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Wetpixel Ultimate Indonesia 2012 Trip Report and Slideshow

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#21 Yellowmon

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

Oh, and just so no thinks there was any slacking off, the lead story in the new issue of DIVE, about dugongs in general and a certain dugong named Dyson, in particular, was crafted aboard Damai Dua during the first trip segment and can now be read online for one and all.

It was a very tight deadline and the telecommunications in Ambon made transmission of the text a nerve-wracking (at least for the publisher and staff) 48 hours...


Your free subscription to DIVE, it is available here and downloadable via the Apple App store:


http://free.divemagazine.co.uk



(Apologies for the shameless plug, and none of your whinge-ing, Bantin....)

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#22 Yellowmon

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:46 AM

One sad event I feel I must report is an incident that occurred the last dive at Blue Magic. Another live aboard, the WAOW, was anchored nearby and Simon, our cruise director and the dive guides went over to politely attempt to coordinate diving schedules so both boats and their passengers could enjoy the same dive site on their last day. Simon and the dive guides returned from the WAOW and told us we would wait another half hour to go in; the WAOW's people were doing their briefing and would go in first, then we would follow thirty minutes later as their group ascended to the shallower water. We waited and waited in our wetsuits and finally, thirty minutes later, the WAOW's boat still had not loaded or departed for the dive site, so we made the decision to go now. Time and tide can wait for only so long. The Damai's first tender took our divers and dropped them as the second tender, which I was in, arrived next to drop. We had just stopped when one of the WAOW's tenders roared up to us and their dive director, who I have discovered is named Jerome (Jay) Monney, began screaming at all of us and using tremendous but not very creative profanity. I said "why does it take you forty minutes to get your people diving?" He screamed "We were here first" and continued on swearing at Damai's dive guides and presumably Simon, who was escorting the first group already underwater. The WAOW's people and our people dropped in and went our own ways on the reef looking for the oceanic mantas the site is known for. At one point, our group was hunkered down in the shadow of some coral heads and this terrible dive guide Jay (identifiable by his large pony bottle strapped to his tank and his boardshorts) comes by and intentionally gets between our divers and the mantas and violently exhales to spook the mantas. He also made several rude gestures to some of our guests. I am personally appalled that someone in the industry exhibits such poor manners and is rude to the guests of another boat. This behavior reflects badly on everyone in the dive industry and for the Indonesian boat crews and guides, it shows the uglier side of Western behavior that has no place in Raja Ampat.

#23 Drew

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:46 PM

Douglas, Water Adventures Ocean Wide is aware of this post.

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#24 Jenny

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

Hello all, I was lucky enough to be on Trips 1 and 2 of this terrific Wetpixel expedition. Travelling from Ambon, through Banda to Triton Bay and then on through Raja Ampat to Sorong, provided a great mix of diving and photography. From rather ghastly but interesting muck diving in Ambon, to beautiful sea mounts covered with soft corals, drift diving along beautiful walls and in raging currents on some of the fishiest dives I've seen. And of course, beautiful, beautiful manta ray - we were lucky enough on the last two dives to have oceanic and reef mantas!

This was my second Wetpixel trip and I was a little nervous that perhaps I had just been especially lucky last year. Not so! This trip confirmed for me that travelling with Wetpixel is a really great way to experience the best of underwater photography/diving. Trip leaders like Eric and Douglas know when and where the best diving will be and the trips attract people who are not just fantastic underwater photographers but who bring a Wetpixel culture of comraderie and generosity that means that despite the intense photography focus, the small groups create a lively, funny, intelligent and thoughtful experience. So shout out to my new first best Californians from Trip 1 and more mature group from Trip 2 who, unlike Trip 1 peeps, managed to get through the whole trip without talking about poop. Special thanks to Lupo for lending me a brand new Inon Z240 following a dreadful explosion and flood in my one and only one, and to Eric and Douglas and Emily for creating such a wonderful experience.

Here is a set of photos I hope demonstrates the diversity of underwater environment we had to explore -

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Edited by Jenny, 22 December 2012 - 03:05 PM.


