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Posts posted by frogfish

  1. I have a feeling Larry has already done this trip anyway, but if not - thanks, Larry. I promise you I left LOTS of pictures. Sorry about the link.


    We had some current a few dives, but nothing like Komodo (or Nusa Penida for that matter). I suppose it depends on the site - we didn't do Cape Kri.


    I wouldn't worry to much about currents on the Kararu boat. When they're operating in Komodo, they tend to avoid the hairiest sites like Batu Balong.



  2. Re: PG, haven't been there for several years now, but the day trip to Verde Island across the channel was always nice - two very nice (and different dives there, with a different array of nudis, frogfishes, other characters. But lots of good sites right next to PG. Heavily dived, but in very good shape.



  3. Cor,


    Thanks, this helps explain it. Your first post was titled "Komodo Adventurer 2 problem", and Komodo Adventure is the name of Steve's boat. (The text of your post had it as "Komodo Archipelagic Adventurer 2."


    What makes the danger of confusion even greater is that Steve does indeed have plans for a second boat, though I don't know if the name will be KA2 or something different.


    Stories like this catch on, and there are probably a lot of people who will see the subject line and never read this traffic. If there's any way that you could edit the title of your original post so that it clearly indicates the correct name of the boat, I'm sure Steve would be very grateful. I haven't done a trip on this boat, but I've been on board and know some of the principals, and my clear impression is that it's a very solid, well-run operation.



  4. I forwarded the traffic, and just received this response from Steve Jacobs, the owner of the Komodo Adventurer:


    >Thanks for sending this to me. I would like it if you could respond with our correct boat name and our web site address. Also my email so that I can receive any complaints directly and to also find out who might be mis-representing a very close likeness to my boats name. Please make it clear that I am happy to hear directly from anyone that has been promised a booking on this boat. My email address is steve@adventureh2o.com and the web site is www.adventureh2o.com.


    Cor, I would definitely recommend that you (or Cathy Church) contact Steve about this.



  5. I'm sure you'll have a great trip. It's a wonderful place. Check out the REAs (Rapid Environmental Assessments) and reports on Raja Empat by TNC and others. These have an amazing amount of information about the marine and terrestrial wildlife of the area.


    - Donnelly R., Neville D., Mous P. 2003. Report on a rapid ecological assessment of the Raja Ampat Islands, Papua, Eastern Indonesia, held October 30 – November 22, 2002. Report from The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali Indonesia. 246 p (pdf, 5,500Kb). High resolution version (pdf, 15,250 Kb)


    - Erdmann M.V. & Pet J.S 2002. A rapid marine survey of the northern Raja Ampat Islands (Eastern Indonesia). Report from Henry Foundation/The Nature Conservancy/NRM/EPIQ. 36 p (pdf, 699 Kb).


    - Halim, A. and Suebu, A. 2004. Support for the establishment of effectively managed MPA platform sites as foundation for resilient networks of functionally-connected marine protected areas (MPA), Raja Ampat islands, Papua province, Indonesia. Annual project report (September 2003 - December 2004). The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas. 23 p. (pdf; 472 Kb).


    These reports are available on TNC's SEACMPA (Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas) website, which has a lot of other interesting material as well:




    I was in Raja Empat over Dec-Jan. A 3 mil wetsuite was fine for me, and I'm the original warm-water-wimp. Most of the dives were quite warm, around 28-29 C. I did bring a hood, but I don't think I ever bothered to take it on a dive.


    There are some spectacular topside photo opportunities as well as underwater ones, including beautiful and very interesting limestone karst islands. Birds of Paradise. Cuskus (if that's the spelling), some folks on our boat saw one.) A long lens might be worth having. I also experimented with over/unders for the first time on this trip, and was very glad I'd brought the split diopter and the RainEx. Mostly I shot wide-angle. (If you're interested, there are some shots further down in this forum, and more on my website ( Tabula - Images by Robert Delfs ).


    I'm sure the Kararu people will be able to help you sort out the flight connections and all that.


    As to critical supplies, we did run out of wine and harder stuff (rum, Scotch) including what we brought AND all the ship's supplies. Of course, that almost always happens, though this trip did span Xmas and New Year's. The Kararu boat may be better supplied than Bidadari, or your and your boatmates may make less serious inroads than we did. But if you're so inclined, it's never inappropriate to bring a bottle of good rum and a bag of limes on a live-aboard dive trip.


    I believe the Kararu has been operating in RE continuously for a few months now, and Sorong is not exactly a major metropolis, so you can't count on them being able to supply critical supplies such as fresh limes for daiquiris. It all depends on local supply.



  6. Do you know who was the agent was who tried to book Cathy Church's group onto Komodo Adventurer 2?


    I know Steve Jacobs (owner of Adventure H2) and Larry Smith (who runs their diving program on the existing Komodo Adventurer) and I can't believe they would have done or said anything that could mislead an agent into thinking their planned second boat is already out there.


    I'll forward a copy of this discussion to Steve - Larry is on the boat, which I believe is still in Raja Empat.



  7. Sunburst, sunball. I think the terms are interchangeable. I would use sunburst for both images. If forced to say which one is more like a "sunball", I'd pick the second one (where the sun is a defined ball-like thing, albeit with rays) rather than the first.


    I'd also be willing to go with Alex's idea (which popped up between the time that I hit reply and got to this page). In his terminology, the first image would be a sunburst without a clearly defined sunball.

  8. I sent in an entry (my first, I think), mainly because you said you wuz desperate. I'm not into contests.


    Anyway, I didn't get a confirmation, email or otherwise. I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions correctly.




