ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

General

Archive for May, 2010

May 31, 10     Comments Off on Damselfish Garden, Threespot Damselfish, Curacao

Damselfish Garden

Good evening once again from a tiny little island just 37 miles off the coast of Venezuela!  Here’s my newest and coolest Damselfish Garden I found the other day.  This is a little four inch Threespot Damselfish who is guarding his most prized possession, his “Brain Coral Garden”.  The story with the damselfish is that they find a bit of coral they like and peck off the living coral tissue.  The exposed skeleton becomes overgrown with algae that the damselfish like to eat.  The fish defend these little farm territories so aggressively that they will even chase off larger herbivores like parrotfish that would quickly clear away the algae.  Apparently with the decline of larger predatory fish on reefs worldwide, these little guys have become much more abundant and can be a real threat to reef health.  The photo here is a great example, you have what appears to be a perfectly healthy brain coral on the left but missing tissue on the right.  The brain coral head now has a thick mat of algae growing on the white skeleton, that’s his personal supply of algae and he will defend it to the death!.  Thanks to my friend Nick, I now know what to look for and am seeing these damselfish gardens more and more.  If you want to hear more about these guys and the damage they are doing check out this piece NPR did on damselfish in Bonaire a while back. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1117 
 
It was another super hot day but at least the wind is back and the ocean once again has some current moving in the right direction.  We still need a home for one of the puppies, I can’t believe there isn’t some one out there needing a great companion??  See you tomorrow, Barry
May 30, 10     Comments Off on Seahorse Holding Onto a Soft Coral, Gorgonian

Red Seahorse

Hello Sunday readers, I would love to know what everyone is out doing on this wonderful day, please drop us a line and let us know.  I left the house at 7:00 on my bike and didn’t get home till 10:30, that was a long ride!  I first rode to the North coast and then over to Saint Joris where I met some friends and finally got to show off the new trail, it was really fun.  For now the only way folks will find this trail is by word of mouth as the entrance and exit are very well hidden.  It was a beautiful morning for riding, we again had no wind and on a bike that’s good news!  I rode up some long hills today very fast and they normally are very difficult.  When I finally did get home I just put the bike on the back of the car, loaded two waiting dogs and took them for another bike ride to a small beach for a morning swim.  When we got to the beach I was still super dirty from the ride and just dove into the ocean with the dogs to clean off and be refreshed, man-o-man did that ever feel great!  I swam pretty far out as the ocean was still dead calm and the dogs followed, both are great swimmers!  So now I am back home and worn out, my legs are very tired and I have a small headache.  Aimee and I are going to the movies at 6:00 to see the new Shrek and fill up on popcorn!
 
Here’s my very hidden seahorse from yesterday’s dive.  What I like about this photo the most is, look at the gorgonian he is holding onto, the polyps are all closed where his tail is attached.  Gorgonians are soft coral or live animals and when you touch them they retract their individual polyps for safety and will re-open once he leaves or moves to another area.  Without the flash this seahorse looks black and is very hard to see, this was the first time I had ever seen him up this high before, usually they like the sandy areas.
 
Need to get ready to go, hope your all having a great weekend, Barry
May 29, 10     Comments Off on Bluestriped Grunt Cleaning Station, Cleaning Goby

Bluestriped Grunt

Good evening fellow earth people, I hope your enjoying your well earned weekend!!  I had a really fun dive today with a few of my co-workers out on our own Sea Aquarium House Reef.  The first thing I found today at 70 feet was a really nice example of a Damselfish Garden which I will send out to you in a few days!!  It was a perfectly round Brain Coral head about the size of a basketball with one side dead coral with algae growing on top and the other live coral and of course our little Damselfish bad-boy defending it.  I was pretty sure my two divers that were with me today thought I had lost my mind taking photos of what looked like nothing but it was cool.  The next thing I found was a pair of Spotfin Butterflyfish and set off in hot pursuit trying my hardest to get a photo of both of them together I will send you that photo as well some time this week.  Next I found a big Seahorse at the very top a gorgonian, it was picture perfect and ended up laying there for around 10 minutes waiting for the perfect pose.  As we made our way back and were now at 17 feet I noticed this big Bluestriped Grunt under a coral ledge being cleaned by a single Cleaning Goby, seen here in his open mouth.  Talk about trust!!  The giant grunt would open his mouth super wide and this little cleaning goby would dash in and out picking away at any bacteria left behind.  Without the help of tiny cleaning fish many fish would die from disease, they are the true caretakers of the reef and keep all the fish healthy thus in return they do not get eaten.  I laid there on the sand and tried to be as quiet as a diver with a giant camera could be and was shocked at how long I was able to lay there and watch and take photos, it was so much fun!  
  
