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 June, 2010

Jun 29, 10     Comments Off on Open Ocean Dolphin Dive with George and Annie

George and Annie

Hi readers how was your day??  As you can see mine started off with an open ocean dolphin dive with George our fearless leader and Annie.  The dive was short but sweet and Annie stayed with us the whole time which is kind of unusual.  Normally the dolphins spend a lot of their time doing what dolphins do and somewhere in the middle they will find us and “entertain the humans” for awhile then take off to play again.  George knows Annie so well, they are quite a team and Annie seems to trust him more than any other person allowing him to do just about anything he wants.  After the dive I took off back home as today was my day off and after rinsing everything left to do a little grocery shopping and drop off the laundry.  I then spent a good part of the day cleaning up the house a bit as Aimee returns Thursday evening.  At 4:00 I drove to Saint Joris with my bike and met a few friends for a bike ride but the ride ended soon after starting as everyone had flats and no spare tubes, when will we learn?? 
 
I wish I had more, my head is blank tonight, see you tomorrow, Barry
Jun 28, 10     Comments Off on More Caribbean Wildflowers, Colorful Little Flowers

Curacao Wildflowers 4

Hi friends, I have had so many requests for more Curacao Wildflowers so here you go again.  These are four more that I found either along side the road or out in the desert.  The red one is the flower that I brought home from Sunset Waters yesterday and re-potted it and it’s doing great!  Unfortunately I don’t have a clue what any of these are, possibly weeds??  If any of you have any time to surf the web or already know please send me a note and I will go back and label them all online.  Many have asked me what is the secret to shooting flowers?  Well really folks I am not a pro at flowers but am learning by trial and error.  For these small wildflowers you first need a tripod that is a must!  I am using a Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro lens but a 60mm would work nicely as well.  If your shooting flowers in the wild you will need a calm morning or evening with zero wind, moving flowers are a nightmare to shoot.  Find a flower with a nice background, just get on your knees and look behind it, the best backgrounds are typically dark so your flower really stands out.  I shoot a lot of mine at around 250 F-14 using a slow rear flash on just about every shot, flash is very important and if the flower is moving a little this will help to keep it sharp.  Normally I find if I shoot to low of an F-stop like F-5.6, thru F-8 the flower is not sharp enough, and if you go too much like F-22 your background will then start to become distracting, you just have to mess around with it and see the results for yourself.  Go out right after a rain shower, that is the best time as you get all those tiny droplets on everything, it’s really beautiful.  If you have any general questions I can help and if I don’t know the answer I bet I can find someone that does, good luck and most of all have fun!
 
It was an overcast day here in Curacao, it looked like it was going to rain almost all day but it never did although it looked like Venezuela was getting hit hard!  I’m out, busy day tomorrow, Barry
 
Jun 27, 10     Comments Off on Intermediate Rock Beauty, Angelfish, Colorful Fish

Rock Beauty

Good evening once again from Curacao!  I had quite an eye-opening day today.  My friend John and I drove to the North side of the island over by the airport and found the area where the locals have been dumping Curacao’s waste for hundreds of years, straight into the sea!  I am still in shock after what I saw today, we didn’t see any actual dumping but the insane mess pretty much said it all.  From what it looks like sewage trucks and every other vehicle with disposable waste back up to the edge of this cliff and release their waste into the beautiful blue Caribbean waters, for the life of me I just can’t figure stuff like this out in my head?  After holding our noses, gasping for air and watching were we walked we drove back a few hundred feet up the road and took photos of the mountains of beer bottles and wrecked cars, they were everywhere!  That’s the most trash I have ever seen in my life, it was completely heartbreaking.  One would think such dumping would be banned but apparently not??  After that we drove to a place called Sunset Waters on the South side of the island.  When we moved here Sunset Waters was this spectacular Resort/Hotel with great diving that was constantly filled with tourists but recently like a year or two ago it closed and went out of business.  Well from what I am told the weeks that followed was nothing short of complete anarchy!  The local people went there in droves and smashed every window, broke down every door, stole every little thing you can imagine including toilets, sinks, air conditioners and even went as far to destroy every slot machine in the casino, honestly I almost cried, it looked like it got bombed from the air!!!  I don’t know how the owners could possibly let that happen.  We walked around taking photos but really there wasn’t much to say.  I did rescue a little wildflower plant and brought it home to repot.  So wow, what a day, I got to see the other side of Curacao that no tourist will ever see.
 