  9. I've had the 80-400 VR for over a year now, and love it. You really can hand hold this lens. Admittedly not super-fast, but it doesn't that weigh much (considering what it is. It's a wonderful wildlife lens, which I try to take with me whenever I can.


    Attached (if it works) is a shot of a Komodo dragon I took on a working trip last week. It wasn't that big a dragon, however.





  10. Fuji raw image files are just files, and can be stored on any digital storage device. However, the Epson P2000 storage viewer cannot be used to view Fuji raw file formats, just Nikon, Canon and Epson, for what that's worth In any case, it has only 40 GB of storage. That's not really very much.


    I think you'll find most people shooting the Fuji S2 (and other cameras as well) use a laptop both to store and view images while on the road, using CDs or plug-in disc drives for supplemental storage. The images can be viewed on the storage media from the laptop using the Photoshop CS browser or any other viewing program that can deal with the Fuji raw image format.

  11. The key at the bottom of message pages explains what some of the symbols next to message threads on forum pages mean (new and not new replies, new and not new hot topics, etc.).


    But what does the red or blue suitcase symbol mean? In addition to the two colors, there also seem to be dark and light versions of each.



  12. I've only seen two hammerheads in my life, both in PNG, and both times I had the 105. One of those times I was also out of film (pre-digital days), which somehow made it all easier to take. To be honest, both times the hammer was too far away for a decent wide/angle shot, but I would have liked to have been able to try.

  13. Sliding Tray, definitely.


    My original housing was the Subal Miniflex for the F801S - no tray, camera screws into a plate inthe bottom of the front half of the housing. My housing for the Fuji S2 uses the same sliding tray in front half that i believe all the newer Subal SLR housings use.


    There's no question whatsoever that getting the camera body in and out, alignment, etc. are much easier with the sliding tray. It lives in the housing, so I'm not likely to leave it at home. The lens release lever is the other big plus, making it possible to switch lenses and ports without removing the body from the housing, something that is difficult or impossible with some large lenses with the F8101s.



  14. As for dazed animals,  just watch the eels on a night dive in Hawaii.  They follow the divers and wait for some poor cardinal fish to get caught in the light cannon and "slurp" free meal.



    The other guys that do this (in the IndoPacific) are blue-fin trevallies. I've had a pair of them follow me for an entire night dive, and eventually called the dive. Trevallies are cunning predators who appear to cooperate in complex ways, operating in pairs and sometimes even in packs - the standard with Giant Trevallies. Nobody watching trevallies hunt (with or without a helpful diver to scare up game and stun it with his/her lights) will ever be persuaded that fish aren't smart.


    I'm going to respect any shark that goes into a threat display. (It seems hardly fair if they're bumping first and threat-displaying later, though.) I remember once trying the bottle trick in PNG, a grey reef instantly materialized about 10 meters below us and to the right. We were a group of four divers, all within 4-5 meters of each other, swimming across a saddle on a seamount in Kimbe Bay.


    I think a lot of us have a picture in our minds of grey reefs just lazily swimming along, slow and easy. But when I kept up with the bottle, the shark suddenly darted towards us, passing right through the through the middle of our group. It happened in an instant, incredibly fast. When he passed through, he was close enough that any of us could have touched him, had we been able to move fast enough. Had the shark actually attacked, none of us would have had time to react or defend in any way. No reason not to respect these guys.


    On the other hand, I don't think I've heard of any confirmed incidents where grey reefs actually attacked divers where feeding wasn't involved, but I stand ready to be corrected.



  15. James,


    I think it goes beyond "rude" - though that's definitely part of it. I think we all recognize that more intrusive security procedures are unfortunately now necessary. By its nature, being searched is a stressful situation. But it doesn't have to be humuliating, degrading, or unnecessarily unpleasant, particularly when the procedure is being used in situations where there is an extremely low statistical probability that the person being searched is really a terrorist or guilty of wrongdoing. There is also very little consideration of the fact that many people entering the US on flights from places like Asia may have been in the air for 12-16 hours or more, and are extremely tired, fatigued, and jet-lagged.


    I'm a US citizen, but live abroad and have a lot of visas and extra pages in my passport. Often enough, that seems to be sufficient reason for "special screening". On one occasion, that involved a trip to the backroom where my carry-on and checked luggage was minutely searched. Minutely as in emptying a tube of tooth paste, unrolling socks, and carefully inspecting every item of clothing.


    This search was carried out by an extremely aggressive security person who was verbally abusive. Questions like: "Where is it?", "We're going to find it, you know, it would save time if you tell me now" and "If you don't come clean, we'll have to do a full body cavity search, and you won't like that." etc. etc.


    Presumably, I fit somebody's profile for a narcotics offender that day. Or maybe this guy just didn't like the way I looked. I was dressed in a suit, carrying no dive or photographic gear, just clothes, my laptop computer, and ten copies of a paper that I was scheduled to present at an American Enterprise Institute conference on Chinese politics the following day, had showed the security officer the speech and a letter from AEI early on, when I was asked to explain "why I was coming back to the US." (I hadn't known citizens needed a reason, but I had one.) I suppose these are standard "techniques" to get a "suspect" to "crack". All I know is that I was tired, jet-lagged, and frankly very frightened by what was happening to me.


    Due to the long interrogation and search, more than two hours, I nearly missed my connecting flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and almost missed the opening day of the conference. Days later, I was still feeling shaken by the experience.


    I cross international borders and go through immigration and customs checks more often than most people - until last year, I was probably averaging 4-6 trips (8-12 border crossings) per month. The only place I have ever had seriously unpleasant experiences has been returning to my own country. I can't even imagine what it must be like for US non-citizens, especially those from countries "of concern" to DHS.



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