Today very well could have been one of the hottest days ever in Curacao!!  Not a drop of wind and the ocean was again dead calm!  At one point this afternoon I told someone that even my sweat was sweating!  Because of this still water we had to cancel swims today as the water quality was very poor due to no water movement at all.  So now instead of rain I am praying for wind we need that more at the moment.  We came home to such a hot house this evening that I took the t.v. and vcr down stairs into an air-conditioned room and that is where we will be hanging out this evening, it’s just way too hot upstairs.
 
Our little black female puppy was picked up this afternoon by her new owners.  We sure will miss her but know she is getting a wonderful home and has a lifetime of adventures ahead of her.
 
I smell something yummy, see you later, Barry
May 28, 10     Comments Off on Batwing Coral Crab, Caribbean Crabs, Queen Crab

Batwing Coral Crab

Hello one and all.  Here’s one of the most beautiful crabs in the Caribbean.  I did a dive at around 1:30 with my friend Maikel and while shooting the same two mating trunkfish that I found a few days ago he got my attention and pointed out this little red jewel to me.  The carapace on these crabs are smooth and heavy, with no teeth, except for a blunt one at the lower right- and left hand corner.  The ground color is pale to brick red with scarlet spots and meandering lines of small white or yellow spots.  The ends of the fingers and claws are darker.  This is the largest crab in the Caribbean, the carapace can be up to 15 cm in width although I have never seen one that big here.  It’s actually pretty unusual to find one of these during the day as they are known to be mainly nocturnal animals.  The diving was a bit strange today because of bizarre weather on the topside.  We had zero wind, the current and waves have changed directions and the ocean is dead calm which usually means there is a big storm sucking everything out of the atmosphere!  The water was filled with plankton today because of the zero water movement and at times looked like it was snowing.  I really didn’t find a whole lot to shoot today, I was shocked at finding the same two courting trunkfish still going at it and in the same exact spot as last time, I mean how weird is that??
 
I keep forgetting to mention this but if for some reason you don’t hear from us for a few days it’s because our old Dell bit the dust or that we are having power outages in Curacao.  Please remember that no matter what happens you can still view the daily blog at www.coralreefphotos.com make a note of it, you never know.
 
We still have one puppy (our little male) that needs a home, so please if you can help us we really could use it, time is running out!  Lot’s to do this evening, sorry so short talk to you tomorrow, Barry
May 27, 10     Comments Off on Hawksbill Turtle, Critically Endangered Species

Hawksbill Turtle

 
Hi there friends, how was you day??  Aimee and I both had the day of together for once and the first thing we did was load the bikes and head to Saint Joris to ride my new trail.  When we got there it had just rained and we thought about turning around and going back home but at the last second we decided to give it a try.  The parking lot was a muddy mess but to our disbelief the desert was dry as a bone??  It was so weird!  So the good news is we finally got to try out the new trail with two tongue dragging dogs hot on our heels!!  The first section of trail that is now open is about a mile long and hopefully with more help next time it will continue to grow over the coming year.  It was so fun to finally go with Aimee out here so she could see just what I had been working so hard on and this Sunday others will meet me for a grand tour as well.  Because it was so blasted hot and humid after that rain and no wind at all, we turned the bikes around and headed back to the car only stopping to let the dogs go for a quick swim in the ocean before loading the bikes and heading back home!  We both finally got to rest a little bit today and we even took a nap, I know can you believe it??  Me taking a nap??  About the only other thing we did was go grocery shopping and I went to the bike shop to get a new tubeless tire.  At around 5:00 I took off for an hour and a half fast paced ride thru the wilds of Curacao! 
 
This is a beautiful Hawksbill Turtle I found at 80 feet a few days ago and swam along side him for quite awhile.  The Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family cheloniidae.  It is the only species in its genus.  The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies. Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata is the Atlantic subspecies, while Eretmochelys imbricata bissa is found in the Indo-Pacific region.  The hawksbill’s appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles.  It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like arms, adapted for swimming in the open ocean.E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins.  Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature.  While this turtle lives part of its life in the open ocean, it spends more time in shallow lagoons and coral reefs where it feeds on its primary prey, sea sponges.  Some of the sponges eaten by E. imbricata are lethally toxic to other organisms.  In addition, the sponges that hawksbills eat usually contain high concentrations of silica, making them one of few animals capable of eating siliceous organisms. They also feed on other invertebrates, such as comb jellies and jellyfish. 

