(UPDATE: Now with slomo technopop remix.)
Stoneworker Sean MacManus and I hatched a plan to use his Celtic stonework pieces to fashion an underwater stone garden, geocache, and/or orienteering course. This video is footage of my experiment to test the feasibility of lashing the stones around the base of a boulder. I had two of the stones, each identical with backing mounts affixed with mortar, and I had two ropes. I found this project much more difficult than I imagined, and it failed as a proof of concept as the mortar weakened and would not hold the ropes. This was in addition to simply being deucedly difficult to accomplish even in just a few feet of water. The shot of the stones towards the end by the green leaf is after the mortar failure when I decided to abandon the attempt. I was beat and so left one the stones overnight. The final shot is me retrieving it. After this, I experimented with trying to wedge the stones in place but that didn’t work either. The entire project (still evolving towards this summer) generated a lot of footage of me swimming around enigmatically with these stones, which has already been released here.
Collaborating with Sean MacManus of MacManus Stoneworks, our plan was to create an underwater geocache or orienteering course of his carved stones in Lake Superior. The summer of 2014 saw me performing initial placement experiments. This failed to yield any permanent way to affix the stones underwater, but it did generate several video portraits of the stones in situ. A follow-up video will detail the work I did to try and place these stones underwater. Summer of 2015 will see more progress and additional ideas. Meanwhile, enjoy~
Nothing earth-shattering here, just a – nearly invisible! – close encounter with a curious aquatic bird this summer. Must be viewed in HD (ideally fullscreen) to discern anything, but it is there. I was unaware of this until reviewing the footage months later, but for a split second, behind me and to the left, some form of diving waterfowl peeks at me. This inconclusive footage is slowed down 16X to be able to get a glimpse of this ephemeral moment. It doesn’t even stick its head all the way out of the water but I believe a bill may be discerned, a white spot on the head, and possibly a crest off the back of the head although that may simply be a reflection in the water. Anyway, getting decent underwater footage of a curious loon or merganser is something of a holy grail of mine – these birds are often seen diving in the area and I know they sometimes approach human divers. So although thrilled to know I came close to one – within 10 feet by the looks of it – I am also frustrated to have missed the shot.
No great discoveries here, just a perfect weekend morning exploring a field of submerged boulders, summer 2014. Water clarity was great. Water temp wasn’t too bad, but the wetsuit definitely kept me in longer. Shallow freediving in 8-15 feet of water, maybe a little deeper towards the end.