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 August, 2012

Aug 31, 12     Comments Off on Lettuce Sea Slug, Elysia crispata, Opisthobranchia

Good morning, it’s Friday!! We have had a very busy week here at the Substation and today will be no different. Yesterday I did three dives and then at 5:30 met Stijn and my new rider for an hour and a half fast paced ride thru the wilds of Curacao, it was great! This was the first ride I have done with Stijn since we have been back from the USA and let me tell you he has gotten even faster!! He will be helping me tomorrow and Sunday working on the new mountain bike trail which is currently underway. Last night as we all rode by the area I said; “let’s go try the new trail” so we carried our bikes a short way and then did the first test ride ever on the new trail, it’s bound to be a big hit as it rolls so nice! I’m keeping the entrance closed and hidden until the it’s all finished, don’t need the constant interuptions while we are working.

We are getting some on and off rain and it is so wonderful!! I have noticed that even the desert has greened up a bit which means we need to get this trail done fast before the big rains come or we will be in trouble!

Your photo this morning is of a sexy little Lettuce Sea Slug, Elysia crispata that Aimee found a few days ago on our Pipefish dive. These little Mollusks are very common here but I must say to find a blue one is quite difficult, normally they are green and white or white with green and red tints. These are most commonly found in the shallows but occasionly we see them deeper blending in with the reef. I have noticed that many of the blue or purple one’s are usually found on or around corals so maybe this has something to do with the coloration?? Any ways they are super fun to watch and always a joy to see on any given dive.

Thats about it folks, I need to get out underwater! Have a wonderful day!!

Barry

Aug 30, 12     Comments Off on Whitenose Pipefish, Cosmocampus albirostris, Seahorse

Good morning from the Caribbean!! Here is our newest find, this is a beautiful five inch long Whitenose Pipefish, Cosmocampus albirostris. I found this cool creature three days ago while out shooting the sub, he was just laying in the sand right below me and I could hardly wait to get in for a closer look!! When I saw him from above I knew instantly what it was but figured the second I got closer he would take off and hide in the reef but this was not the case. These creatures are experts at camouflage and if you didn’t know what you were looking at you would think it’s just an old stick or something organic. These animals are most common in areas of grass and algae where they stay just above the bottom, swimming under and through tangles of vegetation and debris but like here they can also be found on shallow patch reefs. These Pipefish are also in the family of Seahorse’s just look at the close-up photo of the face, they almost look the same and eat the same foods. The major difference other than the straight body is the super cool fan that is attached to the tail, they use that not only for camouflage but also as a fin and can swim very fast if danger is present unlike the Seahorse. Aimee helped with this photo yesterday. She came over at 1:00 and carried the macro camera down and I took out the wide-angle camera, we first did a submarine shoot and after we played with the pipefish. The only other one of these I have ever seen was at 1000 steps in Bonaire and that one was scared of it’s own shadow and it dissapered deep into the reef never to be seen by us again.

Yesterday was crazy busy, we did two sub dives and then I spent the afternoon doing photos in the cold water lab, I went home wiped out!!

Today we have two more sub dives and I have to meet Stijn for a bike ride at 5:30, it will again be a fast paced day.

Have a wonderful day all, be back soon, Barry

Aug 29, 12     Comments Off on Honeycomb Cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonia

Hi gang, a few days ago when I was last out on the reef I came across this cool Honeycomb Cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonia but only had my macro lens. This seems to be an ongoing problem that I never have the lens I need for the photo at hand, it’s a great case of “Murphy’s Law”!! So you do what you can with what you have which brings us to your photo of the day. We have a few of these or a pair out on the Substation reef and every time I am out I see them or they do a “swim-by” to see what I am up to. They are a bit curious but tend to keep their distance and if you want to photograph one you will need to follow them very slowly and be prepared to waste a whole lot of time!! These fish are often called Boxfishes or odd-shaped swimmers and we have never seen a juvenile, that’s one of my “Holy Grail” photos still to be found. These fish also can change colors in a heartbeat from boring browns and greens to electric blue, purples and flouresent greens, what an amazing fish!!

I started training a new student last night and the ride went very well. He is younger than Stijn but has great potential. He is also a little brother of sorts to Frank and Andy Schleck and was completely decked out in cycling wear that the boys set him up in, he looked great!!

