I earned the name "Nudi Girl" on a trip to Truk Lagoon in August 2005. Because I worked for the Aggressor Fleet I could go on any of the other Aggressors for free as a guest as long as they weren't fully booked for that week. So, I used my Frequent Flier miles to get me to Chuuk and on that boat!
Truk is known for their World War II wrecks but I, as always, was on the lookout for those little sea slugs. We were down on the Sankisan Maru and while others were frantically exploring the wreck from bow to stern... I just hovered very still near the railing photographing the amazing Chromodoris geometrica (seen at the top of this page) for the entire dive.
Afterward, a couple of grad students who were also guests of the boat, gave me a hard time that I'd come all the way to Truk and didn't even explore the most famous World War II wreck. That instead, I focused on a nudibranch for the whole time. From that point on, they started calling me "Nudi Girl".
And that's how I got my nickname.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I was first introduced to Nudibranchs when I was a guest on the Palau Aggressor 12/27/2002 - 1/7/2003:
So during my trip to
, I had a brand new setup. I was just so nervous to use it. I was sure it was going to flood again. It sat on the camera table for a few days until Doug (the heartthrob) encouraged me to take it down. “What’s the point of having an underwater camera, darlin’, if you’re not going to use it?” He set it up for me and everything. He also told me about getting insurance for underwater cameras. What a babe. Palau
Doug also introduced me to something called a nudibranch. I had never been diving in the Pacific and had never seen one of these sea slugs before. I had never even hear the word before. When Doug did his dive briefing, he told us how nudibranch means naked lung or lung on the outside. I just kinda liked the way this hottie kept calling it a “nudi” for short. I could just imagine him “nudi”.
After this first encounter, I became fascinated by finding nudibranchs and photographing them. I soon found out that there were thousands of species in the Nudibranch order. This fascination, along with my addiction to being underwater, drove me to snag a job as crew on the Belize Nekton Pilot liveaboard and I left my job in Technology.
I spent three years on boats chasing these slow moving creatures of beauty. After the Belize Nekton Pilot, I worked on the Kona Aggressor II for 15 months and then on the Palau Aggressor II for 9 months. I have collected thousands of nudibranch photos but feel that I have still only scratched the surface.
My living room wall is covered with nudibranch photos and I wrote over 800 pages about my life on the Liveaboards in a little self published journal/blog called "Nudi Girl". It was an amazing time in my life and uncovered a unique passion for slugs. But after three years I realized that the Captain owned my life and I couldn't date or socialize... and my sisters started having kids who I'd like to get to know. So I came back to my career in technology.
I've spent some time trying to get my life in order and have now saved some money and work with a company that supports employees chasing their passions, so I've got a big trip planned to Indonesia in February 2011.
Thus, Nudi Girl is becoming Nudi Gal. I can't wait!