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, 2012

May 31, 12     Comments Off on Laughing Gull, Bonaire Birds, Larus atricilla
May 30, 12     Comments Off on Bonaire, Divi-Divi Tree, Wind Blown Trees, Dividivi
May 28, 12     Comments Off on Possible Asterinopsis pilosa Starfish, Deep Water Starfish

Hello friends, here is another super cool find by the folks from the Smithsonian who have been using our sub now for a week to search for new deep water creatures. We think this could be “Asterinopsis pilosa” but please don’t quote me on that yet, we or they are in the process of trying to find out and I will update this post when I find out for sure. This is in fact a super tiny 9mm/or 3/8th of an inch Starfish that was found clinging to a beer bottle at 700 plus feet on the sandy bottom. That is small, get out a ruler and look for yourself. Now I know what your thinking, how in the heck did they ever spot such a small creature from inside the sub?? Good question. They were looking for bottles as bottles are homes to all kinds of small crabs and worms and it wasn’t till the bottle was back in the lab that the starfish was found clinging to the outside and is considered an extra bonus! I wish you could see the incredible amount of detail this little guy has, I have rarely seen anything with this much pattern in or out of the water! The last few days the sub has been finding and bringing up these super old bottles from the early 1800’s, those alone are quite a find and of so beautiful!

Not much else to report today, tomorrow we are full at substation, it will be one very busy and fast paced day for all of us!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, talk more soon, Barry

May 28, 12     Comments Off on Baby Perotrochus Gouyanus Slit shell, Rare Sea Shells
May 25, 12     Comments Off on Baby Dolphin, Newborn Dolphin, Baby Bottlenose
May 23, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Scaphopoda, Tusk Shell, Hermit Crab
May 23, 12     Comments Off on Troupial, Icterus icterus, Tropical Yellow Birds
May 22, 12     Comments Off on Coral Bleaching Before and After Photos, Curacao

Severe Coral Bleaching Before Nov/30/2010

Same Coral Healed, May/10/2012

Good morning friends, I finally found another coral colony that I have been looking for out on our reef, not so easy to find after a year and a half! This is another major success story as this mound or colony of Star Coral was almost completely bleached and dying but  found the strength to hold on and is now completely recovered. Coral bleaching is caused by various anthropogenic and natural variations in the reef environment including sea temperature, solar irradiance, sedimentation, xenobiotics, subaerial exposure, inorganic nutrients, freshwater dilution, and epizootics. Coral bleaching events have been increasing in both frequency and extent worldwide in the past 20 years. Global climate change may play a role in the increase in coral bleaching events, and could cause the destruction of major reef tracts and the extinction of many coral species. I am personally really shocked at how long these corals are taking to heal, remember my big coral face?? I see that one everyday and it’s still only at around 75% back to normal, I will send you a shot of that one as well. Remember we can all do our part to help this global warming such as; recycle, car-pool, ride your bike to work, use less heat and air conditioning, change your old light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), plant a tree, and encourage others to conserve, that’s just a few.   

We are diving with the folks from the Smithsonian Institutuion today and at 5:00 I’m leading a group from the States on a tour of our fun trails, busy day on tap!

Have a great day, Barry

May 21, 12     Comments Off on Foster Dog, Rescue Dog, Traveling with Pets,
Good Morning from Curacao!
 
Well, this is Lola and I waiting in front of the Curacao airport before our “big flying day’! She was great and here is our little story, written in a note from me to Barry.
 
Hi honey! We have touchdown! Safe and sound, drinking a cup of coffee with Lola relaxing under the kitchen table.  I have to say Lola was NOT a good girl yesterday…..She was AWESOME! INCREDIBLE-AMAZING-SUPER-FANTASTIC! A real trooper for sure. 
 