Today we have two sub dives and I need to be underwater in less than an hour so I better

Aug 28, 12     Comments Off on Sea Worms, Night Diving, Animals Attracted to Light
Aug 27, 12     Comments Off on Cleaning Station, Princess Parrotfish, Wrasses

Your photo this morning is from my dive last week out in front of the Substation. As I was coming up from my dive I noticed a large number of Juvenile Bluehead Wrasse (little yellow fish) congregated at about 30 feet. I decided to stop and wait and just see if my hunch about these fish would pan-out and sure enough it did! These are cleaner fish and if you have time find a spot to lay low with your camera ready and just wait! What I find happens is that the fish get used to you being there and once they sense you are not there to eat them they will go about their business. So as I watched this beautiful intermediate Princess Parrotfish swam in and completely stopped and rested on the bottom and almost instantly all the little Blueheads rushed over and started to clean him, it was so cool to watch!! I was only able to get this one shot as the flash scared everyone away but they soon all returned to business as usual and eventuly got used to the flash as well. Cleaner fish play a very important role in the health of Caribbean fish and creatures and without them we would have a very sick reef!!

That’s about it, it’s hot and there is no rain in sight. Have a great Monday,

Barry

 

Aug 24, 12     Comments Off on Heart Urchin Pea Crab, Red Heart Sea Urchin
Aug 23, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Crab, Deep Sea Hermit Crabs
Aug 22, 12     Comments Off on Mockingbird, Called Chuchubi in Papiamentu, Curacao
Aug 21, 12     Comments Off on Snorkeling with Dolphins, Diving with Baby Dolphins

Good morning land dwellers!  You all know how it goes, if there is a dolphin photo I usually ask Aimee to write the blog so here she is. Here is a fun photo from the world underwater. This is me, in my own little personal heaven. Yup folks, heaven on earth is swimming with your best friend and her baby. They just both happen to be dolphins! This is a fun photo from this week. Barry took some time on his day off to jump into the water with me and and Ritina and Alita. I have been working with Ritina for many years and this is her baby girl Alita.If you remember, Alita was born on March 12. Well, now you can see that baby dolphins grow quite fast!  It is really getting to be a fun time with the babies (we have three right now, Machu and Serena as well). They are so curious and wanting to interact with people. The only thing that limits them a bit is an overprotective momma. Ritina is an amazing mom, especially for a first time mom, but she can be pretty protective. What really helps a lot is she has two great examples of being calm and relaxed because she is in the same area as Tela and Annie. It also makes a huge difference that Ritina and I are quite bonded. I never push her out of her comfort zone with the baby. I simply reward her for letting me interact with Alita. And, they both think that is pretty fun! We play with sea weed and sponges and Alita thinks it is pretty fun now to be touched and rubbed down and will get right in your face, occassionally coming up and bumping into your mask! It is so much fun to see them grow and change. What a life experience. The babies are quite independent and if mom is busy will race off and chase each other and play all sorts of crazy games. They are so very much fun to watch. So, there is it, I am blessed to be able to do what I love. I know not many people in this world are.  I never take it for granted and soak it up at each and every opportunity. And, I sure do love dolphins.

Barry here again, last night after work Aimee and I took the dogs to the new trail I am building and planted around 200 baby Agave plants. Eight years ago Aimee planted a century plant near the Sea Aquarium and it fell over a month ago but has thousands of babies still connected to it. So what we do is take one branch at a time and re-plant the babies everywhere in hopes that some or all will grow. We had a blast planting them last night now all we need is a little rain or I will go water them by hand.

Well, we have a dive at 9:15 with the sub and another at 11:15 so I need to get a moving. Have a wonderful day.

Barry

Aug 20, 12     Comments Off on Sea Shell with Soft Spines, Live, Exotic Shells

We have a dive with customers in a few minutes so I need to go, you can still go to www.seesubmarine.com to watch us all out on the reef in action but remember we are 3 hours ahead of South Dakota time.

Have a great day, Barry

 

Aug 17, 12     Comments Off on Deep Sea Crabs, Strange New Hermit Crabs
Aug 16, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Green Moray Eel, Morey Eels
Aug 15, 12     Comments Off on Hermit Crabs, Colorful Hermit Crabs, Deep Water
Aug 14, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Fish, Deep Water Scorpionfish
Aug 13, 12     Comments Off on Savoy, Spearfish Canyon Waterfalls, Summer

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