Disability Arts Online

Egypt 4 - Day 1 / 20 March 2013

Tiny almost see-through fish colonise a coral pinnacle

Video still from the second dive site

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We arrived last night just as night fell over Sharm el Sheikh. Sue and I were so excited to see we would be back on Wasser (our dive boat for Egypt 1&3) with Cath and Tamer, our Egypt-based Freewheeling team members. As we sat outside the front of the hotel we reflected on being back, it's beginning to feel like another home here.

Today is test day. It is a chance to make sure everything is set correctly on the underwater wheelchair and that the cameras are operating as expected. It's now just after lunch and we've completed our first dive. We had a few issues with the 360 degree rig. Camera 4 leaked water into the lens compartment in the front. I will re-seal it and try again. We are slightly worried by the lack of power in the motors on the chair, Sue really wants to loop-the-loop on camera. The batteries are being changed over for our set hired from DiveheartUK so we are hopeful that Sue will have better control on the next dive.

As in the pool performances in 2012, Sue's entry into the water this morning was face first off the back of the boat. It's such a surreal sight, some might say a spectacle, that always brings a smile to my face and reminds me how extraordinary this project is. The looks on the faces of divers on the boat moored next to us says it all!

Now, as things are beginning to fall into place, Sue is considering new dive sites and manoeuvres she can perform to get the magical shots we need for the new film...

...back from the second dive and the mood is good. Sue was happier in the 'chair after some minor adjustments and it was performing much better. Sue and Dan shot a selection of video and stills with Dan's Nikon SLR. It will be really interesting to see the results of the strobe (flash) in the photographs. As the project continues to gain international press and media attention we need to focus part of this trip on getting some new publicity shots. This will build on those captured last year by Norman Lomax that were used during and after the Cultural Olympiad. As we sit outside reviewing the day's footage I am excited about what tomorrow will bring.

Keywords: underwater wheelchair,visual art,visual arts

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