In may of 2009 we went to Indonesia with Eric Cheng for a total of 45 days. We did over 130 dives, and went from Lembeh to Raja Ampat, Halmahera, Ambon and finally Flores. It was one of the best trips we’ve ever done, with a really nice group of people. It took a few months, but I finally managed to upload a gallery of the images. You can also read our tripreport.
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Julie and I just returned from a 45 day dive trip in Indonesia. This is pretty long even for us. We did 40 consecutive days of diving, and did well over 100 dives in total. The trip took us from Lembeh in North Sulawesi to North-West Papua, Raja Ampat, Halmahera, Ambon, Banda, Alor and Flores. We saw many things we’d never seen before, including Harlequin Shrimps, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, mating Cuttlefish, and much more. We had great company, including fellow Wetpixel Administrators Eric Cheng, Matt Segal and Craig Jones. We’ll soon have a gallery online, but until then read our tripreport which includes some of our images. For dutch photographers Cor is doing a talk about this trip on the next AquaShot evening on April 17.
I just happened to be going through some images to submit some older stuff to iStock and I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. Not when I took it, and not when I added the image to my library. I took this photo of a spider in a web on Banda Neira, one of the spice islands in the Banda Sea where the dutch used to get nutmeg. Look and behold, on its back is another tiny spider, almost certainly a male mating with the much larger female. How cool is that!
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.
You never know what to expect when you dive. During a dive in Indonesia I suddenly saw a sponge spawning. The event only lasted for a few minutes, but I was able to capture some images. It was the first time I ever saw this with my own eyes.
In September/October of 2007 Julie and I went to Indonesia on a long trip through the Banda Sea. We visited some very remote islands, some of which have a very notorious history. Especially the Banda Islands themselves were fascinating. These islands are known as the spice islands, and many sea battles were fought over its riches in the 16/17/18th century.
I wrote a 4 page story about the trip which can be read in Duiken Magazine, and will be available as a pdf in a few weeks with this article.
What is even cooler is that Julie got the cover of the January issue with a nice image of 2 boys coming to pose underwater.
Julie won a second place in the Underwater Art section of the new contest by Australasia Scuba Diver magazine. She won a nice liveaboard price with an image of a pipe fish shot in Indonesia.
Julie has the cover of Scuba Diver Australasia for issue 4 of 2007. It’s an image of a kid in Indonesia playing with us under water. Julie also has a portfolio in the same issue.
We have put another gallery online, this time with our photo’s from our last trip to Raja Ampat and Komodo. It was a very long trip, starting in Indonesian Guinea, through the Banda Sea, down to Flores, and from there to Komodo and finally to Bali. It took almost 4 weeks, but it was an extremely fun and productive trip.
We saw many critters that we’d not seen before, including a lot of nudibranchs, juvenile batfish, hairy octopus, and many more. The area around Komodo now ranks as our favorite dive destination.
Julie and I joined Fathoms on a trip from Raja Ampat, through the Banda Sea, to Flores. On paper this trip sounded really nice, and mostly it was very nice diving. What we had not realised was the amount of steaming we had to do, which greatly reduced our number of possible dives. We had 3 full days of steaming, and many 10+ hour voyages.
Not only was there a lot of moving, the boat also had a lot of trouble. On day three the nitrox failed because the main generator died. So now we’re not only limited in the number of dives, but also in bottom time. Since a lot of the dives are done in the 50-80 feet range, this really impacted our diving.
Visiting the Banda Islands was quite nice though, and so was snake island, an island that is home to thousands of sea snakes.