“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.

Lessons from the Mat.

View from the “Yoga Terrace” at Spice.

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We have a gentle and encouraging Yoga instructor.  Her lessons serve us well on and off the mat.

1) Find your balance

2) Breathe

3) Be in the moment

4) Create space

5) Nice and stay

6) Be aware

7) Expand

8) Feel the sensation

9) Don’t judge

10) Just let go

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“Namaste” What does it mean?

The gesture (a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest) and word is used mainly throughout India, Nepal, and parts of Asia.  We use it in Yoga class.

It is a respectful way of greeting hello and saying goodbye.

It can also translate to:

“I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.”

“I honor the place in you of light, of love, of truth, and peace.”

(Yeah, that one word means a whole lot, but it’s a great saying none the less.)

Namaste my friend. Namaste

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

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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

Let’s Flamingle!

The holidays are coming! Birds of a feather flock together.

Cocktails and Mocktails!  Mix up a pitcher and shake your tail-feathers!

“Pink Flamingo” drink Recipe: 

Pink lemonade with a splash of soda.

Garnish with lemons, limes or strawberries over ice.

With or without Vodka. 

Cheers….and a little more art making!

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Flamingo watercolor

Watercolour flamingos by; S.Craig

Fun Facts about Jellyfish

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Jellyfish watercolour and ink

Fun Facts:

Some jellyfish are bigger than a human and others are as small as a pinhead.

People in some countries eat jellyfish.

Jellyfish have been on Earth for millions of years, even before dinosaurs.

Jellyfish have no brain but some kinds have eyes.

Jellyfish are mainly made up of water and protein.

A group of jellyfish is called a smack or bloom.

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea.

Sources: National Geographic, Smithsonian

Art rendering: by S. Craig