Because of human fishing practices, E. imbricata populations are threatened with extinction.  The World  conservation Union classifies the Hawksbill as critically endangered.  Several countries, such as China and Japan, hunt them for their flesh, which they consider a delicacy.  Hawksbill shells are the primary source of tortoise shell material, used for decorative purposes.  The Conservation on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill turtles and products derived from them but illegal poaching still continues.

Off to bed, glad you all liked the little yellow bird from yesterday so much, we had about 30 e-mails on that one!  Bye now, Barry

May 26, 10     Comments Off on Yellow Warbler, Gele Zanger, Caribbean Birds, Curacao

Yellow Warbler

Hi all, here’s a new little bird I don’t think I have ever sent out before, this is a male Yellow Warbler.  A big thanks to my good friend Gordy for pointing this bird out to me, I am very grateful for any and all photo tips above or below water.  I ran into Gordy the other day and he told me there is a little yellow bird sitting in front of the Warden (big Ship) on a stick at the Sea Aquarium.  Turns out this bird and his mate have been here for a few weeks and have been seeing their reflections in the ships window and it’s driving the male crazy!  The little Yellow Warbler must see this as another male trying to move in on his territory or his lady??  The people in the boat have tried everything to mask the reflection from the inside but he can still see himself and he’s bound and determined to kick his own butt if it’s the last thing he does!  The locals here call these little beauties Para di Misa and in Dutch they are called Gele Zanger.  The females of this species don’t have a brown hat and are not as brightly colored, we males need all the help we can get, right boys!!  I also found out that many older locals call these “Churchbirds”.  Long ago friars of old gave it the name because of the resemblance of a brown cap.  The thin bill indicates clearly the insectivorous nature of this bird.  Often branch after branch is systematically stripped of it’s insects. 
 
Aimee went to a party tonight and I had to stay home with the all the dogs!  That’s about it, time for bed.  Have a great day tomorrow, Barry
May 26, 10     Comments Off on George Kieffer Diving with Dolphins in the Open Ocean

Curacao Dolphin Dive

Good morning friends, it seems it’s getting harder and harder to get these out at night lately as I am so busy with other things.  Last night we had our two Dolphin Academy interns over Loet and Laura with their boyfriends for dinner and before I knew it time had ran out to play on the computer. 
 
The puppies are growing so fast, I told Aimee to just stop feeding them for a while so they stay small, she didn’t think that was very funny.  Today they finally get their second shot and Saturday our little black female goes to her new home and the brown one moves into her new house in mid June, so now it’s two down one to go, just our little male is left. 
 
Here is our fearless leader George again out on the reef with Tela and Pasku, our two celebrities!  I shot this the other morning when I ran out of air, if fact this was the last photo I took!  George has been training dolphins to follow him into the open ocean for years all around the World and is one of the few people on the planet that has ever accomplished this feat successfully!  I love watching our guests faces when they see and realize that we just let out two dolphins into the open ocean for a morning snorkel or dive, they just can’t believe it’s for real and that the dolphins will return on their own.  Like I tell everyone who asks, the dolphins love going outside to play and hunt and hang out with a few divers but they know where home is and always follow the boat back in because they are social animals who would never leave their pod or family.
 
My new trail at Saint Joris is finally open and ready for business!  The bad part is not a person in Curacao knows where it is, I hid the entrance and exit from 4-wheelers so I will need to start taking folks out there and giving them the grand tour.  It has been raining again and is at this very moment which is great news for a man who just finished building a new trail, that rain will pack it down and make it look like it has been there for a hundred years.
 
I need to get to work, talk to you tonight, Barry
May 25, 10     Comments Off on Courting/Mating Smooth Trunkfish, Xanthic Coloration

Courting Trunkfish

Good morning readers, we had the new parents of the puppies stop over last night and so far it’s looking real good that these puppies will soon have great homes with wonderful families.  We are still keeping the pups for at least another week just to be safe because tomorrow they finally get their second important shot. 
 
