Indonesia was new territory. We hadn't
been to a new destination since the first trip to PNG
in 2001. A trip to the Philippines was planned for the
spring, and Indonesia for the fall. There was alot of
turmoil in the world this year. Terrorism, war, SARS...
and paranoia seemed to abound. SARS managed to mess up
the Philippines trip, but by the time fall arrived, the
world was a bit more calm and I was very ready to get
back to the Indo-Pacific.
This trip wasn't without its troubles.
I had several photographic setbacks and managed to contract
a cold. But I discovered that Wakatobi is an amazingly
productive place for photography. In spite of E-6 problems,
battery, focus mode troubles, and strobe sync problems,
all of which contributed to eliminating about half my
potential photos, I still came home with many
with which I'm fairly happy. I hope to get more photos
up from the problem E-6 rolls as I get time to work on
them; they'll likely be in black and white if I can't
recover sufficient color.
Notable marine life on the trip included
mandarinfish, oscellated lionfish, clown frogfish, soft
coral crabs, halimeda, robust and harlequin ghost pipefish.
There were sea kraits and pygmy seahorses on nearly every
dive. Wonderful dragonets and triplefins. A crazy little
bobtail squid. Lots of different kinds of beautiful shrimp
and nudibranchs. Cuttlefish,
pleurobranchs, mantis shrimp, ringed and reef pipefish,
blue ribbon eels. Many juveniles and other treasures
living in the sea grass on the house reef. I was unsuccessfully
attacked by a nesting peach faced trigger. The walls
are gorgeous, the muck diving utterly cool, and currents
ranged from none to wild. Every dive was great.
Since I didn't get photos of all the
wonderful critters we saw, the best thing to do is to
plan a return trip. And that's not such a bad idea!
Enjoy the gallery!