Hermaphrodites and hermits (Marine Biology 101)

Ah, it’s so great to be back in clear water, with diving and snorkelling spots around nearly every corner! And in Kamala Bay, Phuket, we found nudibranch heaven!! We spotted more than ten species, including a few mating pairs, and lots of nudi egg ribbons. (According to Google), nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied marine…

The mysterious red stripes of Langkawi

There are 99 islands in the Langkawi group. And nearly all of them are marked in various places by three horizontal red stripes. On trees, rock walls, along roads and beaches, around corners…everywhere! But what do they mean? Who knows. Even after three weeks in Langkawi, we are still none the wiser on what the…

Langkawi: where eagles (and sails!) soar

Lang is the (shortened) bahasa word for eagle and kawi means brown stone, so Langkawi, our current location, is named after the sea-eagles that are ubiquitous around these islands. As we sailed into the Langkawi island group, we spotted lots and lots of sea-eagles circling the limestone pinnacles that jut out of the sea. Brahminy…

Marine Biology 101: Jellyfish

Actually  “jellyfish” is a misnomer. Fish are vertebrates (i.e. they have bones) and jellyfish don’t, so they aren’t fish at all. In any case, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to dive or snorkel, so the only marine wildlife I’ve spotted in the last two months have been various jellyfish. Each day…

A change of pace in Johor

Puteri Harbour (our first stop in Malaysia) was a big change of pace! After three months in Indonesia, it was both strange and refreshing to be parked (at anchor) in a marina beside high rise buildings and shops and stuff. We hadn’t been in a marina since we left Cairns in July! We didn’t waste…

Gee, 90 days go quick!

It feels like just yesterday that we were arriving into the little Indonesian port town of Debut after five days sailing across the Arafura Sea. But 90 days, 2200 NM and 30+ islands later, we are anchored in Tanjungpinang, and with the rally wrapped up and our port clearances done, we are preparing to sail…

Komodo Megafauna!

Komodo National Park has been a long-time check box on my bucket list for two main reasons: dragons and diving! The opportunity to hang out with the legendary giant lizards, the Komodo dragons, and the opportunity to dive on pristine reefs, possibly with manta-rays… …and it lived up to expectations! We got up close and…

Diving, snorkelling (and motoring) our way along Flores

We have spent the past 18 days transiting across the north coast of Flores, and without much wind, we’ve had to motor most of the time. In addition to the on-shore adventures we’ve been having like the village visits in Pulau Besar and the trip to Kelimutu volcano, one of the biggest highlights of Flores…

Detours…

“Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the the woods. Every time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.” Alexander Graham Bell Detour one: hanging out with fishermen in Karang Kaledupa coral atoll. An atoll is “a ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a lagoon … which…

Hello Wakatobi!

“If you find that the heavenly beauty is in sight, all the potential was waiting and opened its heart, what are you waiting, we wait your presence in Wakatobi, the top ten tourism destination in Indonesia!” (Wakatobi tourism booklet) The Wakatobi region is actually four little islands in South Sulawesi: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko….

Sailing to the Spice Islands

The fleet sailed out of Debut, destined for the second rally stop, the famous Spice Islands of Banda! The Banda Sea, which we were traversing for approximately 175 NM, is extremely deep (more than 5000m) in places and is inky black. It’s hard to catch a fish in so much water, so we didn’t have…

No, my name isn’t Nemo…

Marine Biology 101: Harlequin Sweetlip I was snorkelling at Orpheus Island (best snorkelling of the trip so far), when a bit of colour and movement caught my eye. A little clown-like fish was dancing around the coral. At first glance I thought it was an anemone fish (nemo), but on closer inspection, I realised it…