Had to split the posts but here are more...
Star fish (it was one of the biggest I have ever seen)
This is not the mimic octopus but the wonderpus
Transparent srhimp everywhere
This is the famous sea snake. Sea snakes are very poisonous so I always keep my distance from them. During this dive though the snake was behind me and obviously fell in love with my yellow fins. Fortunately another group of divers were behind me and Handry used his stick to keep the snake away from my fins. Then he banged his tank so I turned around and realized what was going on... would have been funny if these snakes wouldn't be so poisonous...
Not sure what she was doing but looks like dancing to me.
This is one of ma favourite pics. Aren't they cute?
Is it raining yet?
This one again deceived me. When I took the pic I thought that this was a flatworm. Only on the pic I saw the eyes and realized that this was a flounder. There were lots and lots of flounders but I never saw such a small one and not of that colour either.
I LOVE frogfish...
The next two pics have been made within 12 seconds. It is another one of the poisonous, tiny creatures in Lembeh: the blue ring octopus. The blue rings appear only when he feels threatened. I have a third pic another 4 seconds later where the rings have disappeared again.
And this is the famous Lembeh seadragon. When I first heard the name I expected something much bigger. The difference to a pygmy seahorse is that the seadragon has a much longer tail and he has antennae on his back.
No clue what species this is but it does look like something coming from a nightmare.
There is a lot of garbage in the water but I heard that it is clean now compared to a couple of years ago.
Two frogfish. The green one looks like a witch with his one tooth. Heard that the giant one eats smaller frogfish so I hope the green one survived...
Another beautie (small again)
And I love that one. Not sure whether this is a flatworm or a nudi but probably a worm.
Last edited by Andiline; 11-07-2010 at 06:08 AM..
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Join Date: Dec 2004
The tarsier's brain is different from other primates in terms of the arrangement of the connections between the two eyes and the lateral geniculate nucleus, which is the main region of the thalamus that receives visual information. The sequence of cellular layers receiving information from the ipsilateral (same side of the head) and contralateral (opposite side of the head) eyes in the lateral geniculate nucleus distinguishes tarsiers from lemurs, lorises, and monkeys, which are all similar in this respect. Some neuroscientists suggested that "this apparent difference distinguishes tarsiers from all other primates, reinforcing the view that they arose in an early, independent line of primate evolution."
A few more Lembeh Strait pictures from the surface time between dives before we leave Lembeh and go over to the Sulawesi mainland.
Helen from Two Fish Divers (before she got sick the next day - not so nice for her).
I had thought that the boats had sunk but the boys told as that they stay at the resort in turns to put the boats deeper in the water during the night (depending on the tides). Otherwise there might not be any diving the next morning.
Someone told me that those are liveaboard-dive boats.
Coming up from the mandarin-dive.
I would have liked to show you some of the small videos that I made when the boys were singing at Two Fish divers but I don't want to disrespect their privacy so I won't do that. But it would have given you a better idea of how they were.
Have forgotten one remark which is valid for my entire stay: I would have thought that I find more mosquitos in Sulawesi. Had malaria meds with me but mosquitos came out only at dusk and for the rest of the time they practically didn't exist. That surprised me a little as I have known other tropical destinations where there are lots and lots of these monsters... (can't say I missed them though )
After two weeks with the Two Fish divers I was ready to move on but still sad to leave these great people. I decided to leave in the afternoon so I could do two more dives in the morning.
So I had my stuff mostly ready after the morning dives, just threw the rest into my luggage, said my good byes and then I was already on the boat back to Bitung. Over there I saw one man for the last time who - I think - handles all boat-taxi combinations. When I went to Tangkoko I saw my driver pass that guy something (probably a good tip because he got that tour to Tangkoko). The plan for my transfer to Minahasa Lagoon Resort was that we meet at the airport with the driver from the other resort. Unfortunately my driver obviously had no clue what to do with me (although he was supposed to have the other drivers phone number). Fortunately for me there was a woman who spoke a few words english so she understood that I was going to the airport but not flying. She called someone and afterwards for about 20 minutes she talked to the man and I understood only airport and Minahasa Lagoon resort. Half an hour later the man turned around and asked which airline I was flying. *argh*
At the airport we finally found the other driver and since I didn`t have any more indonesian money I went to the ATM. I pressed on the 1,000,000 Rupeeh-button and got only 500,000 (about 50 USD/40 Euro). That happened the second time but the first time I hadn't noticed so at some point I thought that money was missing from my purse. Thanks indonesian bank: in the end I paid 12 Euro (17 USD) fees for 80 Euro (about 100 USD). They must have good gainings if they do that with all tourists....