Your photo this evening is of a beautiful intermediate Rock Beauty, Holacanthus tricolor that I found out on the reef just a few days ago.  As many of you divers know trying to get close to these beautiful fish can be a real challenge as they are scared of their own shadow.  Rock Beauty’s are in the family of Angelfish, Pomacanthidae and be easily recognized by their bright brilliant colors and the graceful way in which they swim unlike Butterflyfish who almost “twitch” as they swim.  If you look closely below his tail you will see a tiny fish with electric blue eyes, that’s a Peppermint Goby just hanging out waiting for some fish to stop so he can give them a good cleaning. 
 
Hope all is well with everyone, I haven’t heard from Aimee in quite awhile so she must be really busy or not near a computer.  Off to bed, Barry
Jun 26, 10     Comments Off on Yellowbelly Hamlet or a New Hybrid? Sea Bass

Yellowbelly Hamlet or a Hybrid??

Good evening friends, here’s my newest find, it’s either a Yellowbelly Hamlet or some kind of new Hybrid??  Whatever it is I have never seen one here before and still can’t believe I found it on our reef.  Yesterday I first saw him in our open ocean entry/exit area in about six feet of water very near our ladder!  I immediately realized this little black and yellow four inch fish was something new and for the next hour tried and tried to get a photo but he or she was constantly on the move.  We ended up leaving the entry/exit area and swam out the small channel and around the corner and then he swam east for a long ways!  Well last night I followed him until I ran out of air and was forced to leave but marking the spot in my head where I last saw him.  So today the first place I went was were I last saw him and within seconds I found him again!  Is that amazing or what?  I really couldn’t believe I found him again and immediately started taking pictures.  Well today he slowly took me all the way back to where I saw him yesterday, which was at the entry/exit area and again we did the same exact course as we did last night.  From where I left him last night and where we went today is probably close to 300 feet, that’s a long ways.  I need to go back closer to dark and find him and find out who he is mating with as all Hamlets spawn thirty minutes before dusk.  If this is a Yellowbelly Hamlet they are very rare in our waters and it’s possible that it’s a hybrid of a Black Hamlet and a Shy Hamlet although I have only ever seen one Shy Hamlet here in Curacao and that was at Vaersenbaai.  I did watch as he followed a Butter Hamlet for a little while and later I saw a Barred Hamlet but never saw them together as it was still to early in the afternoon.  So if any of my smart readers out there have any input please let me know, I will send this out to my fish experts as well.  I really lucked out today in getting this awesome shot, he stopped and was waiting for a cleaner fish and opened his mouth as wide as he could, it was so cool!  All Hamlets are in the Sea Bass family and for the most part are wary but if you hang around long enough will become curious.  I sure hope I can continue to find him I really want to show him to Aimee, one of the few people that will really appreciate how cool this is.
 
That’s about it, I will be getting the puppies back Tuesday night as the “puppysitter” can no longer take care of them, so Aimee if your reading this, “IT’S PUPPY TIME AGAIN”!  I’m out, be back again tomorrow, Barry
Jun 25, 10     Comments Off on Mangrove Crab, Sesarma Species, Land/Rock Crab

Mangrove Crab

Good evening friends, better late than never, here is my little baby land crab I found the other day while out shooting wildflowers.  This is called a Mangrove Crab or Sesarma which is a genus of terrestrial crabs.  Many species within this genus live in mangroves and have evolved to be fully terrestrial, which means they do not have to return to the sea even to spawn.  Aimee and I see these crabs all over, they love digging holes under rocks and will spend the whole day completely buried in the mud or sand.  At night is when they are very active and will venture out for food.  This little guy was about 3 inches wide but can get to be as big as 12 to 14 inches.  Some of you may remember years ago when we lived at our other house I sent out a photo of a big one that was clinging to the outside of our wall 25 feet above the ground.  I remember we heard this scratching noise outside and looked out our second story window and there he was just stuck to the side of the building, they are really amazing climbers.  You can see a few of the small half inch shells around him that kind of helps with a size comparison.  I found this little jewel buried underneath a piece of plywood but he took off the second I lifted it up.  I managed to get in front of him for a few shots before he crawled under the lip of a big rock and started digging himself in and in just minutes he was gone!  I did walk by the rock today and looked under, I think he is still there?  As these crabs get older they loose this beautiful color and will turn a yellowish/tan color which then makes them much harder to see.
 