I had quite a day yesterday to say the least.  My morning started out with being late to a Dolphin Dive out on the reef with Tela and Pasku.  The dolphins and George were already out and I was still setting up because of having to photograph a swim because of a late employee.  I ran into our dive shop and grabbed a tank and was checking out when I was told to “take a different tank” one that was used specifically for Dolphin Academy so I shook my head and said whatever just give me a tank, I am late!!  They pointed to two tanks along the wall and said use those they are ready and full so without any more wasting of time I grabbed one and ran to the launch pad.  I was in such a hurry I didn’t even have time to put on my wetsuit or booties or check the air in the tank, you see where this is going!  Well, I finally got out to George and the dolphins and a few divers and started snapping away, Tela and Pasku were doing great and it was looking like this was going to be one of the best photo dives ever when I suddenly realized I had NO AIR left!!  I was at around 37 feet and immediately dropped what I was doing and took off for shallow water and six breaths later the tank was empty!!  With my last tug of air I pulled my regulator out of my mouth and did an emergency accent the rest of the way which was only about 10 feet and seconds later pooped up above the divers out in the open ocean.  Junior was sitting in our boat near where I surfaced and asked what was wrong and I told him I was out of air.  I then swam back to shore on my back and moments later was safe on land.  I was quite upset when I returned the tank but in the end it’s my fault for being in such a rush and not checking my tank, will never take someone’s word that a tank is full again.  The good news is while out there I did get a few nice shots of George and the dolphins so it wasn’t all for nothing.  Later in the afternoon I went back to the dive shop and this time got a full tank and did another reef dive with my friend and co-worker Kenji.  We lucked out in finding these two Courting Smooth Trunkfish.  The one on top is the smaller male, he was half the size of the female.  These two ended up entertaining us for 35 minutes at around 60 feet.  The female would swim diagonally across the reef with the little male following but always trying to keep himself hidden from her.  Then every few minutes the male would take off at full speed towards her and they would then rise up above the reef in mid-water and do this beautiful little love dance, it was so cool!  Trunkfish are one of the few fish that are able to display these beautiful colors and patterns called Xanthic Coloration.  It’s believed to be the result of a single recessive gene which occurs sporadically in a few other species.  I am guessing from their behavior that this was pre-mating behavior and if we could have stayed till sunset I am betting we would have seen quite a show!  While out on the reef I noticed an alarming amount of coral starting to turn white called Coral Bleaching, I will be keeping a close eye on that!
 
Many thanks again for all the notes filled with inspiration and compliments you guys are the best!  I need to get moving, lots to do today!!!  See ya, Barry
May 23, 10     Comments Off on Feeding Aggregation, Surgeonfish, School of Blue Tang

School of Blue Tangs

Hello from Curacao!  This is a big school of Blue Tang’s I found on yesterdays dive and ended up following them for around 20 minutes.  This is called a “Feeding Aggregation” when so many Surgeonfish (blue tang’s) are seen in these large groups swimming around the reef together.  Surgeonfish’s, which feed continually throughout the day on a whole variety of plants, play a key role inhibiting the growth of filamentous and fleshy turf algae on the reef and contributing large amounts of detritus to the habitat.  Blue Tang spend much of their day feeding in aggregations that can number over a hundred.  These big groups of Surgeonfish swim in and out of the reef devouring whatever algae they can and then seconds later descend again above the reef and swim to the next spot, they do this all day long.  These Blue Tang aggregations also are know to attack Damselfish Gardens which as some of you know is a good thing!  Damselfish are unable to defend their gardens against such a large group meaning the Blue Tangs are actually doing good by eating or removing the algae the Damselfish have grown by killing a section of coral.  Go back to some of my older blogs and check out Damselfish Gardens and all the harm they are causing.  Blue tangs that live alone or in small populations, without the advantage of group feeding, spend significantly more time foraging in the water column than their more numerous counterparts.
 
I won’t put you asleep with my daily details but we did get the trail very close to being finished!  It was very hot here today and the island is again in need of some rain as it is slowly drying up again. 
 
Off to bed, have a great Monday, Barry
May 22, 10     Comments Off on Fish Cleaning Station, Juvenile Spanish Hogfish, Goby

Blue Tang Cleaning Station

Good evening readers, during my dive out on the reef today I came across a really cool cleaning station.  A cleaning station is a location where fish and other marine life congregate to be cleaned.  The cleaning process includes the removal of parasites from the animal’s body (both externally and internally), and can be performed by various creatures (including cleaner shrimps) and numerous species of cleaner fish, especially wrasses and gobies). When the fish approaches a cleaning station they will pose in an ‘unnatural’ way to show the cleaner fish that they want to be cleaned and pose no threat, this can be pointing in a strange direction and/or opening the mouth wide. The cleaner fish will then eat the parasites directly from the skin of the cleaned fish. It will even swim into the mouth and gills of the fish to be cleaned.

