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.


Archive for December, 2012

Dec 31, 12     Comments Off on Slate-Pencil Urchin, Eucidaris tribuloides, Sea Urchins

Good morning friends, are you all ready for a late night out tonight, it’s almost 2013!! The fireworks here have been going for two days already but tonight will be the serious non-stop “shock and Awe” campaign!! I will most likely be staying home all evening again with the dogs and the t.v turned up high to keep them from going too crazy and make sure the cat is inside and the baby turtles are brought in and kept protected as well.

My weekend was filled with a multitude of missions and the best one was completed yesterday with the help of Stiyn. For months now I have had two 12 foot wood boards at the house in the driveway waiting to go to the trail to be used as a bridge over a muddy area, but the worry has been, how to get them there?? So on Saturday we loaded them in the car with the boards sticking out of the back and first drove them to a drop-off spot where we hid them in the brush. We then went back yesterday morning at 7:30 and one by one carried them by hand about a mile each way, difficult but the task is now done, all that is left is to paint them and put the bridge together. The rest of day was spent with running around town buying paint and doing all kinds of last minute stuff before the New Year. At 4:00 yesterday Stiyn and I left on a long, fun two hour mountain bike trip to the North coast, other then my one crash on a sandy corner we had a great time! In the evening we had a party at Stiyn’s house and we were joined by Scott and Tammi.

Our guests, Scott, Tammi and Hannah are busy with diving and teaching their daughter to dive and today and tomorrow Hannah will be doing a dolphin training course at Dolphin Academy.

Your photo today is of Stiyn holding a live Slate-Pencil Urchin, Eucidaris tribuloides that we found a few days ago hiding under a rock at a dive spot called Tugboat. These urchins are fairly hard to find as they spend much of their lives hiding in sea grass beds or deep in the reef away from danger. The spines are not sharp at all like other sea urchins we have here and are really fun to watch as they crawl around. After we took this photo we gently placed him back in his cave and said good-bye and as usual I wished I had my macro lens instead of a wide angle!

Well, that’s it for 2012, hard to believe but it’s over!! Have a safe New Years and keep your animals safe!! Thanks for a wonderful year, Barry and Aimee

Dec 28, 12     Comments Off on Fish Eyes, Parrotfish, Fish Eye Close Up, Macro

Hi friends, on our night dive the other night I found a sleeping Redtail Parrotfish, Sparisoma chrysopterum and ever so slowly moved in for a close-up shot of just the eye, talk about a difficult task!! At night the reef here is covered with sleeping fish, they are not hard to find but trying to move in without waking them is really quite a feat. We have so many varieties of parrotfish in the Caribbean. During the day they are seen as one color but at night they have the ability to change colors which allow them to blend in with the reef keeping them safe throughout the long night. Also like other fish parrotfish are born one color scheme and then change drastically in colors as they get older, it’s so cool!! For those of you new to night diving remember to never shine your lights directly on the fish. This will scare them causing them to flee and in most cases they can’t see where they are going and can injure themselves by slamming into rocks and corals!

We had a crazy busy day at Substation yesterday, we did three long runs with 10 paying customers, it was great but wore me out! Scott and Stiyn did two Lionfish hunting dives here yesterday but in the end only found a few, better to hunt them at night.

That’s about it, I have to get in the water, have a wonderful day!

See you soon, Barry

Dec 27, 12     Comments Off on New Divers, Teaching Kids to Dive, Young Divers

Good morning friends, I am back!! I apologize for the no blogs for the past few days but have been crazy busy!! So last Friday our friends, Scott, Tammi and their daughter Hannah arrived safe and sound to Curacao and showed up at our house at around 6:00. We unloaded more luggage then I had ever seen three people carry and upon further investigation found out that much of it was for us!! We then all went to different rooms and all wrapped presents and then carried them upstairs and placed them under the driftwood Christmas tree for the following morning. Stiyn surprised me the most with bringing over a big wrapped box and ended up getting me the most fun present of all, a new unicycle!! I was so shocked but quickly took it outside for a ride around the block, your never too old to ride on one wheel!!

Saturday morning (Christmas) was a complete blast! First we made our favorite Highlander Groog coffee which Scott and Tammi brought then we shreded presents, why can’t every day be like Christmas!! After the fun Aimee took off to work and Hannah and I took the dogs out to the new trail where I spent the next hour building another new berm, that’s two down now and one more big one to go! The rest of the day was spent over at the Sea Aquarium watching Aimee with the dolphins, setting up dive gear and going sea glass collecting, the day went by fast!

Yesterday I met Stiyn and Dorian at 7:15 and we all took off for an hour and a half of racing thru the wilds of Curacao and getting to ride the new trail more than once. After the ride Stiyn rode back home but his mom brought him back to the house and he stayed with us for the rest of the day. At around 11:00 we all packed up the cars with dive gear and took off to the Tugboat at Caracas bay for Hanna’s first dive in the ocean this year. The photo above is Scott and Hannah, and Tammi and Stiyn in the background, it was a lot of fun and a beautiful day to go diving!! Aimee also went with us but stayed on the beach relaxing in a chair reading a book, it was the first time in a long time that she just got to do nothing! That was pretty much the day, it took a while to wash all the gear after and to clean the camera. In the evening we did a night dive at the Substation but the dive was filled with all kinds of little problems for everyone, the next one will be better.

I trust everyone out there had a wonderful Christmas, I know we did thanks to all our friends and family that sent down gifts, we love you long time!

Have a great day, Barry

Dec 24, 12     Comments Off on Merry Christmas Palms, Decorated Palm Trees

Here are some super fun links you will all enjoy!!!!!