#25 Jenny

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

And of course some silliness is always in order -

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I was very sad to leave the boat and not stay on for Trip 3 - in fact I wondered whether I did really need to leave the boat -

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This wasn't much of a hiding place, but I did find Emily's stash of Nutella

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And this wold have been a good place, but I don't really like heights -

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I tried swapping my ticket home with Arif's bandana, but the Captain wouldn't hear of it -

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This turned out to be the best spot -

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Until Lupo and Douglas inconveniently turned up -

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And insisted I make way for the paid up Trip 3 guests -

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How unreasonable!

So now I'm home facing the horror of the shopping malls for last minute Christmas preparations, really wishing I was in Raja Ampat with Wetpixel.

#26 MikeVeitch

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

good stuff Jenny! I seem to recall you doing that on the couch last time too.. :)

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#27 Jenny

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

Thanks Mike. This time I was sure the Arif bandana and sunglasses would have done the trick


Not such a colourful sea apple as yours from Komodo - but this one is with a frogfish and I did get quite close. Ambon harbour which was extremely disgusting

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Drove myself quite mad trying to get a decent shot of these small Pontohi

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These were more my size

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And there was a bit of wide-angle skills backsliding with the occasional good shot. I blame the milky viz

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Edited by Jenny, 22 December 2012 - 05:31 PM.


#28 Jenny

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

Oh and these two classics,

from Raja Ampat, Boo windows

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and fromTriton Bay, flasher wrasse with some great post prod magic from Dan KozynDan Kitchen.

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Edited by Jenny, 22 December 2012 - 09:08 PM.


#29 kozyndan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

So thick i could barely see Julie coming at me.
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thick with fish by kozyndan, on Flickr

#30 kozyndan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

Too excited to see a wonderpus to actually change a single setting on my camera, so the pics were all lousy - but i saw one! Near Air Manis Jetty, Ambon.
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Wonderpus!! by kozyndan, on Flickr

#31 kozyndan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

I never got a photo of a pygmy seahorse before this trip - so i start with the easiest kind.
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pygmy seahorse by kozyndan, on Flickr

#32 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:05 PM

Agree with Douglas and Jenny that Trip 2 was simply excellent! Primo diving, compadres and crew. Wish I was on trip 3 but scheming to get back to Raja Ampat and Misool for another fix. What a gem of a destination . . .

Here are clips of a sampling of dive sites from Trip 2. First time using the Canon 5D Mark III video capabilities and no tripod in tow so lots of room for improvement. Started with wide angle only . . . baby steps. This plays best in HD.


Edited by shazzah, 26 December 2012 - 07:20 PM.


#33 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

Some wide angle and macro images. What a great Wetpixel expedition! Hope to join another one . . .

Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-2.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-3.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-25.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-4.jpg

Edited by shazzah, 26 December 2012 - 08:53 PM.


#34 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-5.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-6.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-7.jpg

#35 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-9.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-10.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-11.jpg

#36 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:26 PM

Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-13.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-14.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-15.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-16.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-17.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-18.jpg

#37 shazzah

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:29 PM

Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-19.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-20.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-21.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-22.jpg Wetpixel Indo 2012 Sharon-23.jpg

#38 Jenny

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

Here are clips of a sampling of dive sites from Trip 2. First time using the Canon 5D Mark III video capabilities and no tripod in tow so lots of room for improvement. Started with wide angle only . . . baby steps. This plays best in HD.



Hey Sharon, really fantastic video - you have captured the look and feel of those dives beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing it. Together with Eric's video, and everyone's stills, we have a wonderful record of these trips to treasure.

#39 S1mon

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

Hello all, greetings from Komodo!

Nice to see your final images, it was great to spend time with you all on Damai 2, we must do it again sometime!

Sharon-Sadly the connection in Labuan Bajo cannot handle your videos but when I get back to Bali in January I will be sure to look them up.
Jenny- are you sure you arent still hiding in the laundry room living on Nutella??
Dan- I LOVE your Wunderpuss image!

Anway, I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you all again sometime soon. Eric, thanks for bringing them out to see us, it was a pleasure and an inspiration to spend time with you and Douglas.

Best
Simon

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#40 S1mon

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

Of course a special thanks to Douglas for bringing the Fluo-diving equipment aboard, I had a great time with it!

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"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
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