It’s always a bit exciting when you get something published for the first time. I just saw the latest issue of Sport Diver magazine at our regular dive shop Cane Bay Dive Shop with two of my images in it. Sport Diver regularly does an image callout to a selection of underwater photographers, and we joined this list a few months ago after they invited. When they asked for some images of St Croix I submitted some, and included some from other places as well. They printed two of my images. Very cool. I hope this will not be the last, as I must admit that Sport Diver pays very well for a dive magazine.
Here’s the two images. One is a Lemon Shark from the Bahamas. The other a Frog Fish at the St Croix pier.
About a year and a half ago Julie and I did a long trip in the Banda Sea. This is when the idea for another trip to Indonesia grew. Eric was thinking about doing a similar trip, from Northen Papua through Ambon towards Flores. We immediately agreed to join this trip, which eventually turned into a double trip. He also arranged for a well known guide named Graham Abbott. So we’ll be heading back to Indonesia for a full month on the Seven Seas liveaboard.
Since we’re in the area anyways, we also decided to take a small group into Lembeh, a well known diving mecca that both Eric and us have never been to. It’s a macro heaven, with black sand bottoms and some of the most amazing macro around. And to top it off, Julie and I will spend a few days in Singapore before the main trip, to acclimatize to the time zone change and catch up with some diving friends.
We can’t wait to start this trip. It promises to be a very rewarding trip and we expect a lot of good photographs. It’s also going to be great to see all our old friends again, as almost everyone on board will be someone we’ve already been diving with.
Julie and I have been doing dressage riding for a few years now. Julie especially has been very interested in buying her own horse. We’ve been looking at a specific horse for a while, but never took the plunge. Recently we heard a possible sale of that horse fell through (they bought another one), and he was back on the market. So we decided it’s now or never. We talked to the owner and have come to an agreement. Unless the horse fails a medical examination, we have bought our first horse. The examination has to wait until we’re back in Amsterdam, as we obviously want to be there.
It’s quite a nice horse, and a favorite at the stable we ride at. It’s actually a mystery to us and others why he’s never been sold. This does make us nervous a bit, but for now we’re confident he’ll pass the exam. One reason could be that he’s can nip at you as you saddle him up, so prospective buyers may be discouraged by that. We think though that this can be fixed by proper fitting material, more personal care, and trust. He has a nice heritage, has performed at levels much higher than what we’d ever reach, and is an awesome horse to ride.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that everything works out, especially since Julie has already bought a whole library of books about horse care! Here’s a video of him with another rider in our stable riding him in a jumping event.
I never have enough harddisk space. When I travel I have at least 5 external USB disks with me. One for the images I take during the trip, a backup for that one, one with my lightroom database, a rescue disk for my laptop, and usually a disk with movies and tv series for those moments where you dont feel like doing anything else. Lately I’ve also started to take a disk with most of my originals, as fate would have it that im always asked to deliver some specific image while im traveling.
Unfortunately USB is not the fastests, and trying to run both Lightroom and my disk with originals externally has proven to be very annoying. It’s just too slow. My friend Eric Cheng runs a laptop with 2 internal disks, so I figure that would be a good option. Just add a second 500GB harddisk for my image data.
A company called MCE Technologies has a product they call the Optibay that allows you to replace your internal SuperDrive with an internal harddisk. You can either have them do it for you, or just order the parts and do it yourself. Naturally I opted for the latter and ordered a 500GB Optibay. It arrived a few days later, ready for me to install.
As if we didn’t have enough hobbies, Julie and I have started to do geo caching. It’s actually a great way to get some exercise and see areas you otherwise probably wouldn’t visit. The object is to find a treasure that’s been hidden. You find it by following GPS coordinates towards a location. Sometimes the caches are easy to find, somethings quite difficult. You then take something out of the cache, and put something back in yourself.
You can do geocaching all over the world. Probably within a few miles of everyone reading this post there is at least 1 cache. Here on St Croix there are about 10 caches, and we’ve found 5 so far. One turned out to be unreachable as the area it’s in was flooded after the last hurricane. Maybe if I take my dive gear out!
Finding the caches turned out to be a lot of fun. One was right near our dive shop. Literally a few steps from it. We never knew it was there. Another was on the highest peak of St. Croix and was pretty hard to reach as there was no real path. We had to hike through dense forest. The photo was taken during our last hike. We had to walk about 2 miles over hills, past deserted beaches, through dense grass, and finally we found it near a beautiful little lagoon with several pelicans flying around. Just perfect.