Posted by: Kaj Maney
We often joke with the guests that we think that the guides have a secret collection of small critters living in their BCD pockets. That way, when a guest really wants to see something, they can reach in their hidden cache of critters and pull the required one out…
The next morning we went up to California Dreaming, a lovely wall and coral dive site. He had had a lovely dive with Boxing Crabs, Pontohi and Severn’s Pygmy Seahorses, Tiger Shrimp and much more. It was quite windy in the Strait and we were making are way back fairly slowly.
When we were over half way back, Jony (one of our Dive Guides) suddenly shouted and pointed at something in the water. I looked over and saw this fairly big shape and thought, with excitement, that it was a Pilot Whale or something similar…
‘Can we get in with it???’ everyone asked. Well, I wasn’t going to stop myself, so it would be unfair to stop anyone else…
‘Just make sure you’ve got your mask and fins on’ I cried. and in we carefully got..
Now Barb had been teaching a photo course and so didn’t have her camera. I had my macro lens on, so video was out of the question, and all the other divers were macro’d up too…except Barb’s photo student, who had a nice little versatile point-and-shoot. She got hold of that, and managed to take these great photos…
What you can’t see here is that it was not a very big whale shark, only about 3.5m (10 feet) long (large whale sharks can get to 15m, 50ft big), so the guest had seen the, for the first time, Lembeh Pygmy Whale Shark!!!!
Well, the story doesn’t end there. Liberty, though he was on the boat, didn’t jump in the water to see it. And, of the guests on the boat, there were a group of six, but only four of them were on that dive and the other two had missed out on the sighting..
So the next day (today), the same boat on the first dive, with the same divers saw and snorkelled with it again!!!!!!!!! This time in front of KBR!!!! And Liberty managed to see it himself this time…
…And it’s still not over. The two divers who had now missed the whale twice were rightly getting perhaps a little miffed, as their mates were gently rubbing in their good fortune…well guess what? on the 2nd dives they all saw the whale shark again, including the ones who had missed it before!!!! For all the guests on the boat it was the first time they had seen a whale shark, and, like me, couldn’t believe we got to see one in Lembeh..
So my question to Liberty was ‘how on earth do you mange to fit a Whale Shark in your BCD pocket??!!!’
My video this week is of one of the trickiest critters to photograph or film, the Mushroom Coral Pipefish.
Mushroom Coral Pipefish are one of the hardest critters to film, for four reasons…
- 1. They are small.
2. They are white, making it very hard to film without blowing them out.
3. They live at the bottom of Mushroom Coral, in amongst their long polyps.
4. And they never stop moving!!!!
They are a very lovely pipefish, completely white, expect for a red line that runs through their eyes. They also have funny upturned mouths.
As their name suggest, they live exclusively in Mushroom Corals. Here we usually only see one in a coral, so it was very nice to find two sharing one small home.
The rest of the week has been great too. There must be something big in the air (or water) as we also saw a nice big Devil Ray. We here for the small stuff though and there was, as ever, plenty of that around. Cephalopods have been very good this week as we’ve seen two Mimics mating, two Wonderpus mating and two Long Arms mating!!! There have also been more Coconut Octopus, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Broadclub Cuttlefish and Pygmy Cuttlefish. We also saw some more Bobtail Squid on night dives (along with Bobbit Worms and Stargazers). Pygmy Seahorses have been very good, with Pontohis, Severn’s, Pink and Yellow Bargibantis and Denise Pygmy Seahorses all being seen. There have also been Robust, Ornate, Rough Snout, Halimeda and Velvet Ghost Pipefish. There have been plenty of great crustaceans with Harlequin Shrimp, Tiger Shrimp, Zebra Crabs, Crinoid Shrimp, Orang Utan Crabs, juvenile Painted Lobster, Brook’s Urchin Shrimp, Halimeda Crabs, Porcelain Crabs, Dragon Shrimp, Donald Duck Shrimp, Candy Crabs, Emperor Shrimp, Hairy Squat Lobster, Elegant Squat Lobster, Squat Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Skeleton Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, Boxing Crabs, Xeno Crabs and Whip Coral Shrimp. Frogfish include Hairy, Painted, Randal’s Occellated (Coin Bearing) and Warty. And there have been Ambon Scorpionfish, Stonefish, Waspfish, Raggy Scorpionfish, Spiny Devilfish, Longhorn Cowfish, Cockatoo Flounder, juvenile Fingered Dragonets, Banggai Cardinalfish, Ribbon Eels, Snowflake Morays, Demon Scorpionfish, juvenile Barramundi cod, juvenile Sweetlips and juvenile Lembeh Velvetfish.
Remember the competition you can enter for amazing prizes, including a wonderful trip to KBR.
If you want to win a fabulous prize for your incredible photograph, enter the Ocean Art Photo Competition 2011 over at the Underwater Photography Guide website. There are many different categories, over $82,000 in prizes!!! You can submit underwater photos taken anywhere, anytime…
And if you’ve never been here before there’s a great article written by Stephen Wong and Takako Uno on the same website.
Thanks again to our lovely guests, this week from South Africa, Germany, Austria, the UK, Holland, France, Italy, Japan, Singapore and the States.
And finally, enjoy Barb’s photos from this week. Just click on the photo strip at the top or bottom of this blog to see them all…..
Date Posted: September 26, 2011 @ 8:44 pm Comments (1)