Josh and Nikki washed up on our shores after a stay with Two Fish Divers Bunaken and were ready to find out what this Muck Diving lark was about. We believe in the end they really loved it as they stayed with us for 5 days and then headed off to Flores and Bali and within 3 weeks were back for a second stint for another 4 days!! We think we have created to 2 new Muck Diving junkies!!
Josh and Nikki took many photos during their stay and you would often sitting in the lounge till the early hours cataloguing all their photos!! Two of our personal favourites are shown here.
Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus), usually live in burrows made from small rubble. This one pcitured here will be a male due to his strong bright colouring, females tend to be more olive in colour. We could spend hours watching these guys, preen their homes and it sometimes seems like they are just as interested in you as you are in them!!
Ribbon Eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) are another species that many people have on their Lembeh wish list and it is easy to see them at many of our sites. They are solitary creatures, who live in long sandy burrows. You normally see them with just their head sticking out but if you are really lucky you will see them free-swimming, which is a truly amazing sight. Ribbon eels are one of the wonders of the world as they start life as males ( as pictured here) and they can then later change sex. Adult males are bright blue and females bright yellow.
Thank you Josh and Nikki for sending these through to us and we hope to see in Lembeh again some time in the near future!
We regularly patrol our beach to keep it clean from rubbish, and the other day we had a group effort with some of our guests helping out! And it really is surprising what you can find hanging around in the rubbish!
Firstly, hiding amongst some sweet wrappers we found 5 or so Sargassum frogfish (Histrio histrio). This isn’t the first time we have found them right on our doorstep – two days ago we watched a large one eat a baby one!! Follow this link to find out more about these unusual frogfish – http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/sargassumfish/sargassumfish.html.
The next day as we were picking a stray plastic bottle or two, we came across this big guy!! We have been informed that he is a Dollabella Auricularia, which is a species of sea hare and grow up to 1.5 metres in length – HUGE!! The ‘hole’ you can see in the middle it is inhalant siphon which draws water into the enclosed mantle cavity. They tend to vary a lot in colour but are mainly see in mottled shades of brown/green, therefore allowing itself to be quite camouflaged,
It is normally found in sheltered bays on sand or mud but we found it sitting on the beach and so quickly took a photo before returning back to the water. I can assume he was not harmed to get this photo!
It was a real group effort cleaning up with Jacob & Kristen from Denmark, Phil & Liz from the UK and Silke & Peter from Austria all giving us a hand! Thank you so much it was really appreciated!
Back in February 2010, we had a group of Scandinavian divers who informed us of the existence of the ‘Tongue Eating Isopod’ – you may remember Anna’s photograph from the our ‘ Did You Know’ blog ( http://divinglembeh.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/did-you-know-2/) . One of the group was Bent Christensen, an Aquatic Ecologist and avid (and very talented) underwater and land photographer who has recently informed that he will be coming back to “to document the parasites further” . Even though he plans to spend a lot of time sitting at anemones, staring into the mouths of anemone fish as they try and bite him ( they are just protecting their anemone!) we are sure that he will spend some time enjoying some of the other critters that we have here in Lembeh and also to see if any of the other fish have a tongue-eating parasite living in their mouth!!
If you would like to check out some more of Bent’s photos from his stay here at Two Fish Lembeh and also at Two Fish Bunaken then follow the link to http://www.pbase.com/borneobent/sulawesi_2010 .
Two Fish Divers Lembeh would like to congratulate Maitri Fischer on completing his Enriched Air, Digital Underwater Photography and Deep Diver specialties during his stay with us! A perfect student, knowledge reviews where completed on time and he even scored 96% in his Enriched Air exam!! We did allow him some time off to enjoy some normal fun dives where he could continue to work on his camera skills!!
Here are some of the pictures that he took during his time with us.
You would think that maybe he has had enough learning for one holiday but he is off to our Bunaken resort to complete his Rescue Diver and Emergency First Response course over there!!
It has been great having Maitri to stay, a really fun student who is eager and willing to learn! We hope you come back soon!!
Russel enjoyed a break from his studies earlier this year by coming to Indonesia and enjoy some awesome diving here with Two Fish Divers in North Sulawesi. He thoroughly enjoyed his time diving the walls of Bunaken and combing the sand here in the Lembeh Strait critter hunting!!
Russell really enjoyed being able to really get into Macro photography here in Lembeh and the shots that he has sent us, also show he is pretty good at it.
The Black-Finned Snake Eel (Ophichthus melanochir). They are usually found alone buried in the sand wit just their head showing. They are laying in wait for the their prey, such as small fish. You’ll often find a cleaner shrimp hanging around on their nose keeping them company!
This beautiful Cockatoo Waspfish was found at one of our true muck diving sites. They are usually found on sandy or rubble bottoms swinging happily in the water movements, mimicking rotten leaf. Found in pairs or solitary. The colour of these ranges from light to dark brown and in the case of this one white with a brown face!!
Thank you Russell for sharing your great photos with us. If any of you would like to see more of Russell’s photos then just click on this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/russell_taylor/sets/