Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Slug Summary

Overall it was a really good trip.  Raja Ampat is amazing for its soft coral and manta action.  It’s only so-so for the critters and nudis, but there were enough to keep me happy.

Deb asked me when I was going to put the video together.  Which is funny because I don’t usually do that… but the two trips I’ve been on with her before, there has been no macro so I did shoot lots of video and I put one together.  For this trip, I posted a few videos here in the blog along the way.

The trip summary is:

35 dives bringing me up to 1681 total.

45 species of nudibranchs.

Until next time… which I don’t think is going to be until May at the Anilao Nudibranch Festival (aka Slugfest 2).

Remain Curious, Neutrally Buoyant, and Remember To Turn It Over.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Photo Contest Fail

This is our last day of diving: two dives.  Boo Hoo.

The first dive was great.  The second dive was so-so.

I got coaching on the photo contest.  Three random members of the crew choose the winners.  They seem to like things that they have never seen before, that are colorful and that they can eat.  This means no nudibranchs.  So I put in these two:

Ornate Ghostpipefish kissing

Isopod on a fish

The Ornate Ghostpipefish won third place.  Wah-wahn.

They are playing Jack Johnson on the stereo.  That’s amazing to me.  All these years later, it’s still the music of choice on dive boats.

It was raining so we had to have our last dinner inside.

Ronald gave us one last yell: “DIVE BRIEFING!!!!”

The crew all sang and danced for us at dinner.  They all seemed extremely happy and there was no drinking allowed.  It was pretty crazy.

I ended my nudibranch list with this one:

45 - Phyllidiopsis striata

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Clamilton - A Liveaboard Revolution

There are only three dives today.  And the crew is going to put the sails down and tour around some of the islands.

This was the first day there was not so great weather.  We actually got wet before we got wet.  Booo!!!

On the second dive we encountered a turtle that was eating ALL the coral down there.  As he ate, a milky stream started coming out of it.  He looked me right in the Go Pro lens a couple of times… I got a little nervous he might take a chomp!

Yup, that's my fin on the bottom right.

Yuvonne is crazy about Hamilton so we've been listening to it at full blast.  It's super fun and I love singing along with the King especially.I decided we should write a spin off musical/mockery…

A Liveaboard Revolution

Opening Scene:  All divers arrive with old ratty t-shirts from the furthest corners of the planet
Talk about finding “That Guy”… and if you can’t find him, it’s you.
Incorporate Cheryl's joke about "I left my harp in Sam’s Clam’s Disco"
Set Designs:
-       Liveaboard
-       Big Strobes and camera
Pygmy Seahorse being blinded
Debate about who goes first to see the critters (non-photographers or photographers)
Pointer Stick or No Pointer Stick
Wetsuit commando (based on Jose) – while singing, he has to strip
Hair gets bigger after every dive (like mine does)…
Have many tall tales of diving like how someone sees Schooling Pygmy Whale Sharks
Use Yuvonne's quote to: Show me five things not starting with “Pygmy”
Twerk boat (just for gratuitous booty shaking in a wetsuit)
Cookie Caper and Papaya Pilferer
Igor Instructor… always giving people advice they never asked for
Make it interactive like when we went to see Point Break Live

At dinner, we celebrated Deb and Fred’s 100th dive.  The chef carved this amazing fruit sculpture with lots of underwater animals.  It’s pretty cool.

One more measly nudibranch:

44 - Elysia marginata

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Petty about the Jetty

I think we’ve only got 10 dives left.  I’d really love to get to 50 nudis.  So I need to find at least one new one per dive.  Let the search begin!

I took the “No Pam” cookie jar and first hid it in my room but then decided to take it up to the bridge to convince the captain he was hungry and needed some cookies.  Then I left the cookie jar there and told him to guard it with his life.

We dove a town jetty today.  It was pretty cool but didn’t have as many critters as I’m used to at town piers.  I could have stayed down on the dive for another hour.  I still cannot get over the fact that I have not gotten cold once on this trip!

Many of the guests went to the town and took a little tour.  I was working on my photos and stayed on board.  I feel like when you’ve seen one little third world town, you’ve seen them all.  And I wasn’t in the mood to deal with kids.

I know I’m on vacation really now because I am starting to forget things.  Like I forgot to turn on my air on the night dive and I forgot to grab my second light.  Who am I?

I am happy I have stayed healthy this whole time.  Yuvonne has a terrible cough that will not go away.  And some people’s ears are giving out on them… and they are putting in lots of eardrops.
OK, I did get a few nudis today, but it might not be enough to get me to 50.

41 - Dermatobranchus ornatus

42 - Chromodoris michaeli

43 - Phyllidia carlsonhoffi

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Great Cookie Jar Caper

I’m getting these little bumps on my fingers.  I think its from hydroids or something. 

It was a long and pretty boring day since we only did the one dive in the morning.
Many people went to a cave and went floating around, but I chose to stay back and nap and read.  

I was also going to do my little cookie trick, but I sorta forgot about it.  When I emerged from my nap, there was a second cookie jar with a “No Pam” sign on it with all the sugar crystal cookies in it.  

Oops!  I guess I told too many people about my plan and Cheryl found out and flipped the prank!!!

Darn.  She got me good.  

I need to continue this somehow… maybe hide the jar again?  Or take it underwater?  I’ll think about this.

The rest of the day we motored.  We had a long crossing to make.

I spent a little time bonding with Jeannie today.  She is a pretty cool chick.  She has three grown kids and is the oldest of seven kids growing up.  She told us some stories about interviewing and working in the seventies.  She is also part of an improv group called "Social In-Security".  I also compared notes about Union League Club vs. University Club.  It's fun to have a friend at one of the other City Clubs.  Now we can also go to each others events!

No new nudis today. Which I guess isn’t surprising since we only did one dive.

Jose did do a talk about nudibranchs today.  He did a really good job!  He even incorporated some of the jokes I suggested.