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UW Photo Wench’s Longest Dive Ever

If you want maximum bottom time, a shore dive is the way to go. No set schedule to follow, little to no current to worry about, easy to navigate and nearly impossible to get lost. My friend Linda was visiting from Texas, and we got to talking about what our longest dive was. Both of us had several dives that went longer than 2 hours, but we decided to challenge ourselves to make it to 3 hours.

To accomplish this, we needed to stay relatively shallow and not do too much swimming. Mucky Pirates Bay here in Pemuteran is perfect. You can spend an entire dive exploring under the pier. There are also nearby mooring bases and piles of debris that have their own little ecosystems—a macro photographer’s dream.

After helping us in the water with our gear & cameras, we told the Sea Rovers shore support crew not to expect us back for at least 2.5 hours (I don’t think they completely believed us, but they smiled and waved us on our way). It was low tide and there was limited visibility, so it was a good thing we didn’t plan to venture too far from shore. Because of the particles in the water, the dive wasn’t particularly fruitful photographically. We saw several morays, pipefish, lionfish, and the usual cleaner shrimp and anemone crabs. But here is my favorite shot of the day

Zoop dive computer showing 3 hour dive

Here’s the proof – 30 feet (10 metres) for 180 minutes

 

So, if you love long slow dives with lots of interesting critters, be sure to check out Mucky Pirates Bay with the Pirates of Sea Rovers. Maybe you too can log your longest dive ever and beat my record.

Starry moray eel, Mucky Pirates Bay, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

The starry moray is one of my favorite eels because of the bright yellow eyes

 

Moray eel, banded coral shrimp, Mucky Pirates Bay, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

While shooting the shrimp, the moray suddenly stuck out his head

 

Lionfish under pier, Mucky Pirates Bay, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

One of several lionfish under the pier

 

Pipefish profile, Mucky Pirates Bay, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

One of many pipefish we saw

 

Porcelain crab, anemone, Mucky Pirates Bay, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

Look for these in anemones if the clownfish will let you get close enough

 

Nature makes for strange companions

During a recent dive in Mucky Pirates Bay, I came across an upside-down jellyfish lying in the sand. I wasn’t sure whether it was alive or dead, so I gently prodded it with my muck stick. Imagine my surprise when it started running across the sand! What I didn’t realize was that there was a decorator crab underneath who had adorned this jellyfish like a hat to protect itself from predators. I found another one on a subsequent dive, so this must be fairly common. It’s clear what benefit the crab gets from this relationship…not sure if the jellyfish is too happy about the arrangement.Save

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Throwback Thursday-Shots from 2001

I had this great idea of doing a weekly Throwback Thursday post, choosing images shot in the same week of a previous year. I found a file of images from 2009 and had several photos ready to post, but then realized that none of these critters are found here in NW Bali (I was living in Grand Cayman then).

So, I had to change my criteria and just picked photos from the past of things that could be found here. So, the photos in today’s post were shot in 2001 when I was on a liveaboard in Komodo. I’ve seen all of them this month on my dives with Sea Rovers.

Mantis shrimp, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Mantis shrimp poking out of its hole

 

Porcelain crab, anemone

Porcelain crab in its anemone

 

Tiger Cowrie, Komodo, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Usually you see just the tiger cowrie shell, but this one’s mantle is extended & it is feeding

Today’s dive at Midway in Pemuteran

Walter from Malaysia had the luxury of a boat all to himself this morning and dove at the Underwater Temple Garden, and I got a chance to join him on his second dive at Midway here in Pemuteran. Both of us were toting monster camera systems set up for macro, and dive guide Edi found us some lovely subjects. Walter–send us some of YOUR shots.

blenny, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Portrait of a red striped blenny

 

scorpionfish, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

A lovely white and pink scorpionfish

 

Arrow blenny, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Tiny arrow blenny

 

Octopus, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Octopus in his hole

 

Octopus, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

I was able to coax the octopus out of his hole–note the color change

 

Mushroom coral ghost shrimp, anemone, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Supermacro shot of a mushroom coral ghost shrimp

 

Mushroom coral ghost shrimp, eggs, Midway, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Underwater photo

Here’s a closeup that shows this shrimp is carrying eggs

Fishy Friday

I got to dive in Pemuteran with instructor Wayan who was teaching an Open Water class. While the student was doing her skills and practicing good buoyancy control, I was shooting fish. Now I just need to get my hands on a good fish ID book.

Coral Bommie, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

This little goby had his mouth open in every one of the shots

 

White-spotted puffer, Coral Bommie, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

This white-spotted puffer swam directly towards me and turned right in front of the lens

 

Coral Bommie, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

Big sponges are often cleaning stations–this bannerfish is being tended to by a striped wrasse

 

Napoleon Reef, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

I think this is in the dragonet family, but don’t have access to any fish ID books today.

 

Regal angelfish, Napoleon Reef, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

Regal angelfish posing pretty for the camera

 

Goby, Napoleon Reef, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, UW photos

A cute goby perched on top of a coral head

 

 

 

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