Our (Still) Beautiful Underwater World

We received the following video from Larry McLain. It shows how beautiful, yet fragile our underwater world remains following hurricanes Irma and Maria last fall. Here is what Larry had to say:

“My name is Larry McLain and I have been in love with the islands sense the early 70s. We moved to St John in 1980 and were here for 20 years. I worked in marine science and became totally obsessed with the underwater world. Marylyn beat us up pretty good so we left in 1998 for 10 years but couldn’t stay away and started coming back for 3 or 4 months a year.

“I have always done a lot of under photography but the last 8 years I have become obsessed (again) with video using GoPros. In December I put a short video together as a tribute to those beautiful critters out there that got so beat up during the storms … Our shallow reefs have been hit hard, so everyone should be aware and help preserve what we have left.”

The beginning of the video was filmed prior to the storms near Henley and Lovango, Larry said. The rest was filmed back in December near Frank Bay and Gallows Point. It is roughly seven minutes long. We hope you enjoy it.

15 thoughts on “Our (Still) Beautiful Underwater World”

  1. That was so fun to watch! The standoff between the crab and the octopus was incredible. He was so still. Larry – are you reading? Were you wearing a weight belt? How did you manage that?

    • Thank You Julie,

      The crab – octo encounter was a friendly one. I saw them next to each other more then once. In my opinion, the shell offered by the crab was a friendly gesture. The relationship between individuals of different species on the reefs is truly incredible.

      I wear a weight belt, but with a wetsuit. One of my cameras is attached to a weighted stick and the others are on plates that I can hold in place by what ever means I have to use. Each shot is a different challenge.

  2. This video was so beautiful and had amazing stillness! I absolutely loved it❣️ I have always wanted to snorkel Frank Bay (as we always stay at Coconut Cosst Villas) but too afraid to go in and where to go in at. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Thank you Larry for this wonderful gift! Truly amazing. Our coral reefs have taken a terrible beating but nature can recover and we need to do whatever we can to protect what is left. Capturing the beauty that remains around St John and presenting it in such a creative way is a huge inspiration and contribution. Please keep coming back to St John (and bring Patti too)


  4. amazing shots.I have been going to Caneel for the last 7 years..sadly no more.I too have a gopro but tend to use the Olympus TG4 more because of its closeup feature.I know you used a tripod but still your patience and knowledge really paid off.Did you do these while snorkeling ?Also are these areas accessible from the shore?I havent found anywhere else that had as good snorkeling from the beach without a boat being necessary.

  5. Wow I am blown away with the clarity and brightness. Hard to believe it is under water. Thx so much for sharing the beauty of my Paradise. Will visit next January for my 10th year.

  6. Beautiful video LARRY! I know how hard you “ work” to do this. A true labor of love! Guess the best kept secret is out now about where to snorkel!

  7. Five stars!

    I recognize this cast of characters!

    It was an excellent and totally enthralling video! I admire the skill in capturing the sequences and putting it all together. It was delightful.

    Thank you so much for putting it up.

  8. Beautiful! After reading the background, I believe you know me! I am Joan and I live in the Appalachian Mountains where I moved in 1980 to teach at Virginia Tech about the same time you moved to St. John. I always wondered what happened to you. It looks like we found the places we love.

Leave a Comment