing me down. By the time I reached the sea fan, in front of which he had stopped, I felt a thrill of excitement. I knew what he had found! Peering through my viewfinder and trying to stay calm, I followed his pointer downwards, and right there, at its tip, was my first ever pygmy seahorse.

I had reached a stage in my underwater photography journey in which I wanted to do more than just take photos—I wanted to create works of art!

Egypt's Southern Red Sea

July 24, 2017 - 15:50
The story is found: 
on page 45

Having dived in the northern Red Sea almost every year since 2005, I had come to Marsa Alam to join a liveaboard safari that would take me to the Deep South of the Egyptian Red Sea to explore St John’s reef and the Fury Shoal, just above the Sudanese border.

The hot, dry desert air took my breath away and the merciless desert wind whipped my hair about my face as I stepped out onto the tarmac. After a one-hour flight from Cairo, I had arrived in Marsa Alam, and it felt good to be back in Egypt.

How to Take Really Great Photos of Divers

July 24, 2017 - 15:47
The story is found: 
on page 88

By adding divers to our underwater photos, we are able to bring about a sense of exploration, highlight a focal point and provide a sense of scale to the scene, especially in wide angle reef and shipwreck photography.

Over the years, I have learned a number of tricks that have helped me to take better photos of divers. You might want to give them a try on your next dive.

Diving Gordon's Bay in South Africa

July 17, 2017 - 14:40
The story is found: 
on page 39

Gordon’s Bay is a sleepy seaside village in South Africa, nestled in the northeastern corner of False Bay, where the majestic Hottentots Holland mountain range dips its toes into the ocean. A quick 50-minute drive from Cape Town, Gordon’s Bay is surrounded by mountains and natural vegetation and the vibrant beauty of the countryside is mirrored beneath the waves.

Most of the dive sites run parallel to the rugged coastline that stretches along the eastern coast of False Bay. The many dive sites offer something for every diver—from shallow reefs and kelp forests to deeper, craggy reefs with incredible topography.