Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The End of an Era

This is my last post on UWET...at least for a while. I'd like to think that I'm only taking a break from underwater photography in East Timor and that, like so many others, I will return to Timor one day and pick up where I left off.

Diane, Amelia and I are now in Uganda...landlocked.
But that's OK, we've got lots to explore.
Please check out our new blog UWET 2: Uganda Wildlife Ecology and Travel .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Squid Babies

We hatched about 20 baby squids before returning them and the egg sack back to the sea. This is a large-format picture...click to enlarge!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday at Tasi Tolu

Pretty cloudy at Tasi Tolu this morning, but we managed to get a few photos. The first two shots here are of squid eggs. Usually these egg sacks are more opaque and attached to soft corals.

Four Distinct Pipehorses

On my squid-egg-recon dive today at Tasi Tolu I spotted five distinct pipehorses, all along the ridge at 10 meters. Conditions were a bit brutal today with lots of surge, so I only got four of these little guys in focus.

The first two pipehorses are about 4cm, but the second two are tiny, about 15mm. Impossible to focus on in that damn surge.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Green Pipefishes

Diane and I had a lovely dive at Tasi Tolu this morning. On the way up the slope we found these two ghost pipefishes, perfectly camouflaged in the sea grass and algae.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tasi Tolu Night Dive

Thanks to Marcella, Jenny, and Sarah for a wonderful night dive at Tasi Tolu.

This first shot is of two Demon Stingers or Devil Scorpionfish (Inimicus didactylus).

Our friendly Lacy Scorpionfish.

This Orangutan Crab (Achaeus japonicus) is a founding member of the hair club for crabs. As the name suggests, usually these crabs are completely covered with orange-red hairs.

Bobtail Squid

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A few other photos

Here are a few other photos that I took during the underwater photo competition. The first shot is of an octopus (~8 cm) eating a crab. The shell is visible beneath the octopus' mantle. Unfortunately, he disappeared into the sand pretty quick.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Inaugural Underwater Photo Contest

I participated in Timor Leste's Inaugural Underwater Photo Competition last week and feel extremely fortunate to have received a President's Award for the photo below. With the exception of the Manatutu River churning out silt on Wednesday and Thursday, the dive conditions during the competition were extraordinary. Rarely are Pertamina Pier and Tasi Tolu so clear. And the conditions produced some fantastic photos. Keep an eye out in Asian Diver online for all of the winning photos.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tozeuma Shrimp...In Focus

Do you remember the post from June...Tozeuma Shrimp...Out of Focus, Or What?...? Well, it was supposed to be a trick. There are actually two Tozeumas in that photo: the larger in the foreground is blurry, but there is also a smaller individual in the back on the right. Very few of you yahoos noticed it, so here is a shot of the larger shrimp...in focus...taken a few days ago.

Juvenile Harlequin Sweetlips

Another shot from the night dive at Dili Rock...this is a juvenile Harlequin Sweetlips (~12cm). Most of the juvenile sweetlips we see are smaller and more difficult to photograph. They tend to flop and flail about. But this Harlequin was pretty chill, casually hunting for an evening meal.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Basket Stars

Thanks to Sara for dragging me out for a dive at Dili Rock last night. Of the cool creatures we found in our torchlights, I think these two basket stars (Gorgonocephalus sp.) are worthy of a post. After a bit of research, I found that there are 10-12 species of basket stars, that they are typically found in cold water, and that they are closely related to brittle stars, although much larger. These two are 25cm and 40cm respectively. The second photo below is of an individual that has lived in the same spot for at least seven years. Any guesses on the natural life span of a basket star? No googling.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cuttlefish at Tasi Tolu

A cute little cuttlefish from this afternoons' dive at Tasi Tolu.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dwarf Scorpionfish

Eubranchus - Super Macro

I screwed on an old diopter to my 100mm macro lens today and headed out to Tasi Tolu for a morning dive. My mission was to get a close-up photo of a Eubranchus (not sure what species) that I had found yesterday. The diopter seemed like a good idea, letting me get super close to the Eubranchus. But wouldn't you know it, today the conditions at Tasi Tolu were absolutely stunning, with crystal clear water and visibility like I've rarely experienced there. I saw a huge barracuda and four reef squid laying eggs, but I couldn't photograph any of it. Having said that, here's the photo of the Eubranchus hanging out on a stinging hydroid. It's about 1cm and almost full-frame.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Octo Redux

I went back out to Tasi Tolu today and found the mimic octopus that Diane had spotted on Saturday. Much to my surprise, the octopus was only a few feet from where we last saw him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shy Frogfish

This is a very shy frogfish that's hiding in a patch of leather coral at Tasi Tolu. There is a small school of damselfish in the area that are constantly harassing the frogfish, backing into him and smacking him with their tales.

Diane Finds Mimic

Diane found this mimic octopus sticking its head out of a hole at Tasi on Sunday. We tapped our pointers around the hole and the octopus came partially out a few times to investigate.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brown-Banded Pipefish

This Brown-Banded Pipefish (Corythoichthys amplexus) was actively hunting on the Dili Rock reef today. This individual (~6cm) was very easy to approach and photograph, unperturbed as it searched for benthic invertebrates in small crevices and coral polyps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eye . Spotted Toby

Juvenile Ceratosoma

This is a juvenile Ceratosoma tenue, recognizable by its perforated purple margin. Adults can reach 11cm, but this little guy was only about a centimeter.

In Search of Dragon Shrimp

Thanks to Greg from DTL for joining me at Tasi Tolu this morning. We were in search of two Dragon Shrimp Phyllognathia ceratophthalmu that I had a spotted a few days ago. Although it was blustery above water, the dive conditions were surprisingly good.