“Who??,” we hear you cry! Its the lovely Boxer Crab of course!
We found this little guy at a close-by dive site, recently, hiding in some coral rubble extremely shallow. As you can imagine we and our guests were all pretty excited to see him as they are pretty rare and are often hiding under small rocks, so making them even harder to find!! It seems like there was some kind of crustacean party going on – look at the two other little crabs he was hanging around with!!
You will notice it has a distinct colour pattern and enjoys a mutualistic relationship with small anemones, which is carries in its claws. The anemone’s stinging cells protect the boxer crab against predators, in return boxer crab provide food for its protectors. Boxer crabs use at least three different species of anemones, Bundeopsis sp and Triactis producta. The bonding with the anemone is not required for their survival and boxer crabs have been known to live without them and sometimes substituting other organisms such as sponges and corals.
We had already enjoyed a lovely dive before we happened upon the crab on our safety stops ( which went on for about 20 minutes so that everyone could get a good look!) – we had seen Wonderpus, Seahorses and a free-swimming Ribbon eel which is another rarity!
Tanya’s first time ever taking photos under water, and what amazing results! Proving it’s not as hard as people think, her best photos were actually taken with white balance, rather than point and shoot.
A few our her favourite photos shown here include a fun reverse picture of herself, taken by herself, an orangutan crab who will always be known as King Louis, a hiding Blue-Spotted Ribbontail Ray, a beautiful macro shot of hard coral, a sleek Chromodoris Willani Nudibranch, and last but certainly not least, the cheeky looking Orange Anemonefish.
Have fun with your new camera Tanya and enjoy taking many more amazing shots.
The new PADI IDC format requires that candidates now have to undertake an “Intro to Diving” workshop. This event coincided with the last day of our IDC so we had our IDC candidates as well as instructors and course director helping out!
The purpose of this event was to increase awareness to the locals of Manado by showing them just a little part of what kind of life and wonderful things we can find underwater. Hopefully this will bring more interest from the communities to protect their natural resources, making a profit out of the wonders they already have, instead of over developing the area.
We also had the pleasure of taking a group from Indonesian television networks on their first ever underwater experience. These were just a few people out of over 200 who came to join us on our day of fun and protection.
HOPE WE HAVE HELPED TO MAKE A CHANGE!
May has come to an end and we have to say if has been an awesome month for diving in Lembeh! The month did start off a little bit rainy and grey but the diving was anything but sad and gloomy – it has been a great month for Frogfish sightings, octopus encounters, cool Nudis, rare Rhinopias…all the lovely Lembeh Critters!!
We ran our first day trip to Bangka Island, which was a great success. The strong currents brought in lots of pelagics for our group – tuna, trevally and large stingrays!
We have also been trying out some new sites in more southern end of The Straits and come up with a couple of gems in particular one near the monument which was is a Mecca for different types of ghost pipefish!
Work has started in earnest on our artificial reef with a couple of structures in place – we are going to check on them tomorrow and see what has moved in!!
Scubi is now fully settled in as our new resort dog and is busy charming all the guests with his cuteness and annoying Chocolate with his boundless energy!
Over the last couple few days in particular our dive guides ( Opo, Franz and Steven & Helen has been moonlighting as a guide!) have been on top form and pleasing our guests with sightings of Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Wonderpus, Mimic & Blue-Ringed Octopus, Pygmy and Pontohi Seahorses, all different kinds of Ghost Pipefish and so many Frogfish - from Warty to Painted and from Giant to Hairy – we literally have seen them all!! It has been hard to log the dives as we are seeing so much on the dives we are forgetting what we have seen and it like a competition at the dinner table who has seen the coolest critters!!
Lets hope that June is just as good!!
So after the successful ‘planting’ of the cleaning stations, we started on the next phase of our artificial reef – building of fish houses. We chose a nice sunny day and grabbed our mound of bricks and started to design the ‘main’ fish house. We use traditional batako ( bricks) for the bottom and top layer of the house – this gives the house a decent weight so that it stays in position in the water. By using the ‘holey bricks’, we have created hide-outs for shrimps and little fish to live in.
As you can see from the photos Gizmo and Opo worked hard cementing all the bricks together and after just an hour or so (and a couple of disagreements!) you could really see the house starting to take shape.
Finally after a bit more hard graft and then a few days of allow the cement to fully dry, the finished article ( below) is ready to go into the water. Once the structure is in place we are also going to attached rope with small floats onto the houses to add extra height and also provide more surface area for algae, sponge and coral to attach onto and grow on. Keep an eye out for the next blog detailing the hard work of getting this structure into the water – that will definitely be a team effort!!