Kate Jonker

Cape Town: Underwater Photography Off South Africa's Rugged Scenic Coast

March 18, 2020 - 13:48
The story is found: 
on page 25

Cape Town is a cosmopolitan, vibrant and modern city. Renowned for its beautiful landmarks of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town is a popular destination for divers who come to explore her colourful kelp forests, historic wrecks and glittering reefs.

The beauty of Cape Town stretches beyond the shoreline and beneath the waves, providing divers and underwater photographers a lively and fascinating playground with a beautiful backdrop to match.

Lembeh & Bangka: Expect the Unexpected

August 04, 2019 - 15:27
The story is found: 
on page 38

Ting-ting-ting-ting-ting-ting-ting! Someone, somewhere, had found something really exciting! One of the dive guides was tapping frantically on the side of his cylinder with his metal pointer. Ting-ting-ting replied my dive guide Opo, only to receive more frantic tapping in response. My pulse rate upped a few more levels in anticipation of yet another exciting find.

As we watched, the cuttlefish disappeared under a discarded coconut shell and reappeared. Opo motioned to me that it was laying eggs. We watched in awe and fascination but eventually left the cuttlefish to its maternal duties in search of other exotic creatures.

Diving South Africa’s Sodwana Bay

June 03, 2019 - 10:39
The story is found: 
on page 14

The name “Sodwana” comes from the Zulu words Siso dwana, which mean “us alone.” History has it that a group of Zulu women were harvesting mussels on a deserted stretch of beach along the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal when a landing party for the British Royal Navy came ashore and asked them who they were and what they were doing there.

Being just over 400km north of Durban on the eastern coast of South Africa, and off the beaten track, the area was left somewhat unexplored until the late 1940s.

Review of the OrcaTorch D570

April 08, 2019 - 15:39
The story is found: 
on page 59

How many times, whilst diving, have you seen the most exciting, unusual or incredible critter and wanted to show it to your buddies? You have finally managed to grab their attention and pointed at the critter, only for them to look in the direction of your pointed finger and then stare blankly back at you.

This can be really disappointing and sometimes happens to me when guiding customers or diving with buddies who are not accustomed to our marine life. I realised that to prevent any future disappointments, I needed to find a non-invasive way of pointing out those critters.

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.