Monday, December 29, 2014

Bam. I called it. The Chromodoris gleniei.

This was the first day of diving.  I was soooooo happy.  It feels so great to be completely weightless underwater.

When I started on this trip, I called out that I really wanted to see a Chromodoris gleniei.  It’s this leopard colored nudi with a wide white margin.  It wasn’t a big stretch as I knew that they were found fairly frequently in Maldives… but I hadn’t seen one before.

I found it on the FIRST DIVE.  It must be a sign.

I am doing exactly what I want to do.  This makes me so happy!!!

It is a funny story that goes along with this sighting actually.

I found a nudibranch on a rock.  The Chromodoris tritios. I picked it up and showed it to Juan.  Karin was busy taking a picture of a little blue lobster, so I waited until she was done to show her, but when I did, the nudi was nowhere to be found.  Oh no, so sad! 

Nudi #1 - Chromodoris tritios

So I looked down and around on the nearby coral to see if it had settled there.  Boo Hoo!  But then deep under a little coral I saw it.  The Chromodoris gleniei.  Whoa.  Super cool.  Not only did I call this out to my sisters over a text message the day I left, I had picked it out as the one thing I really wanted to see on this trip.  Is this a sign?  If so, of what?  That this is exactly the place I’m meant to be?  Hmmmm…

Nudi #2 - Chromodoris gleniei

Nudi #3 - Phyllidiella rosans

Nudi #4 - Glossodoris pallida

At first I thought this next one was another Chromodoris tritios but it was pretty big.  I took a few shots but didn’t spend much time on it.  On the next day reviewing my photos I figured out that this was a whole different species.  I love it when that happens!!!

Nudi #5 - Chromodoris gemina

Nudi #6 - Flabellina bilas

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Unfortunately, the divemaster found this Flabellina bilas for me and it was way underneath a coral head.  I tried waving some water near it to see if it would crawl around or come loose but no such luck.  Just like the birding community, you’ll just have to believe me on #6.

I also hit my 1500th dive on the last dive of the day.  I really didn’t tell too many people.  It was a dusk dive and the Giri (like a bommie) was covered in tubastrea (orange cup coral).  It was slow and no current and I always has at least one other light in sight but it was a little far off.  I came across a beautiful Flabellina exoptata starting to lay eggs and set my camera in motion to capture this beauty.

Nudi #7 - Flabellina exoptata

That while small circle on its right hand side is its genital aperture and the beginnings of a small egg mass.  Super cool!

I also found this guy:

Nudi #8 - Coriocella hibyae

Deb Crane, my roommate from the Cocos Island trip just came to Maldives last month on this very same boat.  She sent me a special email just to tell me that I might see this Maldivian slug.    I’ve seen them before in Palau, but they are a pretty neat slug.  Although not necessarily a nudibranch proper, I include them in my count as I do pleurobranchs.

1500 is a fairly big milestone.  Especially since I log each one of my dives.  Some people say that they have 5,000 dives or 10,000 dives.  I totally don’t believe them… unless they can show me their logs.  All 10-f’ing-thousand of their dives written down. 

Another diver, Jim flooded his camera today.  That’s the worst feeling in the world.  I feel for him.  He is able to rent a Go Pro from the boat though and still take photos. 

So today was my first official shower at the end of a long day of diving.  I usually LOVE taking that shower, but I got stuck in a room with a shower handle.  Not a shower head.  It sucks because there is no way I can get my crazy hair wet enough then shampoo, then condition my hair.  So I’ve taken to showering on the dive deck.  It’s fine, I just leave my bathing suit on, but I can’t really soap everything up and shave… I have to go back to my cabin and do that with the shower handle.  It’s really annoying.  

This boat has the BEST Ice Machine ever.  I’m telling you, they are clear gumdrop shaped ice cubes.  I love them.  I actually want to buy the machine for my house.  My diet cokes taste amazing on this great ice.  I also have been enjoying chomping on the ice while I lay out in the sun.

We dive from this “skiff” or “dingy” that they call a Dhoni.  Unfortunately it’s not their regular Dhoni, so there are a few challenges with it, but it’s fairly comfortable.  We have our own crate underneath our seat to keep things in and the crew fills right to the tank, so we don’t have to reset our straps every time.  It gets a little busy at times, but it’s definitely manageable.

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