Underwater Photography in the North Sea

in WEEKEND EXPERIENCESlast month (edited)

If your sailor friend tells you, "Hey buddy, I got a wetsuit for the northern waters and half a bottle of oxygen, do you want to take a dip?" What will you answer? Think well. I thought badly and immediately answered "hold my beer."

In fact, my answer exceeded the speed of sound, because I have long dreamed of trying underwater photography. And for quite a long time I had a sealed casing and a mirrorless camera Lumix GF3 on my shelf waiting in the wings.

As much as I would not like to take my old Canon 500 with me on this little adventure, unfortunately it is too fat for the casing. A sealed protection for mirrors is sold from $ 1,000 and more expensive.

The second slight inconvenience was the wetsuit itself... I'm a little big guy, but only in width. So it was quite difficult for me to squeeze into this erotic red outfit, while the length of the arms and legs was designed for a basketball player.

But I'll tell you a little secret about the Northerners. The fact that we live in the cold does not mean that we love it and freeze less. On the contrary, I hate the cold, and even my supply of fat muscles like a walrus does not make my existence here easier. We just know how to protect ourselves from the cold, that's the trick of the Northerners.

And when they tell you that the water in the sea today is no higher than +8 degrees, and in the bottom area about +5, then as a true northerner, you will not hesitate to put on the warmest wetsuit you can find. I would also wear a wool sweater and a scarf, but technology does not allow it.

What in the end I managed to see under the water... I have written more than once how surprised I'm that many wonderful creatures are hidden under this quiet, cold water. A rich marine world, absolutely impossible in the imagination when you look at the boundless North Sea.

And one of its main inhabitants off the coast are Kamchatka crabs. An invasive species in these seas, brought here in the 70s from Kamchatka, and today has captured almost the entire northern coast up to the British Isles (hello @slobberchops and @meesterboom, these guys are already on your shores).

If you remember, we visited the place where experiments on the adaptation of these eastern invaders to local waters began 50 years ago- The abandoned biological institute.

That was a really unexpected meeting...

I admit I was not very mobile in my outfit, and this suit does not allow me to deftly move my fingers. Therefore, I slowly moved around the 10-meter section and waited for someone special to swim past me. But no, it was the same fearless crabs and those who crawled even slower than me.

I think the poor starfish and a couple of sea urchins stopped reproducing after meeting me, deciding that this world is too scary for their future descendants. My bright red suit scared off all adequate animals. But I admit, even being in the underwater kingdom itself is fascinating.

Everything is different here, the light, the environment, the sounds, the feeling of one's own body, time and oneself.

The crabs scared me a little. They come out of all the cracks quite unexpectedly, and look like huge underwater spiders. Sometimes it seemed that they had come here for me, and were just waiting when I make a mistake.

But I repeat again that this world is beautiful. Just like up there on land, what seems deserted at first glance is actually a concentration of amazing and diverse life. And it is the fact that it is so difficult to see it here that gives it value and beauty.

It was magical, and my craving for visual cognition overcame my fears and discomfort from the cold, which chilled me to the very bones. But to be honest, I don't know if I will come back here again, if this is my element. I love water, I love to swim, and I'm not afraid of the depth (being on the surface), but I still felt like a bit of a stranger here, a temporary guest who managed to go only into the hallway and see a small piece of a huge palace…


Nice lobster costume!!!😂

And beautiful once-in-a-lifetime photography (in case you decide never to do it again and I wouldn't blame you).

😂 I think I can advance to some contest of marine animals here!
Thank you! I think I will try to repeat this much further south, or at least in warmer mountain lakes.

Or you can go to the fish market and throw a bunch of stuff in your bathtub and jump in...

Awesome photos. Glad the casing held up! You were a brave man getting into water that cold!

Thank you! Perhaps more stupid than brave, but I console myself with this)

I loved your article and pictures! You're right we're guests in a complete different world. But I'm still amazed by all the underwater life. Sadly I had to give up diving in cold water. In the beginning I was not very keen on it, but as soon as I saw the beauty down there ... Man I miss it!

Thank you very much! Honestly, I also really didn't like the process of diving and being there, no matter how thick my wetsuit was, no one canceled the fact that first I had to run ice water there


This underwater world is absolutely beautiful. I think, like you, I'd have said hold my beer.

Ahahah, I think that at the time of the question the beer was in our hands and became the decisive factor... sober would refuse 😉😅

And yet you braved the cold and captured images of this beautiful world to bring to us. Good thing the beer worked its magic then.😂

That is something to add to the bucket list, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for stopping, my friend!

Yo me voy al agua a observar las maravillas del océano ártico..lindas fotos saludos mi amigo

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The colours are so vibrant down below!

yes, I was very amazed by this fact, it seemed to me that the bottom would be muddy, because of the sand closer to the coast. But it turned out that there are strong currents that wash out all the turbidity and you can enjoy these amazing colors of refraction.

great pics - just lovely !

My answer would be: why didn't you tell me before?!

As you, I've had underwater photography like a big goal to achieve some day. These shots have amazed me so far and couldn't do nothing but thank you for sharing.

Great answer! Indescribable impressions. I think it's even more wonderful to shoot in a light wetsuit with fins and a snorkel, somewhere in warm waters😉

The second slight inconvenience was the wetsuit itself... I'm a little big guy, but only in width. So it was quite difficult for me to squeeze into this erotic red outfit, while the length of the arms and legs was designed for a basketball player.

This part made me laugh :^)

Amazing pictures and I love your writing and humor

P.S. Having lived in The Netherlands for most of my life, and experiencing loads of rain, I got to really dislike it. I think it's fair to say that we can get enough of things if they happen too frequently ( like cold or rain )

Greetings from a warm and dry Portugal, where we're about to go enter yet another heatwave

What an awesome opportunity! Are those crabs delicious ? Or not the kind to eat?

Oh, you asked absolutely the right question. These crabs are considered a delicacy and their meat is very nutritious and quite expensive. Due to their excessive reproduction, the authorities allow the locals to catch as many crabs as they can eat.

Hmmm sounds like. Ran dinner isn’t unusual then. 😋

How wonderful to have been able to contemplate so closely all that beauty that is hidden under the sea, very beautiful