A Journal, with Pictures

Underwater

Diving Raja Ampat

by on Jun.01, 2010, under Underwater

In October of 2007 I set out on a underwater photo expedition to Raja Ampat, which is a area off the coast of the Northern tip of Papua New Guinea. This is about as remote as it gets, and took me three days of traveling to get to our debarkation point, the small village of Sorong. I flew from the United States to Singapore, and on to Bali, where I overnighted. I then flew to Unjung Padang in Sulawesi, Indonesia, where I did some sight seeing and spent the night. Finally, the next day, I flew to Sorong and boarded our dive boat.

Our home for the next 10 days was the Chenge Ho and our dive masters were Kerri and Hergen.

We sailed from dive site to dive site, to explore the best the area had. What we found was unbelievable coral reefs, particularly soft coral, but very few large species. The Japanese and Chinese fishing fleets had been there before us fishing out the large fish.

The following are some of the images captured on this trip, including three different species of pygmy sea horses.

The group on board was from all over the world, which made for interesting conversations when not diving. The weather was the tropics at their best, including a spectacular sunset almost ever evening.

The return trip again took three days of travel, and during the lay over in Bali, I did some more sight seeing. I talked to Joyce every day via satellite phone, since she insisted I go, even though she was starting chemotherapy. It was an adventure, and entailed six days of travel for ten days of diving. Traveling with all of my diving and camera gear was a hassle, but I guess worthwhile, however I did wondered, am I getting to old for this. I was happy to be on my way home, with a few acceptable images and some great memories.

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Nudibranchs

by on May.01, 2010, under Underwater

Nudibranchs are colorful creatures, that fundamentally are sea slugs that do not have shells. The name comes from the Latin “naked gills”, since their gills are external. They have very primitive eyes, quarter millimeter in diameter, in their body with five photo receptors each. They have horns called rhinophores to detect odors. They are carnivorous, eating sponges, jelly fish, barnacles, etc, as well as other nudibranchs. There are around 3000 species and range in size from .75 inches to 24 inches, and come in many colors and shapes. Their protection comes from ingesting stinging or bad tasting cells from other creatures, and advertise this with bright coloration. There are some very interesting sub-species, such as the solar powered nudibranch that ingests sponges then receives nutrients from photosynthesis. Another variety that we call the “vacuum cleaner” nudibrach has an interesting feeding mechanism. Nudibranchs lay eggs, as seen in the case of the orange poka dot specimen below. These images were captured in a number of different locations around the world, as the nudibranch is found in most oceans.

Vacuum cleaner” nudibranch feeding sequence.

Solar Powered Nudibranch

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