That’s about it, sorry so short but I have a list a mile long to get done today! Have a wonderful Christmas and drop us a line if you find time, we would love to hear from you and know what you all got for Christmas!!

Be safe, Barry

Dec 21, 12     Comments Off on Bottlenose Dolphins Underwater, Baby Dolphins
Dec 20, 12     Comments Off on Finding Nemo in a Mini-Sub, The Real Nemo Found!

Good morning friends, how are you all today?? I hope your well and that you all have a great holiday season, I know ours is shaping up to be a great time! Our guests arrive from South Dakota this coming Monday at 3:30 and Tuesday is Christmas, we will be diving for sure!!

Aimee is off again today and is out walking the dogs out on the new trail as I type and like a good wife is doing a bunch more needed tasks to get the trail ready for the bikers.

Well the good news for the day is, “we found Nemo”!!! And like all of you out there I thought he was safe and sound with his father on the Great Barrier Reef but apperently he made his way to the Caribbean!! Crazy right?? We found him resting from his long swim at 960 feet and did what any deep sea research mini-sub would do, we rescued him!! We have sent word to his worried father and he is now safe in the deep water labs and seems to be eating and doing fine, what a relief! Besides finding Nemo we found a bottle that dates back to the late 1700’s, seven big Torpedo’s, a wheelbarrow full of regular bottles filled with rare shells, masks, glasses, a tire, surfboard parts and on and on, it’s a treasure chest down there!! For more cool reports and pictures of the sub you can go to www.substation-curacao.com

I am off to the lab, have a wonderful day, Barry

Dec 19, 12     Comments Off on Long-Arm Starfish/Brittle-stars, Deep Sea Brittlestars

Have a wonderful day all!! Barry

Dec 18, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimps, Shrimps

Today I am headed to the deep water lab to finish photographing all the weird stuff that was recently found on the last trip and to shoot a ton of different live cone shells. Last week I set up a new large size aquarium for photography to shoot my larger stuff in like the sea cucumbers, sand dollars, toadfish and now a small shark, more photos on the way.

Aimee and I are doing a small Christmas tomorrow morning and then another when our guests arrive. After we shred presents we are going to head out to the new trail and get some major work done, I can hardly wait!

See you soon, Barry


Dec 17, 12     Comments Off on Calliostoma, Calliostomatidae, Live Calliostoma Shells

So my good news is that I finally finished my new mountain bike trail!! Yeah, right it only took six months!! On Sunday morning I got down low and looked through the thick brush and could see the dirt road I was headed to in the distance, that was all the motivation I needed!! I ended up coming out around 20 feet from the exit of the Calabash trail, that’s not bad!! I still need to do hundreds of other little jobs like build more burmed corners and cut little stumps but all in all it’s open and ready for business! I was so tired once i got home I went to bed with the dogs and didn’t wake up till 2:00?? And yes, “poof” the day was gone!!

Here are two new live Calliostoma sp. shells we recently found with the new “Curasub” at a whooping 800 feet! They are small, both around an inch tall but as beautiful as shells can get. I watched them for hours the other day in the aquarium walking around and feeding and I tried to do my best at getting some fun photos. The smaller one on the left was much more lively than the one on the right and it took hours of waiting before he came out.

Calliostoma is a genus of small to medium-sized sea snails with gills and an operculum, marine gastropod muluscs within the family Calliostomatidae.

The name of this genus is derived from the Greek words kallos (beautiful) and stoma (mouth), referring to the pearly aperture of the shell. The genus Calliostoma is known in fossil records from the Upper Cretaceous onwards.

The distribution of this genus is distributed worldwide, found mainly on hard substrata, although Japanese species have been found on sandy bottoms. These snails occur from shallow waters to bathyal depths.

The species in this genus are mainly herbivorous or feed on detritus, although a few have been observed to be omnivorous (Keen, 1975) or even carnivorous, feeding on a wide range of algae and on animals belonging to various other invertebrate phyla. The North Atlantic top shell Calliostoma occidentale has been reported to feed on coelenterates.

Contrary to what is the case in most other top shells, Calliostoma deposits its eggs in gelatinous ribbons that are only fertilized after being deposited. The young emerge as small snails (Lebour, 1936) without passing through a free-living planktonic stage as a veliger larva.

That’s about it, we are getting the house ready for our guests that arrive in a week and once they arrive we will be doing a lot of diving!

Have a great day!! Barry

Dec 14, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Toadfish, Batrachoididae, Toadfishes
Dec 12, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Sea Shells, Collecting Shells with a Mini-Sub
Dec 11, 12     Comments Off on Water Reflections, Colorful Reflections, Abstract Art

Good morning all, how are you all doing today?? I was reminded yesterday just how fast Christmas is approaching and let me tell you, I am not ready!! We are so looking forward to our guests from America and are busy getting the house cleaned and ready to go. We are also still getting the house decorated with lights and holiday spirit but soon we will just call it good and be done with it, one can go crazy with this colorful stuff!!

The sub brought up some new stuff yesterday and I will be in the lab today taking pictures of it, so stay tuned!!

I may be taking off tomorrow and Thursday to get my trail finished and get some of my driftwood projects completed, I am tired of just getting an hour done here and there.

I got my bike repaired over the past few days and will be riding with Dorian tonight after work, should be a great time! I heard Stijn placed 3rd in the Curacao Extreme race this past weekend, that was 40 miles of nastyness!!

Have a wonderful day, Barry

Dec 10, 12     Comments Off on Driftwood Christmas Tree, Driftwood Projects, Driftwood
Dec 7, 12     Comments Off on Bottlenose Dolphins Underwater, Baby Dolphins, Dolphins
Dec 6, 12     Comments Off on Boga-Bogas, Bonnetmouth, School-of-Fish, Curacao



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