Posted by: Kaj Maney
This morning we set out for our first dive. I had decided on a dive site called Goby A Crab, as I’d only been there once before and really enjoyed it. It has good sand, good rubble and good soft corals and sponges, with a lot of reef life. It’s down towards the south tip of Lembeh Island and needs to be high or low tide to dive it, otherwise there is a big current.
The dive started as normal..lots of squid eggs on the mooring (you could just about make out the unborn squid in their translucent eggs sacks), a couple of small beautiful Fingered Dragonets, a Zebra Spearing Mantis Shrimp….the divers were spread out and I was idly cruising above the sand/rubble in front of everyone except Liberty (one of my Dive Supervisors). Liberty was, as always, peering at something very tiny on the bottom, when I happened to glance up and look around. Now we were down at about 24 meters, with normal Lembeh visibility, about 10 meters (30 feet) or so. Suddenly I saw a very large Spotted Eagle Ray swim above Liberty’s head…I start banging my tank frantically, trying to get his attention (I was only about 5 meters away from him). He, as usual, ignores me, and keeps peering at whatever tiny critter he’s found. Bang bang bang bang I go, pointing towards the ray and waving my arms….after what seemed like an eternity Liberty looked up and towards me and then I saw his eyes go wide…he started pointing above me and waving his arms!! I looked up and there was a huge Devil Ray, about 8 or 9 feet (3 meters or so) wing-tip to wing-tip!!!!! And then there was another!! And two Spotted Eagle Rays!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I don’t think Liberty could either!! It was the first (and second) Devil Ray I have ever seen, and Lembeh would have been the last place I would ever have guessed that that would have happened…..
The above two shots were some stills I lifted from the video I took, but I was about 30 meters deep, the light wasn’t great and a Devil Ray can swim a lot faster than me!!!!!!
The rest of the dive was great too. Pink Pygmy Seahorse, a juvenile Pacific Sailfin Tang, super aggressive and very lovely colored Spinecheek Anemonefish, Raggy Scorpionfish being grazed on by a school of juvenile Catfish….the glazed eyes and big Lembeh smile was definitely plastered over mine and Liberty’s faces at the end of the dive…
The rest of the week’s diving and been fantastic too. We saw three Blue Ring Octopus this week, including two in one day and two different sites!! We also saw Coconut, Mimic and Wonderpuses too. Particularly special was seeing two tiny juvenile Wonderpuses which, from the tip of one tentacle to the tip of the other, was only about 4 cms (one and a half inches) across…incredibly sweet..
Been a good week for Zebras, with Zebra Crabs, Zebra Seahorses and Zebra Mantis Shrimp. We seen a fair amount of Tiger Shrimps again. Bumble Bee shrimp are still there and we’ve found some nice big Xeno Crabs and right next to them a Pink Bargibanti Pygmy, both only 18 meters deep. We also saw the Lembeh Pygmy Pipe Dragons.
We’ve had a good week for Ghost Pipefish, with Ornates, Robust, Velvet, Halimeda and Rough Snout all being seen. Frogfish have been well represented, with Hairy, Giant, Painted and Warty all making appearances. Other notable sightings are more Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ribbon Eels, Dragon Sea Moths, Crinoid Shrimps, Electric (disco) Clam, Stargazers, Pontohi Pygmy Seahorses, Pink Hairy Squat Lobsters, Crocodilefish, Snake Eels and two Bobbitt Worms on one night dive!!!
Dive Guide Rony had a good week..last week he found a Phantom Velvetfish, which was very exciting..this week he found what he had really been looking for, the Lembeh Velvetfish, a unique Lembeh critter, so well done Rony!!!
This week’s video is of a very bizarre nudibranch. The Solar Powered Nudi is one of the largest nudis we get, with two in this video over 20cms long. The graze on soft coral, usually a leathery soft coral called Sarcophyton. The nudis extract the zooanthellae from the soft coral then store it in their fleshly lobes that come out of their body. The use the zooanthellae to photosynthesis and harvest the energy produced, hence their name!! An amazing symbiotic relationship and another truly weird and wonderful critter from Lembeh.
Thanks to another great bunch of people from all over the world for coming to visit. We’ve had guests from Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Turkey, Japan, the UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, Italy and France. Nice meeting all of you…and hope to see you again.
Barb’s bronchitis finally cleared up and so she managed to get back in the water yesterday. Enjoy her photos…
Date Posted: July 26, 2010 @ 5:46 pm Comments Off