April 2016 ~ It had been nearly a decade since we last sailed into Triton Bay—an unspoiled, mountain-lined piece of paradise in far eastern Indonesia. On that 2007 trip, we departed out of Sorong and dived our way south and along the Fak-Fak peninsula before arriving in the fabled bay. This time, we sailed from Ambon to Triton Bay aboard the Dewi Nusantara, just one of several live-aboards that have recently added the remote destination back on their itinerary. Diving … Read more Ambon to Triton Bay
April 2016 ~ Here’s another one from Triton Bay – we believe it is another species of Bulbonaricus pipefish! It was found in Galaxea coral by our dive guide, Yan Alfian. I think it is Bulbonaricus brucei, but will have to get confirmation once we are home. Unfortunately, I wasn’t anywhere nearby to shoot video, but Ned got the photo and the search continues until I can see one for myself. In our post two weeks ago, I shared Ned’s photo of … Read more Bulbonaricus Pipefishes
April 2016 ~ We’re on shore in Kaimana, a small port in eastern Indonesia, awaiting reprovisioning of our dive boat, Dewi Nusantara, before we head back to Triton Bay for another 11 days of diving. We woke yesterday morning to a splendid sunrise, seven hornbills overhead and a feeling that our last dives of this first trip were going to be special. And they were. The little pipefish above is one we have wanted to see for a long time. … Read more Triton Bay!
Here is one more Melibe nudibranch, Melibe digitata, added to our life lists during our visit to Lembeh Strait, Indonesia in November 2015. We were near the end of our dive, slowly working our way up the slope to the surface. Our guide, ‘Man Tampilang, turning over rocks and coral rubble, found two of these very close to each other under separate pieces of rubble. They were so small – about an inch long – that I didn’t realize they … Read more Melibe digitata
Meet Alfian’s Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus alfiani, a new flasherwrasse I found in 2014 off the island of Lembata in Indonesia. It was formally described this week in, “Review of the Indo-Pacific Flasherwrasses of the genus Paracheilinus (Perciformes: Labridae), with descriptions of three new species by Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and Ni Lu Astria Yusmalinda.” Besides the new P. alfiani, two other new species, Paracheilinus paineorum and Paracheilinus xanthocirritus are described and shown to be closely related to the Fliamented Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus … Read more Alfian’s Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus alfiani
November 2015, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia ~ Cheiloprion labiatus, the Big-lip Damsel, fascinates me. How have we managed to dive throughout its range for so long without ever noticing it? Last month, our friend Janet Eyre noted several during a REEF fish survey in Lembeh Strait and pointed them out. Damselfishes are ubiquitous on the reefs we visit but the ones that usually catch my eye are brightly colored juveniles. By the time the Big-lip Damsel develops its Hollywood lips, it … Read more Little Fish with the Hollywood Lips
This is a frame capture from a video I shot earlier this year in Anilao, Philippines. I have found empty egg cases washed up on the beach (beachcombers call them mermaid’s purses), but never one with its little living treasure: a yolk and developing shark embryo. I have no idea what species this is – maybe a bamboo shark, one of several small species of oviparous (egg-laying), bottom dwelling sharks found throughout the Indo-Pacific. I’m familiar with the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark … Read more A Shark Egg Case!
Lembeh Strait Part Two, November 2015 ~ Here is the second installment of favorite photos from our two-week stay at Eco Divers Resort Lembeh. Friends who visited Lembeh earlier reported unseasonably cold water and strong winds so we were bracing for the worst but as luck would have it, the wind died and water warmed just before we arrived at the end of October. We have dived here in every month of the year but this month the bottom seemed more interesting … Read more Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 2
Lembeh Strait—Once Again! Part One, October 2015 ~ The narrow 12-mile stretch of water separating Lembeh Island from the large island of Sulawesi in Indonesia is home to one of the Earth’s most diverse displays of natural selection and symbiosis above or below water. Even after more than 20 visits spanning 16 years, the ever-changing carnival of creatures inhabiting the black sand bottom never ceases to surprise, delight and astound us. Making our two-week stay at Eco-Divers Resort Lembeh even better, we … Read more Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 1