I did a dive today and found something I have only seen in books.  It a multi-colored hamlet meaning it’s cross breed with another species of hamlet, it’s so cool, I will try and send it out tomorrow and explain it in more detail.  I will most likely send the photo off to some fish experts as it could be a fairly important find. 
 
Off to bed, see you tomorrow, Barry
Jun 24, 10     Comments Off on Orange Elephant Ear Sponge, Faces in Nature

Sponge Faces

Hi readers, here’s something fun from my dive today at Directors Bay with the World Famous Dive Bus Hut crew.  These are natural faces on the side of a big Orange Elephant Ear sponge, Agelas clathrodes.  I found one sponge today that had so many fun faces on it that I thought I would send you a bunch all at once, yeah I know “what a wild imaginanition”!  Here’s some text from a fun site called Sea and Sky, “many sponges are extremely plant-like in appearance but are actually one of the most primitive animals in the sea. They belong to a group called porifera.  Most of us are familiar with the dried colorless varieties that populate the kitchens and bathrooms of the world.  But in the ocean, live sponges can be found in an infinite variety of colors and shapes.  Most of them are relatively small, but some varieties can grow to over 6 feet in diameter.  Sponges differ from all other marine invertebrates in that they have no true tissues or organs.  Their structure is composed of simple aggregations of cells.  The name porifera means pore bearer. The tissue of sponges encloses a vast network of chambers and canals that connect to the open pores on their surface.  Sponges feed by drawing a current of water in through their pores, filtering out the nutrients, and then ejecting it out through an opening.  Many sponges on the coral reef resemble some of the corals in shape and color, but upon closer inspection the difference is apparent.  They are one of the many life forms unique to the ocean environment”.  check out www.seasky.org  for even more information.  Did you know that a report in 1997 described use of sponges as a tool by bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia.  A dolphin will attach a marine sponge to its rostrum, which is presumably then used to protect it when searching for food in the sandy sea bottom  .The behavior, known as “Sponging” has only been observed in this bay, and is almost exclusively shown by females.  A study in 2005 concluded that mothers teach the behavior to their daughters, and that all the sponge-users are closely related, suggesting that it is a fairly recent innovation, cool huh, I love sponges! 
 
I had another really busy day and it’s 8:00 and I still haven’t had dinner, where’s Aimee???  Went to Saint Joris with the dogs very early and cleaned trash for 2 hours then met my friends for a fun drift dive, then went shopping, then did a 3 hour bike ride and finally took the dogs back out for their evening walk and filled up all my bird feeders in the desert with water.  That’s it for me today, till tomorrow, Barry
Jun 23, 10     Comments Off on Eared Dove, Zenaida auriculata, Caribbean Birds

Bird Bath

Good evening friends, I know I said I would send out the little rock crab photo from yesterday but again I can not find a name for him, there is not much info on what lives and grows on this island out there!   So instead I have for you a picture I took out my kitchen window yesterday morning during our early morning downpour!  This is called an Eared Dove or Zenaida auriculata.  All the other doves and birds had flown away to seek some kind of shelter but not this guy he sat there just as happy as could be and the water just ran right off him.  The black spots on the wings and behind the eyes make identification easy and the neck often shows an iridescent purplish color.  These doves are most at home in the desert and I always see them when walking the trails.  When startled or disturbed they fly straight up like they were shot from a rocket disappearing almost immediately.  This behavior has earned them the name “Jumpy Dove”.  Like all doves it is a seed eater and is quite common on all three islands.  Nests are built in bushes, cacti and low trees. 
 
