The area of Raja Ampat boasts the highest level of marine biodiversity on the planet. Our first stop as we headed out from Sorong was to the south, the area of Misool. Here we spent several days diving the following spectacular dive sites:
Kalig Wall, Nudi Rock, Boo East, Boo Windows, Barracuda Rock, Wedding Cake, Wayil Island, Yilliet Kecil, Magic Mountain, Boo West, Baby Rock.
Here we saw many amazing critters from Skeleton Shrimp and Pygmy Sea horses, to sea snakes, to sea fans that grow bigger than a person.
This tiny pygmy squid we saw on a night dive was particularly adorable!
Each morning and evening we were treated to beautiful skies. I tried to capture them with my iPhone in panorama mode:
At the Boo Windows dive site there was a school of very friendly Batfish. I happened to have a macro lens on so I took this portrait
The camouflage of the critters is amazing sometimes, see if you can spot the pygmy seahorse in the photo below:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. There will be more to come from Raja Ampat in the following days…
Created by: MastersDegree.net
This very cool infographic was brought to my attention to share on my blog by a member of the design team at Masters Degree, and they created this graphic to take a closer look at the environmental effects of ocean pollution. So thanks Meika!
So here’s a sobering thought – In 40 Years We Could Face An Ocean Without Fish. Go check out that link and see if you still want to order fish for lunch today In fact I’ve seen this decline myself in the lessening aggregations of Snapper in the Red Sea each year.
The theme for this year’s world ocean day is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.
If we can get young people into preserving the ocean now then there might be some life left in it for their children to enjoy… otherwise there will only be the photos we can take today and the sour fishy aftertaste of extinction. Please take a moment today to check out these links and see how you can help – even if it’s only be spreading the word. World Ocean Day – “Wear Blue, Tell Two”. Hopefully this blog post will reach more than two
A while back I put together a list of sustainable seafood guides. They are displayed below in my sidebar but here again for convenience:
Here’s a few of my pictures to celebrate the beauty and life we still have for now:
Please keep help our oceans from turning into this:
It’s been a while since my last Macro Monday so I thought I’d combine it with a nice large soapbox from which to make you aware of the danger that divers (and photographers especially) pose to pygmy seahorses. Pygmy seahorses don’t deal with stress very well (who does) and by not very well I mean it can be fatal to them. So when we say that bright flashlights and strobes stress them you can see how this would be a very bad thing.
Dr. Richard Smith has published a recommended code of conduct to be followed when interacting with Pygmy seahorses. Richard’s PhD thesis was all about them so his guidelines are based on hundreds of hours of observing them and also watching the interactions between seahorses and humans. The idea behind the code is that it will be something that can be: “printed, emailed and talked about as much as possible.”
So please head over to his site and download the pdf, take it with you when you dive and show your dive guides! He even has it in a few different languages. They are simply adorable little creatures and they need our protection so spread the word….
Ok, I thought I’d ramp up the terror factor today in honour of Halloween… here are my fav top five ocean nasties (often only seen on night dives just to make them extra scary)…
Stargazer… hides buried in the sand and leaps out at prey – eek!
Bobbit worm… A giant worm with teeth – gulp!
Arrow Crab… this guy was BIG. The small ones are ok but this monster was chasing me and looks just a little too much like a giant spider with claws for my liking
Sea Spiders …
sea snakes… not afraid of snakes personally just cautious of one of the most deadly creatures in the sea
and as a bonus: Blue ring octopus (he doesn’t actually make my top five because he was actually tiny and super cute in real life – I was expecting something like the Cracken)!
for those wondering why the lack of sharks on the scary creatures list above – well I think they’ve been vilified enough so I’m giving them a break today.
This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Gloomy’
Click image to go to see alternate sizes (looks better larger).
This theme is apt today with the lovely gloomy weather we have in London this morning. I always find it funny how I hate to get wet when I’m nice & dry & warm in a city but put me out in the ocean in a nice thick wetsuit and a rainstorm is thrilling. It makes excellent patterns on the water surface as we submerge but I find that I havent got any of those to show you (I have taken some, I’ll have to dig them out & edit this post with one). Above is a picture from the Philippines taken as I got back to the boat to find myself in the middle of a downpour.
If you want to see more of my Cebu, Philippines underwater photos then check out other photos in my Cebu Underwater Gallery.
See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Gloomy’ here.
Today is Earth day 2010. Happy Earth day! But shouldn’t we be trying to protect & preserve our earth & oceans all year round? I think so too so to give you a little food for thought this earth day I wanted to introduce you to a book full of great tips you can do on any day of the year…
50 ways to save the ocean
Split into five sections (enjoy, conserve, clean, protect, learn & share) this book provides some great (and easy) tips that we as ordinary folk can follow to help protect our planet. For example do you ever visit the beach? – make sure you take everything away that you brought with you onto the beach – including those cigarette butts & empty plastic bags – did you know that plastic bags actually kill turtles? They mistake the floating bags for jellyfish and eat them
Also, wear waterproof sunscreen (you don’t want to be a one-person oil spill, leaving grease in the water). The book has my favourite underwater photographer saying “Take only pictures and leave only bubbles, while exploring underwater wonders”.
And the best thing about this book? Its only $10 (or under £10 if you are a .co.uk purchaser)! Its quite an old book (2006) but sadly these points are all still more relevant than ever.
Want free resources to help save the plant? Here are a few I like…
50 Things You Can Do To Stop Global Warming
Marinebio.org: Marine biology & ocean conservation
Ocean conservation portal
Kids for saving earth
Wildlife trusts & action groups:
Any more ocean/wildlife trust sites you want to share? Leave a comment with the link (And I’ll try to filter you out from under all the spammers).