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Dave H

Images from Cocotinos - North Sulawesi

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I've just returned from a two week dive trip to North Sulawesi. We stayed at the new Cocotinos Dive Resort located at Wori Bay adjacent to Bunaken National Marine Park for 6 days. This resort has been open for 6 months and is the perfect location for a photographer as it was specifically designed with photographers in mind. There are powerpoints throughout each room, a huge table in each room for the camera equipment, a dedicated camera room with even a air gun to remove water and the dining area has powerpoints on every pillar so us nerdy photographers can drink beer, eat dinner and play on the laptop without moving! :lol:

 

I have put together a gallery with my favourite images from the trip. See:

 

http://www.daveharasti.com/Sulawesi08/

 

The majority of pics were taken with the D300 however some shots are from the D80 as I was able to 'borrow' (read Steal) the D80 setup off my partner when ever we found a cool critter! Lenses that I used for the trip were the Nikon 60mm and 105mm, Sigma 17-70mm and Tokina 10-17mm.

 

Here are a couple of my personal favourite images from diving with Cocotinos:

 

Pinnacle at Mike's Point @ Bunaken island

30%20Bunaken%20Island.jpg

 

Boxer Crab @ Siladen Island

01%20Boxer%20Crab.jpg

 

Commensal Featherstar Shrimp

10%20Featherstar%20Shrimp.jpg

 

Softcoral Crab with eggs

04%20Softcoral%20Crab.jpg

 

Gorgonian Shrimps on black whip coral

02%20Commensal%20Shrimps.jpg

 

Ornate Ghostpipefish

05%20Ornate%20Ghostpipefish.jpg

 

cheers,

Dave

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Beautiful Dave, Thanks for giving me something to dream about tonight.

 

Steve :lol:

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I think somebody must be trying to tell me something, I logged on this morning to find a facebook friend request from James at Odyssea Divers. That triggered me into downloading the details at Cocotinos and then I log on here and see this post.

 

 

 

Anywat, very nice photos. What did you think of the actual resort? I stayed at the hotel before Cocotinos was built and that was very pleasant.

 

 

 

Tim

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Great images Dave. Sounds like a nice trip, and from your galleries, very productive too. Two rigs on a dive, that must be nirvana. Bit of wide here, a bit of macro there.

BTW Did you find the little guy you were looking for?

darren

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Great images Dave. Sounds like a nice trip, and from your galleries, very productive too. Two rigs on a dive, that must be nirvana. Bit of wide here, a bit of macro there.

BTW Did you find the little guy you were looking for?

darren

 

Nope ;) I was really keen to photograph the newly described pygmy pipehorse species however after many dives the little bugger still managed to elude me. Which means I just have to go back there again!

 

Having two camera's on a dive is managable... except when you have one rig set up for 10mm wide angle as its just too hard to carry both! Fortunately I had some good dive buddies who played Sherpa's and carried the spare D80 for me! ;) Which meant that by the time I got it off them the memory card was full and the strobe was flat!! :lol:

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Anywat, very nice photos. What did you think of the actual resort? I stayed at the hotel before Cocotinos was built and that was very pleasant.

 

In April 2007 we stayed at Kima Bajo resort at Wori Bay where Odyssea Divers were based. Kima Bajo was really nice but hideously expensive and also had a horrible hill to walk up. Whilst we were there we saw Cocotinos being built and planned a trip back as soon as it was completed.

 

That's how we ended up at Cocotinos in March 2008 and we spent 1 week diving everyday. Cocotinos is easily the best scuba diving resort that I have stayed at. It was designed by divers for scuba divers so the attention to detail is fantastic. The large tables in each room are great for the camera equipment and there are power points throughout the room which make it possible to charge everything! All the rooms are aircon with huge bathrooms and each room is less than a 1 minute stroll from the dive boats and diving area.

 

The rates are very reasonable and they have some good specials going; we had a 6 day package which saved us about $300 off the normal nightly room rates. The food was excellent and there is a bar in the dining area which offers all sorts of cocktails (The Cocotinos Cocktail is a must but save it for the last night!!!) and the beer/soft drinks were reasonably priced.

 

The dive boats generally head out to Bunaken Island however we did several dives around the Odyssea Reefs (Aba Point is one of my favourite sites) and we also did a day trip up to Bangka Island and Batu Mindi.

 

There were 9 of us in total and everyone only had positive things to say about Cocotinos...it was so good in fact that I'm looking at going back in June! :lol:

 

I should have some pics of the resort up on my website in the next couple of days. If you have any specific questions feel free to email me.

 

cheers,

Dave

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Dave, thanks for the report on the resort. hey that rhymes.

 

What route did you take to Manando? I notice their website recommends via Singapore as the most reliable way there.

 

Too bad about no encounters with the new pipehorse. Sounds like an excellent reason to return.

 

darren

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Phenom photos! Wow...

I especially love the boxer crab image.

Edited by AMW

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Great stuff Dave.

 

That resort has been in the plans for a few years and glad to hear it turned out just as they were hoping.

 

I must get back to that area soon.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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Beautiful lighting.I love the angle of boxer crab!

 

Thanks for the information of new resort!

 

Cheers, :lol:

Edited by JennyHuang

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I browsed the galleries and loved them.

It is a pity that Indonezia is almost an impossible destination for me :-(

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What route did you take to Manando? I notice their website recommends via Singapore as the most reliable way there.

 

We fly with Singapore Airlines. It is a 8 hour flight from Sydney to Singapore, a night stop over in Singapore at the Furama Hotel and then a 3 hour flight across to Manado the next morning on Silk Air. It takes just over 24 hours to get there which is pretty good. The other benefit with flying Singapore Airlines is that they are pretty good on luggage and you may be able to organise 30kg baggage allowance.

 

cheers,

Dave

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dave, great images, esp. the shrimps and boxer crab

 

how did you like the D300 compared to the D80, did you find a difference is useability or image quality?

 

scott

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how did you like the D300 compared to the D80, did you find a difference is useability or image quality?

I really like the D300, the huge LCD screen is fantastic for viewing images underwater however I haven't seen a noticeable difference in image quality between the D80 and D300. Put it this way, I don't think anyone could pick which images were taken with the D80 or D300 in the Sulawesi gallery (except for the fact that it says under each image what the camera was!) :lol:

 

I'm not sure if you have seen the latest Underwater Photo Mag (Issue 41) but if not you will find a short article that I put together on the D300 and Ikelite housing. See: www.uwpmag.com

 

cheers,

Dave

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I agree great images.

 

I particularly like the green-ness of the featherstar shrimp photo - just lovely!

 

Thanks, Carol

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Excellent shots. fantastic job.

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Great shots Dave.

 

As one of the 9 who were on the trip I can confirm everything Dave has said about Cocotinos - a fantastic place for divers, and particularly for divers who enjoy UW photography. Would love to go back!

 

Graham

 

ps - I won't post my pics here as I don't want to embarass Dave :unsure::wacko:

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