Gili Air, North Lombok we have had had a great week of spotting pygmy Seahorses. It is not often that we come across them, a bit up and down, they seem to like to move around the Gili Islands. Our spot was on a dive site called Gili Air wall. Kuss our instructor was the one who spotted it down at 18 Meters while taking his 4th dive of an Open water course. Around the Gilis we get both the common pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) and Denise pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise). The type Kuss spotted was the common seahorse. They are tiny with orange to red warts and spots. They live on sea fans the same colour as them to blend in and catch food from the water movement.
“Are the Flamboyant Cuttlefish in Lembeh Venomous or Poisonous? What about the Blue Ring Octopus, and the Spiny Devilfish: Venomous or Poisonous?”
These are commonly asked critter-questions at Two Fish Lembeh, especially during weeks like these when all of the above mentioned animals are making a regular appearance. Apparently the Flamboyant Cuttlefish is poisonous, not venomous, and the Blue Ring Octopus and Spiny Devilfish are both venomous. The difference between venomous animals and poisonous animals is how their toxin is delivered.
So there I finally was, arriving in Nusa Lembongan, to begin my much anticipated journey on the divemaster course. After planning the trip for months, and packing up everything I had in the States, I was ready to start what has so far been a delightful yet challenging adventure. The first couple of days were absolute paradise. I started with fun dives in the morning witnessing some of the most alluring marine life I have ever seen, then spent the afternoons reading by the pool, and watching the harlequin sunset over the beach. But of course, this couldn’t last forever, some work had to be involved in getting my divemaster certification.
This week in Lembongan… Our instructors have been busy teaching new students about the wonderful world of diving. We have had Rowan jumping between teaching an Open Water course with the help of Yayan, to teaching discover scuba divers. Bryce and Fred have been out panicking and screaming for help while teaching a rescue course. Yayan has popped over to Bali to teach another person Open Water course and Fred has just started a deep specialty course.
This week, we were joined by Ismail from Jakarta, who specifically travelled to our Bunaken resort to get started on the route to technical diving. So far, so normal. Asked about his diving experience to date, Ismail said he had completed just under 30 dives, prompting the question what time is the right time for a diver to start technical diving training.
We might not have been hunting for Easter eggs or chocolates, but we’ve been lucky enough to spot plenty of pygmy seahorses and ornate ghost pipefish around Bunaken this week. It’s definitely been a week for macro photography fans (thanks for the picture, Alex Schade) with our guides spotting numerous pregnant Pontohi Pygmy and Severn’s seahorses as well as ornate ghost pipefish all around the island.
We’ve enjoyed a huge variety of divers and a huge variety of life in Amed, Bali this week. With many of our guests asking to visit the USAT Liberty it was a chance for many of them to meet the resident Great Barracuda that lives there – I don’t think he has a name yet so any suggestions welcome 🙂 Other than that our guests and guides have been seeing a sample of the eclectic life that lives here.
A variety of Harlequins have made an appearance in Lembeh this week. Harlequin Shrimp, Harlequin Swimming Crabs and Harlequin Ghost Pipefish have been keeping our photographers and recreational divers busily entertained! Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) are a highly sought-after sight in Lembeh, and are often found near their favorite food source: the blue Linkia Sea Star. Harlequin Shrimp feed on Linkia Star tube feet; they remove each tasty foot with their tweezer-like claws before cutting into the Sea Star and consuming it further. A few lucky Sea Stars are able to shed an arm when the Harlequin Shrimp first begin to feed, but others are not so lucky. Harlequin Shrimp have been known to slowly consume a living Sea Star for many days, sometimes going so far as to feed their Sea Star in order to prolong the life of their food source!