No rain today at least not here at the house but it sure was hot and humid!  I rode my bike home at 1:00 for lunch and was soaked to the bone by the time I got there and I only live a mile away?  One of our security guards came and picked up our car today and took it to be fixed saving me a ton of time, we may have a new best friend!  Aimee is fine and having a wonderful time, it will be two weeks tomorrow, one week to go!  Not much else, I am doing a dive at 9:30 in the morning with friends so I better get moving and get my camera put together.
 
See you again soon, Barry
Jun 22, 10     Comments Off on Tournefortia Volubilis, Twining Soldierbush

Curacao Wildflowers 3

Hi friends, I found the coolest little flower this morning that I have never seen here before, they look like individual little starfish??  They are called, Twining Soldierbush, or Tournefortia Volubilis, I shot this with my macro lens as the whole cluster of flowers was only about an inch tall, that’s tiny!  From a distance they didn’t look like anything and I am not even sure what drew me close enough to look but I sure am glad I did.  I only found them in one small area on the top of an open hill in a shaded area.  It rained again all morning and it came down hard but seconds after it stopped I grabbed the camera and the dogs and we took off to see what new little treasures awaited us.  We ended up hiking for about two and a half hours making a big loop out in the desert and moments after getting home it started to rain again!  These flowers were the highlight of my walk although I did get some other really nice shots that will make great greeting cards for some lucky person down the road.  If anyone can help me with a name for these please let me know so I can get them identified and labeled online.  At 1:30 in the blazing heat and 100% humidity I went all the way back to the area were I found these new starfish flowers only to find all of them were closed up for the day like so many flowers here do, oh well will try again on Thursday. 
 
Not much to report today, we are all inside hiding from the heat but I will probably go biking in a little while as the trails dry very fast here, there will only be mud in a few areas.  Thanks again for all the great support, I have a fun little rock crab photo I will send tomorrow, one of the many other things I found this morning. 
 
Have a wonderful day, Barry
Jun 21, 10     Comments Off on Flowers of the Caribbean, Curacao Wildflowers

Curacao Wildflowers 2

Hi guys, I was shocked today at how many folks liked the flowers from yesterday and seven people asked for more so here you go!  I shot these along the trail tonight on my walk with the dogs although with me taking pictures there wasn’t much dog walking going on.  It’s funny though, Inca will just stand next to me and keep guard never leaving my side but Indi is off constantly doing her own thing and I really have to keep a close eye on her as she eats everything.  From left to right again, this first one is in the orchid family but for the life of me tonight I can not find the name, the 2nd one is Melochia tomentosa, Black Widow, Balsam, the 3rd is the cool seed pods from a tree called, Guaiacum officinale, Lignum Vitae, along with these seed pods the tree also has tiny purple and white flowers as well, the 4th is some kind of Sage, either Cordia curassavica, Black Sage or Croton flavens, Rock Sage, please if you know tell me right away so I can make corrections online.  Most of our wildflowers in Curacao are small and you literally need to “stop and smell the roses as they say” you really have to slow down and look but once your eyes get trained it will open up a whole new World.  I found out that many of these plants are used for medicinal reasons like the Black Widow, Balsam (photo 2).  Tea, made from the leaves of this plant, is supposed to be an aid against anemia and to purify the blood.  Also gargling with an extract of the root soothes a sore throat and was formerly considered the best medicine against high blood pressure.  The Lignum Vitae tree (photo 3) produces wood which is extremely hard and in the shipping industry it is used in the making of pulleys.  This wood when thrown into water will sink!  And last (photo 4) Black Sage, an extract of the leaves seems to be helpful against diarrhea and menstrual pains, and the branches when tied together are still being used as brooms to sweep earthen floors. 
 
