Pelagia noctiluca at Giannutri’s Island
by Vincenzo Mattei
It was a pretty warm day but the sea was cold and calm when we arrived on Giannutri’s island in early May. A technical dive is planned on the Mediterranean wall of “Punta Secca”, which in this season always gives beautiful emotions. We fin until we reach the top of the “step” at about 20 meter and then we go down into the blue, exploring the wall up to about 50 meter deep; along the way our lamps illuminate fantastic scenarios, with a thousand colors: large fans of red and yellow gorgonians and beautiful encrusting sponges, including Astrospartus, Spirographs, all kinds of fishes like sea bream, scorpion fish, grouper, moray eel, lobster, musdee, anthias, cardinalfishes and almost all the Mediterranean fauna. I was shooting carefully every scene that captures my attention, trying to maintain a neutral attitude to limit air consumption but time runs mercilessly; it is time to go up to not exceed in minutes of decompression and the sunlight is more and more intense as the surface approaches.
I was already thinking about the emotion that I experienced in downloading the photos when I’ll be at home, suddenly a few meters deep, the water fills with jellyfish that float light and elegant around us; I start shooting at the closest ones until, a little further on, I see a different one. I approached and I am surprised to see a beautiful specimen of “Pelagia noctiluca” who held a single individual of “Thalia democratica” in his arms, in a fascinating mortal dance. I follow her for a while, looking for the right light and frame, with the flashes that shoot fast, until it disappears into the blue. Now I can happily go back on the boat.
Born in Rome, graduated in Civil Construction Engineering, Vincenzo lends his work in various regions of Italy in the banking real estate sector. Being a nature lover and sea addicted, he spent most of his free time photographying and diving since the 1980s. With this passion he learned to respect the sea and it’s ecosystem. He originally focused on freediving and terrestrial photography, and only after few years he developed his passion for the technical diving, with the constant desire for growth and new goals.