Friday, February 28, 2014

Drip Drizzle

I’ve been waking up really early every morning… which is nice to have alone time with my photos.  But this morning I was getting a little drip in my cabin, so I got up.  It was pouring outside – just bucketsful of water coming down.  We all hang our bathing suits outside to dry, but the ones I have hanging now will need quite some time before they are dry again!

A couple of the dives today were not so great and people were complaining a little.  Although I really enjoyed them and even photographed a nudi that Christianne said that she has not seen and that I should send to Teri Goslinger!  (Note:  Later, we figured out what it was, so no need… but it was exciting for a day or two.)

We have such varied and interesting dinner conversations, often about food and drink and travel.

For instance last night we talked about the coffee beans which are ingested by a cat and pooped out… then washed and ground to make what’s thought of as the finest coffee.  Ewww.

Evelyn also says that she eats everything in Malaysia.  Cats, Dogs, Chicken feet.  You name it, she eats it.  I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

68 - Goniobranchus kunei

69 - Caloria indica

70 - Micromelo undatum

71 - Cuthona sp. 14 

72 - Plocamopherus tilesii

73 - Hexabranchus sanguineus 

74 - Cuthona sp. 36 

75 - Platydoris formosa 

76 - Hypselodoris sp. 11 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Off The Grid

Another solid day of diving!  Although I didn’t find too many new nudibranchs, there were tons of exciting critters.  I also find that I love the finding of nudis almost as much as when I photograph them.  Ones that I find on my own I feel like are much more special than the ones I am shown by another diver.

On any of these dive trips, there comes a day when I realize that we are so disconnected here.  No phonecalls.  No emails.  No facebook.  It’s actually great to be unplugged for a while.

61 - Ceratasoma sinuatum

62 - Okenia kendi

63 - Chromodoris strigata

64 - Glossodoris hikuerensis

65 - Phestilla melanobrachia 

66 - Elysia sp. 19

67 - Pleurobranchus mammalatus

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Horseshoe Home

We stayed in Horseshoe Bay all day.  I want to move in here.  It is soooo beautiful.  Graham said that you don’t even need to have a permit to tie up here.  Just pull up and start diving.  Can you imagine?  Bringing your own boat here and just diving again and again and again.  Heaven.  OK, what would I need?  A boat with a compressor, tanks, food, an engineer… hmmm… even if I could cover the cost, that’s a lot of hassle.  Maybe this liveaboard thing IS the way to go.

This beach is crazy – we saw komodo dragons, monkeys and pigs on it.  Go figure.

I cannot say enough about the diving here.  It has it all.  Beautiful reefs, walls – with and without currents.  Totally lush corals.  Then is has awesome muck diving and sandy bottom areas.  I am in love.

I tried to put in the Big Year movie for everyone to watch – because this movie about birding really reminds me of this group, but I forgot about DVDs and the fact that there are regional differences so it wouldn’t play.  Oh well.

53 - Sagaminopteron nigropunctatum

54 - Chromodoris magnifica

55 - Halgerda batangas

56 - Cuthona ornata 

57 - Philinopsis speciosa

58 - Elysia ornata

59 - Pleurobranchus grandis

60 - Pleurobranchus peroni 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Puny Pranks

We pulled into Horseshoe Bay.  I’ve read about this place for years and I’m so excited to dive it.  It is beautiful and unique on the topside too.  There is a beach near the boat mooring which has komodo dragons on it!  There is another Liveaboard here and the guests from that boat actually fed them a chicken.  The sunrises and sunsets are amazing and I tried to capture as much as possible.

I’m trying to be antic appropriate with this crowd.  The frozen wetsuit trick would NOT go over here… but we all sign up for breakfast the night before and I filled out Mike’s for him:  smoked salmon with capers (which is of course not on the menu in Indonesia).  The staff doesn’t really get the humor but the other guests do.  Then the next night I signed up Justin Bieber for some breakfast of Lucky Charms.

41 - Nembrotha kubaryana

42 - Glossodoris atromarginata

43 - Nembrotha cristata

44 - Jorunna funebris
This guy was awesome.  Look closely, the right rhinophore was split into a Y shape.

45 - Sakuraeolis gujaratica

46 - Favorinus sp. 1

47 - Eubranchus mandapamensis
Nipples at the end of their cerata?

48 - Dermotobranchus kalyptos

49 - Armina cf. semperi
These guys are some of the fastest slugs on the ocean floor.

50 - Phyllodesmium crypticum

51 - Carminodoris estrelyado
There are two here. Snuggling.

52 - Copodaspis thompsoni

Monday, February 24, 2014

The $5,000 Dive

Bill let me borrow his “big boy” camera for two dives this morning.  That is soooooo generousl.  He set it up so that all I had to do was fire a lever to take the shot and adjust the strobes for lighting.

On the first dive, he put in an angled viewfinder.  OMG, it took me forever to find anything, even if the subject was right in front of the lens.  I’m told that it gets much easier and you get used to it but I was spending five minutes just setting up for a shot! 

On the second dive, he changed it to the straight viewfinder, but even that I found challenging to put my mask right up to it and angle it just right and fire off the shot.  I much prefer the display screen of my camera.  I was also challenged by the float on the camera keeping it in the horizontal mode – it also messed with my buoyancy and was a bit challenging to get used to.

What do you think of the image quality though?  Any different on Nudis 26 - 28?  They were shot will Bill’s camera, not mine.

I am totally in the market for a new camera, so this was really helpful for me to try this out!  I am waiting for the housing setups to get smaller though, not bigger!!!

26 - Thecacera pacifica

27 - Sagaminopteron psychedelicum

This one is not only super cool, it has the best name.  :)  See how small it its?  Those are grains of sand it is crawling around on.  That's why I want a better camera set up.

28 - Glossodoris sp. 1

29 - Hypselodoris apolegma
This guy is so beautiful.  We also saw a couple laying eggs.

30 - “Taringa” halgerda
I'm not sure why Taringa is in quotes, but I dig this guy.

31 - Hypselodoris bullocki

32 - Phyllidia varicosa
Look closely, there's a copopod on the top of this nudi!

33 - Chelidonura amoena

34 - Chromodoris hintuanensis

35 - Marionia sp. 13

36 - Flabellina riwo 

37 - Asteronotus spongicolus
The thing on the left is actually a flatworm, but the thing on the right is a nudi.

38 - Platydoris cinerobranchiata
There are two of these!  I found them (or more like they found me, they were so big).  I find it's even more special when I find ones on my own.

39 - Trapania cf . Euryeia

40 - Gymnodoris citrine
You can almost see through this one!