Cleaning stations are often associated with coral features, located either on top of a coral head or in a slot between two outcroppings.  Here you can see a Blue Tang completely stopped with his tail resting on the edge of the coral with three different species of cleaner fish doing what they do best, clean!  The top cleaner fish with the yellow and blue body is a juvenile Spanish Hogfish and below him with the black body and yellow and blue stripes is a Sharknose Goby and the yellow one at the bottom is a juvenile Bluehead Wrasse.  Over the years I have learned to just sit and wait at these stations and your opportunity will come, the fish just have to get used to your presence first. 

Not much else to report, no news about the puppies yet as far as adoption but we still have our fingers crossed.  I will be out working on the last part of the trail tomorrow morning so please come join the fun if you don’t have anything else to do. 
 
See you tomorrow, thanks for all the compliments on yesterdays photo, Barry
May 21, 10     Comments Off on Bare Eyed Pigeon, Caribbean Birds, Doves, Curacao

Bare eyed Pigeon

Hola Amigo’s how are you all this fine evening??  I just got home from a super fun evening at Saint Joris.  After work I loaded the dogs and met two of my co-workers, Loet, and Laura and their two boyfriends and off we went for a fun evening of hiking and photography.  We started out by walking my new mountain bike trail first and that popped us out at the “palm tree oasis” and from there we followed the waters edge back to the car which took around two hours.  Both girls came equipped with cameras and were constantly stopping to shoot something, I think it’s safe to say they had a great time.  It’s been so long since I have taken guests out there that I had kind of forgotten just how magical that place can be, it’s really beautiful.  We didn’t see any Cara-Cara’s tonight but Loet did find a barrel cactus with five little blooming pink flowers and some real nice pieces of driftwood which they carried all the way back to the car.  It was a fun night, the dogs are now asleep and that alone was worth the trip.
 
Here’s a real cool bird photo I again took out in my backyard yesterday for your viewing pleasure, these are the beautiful Bare Eyed Pigeons.  I was hiding in a bush across from them with my 200mm lens and the funny thing is they knew I was there!  You can see the look of curiosity and distrust in their eyes, they wanted to fly down below and eat the seed I had laid out but with every click of the shutter it just made them all the more ready to take flight!  Here in Curacao the Dutch call these birds Naaktoogduif, say that 10 times real fast!  The locals also have a different name as well and they call them Alablanka, in Aruba they are called Barbakoa, Warakoa and in Bonaire they are known as Warbakoa, crazy huh?? 
 
We had a really nice family stop by and look at the puppies tonight so please cross your fingers and say a prayer for us.  That’s about it, I did a reef dive today and still need to download photos, see you tomorrow, Curacao regards, Barry
May 20, 10     Comments Off on Cara-Cara, Wara-Wara, Caribbean Birds, Birds of Prey

Cara-Cara

Hi friends, this morning while out working on the new trail with Aimee and Junior this big Cara-Cara landed very nearby to check out what was going on.  Here is Curacao and only in Curacao they are called Wara-Wara’s.  For once I was smart enough to pack my camera because I have been seeing these big carnivorous birds now every time I am out there so I figured today is the day to start photographing them.  I was able to walk directly under the tall cactus he was sitting on with the dogs at my side and he could have cared less, it was great!  These birds are magnificent hunters feeding mostly on lizards, iguanas and rabbits but are known to eat just about anything especially fresh road kill.  They make the strangest noise I have ever heard from a bird and is very difficult to put into words.  Aimee and I have learned to recognize all the different bird calls on the island which makes finding these guys and others a lot easier. 
 
The new trail is a day away from being open and finished!  We got so much done in three hours this morning, it makes such a difference when you have a crew all doing something different.  My plan is to finish it up on Sunday and have the Grand Opening the following weekend, I will keep you posted.
 
Two of the puppies still need a home and ASAP as Aimee leaves for the States in June and I can not watch them all myself.  Our worse case plan is to find and pay someone to take care of them while Aimee is gone so please help us out if you can, they are incredible puppies!!
 
