Selamat Hari Raya!

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” Anita Desai On the small and remote island of Pulau Seresan, we were invited into the homes of the local Indonesian people to celebrate Hari Raya Eidilfitri (the end of Ramadan) with them. We went ashore to explore as normal (not realising it was Hari Raya),…

Kampung life

We are back in Indonesia! We have detoured to the remote Indonesian islands of Anambas and Natuna on our way across to Borneo. It rained cats and dogs for a lot of our time in the Anambas islands, but the little town of Tarempa welcomed us in traditional Indonesian style, and we spent a few…

Masters of disguise

Lots of marine critters use camouflage to hide out, but this week’s marine critters – a couple of scorpionfish (Scorpaenidae) species – take camo to a whole new level! As it’s name suggests, the leaf scorpionfish, Taenianotus triacanthus looks like a leaf. Passers by are easily fooled as it sways gently side to side. I…

On passage to Borneo

We are currently in the Anambas Islands in Indonesia and internet coverage is terrible (apparently someone stole the fibre optic cable!) Anyway a longer update will have to wait til we get somewhere with better coverage. Our overnight passage from mainland Malaysia was a mixed bag. We were farewelled by a huge storm, and just…

Another fancy shrimp

Following on from last week’s marble shrimp, this week’s marine critter is a little shrimp I spotted while diving in Pulau Redang [hyperlink] a few days ago – the camel shrimp, or Rhynchocinetes durbanensis, also known as hinge-beak shrimp, or dancing shrimp. These guys are adorned in a beautiful red and white pattern with big…

Turtly terrific Terengganu!

Less than half the rally boats made the effort to travel 170 nautical miles north to the sultanate of Terengganu, but we are seriously glad we did. It was awesome! For starters, the state capital Kuala Terengganu has a healthy maritime industry, so we were able to get our dinghy repaired quickly and easily. So…

Have you lost your marbles?

Well if you have, I’ve found a few hiding out in some coral nooks and crannies! This week’s marine critter is the Marble Shrimp, Saron marmoratus. Wikipedia calls them “a rather hunch-backed dumpy species of shrimp”, and I guess that’s probably true, but I love their crazy costumes! They are mainly found in the Indo-Pacific region…

A big dose of vitamin sea

After the murky waters of the Malacca Strait, and shore excursions to Myanmar and around mainland Malaysia, we were overdue for some vitamin sea. Fortunately the Johor Islands along Malaysia’s east coast obliged. Actually the Johor Islands were a pleasant surprise. A little cluster of islands ringed with great beaches and fringing reefs, with welcoming…

Shark!

Don’t be alarmed, this week’s marine critter is the usually shy, sometimes friendly blacktip reefshark, Carcharhinus melanopterus. We really haven’t seen many sharks during the trip. Sadly numbers are declining globally due to overfishing. But there were lots of friendly reef sharks hanging around the Johor Islands in Malaysia. At Pulau Sibu, on the house-reef…

An unusual find: Coriocella sea-snail

Welcome to Marine Critter Monday! Now we are back in clear water and diving heaps, each week I’ll profile a cool critter I’ve found. This week: Coriocella sea-snails! I found this little guy hanging out under a shallow rock ledge while hunting nudibranchs in Nai Harn Bay in Thailand. I thought it was some kind of…

Dinghy disaster!

OK, here’s what our dinghy is supposed to look like: And here’s what it currently looks like: It blew up! Literally. The air expanded in the midday sun causing a seam to pop, scaring the pants off some nearby people on the beach. Now the front section won’t stay inflated. We tried gluing it back…

Jungle Critters!

The wifi signal is weak in the jungle, but you’ll find that the connection is strong! (Sign in Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia) Humidity blankets us as we step on decaying leaf matter and over gnarled tree roots. Tall trees tower overhead. Ferns, vines and shrubs fill in the gaps. A thousand shades of green…