Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Stay Curious, My Friends

Today, I leave the boat and fly back to Bali.  Then I’m spending a couple of days in Ubud before flying back to the states.

This is a Dive Trip and not a Vacation, Graham always says while everyone is sitting in the salon working on their pictures (instead of laying out in the sun on the top deck).

Well, the final tally is:
42 dives bringing me up to 1496
118 distinct nudis found by me (the overall boat had about 290!!!)

The trip blog is not complete without a picture of my dive buddies:

I did some soul searching too while I was underwater. I’m not great at meditating but being underwater looking for nudis gives one a lot of time alone. I find the best nudis whenever something catches my eye and I get curious, go in close to check it out.  That thing itself might not be something but there are often other things nearby.  Neutral buoyancy is necessary so that I can hover just above the reef to take the shot. It’s important not to hurt the corals around me.  Finally, some of the best things are under a rock, so if I remember to turn them over, I’ll find more.  Based on all that, I came up with this personal mantra:

Stay curious, neutrally buoyant and remember to turn it over.

Of course, this is incredibly applicable to my every day life as well.

Until next time, Sluggers!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Excuse me but there’s a zipper on your privates…

This is the last day of diving.  Boo Hoo!

Bill figured out my little prank, but not immediately, so he got a good laugh out of it.

Everyone dives with dive guide pointers.  Not so much to point things out but to anchor themselves when taking a shot.  Also, they bring skewer sticks from the kitchen to mark where the good nudis are so that the next person can find them.

Many people have “relief zippers” on their wetsuits.  I think it’s hilarious.  Basically we are down for so long (Christianne had 102 minute dive yesterday) that you are dying to go to the bathroom.  Everyone pees in their wetsuit but basically then you are in you own pee until you can rinse out your wetsuit.   With a relief zipper, you can unzip and pee directly into the water (and not your wetsuit).  Interesting concept but then you always have this weird zipper on you privates.  J  Speaking of which, I only peed in my wetsuit once this trip.  That’s pretty good!

Bill compiled a slide show with 10 photos from each of us and set it to music.  It was nice to see everyone else’s photos.  He even kept the silly photos I cropped out of the book and put them under Barrack Obama’s twitter handle #FirstBlackPrez.  Nannette also showed her video she compiled this week.  Wow.  She is very talented.  She also showed a video she put together about nudibranchs.  I couldn’t believe it, she has some amazing action shots of nudis.  Who knew there was such a thing?

106 - Phyllidia coelestis

107 - Juvenile Hexabranchus sanguineus

108 - Chromodoris kuniei

109 - Platydoris cruenta

110 - Goniobranchus geometricus 

111 - Gymnodoris sp. 3

112 - Plakobranchus sp. 1

113 - Phyllidiella zeylanica

114 - Hypselodoris sp. 4

115 - Halgerda carlsoni

116 - Thuridilla undula 

117 - Hypselodoris sp. 7

Monday, March 3, 2014

Phony Photos

We are back at Labuan Bajo refilling the boat with water this morning.  This may be the last full day of diving.  It depends on if the boat still institutes the full 24 hours before flying or if 18 hours is OK (as PADI now says).

The night dive was awesome again.  I saw four pleurobranchs alone!  And I pointed out many things to Pirjot and Francis… even more than the dive guide.

Ha ha ha ha.  I am dying laughing on the inside.  Bill asked for 10 photos from each of us for the slideshow.  I gave him clips from the book and saved them as JPEGs and oh yeah, I threw in one of Graham in his drysuit.  J

I’m dying to be there when he figures this out!!!

95 - Cuthona sp. 30

96 - Phyllodesmium lizardensis

97 - Thorunna daniellae

98 - Chromodoris albonares 

99 - Thorunna furtiva 

100 - Philinopsis gardineri

101 - Chromodoris leopardus 

102 - Chromodoris coi 

103 - Pleurobranchus forskalii

104 - Nembrotha milleri 

105 - Noumea crocea