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

Lionfish Hunter

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The first Lionfish was spotted on Bonaire in October, 2009.  They reproduce rapidly and aggressively prey on small fish and invertebrates.  The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal. Their feeding consumption poses a major threat to reef ecological systems all throughout the Caribbean.

Jim Morris, “The Lion Fish Guy,” says it’s our fault. Pretty, frilly fins made the fish a favored pet and lured aquarists and aquarium dealers into a false sense of security. We simply didn’t see how dangerous these charismatic fish were—dangerous not for their venom, but for their beauty. We have trouble killing beautiful things, so instead we choose to release them into the wild, believing somehow that this is a better option when, in actuality, it’s the worst thing we can do.”  (Slate News-Christie Wilcox)

Native to the Indio-Pacific, it is now believed aquarium owners first dumped lionfish off the coast of Florida in the mid-1980s. Since the fish don’t have any natural predators here, they have the chance to multiply quickly, overtaking and killing native species, which results in a huge danger for the local environment and aquatic life on Bonaire. 

The current management philosophy is to kill ‘em and eat ‘em. 

It is legal to hunt lionfish on Bonaire through a dive operator but only when using marine park authorized spears. The Lionfish Hunter Specialty consists of a knowledge development session, practice using the hunting tools and two training dives actually hunting lionfish. You will receive a PADI Lion Fish Hunter specialty card recognized by STINAPA Bonaire (National Park Foundation Bonaire) and you will contribute to keeping our reefs healthy.

To further educate and eradicate these predators STINAPA Bonaire has organized events such as the “Malicious & Delicious Derby” to spotlight the problem and encourage the removal of the invasive lionfish.

National Geographic /Ocean service.noaa.gov/STINAPA Bonaire/Slate News

“Vitamin Sea” coursework project  “Jane Davenport Art School” http://www.janedavenport.com

Art Image:  S. Craig, Watercolor and ink

Bring your Dog to Bonaire!

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Most requested info!  So, by popular demand, here you go!

Short list:  I will attach link to downloadable forms below.

1.)  15 digit ISO microchip certificate signed by your Vet.

2.)  Vaccination record:  Pet should be vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days and not more than 12 months before entering  Bonaire.  Rabies and Distemper required.

3.)  APHIS Form 7001 can be completed by your local vet.  

4.)  Airline health certificate completed within 10 days of travel and signed by your vet.

When you arrive here at Flamingo Airport, there is a bathroom to the right of customs inside baggage claim area. I throw a wee wee pad down and get my dog a cup of water. When you are ready, find one of the guys at the baggage exit area and show him your papers.

Keep these papers for your return to US.  While you are on Bonaire, visit the local vet within 10 days before departure.

Click the link for all 4 downloadable PDF travel forms:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4Ge04zD-YxEcDA5cXJNNUdKUEE?usp=sharing

Enjoy traveling with your fur-kid!

Fly your colors

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The flag of Bonaire was adopted on December 11, 1981, and consists of a large blue triangle in the lower right corner and a smaller yellow triangle in the upper left corner. They are separated by a white strip containing a black compass and red six-pointed star.

The blue and yellow triangles represent the sea and sun, respectively, while the white represents the sky. The black compass symbolizes the population of Bonaire who come from the four corners of the world, and the red six-pointed star symbolizes the original six villages of Bonaire – Antriol, Nikiboko, Nort Saliña, Playa, Rincon and Tera Korá. The red, white and blue colors are also a display of loyalty towards the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Are Mermaids Real?

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In Old English, “mer” means “sea,” and “maid” simply meant woman.

Mermaids are therefore “women of the sea.”  

Legends of mermaids may be ancient, but they are still present in many forms; their images can be found in films, books, movies and even Starbucks.

Enjoy my Top Ten List of Mermaid’s in Movies:

  1. Miranda (1948) Iconic
  2. Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948) Midlife Crisis
  3. Aquamarine (2006) Nod to Jane Davenport
  4. Magic Island (1995)
  5. Hook (1991) Best adaptation of Peter Pan
  6. Ponyo (2009 — USA release) Disney-Miyazaki film
  7. Night Tide (1961) Murders
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) Sirens
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) Scary Mermaids
  10. Splash (1984) Haha, you didn’t think I would forget this one did you?

“Vitamin Sea” coursework project “Jane Davenport Art School” http://www.janedavenport.com

Art Image:  S. Craig, Daniel Smith watercolor paint and Jane’s Epic Pen.

Island Girls

Matt Varnish after fixStencils Matt Varnish

“Taming the Wild Sea”

We got to go a little wild and “make a splash” with this lesson from “Jane Davenport Art School”.

“Vitamin Sea” http://www.jandavenport.com

Art Image: S. Craig, Mix your own watercolor spray paint and DIY Stencil background.  Pastels, paint markers and iridescent paint jellyfish.