“Coralpalooza” 2017

“Coralpalooza” 2017, an event organized by STINAPA Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire took place yesterday, June 3rd.  Volunteers helped clean the various coral nurseries on Bonaire and Klein.  This video features the Harbour Village site and we were lucky to have the STINAPA Bonaire Junior Rangers participate!  Thanks to GAB dive shop crew and manager Christine Ball.

Shrimp Manicure Anyone?

The Pederson cleaner shrimp is most often spotted living in a Caribbean Anemone.  They are found in the Western part of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean oceans. They have a clear translucent body with beautiful purple and blue markings. Their front claws are very large and are also adorned with the same purple and blue patterns.

These shrimp also act as cleaner shrimp. They lure fish into their surroundings using their large antennae. Many fish will allow them to clean the inside of their mouths referred to by divers as a “cleaning station”.  If they are not busy, you can gently move your hand near their antennae and receive a complimentary manicure.

Reproduction:

After the male cleaner shrimp fertilizes her eggs the female then carries them in her pleopod. She then releases the young into the water column, which produces a pelagic larval form. After the young planktonic shrimp develops it immediately finds its host anemone.  If you look closely, you can see the fertilized eggs in the first two images.

Photos by Shelly Craig, Bonaire Netherlands Caribbean

 

Queen Angelfish Portrait

queen-angelfish-1

They are shy fish, found often alone unlike the French Angelfish often found in pairs in the warm waters of the Caribbean and western Atlantic. Fairly large for reef-dwellers, they can grow up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) in length with a lifespan of 15 years. They have rounded heads and a bird-like mouth, and their long upper and lower fins stream dramatically behind them.

Queen angelfish get their royal title from the speckled, blue-ringed dark spot on their heads that resembles a crown.  Next week a watercolor image showing her crown.

Decked out with electric blue bodies, yellow hashtags, blazing yellow tails, and light purple and orange highlights, Queen angels are among the most strikingly colorful of all reef fishes. Their adornments seem shockingly conspicuous, but they blend well when hiding amid the exotic reef colors.

The Queen Angelfish is one of my favorite fish to photograph.  If I get a glimpse of one, and capture a portrait, it’s a great dive!

Sources: National Geographic

Photo by: Shelly Craig 1st place EPIC Underwater Photographic Image Competition

Nikon 150 Lens, Sea and Sea Housing, Duo YS Strobes

Rise and Shine

iguana

Bonairian Iguana

After sunrise this character moves to a place where he can soak up the suns heat.  I suspect this guy has been in the neighborhood about 15 years or so.

We often see him or his compadres on our daily walks as he struts and swaggers along.  He waves his floppy dewlap on his neck and nods his head up and down.  His tail twitches slowly back and forth giving us the “iguana glare” ever hopeful for a handout.

A Rare Find and my “15 Minutes”

Rare find.  Photo donated to Smithsonian Institute.

“Reticulate Moray Eel”

I was scrolling through some of my old Kodak slide film photo images and came across this guy.

It must have been taken near the time of the Millennial?  We were diving a lot back then.

I remember the dives were over as soon as I shot my roll of 36 or got cold.  Once we rinsed our gear, we drove to “Paradise Photo” in town to drop off the film.  The next day, once the roll was processed I took it back to the dive shop and hovered over the light table with a big magnifying loop to see if I “got anything”.

“What’s this?”  It was quite a flurry of activity and excitement.  No one had seen this particular creature this far South before.  Note his big “horns”.  Further investigation and inquiries were made by the then Harbour Village Dive shop manager, Marion Wilson. Consultations ensued with area dive shops.

The above image is one of a series…..the best one being sent off by Ms. Wilson to the  National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (USNM) it now rests in their “type specimen repository”.

Nice memory.

Fitness on Vacation?

sport

Almost missing your connection shouldn’t be the only time you work up a sweat on vacation. We get it: your travel plans might make you tempted to forget about your workout routine.  Especially if it’s an “active” vacation like a scuba diving trip.

Scuba Diving may not burn enough calories to make up for the extra indulgences we treat ourselves to when vacationing.  “PADI has done quite a bit of research on this, and estimates that an average shore-dive in temperate water burns as much as 600 calories per hour — the same as jogging. However, a leisurely boat dive in warm, tropical waters burns about 300 calories an hour.”  (scuba diving magazine)

About the same calories as one Margarita!  So, if you want to maintain and not gain on your vacation, try these simple tips to keep in shape on the go:

Stretch post-flight

After a long trip, your muscles tend to be tighter than ever. When you get to your gate, ward off lower-back soreness with a forward fold: Bend at the hips and fall forward, and swing arms side to side. Stand up and stretch on the flight.  Once you arrive at your destination, help your body and mind reset with a couple of yoga stretches like: downward dog and the child’s pose. 

Scope out the fitness scene and try a new class.  You will have a more authentic stay by meeting some of the locals.

Wake up a half hour early and do a 30 minute jog along the sea or a few exercises to rev up your metabolism.  Jumping jacks, lunges and planking and you can be finished before the hotel gym opens.

You can also windsurf, ride a bike, swim, kayak, or SUPboard. Try something new on vacation, and burn a few calories while you’re at it.