I went to visit the puppies tonight they look great and are really growing, our little black male still needs a good home, hint, hint, hint!!!  I am off to bed, have a great day tomorrow, over and out, Barry
Jun 20, 10     Comments Off on Caribbean Wildflowers, Curacao Flowers, Tropical

Curacao Wildflowers

Hi friends, by request this evening we have some Curacao Wildflowers for your viewing pleasure.  Today was pretty much non-stop rain but in-between downpours I rushed outside to photograph a few of the flowers.  From left to right, 1st we have Antigonon leptopus, Coral Vine, Bride’s Tears, 2nd is called Jatropha gossypiifolia, Wild Physic Nut, Belly Ache Bush, 3rd I need help finding a name, (sorry) and the 4th is called Datura metel, Prickly Burr, Devil’s Trumpet.  I shot these in the field behind the new Dolphin Suites Hotel at the Sea Aquarium.  Today I spotted at least 30 different little flowers that have popped up out of nowhere from all this rain and I bet tomorrow there will be even more as it’s still coming down.  I did manage to get the dogs out for a two hour walk in the mud from 4:30-6:30, it was so humid but at least we were able to get out and do something.  I carried a rake with me tonight and ended up cleaning up some of the trails that got used in last weeks big race, if I don’t do it no one will and besides it’s good exercise.  Not much to report today, it’s rainy and very quiet, it was a nice relaxing day!

 
Thanks again for all the great notes we loving hearing from you!  Off to bed, Barry
Jun 19, 10     Comments Off on Endangered Black Coral, Sea Fan Black Coral

Black Coral

Good evening friends we found something NEW, this is called Sea Fan Black Coral!  This is something I have never seen in Curacao and can hardly wait to get back and spend more time photographing it.  A few species like this Sea Fan Black Coral attain considerable size and their branches are collected, cut, fashioned, polished and sold by jewelers as a semiprecious material.  The value of these trinkets comes more from jewelers propaganda of rareness and the danger associated with deep diving to collect branches, than from any innate property of the material itself.  In fact, the black coral species most frequently used by jewelers is neither rare or found particularly deep.  Unfortunately, it is now very rare in many areas from over-harvesting.  The great black coral forests of the Grand Cayman and Cozumel are only a memory now, destroyed by greed and fascination!  It will take these slow growing colonies over 100 years to reestablish themselves.  In March 2009, scientists released the results of their research on deep-sea (depths of ~300 to 3,000 m) corals throughout the world.  They discovered a subdivision of Black Coral, A Leiopathes sp. specimens, to be among the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet; around 4,265 years old!  They show that the “radial growth rates are as low as 4 to 35 micrometers per year and that individual colony longevities are on the order of thousands of years”.  I did a quick Google search and couldn’t believe how much black coral there is for sale, I had no idea??  Please folks be very aware of what you buy now a days, no more black or red coral jewelry, shark fin soup or turtle shell jewelry, it’s up to us to save what we have left.  For me getting to see this Black Coral was the highlight of my whole East coast Dive trip, it’s the most beautiful coral I have ever seen!  Moments before getting to the first piece one of my flashes failed so I was left with only one flash making wide angle photos very difficult or close to impossible, just my luck!  This piece you see here was about three times this size, I just didn’t have the right lens but will be trying it again ASAP.  The second dive we did was just unbelievable!  I have never seen so many healthy and different corals in one spot not to mention all the fish!  The dive started out with us finding two super big nurse sharks resting under a big coral ledge in the sand.  One of them was at least 12 feet long if not more, that was the largest creature I have seen so far in Curacao on a dive.  This second East coast dive we did was hands down the best and most beautiful place I have seen in Curacao!  If your an advanced diver looking for “The Spot” to dive, give www.divechartercuracao a call you won’t be disappointed! 
 
I have a small correction this evening, it seems I gave you the wrong address for Aimee, I spelled something wrong try this, aimeedolphins@yahoo.com that should work! 
 
My car is still down for the count I will have to wait till Monday to get it somewhere for repair, I was told that the fuel injectors could be dirty or something like that?  See you all again tomorrow, Barry
 