I went for a fast one hour bike ride at 5:00 but didn’t seem to have much energy mostly because it was just so hot!  The island is still looking pretty green but is in need of another big rain in order to keep it this way.
 
Long day it’s off to bed, be back tomorrow, Barry
May 19, 10     Comments Off on Intermediate Queen Angelfish, Colorful Fish, Curacao

Baby Queen Angelfish

Good evening friends.  I did a dive today at 2:30 with a fellow co-worker, we went in search of squids but never saw a one so instead I followed this little beauty around for awhile.  This is an intermediate Queen Angelfish meaning it’s not a young juvenile and it’s not an adult, it’s right in the middle.  I found this youngster in fairly shallow water, that alone was strange but then as I watched and followed I noticed he was hunting for food inside the big blades of fire coral??  These Queen Angelfish are so colorful and so much fun to watch but very difficult to photograph as they never really stop moving and always keep a safe distance from divers.  These fish can grow to be 18 inches in length and are quite often found swimming at depths of 80 feet.  I ended up following this little “parade of color” for around 30 minutes while my friend who had a video camera was parked on the sand filming a big Peacock Flounder laying in the sand.  We had nice clear water but had some bad surge from passing waves overhead and a little current making photography in the shallows even more of a challenge.  The good news is that the Endangered Staghorn and Elkhorn corals I saw today look great and have really come back since Omar, I was really shocked!!  I will plan on going back out in a few days to document the new growth and compare with photos taken a year ago.
 
We had another nice rain this morning but after that passed it was very humid the rest of the day.  The puppies continue to make us laugh on a daily basis they are so cute.  Not much else this evening, thanks for all the notes it’s great to hear from you all.  Be back tomorrow, Barry
May 18, 10     Comments Off on Glassy Sweepers, Copper Sweepers, Hatchetfish

Glassy Sweeper

Good evening readers how are you all this fine evening or day depending on when your reading this?  This is the first time I have sat down all day and it feels great! 
 
Last night Aimee yelled at me from outside to come and see what her and the puppies found, it was a GIANT hermit crab wondering around our yard!  This was one of the bigger ones I had ever seen.  I made a nice home for him in a big bucket with food and water and dirt and leaves and left him in there for the night.  Then this morning I took him to his new home with all the other hermits at Saint Joris and let him go there, a much better home than around here where he most likely will be run over. 
 
I spent three hours working on the new trail and finding a way out.  What I ended up finding is one of the most beautiful views in all of Curacao and my new trail will show everyone the true beauty this place has to offer.  I can hardly wait to get back there and do a panoramic, you guys are going to love it.  The trail should be done by Sunday and then next week I will have a grand opening in which Dasia Bike shop will sponsor, should be great fun. 
 
After my morning of fun in the sun I raced all around the island doing my day off errands.  At around 3:00 a friend came over and helped me build a driftwood basket holder for use at the Dolphin Academy, it came out really nice.
 
Your photo this evening is a school of Glassy Sweepers that I found in very shallow water out on our reef at the Sea Aquarium.  The common name derives from juvenile which is almost transparent.  Many know these as “Copper Sweepers” or “Hatchetfish”.  This is one of the few fish that will allow very close approach and usually appear very unconcerned to a divers presence. 
 
It’s off to bed after a very long day, see you tomorrow, Barry
May 17, 10     Comments Off on Dolphin Dive with Tela and Pasku in Curacao

Diving with Dolphins

Hi friends, how was your Monday or should I ask??  All in all mine was pretty good.  We woke this morning to a giant downpour of rain, it was so great!!  With these last few small rains we have had it’s keeping the island green and happy and I pray it continues as we hate to see the island dry up! 
 
Here’s yet another fun shot of Tela and Pasku out in the deep blue open ocean with none other than our fearless leader George Kieffer.  This was the only good vertical shot I got on the whole dive, they are so much harder to get than the horizontals and so much better for a cover shot somewhere down the road.  Tela is the mother of baby Pasku, he has to be one of the first or only baby dolphins born in captivity to ever go out into the open ocean at such a young age, we call him our little “Rock-Star”!!  In the near future they are planning on teaching the dolphins to go out as you see here and meet our new mini-sub with guests inside, can you imagine how cool that would be and what a great photo it’s going to make!!?  
 
I wish I had more for you all, the puppies are as cute as cute gets so please help us find a home soon!!  It’s off to bed, see you tomorrow, Barry

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