Minahasa Lagoon Resort is on a 60-90 minutes drive from the airport in Manado on the northern side of the Sulawesi mainland. I had chosen that resort because it had been recommended to me and I didn't wanna go to any of the other islands close by. They just didn't appeal to me enough when planning the trip.
The new car had not so dark windows so I could take pics along the way:
In Sulawesi you see a lot of churches. 98 % of the people are catholic but there are mosques as well. There are lots and lots of churches everywhere...
Typical small shop along the road. The roof reminds me of something that I still need to tell you... one evening in my room in Lembeh I heard shots. I am not easily scared but I felt uncomfortable that night and my cottage was closest to the path into the jungle. I was expecting haevy steps approaching but nothing happened. Didn't sleep well that night. The next morning I told Gizmo and he said that in Indonesia guns are not allowed. Only after a couple of more days it dawned on me that the cottages were under trees and fruits falling from the trees made sounds that sounded like shots... yeah, I know, I laugehd when I realized how stupid I had been.
Shopping center outside of Manado
That was the first time I noticed these flowers. I think now that in that house somebody had died.
Another typical shop
Lots of military buildings. There are military schools for children as well.
The island of Bunaken
And this is where I ended up staying for another week...
And yes, the dark area is open so I had a half open bath...
Loved those lamps (why did I think about the Lembeh sea dragon when I saw them? )
The dive boats
Last edited by Andiline; 11-07-2010 at 10:02 AM..
Eileen, the dives were not as deep as in other areas. Mostly around 60 ft. And I have an external flash as otherwise the colours would not come out like that. The equipment was new and I already had to have it fixed before the vacation. More fixing is needed as some things still don't work. But I adjusted to what worked and took about 3500 underwater pics during the 45 dives...
Thank you guys. Still working on the rest...
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: North of Boston, Mass
Minahasa under water
I went diving in Minahasa as well but took it more slowly. While I did 35 dives in Lembeh I did only 10 more in Minahasa. It was a vacation after all and I took the afternoons off. Most people went to dive in Bunaken every day but I didn't really want that but preferred to check out the local dive sites. One of them is called 'Bethlehem' (translated this means: better than Lembeh - but I can not confirm that).
The underwater world was different here. Of course some things were the same but visibility was better in Minahasa and lots of fish. I will leave the highlight of the dives to the next installment as that was so fabulous that it deserves a separate post.
A very rare species in the water...
shrimp in a feather star
Shrimp in a sea star
Not sure weather this is a nudibranch or a flatworm
Isn't she a beauty?
Small one again (worm)
The only turtle that I saw on that trip
Never seen a grey nudi before..
Booooh... spooky, is it? A demon stinger hiding in the sand.
Moray eel outside of caves
This grouper was swimming into my pic.
THIS is the pic I wanted to take...
Very small crab
Nor sure whether this is a lionfish
Frogfish - we were wondering whether this will be a hairy frogfish when it gets to adult age
No clue what exactly that is. Probably a spider crab.
Another sexy shrimp
See all the baby fish swimming around?
Don't they look like flwoers?
Sea star - this kind seems to loose legs a lot because I found a lot of single legs in the water...
Lots of fish
Pink wasp fish
Shrimp on sea star
Another shrimp on seastar - isn't it amazing how they can adapt to the colour of their host?
Shrimp on seastar
Eggs of a spanish dancer
Another very small crab...
Not sure the transparent shrimp are visible
More transparent ones...
I think this is a small fish in a feather star
Here I was about 10 seconds too late. He was still swallowing the fish he had just caught.
Lots of fish
Another strange nudi - EDIT: this is what I thought. But this is not a nudi although to me it looked like one. Looks are deceiving though as this is a small sea cucumber...
Last edited by Andiline; 11-08-2010 at 04:34 PM..
Here is a report about something very, very beautiful. On my last dive in Lembeh I was in the water with Cassandra, the manager of the resort. The first dive had already been great as we found so many small things that we just forgot the time (we had enough air so I didn't really pay attention - wouldn't have happened otherwise) and came up after about 75 minutes. The second dive was okay but nothing spectacular... we were about to end the dive when in a sandy area we suddenly saw a cuttlefish. And another one. And one more. And one more... I started to turn around. They were basically EVERYWHERE. Cass started to count them but got confused when she was at about 60. They were mating and getting down to lay their eggs. Fortunately it was just Cass and me because with other people who might have started chasing them to get nice close-up pics they would have been gone in a heartbeat. Cass and I just kneeled down in the sand and enjoyed what nature was offering to us as a free show. It was unbelievably beautiful. I know that my pics lack quality. But I didn't care because having high quality pics were not worth the price, i.e. chasing them away. I love nice pics but I have come to a point that sometimes I prefer to just enjoy...
