Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nudi Nuts

We Nudi Nuts have developed quite a process on how we are going to compile the overall number of nudis.  We’re on a mission to identify more than Session 1!

We are hearing two presentations a day.  This morning’s presentation was by Mike Bartick about what we going to see here.

After lunch, Dave gave a presentation about tectonic plates and many divers fell asleep.  I guess we all have a one track mind for nudis.

Today Indra and her husband arrived as well as Craig, a grad student for Angel Valdes studying nudibranchs.

There were amazing coconut cupcakes at lunch.  I want to be able to buy these at home, they are soooo good.

The diving here is great.  Although we do four dives a day, I only have to get ready two times a day because we take two tanks on the boat and hit two sites before coming back to the resort.

My Sea & Sea strobes are not doing what they are supposed to. L

First of all, I don’t have enough power to light up the subjects like I want.  It is all too dark.  I can set the F-stop lower, but that also alters the image/depth of field.

Second of all, one strobe flooded (the one which has never flooded before) and even though I replaced the batteries between the third and fourth dive, I had no power.  The light turned on at the resort, but as soon as we got down there was no red “on” light and no strobe flash.  Grrr!

I did do the whole dive though and tried my best to take pictures with just my Sola light.  We’ll see how they turn out.

Only Lindz and I went on the night dive.  Bree had a reverse block on her third dive and Ron had some camera issues and sat out.

Lindz showed me this super cool jeweled anemone.  I’d never seen it before and it actually looks like there are many nudibranchs crawling up the stalk.

Lindz had a problem with her arm for her spotter light and I lent her a joint so the arm would work.

I felt really dizzy after my shower at the end of the day and had a spell at dinner.  I’m not sure what that was about.

Kevin was so nice, saving the day once again.  He helped me get both strobes back in working order – and brought me a glass of water when I felt dizzy.

I turned in early, but then jetlag got the best of me and I woke up around 2am and started working photos again.

Here are the new things I saw:

28 - Chelidonura amoena

29 - Thecacera picta
These two are mating

30 - Unknown (yellow aeolid, maybe Cuthona sp. 36)
I know, horrible shot.

31 - Aegires villosus
32 - Hypselodoris krakatoa

33 - Trapania vitta

34 - Dermatobranchus funiculus

35 - Aegires sp. 7

36 - Pteraeolidia semperi

37 - Favorinus tsuruganus

Check out the cool color variation between these two!

38 - Hypselodoris bollandi

39 - Doriprismatica stellata

40 - Hypselodoris bullockii

41 - Sagaminopteron psychedelicum

42 - Hypselodoris whitei

43 - Trapania aurata 

44 - Mexichromis pusilla

45 - Cadlinella ornatissima

46 - Pleurobranchus grandis

47 - Flabellina sp. (maroon rhinophores, nipple like cerata with red spots at the base, mottled white/yellow body)

48 - Goniobranchus hintuanensis

49 - Phyllodesmium undulatum 

50 - Tambja morosa

51 - Phyllodesmium jakobsenae

52 - Dendrodoris denisoni

53 - Ceratosoma tenue

54 - Discodoris boholensis 

55 - Hypselodoris sp. 10 

56 - “Taringa” halgerda

57 - Tritonia sp. 4

58 - Dermatobranchus cf kalyptos 

59 - Elysia sp. 2

60 - Miamira miamirana

61 - Goniobranchus fidelis 

62 - Chromodoris colemani

63 - Nembrotha kubaryana

64 - Pleurobranchus martensi

64 nudis in TWO DAYS!!!  That's incredible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My new favorite festival - SlugFest!!!

After spending a day in Manila sleeping and relaxing, I’m ready to dive!!!

Francis and Pirjot, Bree and I shared a van for the 3 hour ride from Manila to Anilao

Bree knows Yan, one of the divemasters from Graham’s trips.  She is younger than me.  Hooray!  She’s from Dallas and pretty accomplished – as a consultant in the skincare/makeup industry… and a serious world traveler.

We got to do two dives today.  One afternoon and one dusk.

I got to meet Dave Behrens, one of the famous nudibranchers who authored the most recent Nudibranch & Sea Slug Identification – Indo-Pacific book with all the new scientific classification.  Think Jacques Cousteau or Stan Waterman… but just for “branchers”.  It is fun hearing his stories.  He speaks fondly of Teri Goslinger (his co-author) and has some good stories about why some nudibranchs are named what they are.  I caught some flack for bringing Neville Coleman’s ID book on this trip.  Dave went on and on about how crazy the organization of that book is.

There are lots of stairs here.  The resort doesn’t have that much land, so everything is built upward.  Maybe I’ll make a Go Pro video of the 7+ levels and how hard I start breathing every time I climb all the way up!

Through some strange twist of fate, I got my own room.  I was supposed to room with Lindz but she and Bree chose to room together instead.

The ocean doesn’t seem that cold here - I’m not even using my vest yet.

On our first dive, Nudibranch #2 was a really rare one, the Miamira alleni!!!  I got an OK shot.  I was just such a spaz on the first dive with the camera again and then so excited to see such a great species.

Got in two dives the first day and already saw 27 nudis!

1 - Jorunna funebris
Oh lord, I think my strobes were still just warming up.

My buddy Kara reminded me that everyone thinks this Nudi looks like a bunny:

2 - Miamira alleni
Awesome find for Nudi #2!!!

3 - Chromodoris willani

4 - Phyllidiopsis krempfi

5 - Chromodoris lochi

6 - Halgerda batangas

7 - Goniobranchus reticulatus

8 - Chromodoris magnifica

9 - Hypselodoris maculosa

10 - Flabellina rubrolineata

11 - Oxynoe sp. 6

12 - Nembrotha chamberlaini

13 - Goniobranchus geometricus

14 - Phyllidiella pustulosa

15 - Phyllodesmium briareum

16 - Chromodoris strigata

17 - Chromodoris annae

18 - Elysia tomentosa

19 - Doriprismatica atromarginata

20 - Glossodoris pallida

Check out that little shrimp just laying out in front of the nudi... like I'm a cool critter too!  Take my picture!!!

21 - Gymnodoris rubropapulosa

22 - Phyllidia varicosa 

Since this is such a common, boring nudi, I really like this shot with a brittle star across its face.

23 - Miamira sinuata

24 - Flabellina riwo

25 - Pleurobranchus forskalii

26 - Aplysia parvula

27 - Tritonia sp. 3