Jun 18, 10     Comments Off on Dive Charter Curacao, Eastpoint Dive Trip, Cave

Eastpoint Cave

Good evening friends, I am still pretty tired today from yesterdays adventure but it sure was a blast!  So tonight I will recap yesterdays adventure a bit more as there are so many folks wondering about Diving the East Coast of Curacao and how do you get there?  Well it’s fairly easy, first visit Dive Charter Curacao www.divechartercuracao.com  and make your reservations.  There are trips to the North, West and East Coast and Klein Curacao and all the trips are different prices, mention you read it here on the Coral Reef Photos blog or my name Barry Brown and he will give you a 5% discount, it all helps!  For you local divers it’s only 135 naf, a price you just can’t beat for this kind of adventure.  Three years ago a retired police officer named Niels Jorissen had a dream of doing something really fun and made it happen!  He purchased a hand made 25 foot Tornado Rib with twin Yamaha outboards, gps, sonar, vhf, and much more from England and had it shipped to Curacao.  Check out www.ribs.co.uk real fast before you read on just to see the kind of boat I am talking about.  The boat ride itself is nothing short of a thrill a minute and worth the price of the trip alone, nothing is more fun out on the ocean than one of these babies!  Many of you know the pain of being stuck on the back of a slow moving smelly dive boat and the strict military format you have to follow once aboard, you guys know what I’m talking about!  Well with Niels and his crew it’s fun from the start to the end and I promise you will drive home after the dive with a smile glued to your face!  I was one of the lucky ones who got to sit in the very front on the way there and back because I had to hold onto my monster camera.  It was about a 30 minute boat ride from the dock to the Eastpoint in medium sized waves.  If you have never experienced the complete thrill of jumping the waves on a boat like this please try it, you will love it!  I know what many of you are thinking, “oh man that would make me sea sick”!!  Fear not my faithful readers FINALLY there is a drug for motion sickness that does not make you drowsy and feel sick, it’s called Bonine!!  Try it, you can thank me later!  Once we got to the tip of the Eastern point of the island Niels drove the boat into a small protected bay where we then put on all our dive gear and once everyone was ready we then took off back out into the rough sea and one by rolled off the side of the boat in the beautiful and mysterious waters of the East coast.  This is one of those dives that really makes you feel small as everything around you is so big!  Like, the monster sized barrel sponges, the huge sea fans, giant walls, caves, arches, and mountainous star coral mounds that look like they are straight out of a science fiction movie!  There was actually so much stuff to look at and photograph that at times I had to just stop and take a big breath and say to myself, “calm down” and saying to myself, “yes this is the greatest place I have ever been and yes you can come back again” what a fabulous dive spot!  The first major point of interest on our tour was this breathtaking cave!  I went in right after Niels and immediately turned around to get a shot of the others coming in one by one.  That’s Niels brother Eric holding the light at the entrance checking it out before he swam in right over my head.  This cave is pretty big and from what Niels said it goes further in but you need to be “Cave Certified to explore it any deeper.  I was also told that many times they find giant turtles or nurse sharks laying inside which we did see on the second dive but not here.  After a brief cave encounter we all took off and the second we emerged the current once again took control of our destination bringing us to that beautiful arch I sent out to you yesterday.  Obviously the current made it very difficult to take photos but I managed to do alright.  I was shocked at how many fish I saw and on the second dive there was even more.  After close to an hour we all slowly started to ascend when Eric or “Manta Man” as he is called, spotted a beautiful Manta Ray swimming right over our heads in very shallow water maybe feeding on jellyfish.  That was the icing on the cake for the first dive, tomorrow I will continue where I left off and tell you about the second dive along with a photo.
 
After work today I found out the car is not working very well so I had to walk the dogs from the house to the trail.  Thanks to our neighbors Bill and Christine who were also out hiking they helped me walk the two lawnmowers, I’m calling them that because of all the grass they ate on the way there and back! 
 
For all of you out there posting Word Press comments from my web site I want to say thank-you so much for all the replies I have been getting but I just can’t answer all your comments.  So please just know I love reading them and please keep sending them, I am so glad you enjoy our site!  I’m off to bed, see you tomorrow, Barry
Jun 17, 10     Comments Off on Best Dives in Curacao, Eastpoint Arch

Eastpoint Arch

Hi friends, it’s me, your tired but faithful blogger.  What a day I had today!!  I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open so this will be real short, I will describe the day I had tomorrow night.  My day started at 6:00am.  I took the dogs to the trail first, then drove to the docks and loaded my gear onto the coolest and most fun boat on the island, did a 30 minute boat ride in rough seas followed by 2 beautiful dives at East point.  At 2:30 I drove home as fast as I could, grabbed my mountain bike and went for a two and a half hour bike ride then back home to take the dogs for their evening walk!  Game over! 
 