Although the quality is lacking I think the pics give you an idea of how beautiful this was. The cuttlefish changed colour all the time and the mating dance was spectacular as well...
Cass proposed to do a third dive that afternoon but after the first two it couldn't have gotten any better. Since we were late anyway I decided not to go in the water again that day. The mating squids were an absolutely worthy end of my dives in Sulawesi...
My last full day in sulawesi came up. Theoretically I could have gone diving in the morning but I really wanted to go on the Minahasa Highland tour. I love to see the underwater world but I wanted to see how people live as well. There is no better way to get to know a country than driving around and have an idea of small things that you see along the street. It is how I detected 'the real' India a couple of years ago and I wanted to do it again.
When I woke up it was raining. Hard. Great. 3 weeks in Sulawesi and I want to go on a tour on the only rainy day. At 7 AM someone called and said that Cass wanted to know if I really wanted to go in the rain. Yes, I wanted. 5 minutes later a knock on my door 'Do you really want to go?' Yes, I want to go. To be honest... I didn't really think it would rain all day. In the tropics it always rains every now and then but it stops after some time.
So at 8 AM we were ready to go. It was the driver (Mohamed, a muslim), Regina from reception and myself. As soon as we left the resort the rain stopped and we didn't have any more until we came back (it did rain on the coast most of the day... *tehe* ).
Here are some impressions along the road that are typical.
A typical house
Not sure what they did in those caves...
These houses with red and white roofs were in front of a lot of houses. Regina told me that they would put lights in them in the evening so you find the house when it is dark.
Somehow I find rice fields soothing for the nerves...
In the Minahasa highlands each village seems to specialize in something. This village was building typical houses.
America is never far away...
This is something that I learned along the road as well. I always look for cemetery pics for my diashows on my Andiline-website. In Minahasa there are two types of 'cemeteries'. One of them are public cemeteries. The other one are not really cemeteries but private graves. You find them in a lot of places along the road. This is one of the private graves.
Our first stop was on a local market. Bananas...
The sweets to the right were really good! *yumm*
Instant food - in Asia there is not place where I didn't see that...
And then we got in the meat department. If you have a weak stomach skip the next pics...
This one is obvious but requires some more explanations. In Sulawesi they don't only eat rats and bats and snakes but they eat dogs as well. This one was dead but there was a cage from which you could choose a dog as well. They probably kill it for you. Regina told me that there are dogs in every house. When they have puppies, the kids are their friends - until they are grown up. When they are they and up cooked... I accept that (but don't ask me to eat dog - I wouldn't want to try ) and I find this different eating habit quite interesting.
Last edited by Andiline; 11-08-2010 at 04:01 PM..
Another typical house along the road. At some point I had realized that most houses on Sulawesi are not built on the ground but a little bit higher. I asked Regina if there was a reason for it and she said that they do it because they believe that the gods don't want the houses to be built on the ground. Btw. the families live all together in the houses, several generations in the same hous.
Next stop. It looks nice but it stank... This was a sulfur lake and the smoke does not really smell good...
This was another village that had specialized in wood furniture.
In one village we saw all those carriages. Looked like taxis to me...
One more church
And private graves
This village specialized in ceramics
Not sure what 'mama' is supposed with this. Go inside????
In this village I think they didn't have water tubes as each house had a fountain.
Lunch at Tondano lake, Regina making music.
Not sure I would trust that boat. But it sure looks interesting.
Soon it is christmas again...
Part of our lunch. It was really good. But the indonesian way of eating is with the fingers and first putting LOTS of rice on your plate.
Have learned in Indonesia that they leave the eyes in the fish when they cook it because they want to proof that it is fresh. Only when fish is still fresh they eye is white after it has been cooked...
Rice fields again
That was the moment when I learned that the artificial flowers are being used when someone died. This sign is the announcement of someone`s death. These signs afterwards sometimes are being thrown on the grave.
This village was specialized in flowers.
Viiiiiikings..... (not sure what the connection is to Sulawesi but... ).
And another interesting house in the fields.