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Wakatobi, Dec 9-23 Gallery

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Great report and photos, Eric. I was there the latter half of November, while Steve Fish, photopro was still there.

 

Couple comments - the large yellow frogfish at the 2nd gulley is female. We watched the small white male attempt a mating courtship with her, but she would have nothing to do with him. (maybe she was self conscious from all the attention...)

 

You probably know this, but John is a Kiwi, which is undoubtedly why he makes all the Aussie jokes... :P

 

I pronounce anemone as you do. We do seem to be in the minority.

 

Anyway, I had horrible photo luck while there, but my gallery is up at:

 

Wakatobi

 

Some shot with film, some shot with D100.

 

I thought the diving was great, and I plan to go back. We had flat water while we were there, but storms were just starting to move in near the end. Sounds like they caught you a bit more.

 

I enjoyed your macro work; it's a wonderful place to do macro!

 

And it was fun for me to read about Pinkie, Doris, John, Lorenze and everyone again. It's such a nice intimate resort.

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September 17-28th

 

I have not seen the Denise pygmy yet so that would be nice. Was shut out in Lembeh/manado last year.

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On the way back from all of the temples we had visited in the Ubud area, we convinced our driver to stop by the Bali Reptile Park, which is right next to a large bird park. We walked around the exhibits, noting with irony the large number of Californian snakes on display.

 

Another irony... Had you gone into the amazing bird park there is a 6' Komodo Dragon! I couldn't get anyone to hold it for a photo though :D

 

Are these your Rayban's Eric? :D

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The monkeys in Ubud prefer peanut butter M&M's to bananas!

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Hello Eric,

 

I enjoyed the trip report and images you posted. The monkey shots are fun and the u/w pics expansive. I am still using film for most of my macro because I find the small viewfinder and reduced sensor on the S2 are no match for those of my old F4s. I have learned to deal with the reductions for wide angle and standard shots. But, macro is a different story. When I put a 105mm lens and a 2x converter on the S2, then try to find a tiny subject, like a pygmy seahorse, it means I will eventually be begging for a dose of Excedrin. B) Also, The reduced field of view also makes me wish Nikon would design 60mm and 105mm DX lenses with the same quality as the 12 - 24mm DX zoom.

 

What lens did you use to capture larger u/w specimens like the ghost pipefish?

 

Scott

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Eric - I would kill for some of your macro shots and clownfish! Very nicely done.

 

Jim

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Great pix and a nice report, Eric. I just wish I had broadband net access.

 

Incidentally, the restaurant we went to is the Batujimbar Cafe. They do good healthy salads and great vegetable and fruit juices (the Rambutan and lime, and the Rambutan and tangerine are great now that rambutans are back in season), as well as Indonesian/Bali dishes. It's just across the street from the entrance to the Parigata, where a lot of visiting divers stay, and which - as you noted - is reasonably priced. Next door to the Batujimbar Cafe is a very reasonably-priced Japanese restaurant, the Ryoshi.

 

Next time you come through, try to make time for a few dives here in Bali.

 

Incidentally, one of the posters mentioned visiting Wakatobi "while Steve Fish was still there." I didn't know he'd left - does anyone know where he has gone, and/or what happened at Wakatobi? He hadn't been there very long.

 

Robert Delfs

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Steve Fish apparently left not long before our group arrived. I've heard mixed stories about his departure, and probably shouldn't spread what may not be true.

 

Anyway, I got e-mail from John (divemaster there) today. Check this out:

 

"Went for a Dive on Chritmsas morning dressed as Santa himself, had a big pregnant manta swim over the top of me, got some great laughs from the guests while dressed as santa and then on new years night i organaised a dive so 9 of us in total went diving in the second gully, conditions there were perfect, good clean water and no currents what so ever so we were free to swim along the wall in any direction you pleased, went donw to the fan which has the denise sea horses on it and there all sitting together were five on one branch and four on the other, i swear Eric you could have shot five in one frame with a 105mm."

 

!!! That would have been awesome. :D

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Steve left Wakatobi on December 9th (on the plane on which Eric arrived). He'd been there a year. I think it's pretty obvious why he left. The much touted photo center was never built (and any mention is now removed from the website). The number of guides dwindled from five to three, and Steve never got to shoot any more because he had to guide. I'm sure there are plenty of stories, depending on whom you talk to. But I've heard stories about others there as well, and not from Steve. The observations I mention are mine. I won't repeat the stories.

 

I enjoyed my time there, but the resort is not without its problems, that I observed firsthand. I think the downturn in the travel industry has taken its toll there, but hopefully things will improve. The diving was excellent, and because of that, I plan to go back.

 

Steve's in Oregon, currently visiting family. We're planning to have dinner with him this weekend.

 

Frogfish, I'm glad you got your "real" handle!

 

Linda aka dancingfish

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