Happy new Year everyone! We are already awake again. Here is a shot of our Guests Kai and Alex going for a midnight dive on yesterdays new years eve. These guys take their diving serious – Alex even took his camera 😉 Anyway: they came savely back and everybody is diving this morning. Now we’ll all have a strong coffee and off we go.
On a dive this week i found this very cool shrimp goby watching out from his hole. Not only did he yawn for the camera several times, he had also a very beautiful colouration. This firework like colour made me choose him for the todays Blog post on december 31st – Happy new Year everyone!
Shrimp Gobies live in the sand and in a Symbiosis with Snapping Shrimps: The Snapping Shrimp build and maintain a hole in the sand and the Goby watches out for dangers. The shrimp has very bad eye sight and relies on the Goby which always keeps contact with his tail to the antenna of the shrimp. In case of danger, the Goby signals the Shrimp with movements of his tail and the Shrimp retreats into the hole. Usually Shrimp Gobies are very shy, but this one stayed out and let me come closer and closer – eventually it got a little bit annoyed and started menacing me with evil yawns. I was more amused than scared – but because of his braveness i left him alone.
In Lembeh you can see a huge variety of different Gobies and Shrimp Gobies – and of course many other critters also 😉
The year is almost over and it was another great day of diving here in Lembeh Strait: we had Tiger Shrimps, Hairy Shrimps, Frogfishes, Blue Ringed Octopus, Coconut Octopus, Pipehorses, Seahorses and lot’s of other cool stuff. I specially liked this nudibranch. First, because i don’t know what it is (please comment if you do) and second because it looks so funny with its two different rhinophores. It was about 1 cm in size and in 5 meters depth in the rubble … just one of the various uncommon nudibranchs i have been seeing here recently.
Previously we discovoered a smooth green phycocaris species that we believe is undescribed and lives in tiny green ascidians. We have already seen it several times (at various divesites) since then. And that was also what we were trying to find yesterday, when we suddenly saw this little green thing on one of the ascidians. It seems to be a tiny kind of flatworm that perfectly matches the ascidian in colour, pattern and shape. And even though it has no eyes and does not move much it is still a beautiful critter. And it proves that if you look for things smaller than an olive grain you keep finding new stuff every day – at least here in Lembeh.
Today’s mornig dives have been great again: We saw Pygmy Seahorses, Bandtail Frogfish, cool Nudibranchs and various uncommon Shrimps on the first dive at Tanjung Kareeko and several Painted Frogfishes, rare Nudibranchs, shrimps and lots of other cool stuff on our second dive at “Bianca”. But the coolest thing we saw just when surfacing from the second dive – a little Sargassum Frogfish floating at the surface, drifting with the floatsam.
Please note his uncommon colouration – often they are yellow, black or both. But this one seems to be Black-Orange. Quite cool.
Sargassum Frogfish are seen every now an then in the Lembeh Strait: Most of the time floating on the surface but occasionally also in the water column or on the ground.
Lembeh offers not only excellent Muck Diving the whole day long – the night dives are actually the most spectacular ones. And they are versatile: Coral, Rubble or Muckdive … there are lot’s of different styles of Night diving to experience here in Lembeh Strait. With so many critters to see – either things you don’t get to see in the daytime or things that are easier to take pictures of at night. Crustaceans, nudibranchs, cephalopods, fishes, and other weird creatures in the sand, in sponges, in coral, in seapens, in anemones or just floating in the water column. So actually people often not even have enough nights here in Lembeh to experience all the different Night dive sites …
That’s why we are repeating our “NAD Lembeh Night Safari”: One week of diving only when it is dark – with 3 dives every Night. This event will take place in February 2012 and some few spots are still available.
18th Arrival Day: 6pm Night Dive19th Transition Day. 3pm Afternoon Dive, 5pm Dusk Dive, Dinner, 10pm Night Dive
20th Dusk Schedule: 5pm Dusk Dive, Dinner, 10pm Night Dive, 1am Night Dive
21st Night Schedule: 6pm Night Dive, Dinner, 10pm Night Dive, 1am Night Dive
22nd Super Night Schedule: 10pm Night Dive, 1am Night Dive, 4am Night / Sunrise Dive
23rd Night Schedule: 6pm Night Dive, Dinner, 10pm Night Dive, 1am Night Dive
24th Transition Day: 11am Day Dive.
25th Departure Day: Departure or continuation on a different package.
Total Dives included: 17
Breakfast will be whenever you wake up after the night diving nights (from last years experience, around 12noon). Lunch is usually with the other guests that are on the typical day schedule. Dinner is planned to be with the other guests at the typical time. On the Boat we serve snacks and tea / coffee between the twin tank dives. On returning from the dives in the middle of the night there is a light snack available (toast, noodles, etc – let us know what you prefer).
Dives will be conducted throughout the Lembeh Straits, on both Black Sand sites and Coral Sites because we are doing twin tank Night Dives in the middle of the night we will go further and explore the less (night) dived areas – where it will be VERY unlikely to meet other divers!
How and How much:
Book directly with NAD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Price per person based on twin sharing in an Airconditioned room: $1056USD. Bungalow: $1122USD
Today is boxing day – so what could be a better Critter to write about than the Boxer Crab (Lybia tesselata, Pom Pom Crab or Mosaic Boxer Crab). But not only does its name fit the date. It is also a very popular Critter here in Lembeh – specially if you keep in mind that it is “just” a crab and not a Frogfish or an Octopus.
Its most distinctive feature are its “Boxing Gloves” – stinging anemones that it collects and holds on to for feeding and protection. If threatened it raises its protective anemones and waves with them like a boxer or a cheerleader (which gave the Boxer Crab also the name Pom Pom Crab). The second feature of the Boxer Crab is its attractive colour pattern of white, black and orange.
They grow to about 2 cm across from leg to leg and are specially attractive when they carry eggs: They are poppy red and held by the crab on the bottom of its carapace (see picture).
Boxer Crabs live – like many crustaceans – very cryptic: they stay hidden under rocks and coral debris. So if divers want to see Boxer Crabs, they have to CAREFULLY turn over rocks to find them. So the don’t touch anything rule has to be bent a little bit to turn broken coral bits – but it is better to leave this up to your dive guide! Usually you’ll find several of them in one area and none in another one – they have a very special preference to their habitat.
Best places to find Boxer Crabs in Lembeh: California Dreaming, Batu Merah, Angel’s Window, Yiko Yansi, Sarena Besar.
Best time to see: All year round.
Photo Tips: 100 mm Macro – good to have a buddy or dive guide to make sure the crab does not disappear in a crack while you are focussing.