At Curacao they let me wait a long time with Lola, and even go out onto the tarmac before putting her in the crate. The rope you gave me was perfect for tying on the front. Thanks. Everyone was super to her and me, talking and being  nice. I told everyone her name and they spoke directly to her. The airline girls were great and came over the radio and said “Mrs. Brown, Lola is safely onboard the flight”. We ran late in leaving Curacao, something about the ground crew, blah blah. We arrived about 11:15 to Miami. No problem at Customs, in fact, where I showed my passport, they checked her health certificate and stamped it and that was it! I picked her up at luggage, she was quietly laying down, curled up along the wall in her crate. When she saw me then she got a bit more excited, but all fine. We went straight through the next part, only had to put my backpack on the check area. 
Inside the airport people were very nice and helpful (some not, but ok). I got advice to check the crate into a baggage check/holding area. Perfect. It cost 7$ and they kept the kennel all day long! You should have done that with your bike on the last trip! Anyways, outside on the bottom level, they have these pet areas, which have little white picket fences, and have trees and grass and such. Easy, we walked everywhere and she was so great! Little Lola, head up, ear flopping over, trotting through the Miami airport helping Momma shop!   Yup, I was taking her into the stores and everything! I of course asked for permission, but everyone said ok because she was such a little lady, sitting when I asked her to and paying attention. I got fun photos of her in a bookstore, and then we went to have lunch at Chili’s! Believe it! So, they have the take-out area, we waited in line, Lola sitting nicely beside me. Then I got my lunch and we sat outside on the floor. Afterwards I got a nice photo of the two of us in front of the restaurant. Then I got a photo of just her waiting in line, too funny! Lots of people came over to talk to us and say what a nice dog she was.
 
Ok, so at 7pm I got her checked in again, no problem. Got myself through the check in…long time. Got on the plane and they once again confirmed that she was safely onboard. We waited about 5 minutes after that and the lady came online and said the captain did not show up and they were waiting for a back-up pilot! We would have to get off the plane and wait until about 9-9:30 for the next crew! What!???? So, off we went. I immediately went to a phone to call Hana to ask about picking me up at midnight! Wow. The phones were not working correctly (I could hear her, but she could not hear me), had to use three phones to get it correct! So, only got ahold of Missy, who then was contacting Hana to tell her what was going on. When I got off the phone, I was going to try Hana again, and heard over the big airport announcing thing “Mrs. Brown, please come to gate 41”!!!!What! How scary! After waiting 10 hours I am going to miss my plane!!!!What??? The crew showed up a bit early, and they were getting everyone onboard already (I had only been gone about 25 minutes and they were supposed to take about 1/5 hours)! So I hustled back, the ladies knew my face because of the dog stuff. Got onboard safely. Then the announcer came on again, said the pilot was there, but no ground crew available! What??????So we sat there and sat there. Eventually we did get off the ground, about 9 something. It was quite rough riding for a while, then better, and got to the MN airport safely. Lola was waiting quietly in her crate, got her fed and watered and Hana was soon there! Got to her place and slept pretty well on the couch with Lola nicely on the floor beside me! Whew!
 
Have a wonderful day all, Aimee
May 18, 12     Comments Off on Ikelite Underwater Systems, Ikelite Housings D-800
May 18, 12     Comments Off on Freediving with Dolphins, Swimming with Dolphins

 

May 17, 12     Comments Off on Divers with Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Bonaire
This is a beautiful Hawksbill Turtle we found on the East coast of Bonaire a few years back and lucky Jen (diver with light) got to swim right alongside. 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. 
 
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. 
 
Today is a big Curacao holiday and it’s an official day off. I most likely will go into work and dive with the dolphins again, it’s just too much fun!
 
Have a wonderful day all, Barry
May 16, 12     Comments Off on Blue Light Photography Underwater, Fluorescence
May 15, 12     Comments Off on Porcupinefish, Diodon hystrix, Boxfishes, Balloonfish
May 14, 12     Comments Off on Dolphin Babies, Newborn Dolphin Babys, Dolphins

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