Alberic and his friends published their book from their round-the-world trip. They came back on July 16 and its already there. I'm going tonight to their arrival party in Paris. It can be bought directly from Ecritures for only 17EUR. For the record, I met Alberic while diving in Koh Tao, Thailand, in august 2003 while on my round the world trip, a few weeks before he left for his adventure. We exchanged a lot of emails while on the road as he was going on my track in a few places and I could give him some handy tips. He also managed to stop in Bora-Bora to dive with François, a dive instructor I met in Dahab in january 2003 and who left shortly after to work at Bora Dive.
I have been kindly asked for several pictures of the wounded black manta taken in Sangalaki to be used as materials for a PADI Specialty Course called Mantas of Ningaloo as well as for research. The course can be taken at the Exmouth Diving Centre, Exmouth, Western Australia. This is where I wanted to go last year to take a chance at finding a few whale sharks. But this was a long way from Perth (~1300km) Oh well...
No pictures today. I took a flight from Manado to Singapore at noon to catch my flight back to Paris at 22:30. I will be arriving the next day at 6AM and I'm going to work right after at 9AM. I did not stay long in Lembeh, but it is still better than not going at all. Heather, Mike, Paul and Bob stay here until for a few more days.
I haven't seen a lot of nudibranches and flatworms in this trip but diving in nudi falls I expected to get a few snapshots of new species (for my personal database at least). I was not disappointed with the Hoplodoris nodulosa or the Glossodoris rufomarginatus. I did not have time to ids all of the critters because I can't find the time and resources to do so efficiently. Of course frogfish were there as well as the Banggaai cardinalfish.
This ghost pipefish was a first to me, as I have never seen one in post-larval stage (we thought at first it was a different specie, until I looked for more information). You can see it still being fully transparent. It was a mission just to take a picture of it as it was driving me nuts by swimming around me, up and down. I stayed for more than 15 minutes doing what Mike called on DD imitation of the Tasmanian Devil" trying to have a side shot with tail fully expanded. Mission accomplished.
This macro shot of a crocodile fish eye was taken in Paradise dive site, just next to a giant frogfish and a massive phyllidiopsis shirinae with chromodoris tinctoria. Paradise is well...not really what the average diver would expect of a tropical dive site. It is a grey, dark place, covered not with black sand but silt. Any single move of a fish on the bottom creates enough shit to make the water cluttered with particules and thus not really great for photography.