Below is the hands down greatest dive spot on Curacao!  This is our big beautiful arch we have on the East point, this thing is just massive and super fun to explore and dive under.  This was such a difficult photo because of current and lack of time I desperately want to go back now and try a few other angles but today we just didn’t have enough time.  When we first saw the arch from a distance there were giant Tarpons swimming underneath it but as we came closer they took off. 
 
I really need to call it a day, I am falling asleep, more tomorrow, Barry
Jun 16, 10     Comments Off on Holding a Baby Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphins

Holding a Baby Dolphin

Hi Friends, I am super busy tonight getting my underwater camera ready for a big trip to the East Coast by boat at 9:00am tomorrow morning.  This morning my friend Neil’s who runs and operates a company called Dive Charter Curacao www.divechartercuracao.com called and asked if I would like to join on a fun trip to the East coast tomorrow morning and of course I said yes, so check back tomorrow night to see how this adventure turns out.
 
Here’s one for Aimee that we took just a few days before she left on her long vacation to New Mexico.  This is Aimee holding our year and a half old baby Pasku who was born on Christmas morning 2009!  We call him our little Christmas miracle!!  Behind Aimee is his mother Tela who is there for backup and to make sure things don’t get out of control.  The whole time Aimee is holding him he is talking to his momma thru a series of squeaks and squeals maybe saying “it’s alright mom she’s just holding me!  Bottlenose dolphins identify themselves with a signature whistle meaning each and every dolphin has his or her own one of a kind noise which many scientists believe is kind of like saying their name in whistle language.  As you may or may not know, sound waves travel through water at a speed of about 1.5 km/sec (0.9 mi/sec), which is 4.5 times faster than sound traveling through air. These sound waves bounce off objects in the water and return to the dolphin in the form of an echo.  By this complex system of echolocation, dolphins can determine size, shape, speed, distance, direction, and even some of the internal structure of objects in the water.  George, the leader of our people, was doing some sound experiments at the Sea Aquarium with all the different noises dolphins make underwater.  I remember Aimee was helping do some of the recording, I will have to check with George and find out what progress has been made and let you know. 
 
I better get going, still have lots to do for tomorrows adventure.  Sunny, hot, humid, rainy regards, Barry
Jun 16, 10     Comments Off on Diving with Dolphins in the Open Ocean, Curacao

Tela and Pasku Open Ocean

Hello one and all, how is everyone this fine evening??  I first want to apologize as there is a problem with my website and I am unable to post any new blogs.  If anyone out there is a Word Press Pro please drop me a line and maybe you can help me with this problem.  The builder and creator of my site is such a busy man it’s hard to get a hold of him so I am usually left to figure it out on my own but this new problem is weird?  Aimee is buying me a Word Press book while in the States and I think that is going to help me a whole lot.
 
The puppies are still doing well at YUKA’S Puppy Hotel and that means I have more time to get stuff done around here.  I took the hound dogs to Saint Joris this morning along with some trash bags and spent the morning cleaning a beach and building a bridge with pallets to cross over a very muddy spot on the trail.  A bunch of our locals dumped a bunch of pallets and trash AGAIN right at the beach so this morning I pulled one pallet at a time to a section of trail near the waters edge that is always in mud and you always have to walk thru it, so today I started building a pallet bridge over that mess.  A few older Dutch ladies walked by with dogs while I was cleaning the beach and they just looked at me like I had lost my mind.  They said to me, why bother, it’s just going to get trashed again!  I guess it’s this kind of thinking that keeps Saint Joris locked in trash, if everyone who went there took out a bag full it would get cleaned. 
 
I have guests arriving tomorrow afternoon from Bonaire so I spent the day getting their room ready and cleaning up the house a bit and after went shopping.  At 4:00 I took off on a super fast one hour bike ride, I did 2 full laps of Sundays race course which I did not do because of how much I hate riding in mud and it rained an hour before the race. 
 
That’s about it, Aimee is great and having a blast it will be hard to get her to come home!  Bye now, Barry

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