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saga7

Komodo

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Variety of diving is what keeps me returning to Komodo. I have done four trips and will do more in the future. Blue water and green water. Divesites have white sand, grey sand, black sand and muck divesites. You also dive on a live volcano so the sand is very warm and a bubble shower from the volcano. Water temperatures also have alot of variety from 72 degree to 84 degree. Reefs are very healthy due to the currents which bring nutrients. There are very few bare patches of reef. The marine life is very healthy with very little fishing done so the sites have schools of fish. After most dives the creature ID books are well used as many new species to see. The ability to find unidentified species is also a bonus. A couple of the octopus species i have photographed have not been identified as new species. They have been seen for a couple of years but not identified by scientists. Topside scenery varies also as you see volcanoes and interesting island scenery. Komodo dragons can be seen on the land tours of either komodo island or rinja island. The park rangers do a very good job on the hikes. On rinja island horeshoe bay dragons are usually seen on the beach. On trips to the next divesite the currents have to be seen to be believed. Whirlpools and rapids in water a few hundred feet deep. For photography i use a nikon d40x in an aquatica housing with a nikon 16-85mm lens. For strobe i use and ikelite AI strobe. Wideangle to macro can be done on alot of sites. Which is why i use the 16-85mm nikon lens. Four macro i add a +4 diopter for 1:1 macro.

 

 

 

 

http://reefscenics.smugmug.com/

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I still remember my first trip to indonesia/komodo. It was 1996. A friend on the trip lent me an underwater rig, my first time shooting underwater. To say I was blown away, is an understatment. I am so sad to hear that those beautiful reefs are being destroyed. It took nature thousands of years to make them, and a brief moment in time for man to destroy them. Now :) , I shed a tear for them

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Depressing story here about dynamite fishing near Komodo

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10204350

 

 

I was in the water outside of Phuket in 2004 when the tsunami hit. Fortunately, none of my 19 guests nor I were hurt. But one other thing that I will never forget from that 2nd trip to Thailand was being in the water and hearing the dynamiting going off. We never actually saw the explosions but sound travels well in the water and we heard it frequently and did come upon many reefs that had recently been dynamited. I have some footage somewhere of a huge live brain coral that was literally blown in half. Very disturbing to say the least.

Steve

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But one other thing that I will never forget from that 2nd trip to Thailand was being in the water and hearing the dynamiting going off. We never actually saw the explosions but sound travels well in the water and we heard it frequently and did come upon many reefs that had recently been dynamited. I have some footage somewhere of a huge live brain coral that was literally blown in half. Very disturbing to say the least.

Steve

 

The same thing happened to me on the first dive at Sipadan. We were quite deep so my initial thought was that a housing imploded...when it kept happening I realized it was dynamite fishing somewhere nearby.

 

It's still a big problem throughout Indonesia. You can really see the difference when diving on remote, pristine reefs as in the Banda Islands...where the local authorities (under the remarkable Des Alwi while he was still alive) kept dynamiting under control.

 

Another destructive industry that's proliferating is Napoleon Wrasse poaching. Not new, just getting worse. Apparently their lips are selling for hundreds of $ per kilo in China and Japan.

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