There’s something about slipping beneath the ocean’s surface that feels like entering another world. The moment my head submerges, the relentless noise of life above fades into a hushed serenity, a rare tranquillity that only the depths can offer. It’s here, in the silent embrace of the sea, that I find a clarity and presence unmatched in the world above. This is my fourteenth dive to the Lena wreck, off the coast of Bunbury, Western Australia, and each descent feels like the first.
Lena, with her history of illicit deeds, now lies subdued beneath the waves, a sunken relic repurposed into a sanctuary for the marine life she once threatened. As I descend towards her, I’m struck by the transformation – from a poacher’s vessel to a thriving ecosystem, a poetic justice authored by the sea.
Navigating through Lena’s corridors, I’m a spectator to an unfolding aquatic drama. The wreck itself is a canvas of vibrant coral, a vivid display of nature’s remarkable capacity to endure and flourish. Each nook and cranny of the ship is a micro-habitat, a small universe teeming with life. Schools of fish dart through the broken beams, while a wobbegong shark, a rare sight, lounges in the shadow, an elusive phantom in this underwater labyrinth.
Amidst this bustling marine metropolis, my focus is drawn to a three-finned turtle. It moves through the water with an unexpected grace, defying its physical limitation – a living embodiment of the sea’s unstoppable force. The sight of this creature is a striking illustration of both the vulnerability and the enduring strength that characterises the marine realm.
As I float weightlessly, the world above seems distant, irrelevant even. Here, in the depths, my mind is free from the clutter and clamour of everyday life. Every breath is a rhythmic mantra, every movement a deliberate dance with the currents. Time becomes fluid, measured only by the slow (or sometimes fast) depletion of my air tank.
Each dive to the Lena is a journey through a chapter of her story – a story of redemption and rebirth. With my camera, I capture this silent world, snapshots of a reality so starkly different from our own. The photos and videos I take are not just visual records; they are portals for others to glimpse the serene world I find down here. They show fellow divers, silhouetted against the sun-dappled blue, exploring this watery realm with the same sense of awe and joy I feel.
In the span of my 14 dives through the haunting corridors of the Lena, I’ve been on a mission – not just to explore, but to capture. With my camera as my constant companion, I’ve been meticulously collecting video footage, each dive bringing me closer to weaving this underwater tapestry into a short film. This project, born from a blend of passion and persistence, is still a work in progress.
The Lena, with her complex architecture and mysterious nooks, constantly challenges my skills as a filmmaker, urging me to delve into the nuances of underwater storytelling. These challenges have made me decide to work towards a new camera and dive housing that will equip me better.
As I ascend back to the surface, I carry with me more than just memories and images. I bring back a sense of peace, a reminder of the profound calm that exists just beneath the waves. The Lena, once a silent predator of the deep, now stands as a guardian of tranquillity, a sanctuary where the noise of the world is silenced, and the soul can speak.

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