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.

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Archive for February, 2013

Feb 28, 13     Comments Off on Laying on the Beach, Woman on a Sandy Beach

Good morning all, sorry about the no mail yesterday but we were out on a big adventure and away from any computers! We had such a great trip yesterday aboard the Mermaid (www.mermaidboattrips.com) is a big commercial tour operation that takes people to Klein Curacao three times a week on a big beautiful boat. We arrived a little early at 6:00 in the morning, still in the dark and were the first to board the ship. Within the next hour around 80 passengers arrived and by 7:00 we were headed out to sea under a semi overcast ski and fairly rough seas. The trip was great and only took around an hour and a half and on the way back took even less time. The Mermaid has their own little beach village set up with plenty of tables and chairs, snorkel gear, a big grill, bathrooms, showers, beach chairs, and soooo much more, all the comforts of home on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere!!! We started the day off with a complementary breakfast with all the fixins and a cup of wonderful coffee! After that we grabbed our packs and set out for a super fun three hour walk along the island collecting shells and driftwood, and in general just having a great time! Aimee stopped to just relax in the sand and soak in the sun as seen above, the sand here is as good as it gets and is so soft to walk in!! Our friend Nancy proved to be the best at finding the “good shells” and was the hands down winner with her newly lost giant cowrie shells, talk about beautiful! I found a few pieces of wood that I claimed and hauled all the way back home but mainly just took a ton of photos which are headed your way! One of the weird things we encountered beside the dead Hawksbill turtle was a big Whip-tail lizard that ran from out in the brush all the way over to me at full speed and gently bit me on the ankle, it was so weird?? It did not draw blood so I am guessing he was just guarding his area and gently telling me to keep the line moving! By 12:30 it was getting hot and we arrived at the super old, falling apart lighthouse that stands on the island since the early 1800’s! The girls all braved the falling down timbers and warning signs and climbed the 100 foot spiral staircase to the top, I stayed to take photos and watch all the gear. As we were walking back the lunch bell sounded and tourists from all over stopped what they were doing and made tracks back to the Mermaid village. The lunch here is worth the whole trip with grilled burgers, chicken and ribs countless cold salads, fresh cut pineapple and water-mellon and yummy breads and cheeses all included in your $95 trip cost, for sure the best value for your buck on the island. We all ate like Kings and Queens while sitting on the beach looking out at the beautiful blues of the Caribbean, it was lunch in paradise! One of the coolest things about the Mermaid village is the hundreds if not thousands of hermit crabs and whip-tail lizards that live here, they are everywhere and so fun to watch. After lunch we headed out to snorkel for the rest of the day and join the countless others enjoying the fun in the sun. We ended up finding around four to five baby sea turtles and followed them all over watching as they hunted for food and then every few minutes surfaced for air, it was such a treat! Our friend Kiya found the coolest thing of the day, she discovered three adult Flying Gurnards that we watched from above for a long time as they tossed over rocks looking for food. The trip ended at around 3:30 with the sound of a bell, we hauled all our treasures back to ship with the others and by 4:00 we were on our way back to Curacao which only took a little over and hour. We all highly recommend a day with the Mermaid, the crew is great, the food is wonderful and really for $95 you can’t find a better deal in Curacao, you won’t be disappointed!

Today I am taking Nancy collecting sea-glass while Aimee takes Kiya on a snorkeling adventure at the aquarium so stay tuned for more!!

Have a great day, Barry

Feb 26, 13     Comments Off on Row Pore Rope Sponge, Aplysina cauliformis, Sponges
Feb 25, 13     Comments Off on Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea, Anemones
Feb 22, 13     Comments Off on Old Bottles Underwater, Sponge Encrusted Bottles

Have a wonderful day and a great weekend, Barry

Feb 19, 13     Comments Off on Brain Coral, Coral Reef Photo, Diving Klein Curacao
Feb 18, 13     Comments Off on Footprints in the Sand, Walking on the Beach, Feet
Feb 15, 13     Comments Off on Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebris, Morays

Good morning friends, we are back from our 5th trip to Klein Curacao!! As I sit here this morning my head is still spinning and I feel like I am still on the boat, all I feel is a constant rocking feeling!! I am really not a boat person so for me to spend 48 hours aboard a moving vessel is actually quite an accomplishment!!

The goal for this trip was to take a World famous scientist and his crew to the small island of Klein Curacao and take the sub down in search of invertebrates like sponges to use for cancer research. The trip was a success but I think we are still going back one more time next week as well. On a normal trip the sub will drop down to 600 to 1000 feet and slowly explore for possible specimens. Once a possible specimen is located it is removed and loaded into the front of the sub by robotic arms and then placed into a big collecting basket. At the surface the specimens are carefully removed by a diver and then taken into our onboard wet-lab made just for researchers. Once in the lab the sponges are weighed, sliced, bagged and labeled and then put into a cooler for their long trip back to the research facility.

The scientists are usually gone for around 3-4 hours at a time so while they are out I go diving or exploring on the island. The above photo is just one of the many cool creatures I encountered out on the beautiful reefs of Klein Curacao. This is a giant Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebris that came out of nowhere and really gave me quite a scare! I was busy and really concentrating on yet another smaller green moray who had his head sticking out of a small cave when this 7-8 foot monster swam right over me and the camera, it’s very unnerving! After seeing this and getting over the shock I said ok, you want to play?? I dropped everything and started to follow wondering what is this guy doing out swimming around the reef in the middle of the day?? He immediately noticed I was following and would stop abruptly and see if I was just going to pass but that was not going to happen at least not until I got a few shots! So what I ended up doing was going ahead of him and waiting till he swam by, thus your photo of the day. As you can see he was using the purple stove pipe sponge to prop his head up, that was pretty funny! He did swim down and touch my lens a few times with his mouth which scared the heck out of me, I’m guessing he could see his reflection in the large dome or just wanted to smell me? The rest of the dive was great as well, Klein Curacao has these giant underwater walls filled with corals and fish and is honestly the best diving in our area. The downside is all the lionfish!! I have never seen so many lionfish on one dive and I am not kidding, it’s really sad to see!

If I wasn’t diving or taking onboard photos I would jump overboard and swim to the island, hide my fins in the bushes and take off exploring. I did find a big dead Hawksbill turtle that the locals killed and ate, nothing is sacred here and the words endangered really don’t mean anything! I did drag the big shell up onto shore and will bring a camera next time to photograph, a photo is worth a thousand words right??

In the evenings we have grilled dinners fit for a king and it is by far the best part of the day. I love sitting under the stars and listening to the waves crash onto shore while kicking back reminiscing about the day with friends and all the time thinking “we are so lucky to get to do this”!!

Thursday morning I had the boat take me and my camera to shore at sunrise and photographed my own footprints in the sand. The sand here is as white as snow and is so cool to walk in early in the morning before anyone else makes tracks.

Well, sorry so brief, I will try to add more to this later.

Have a wonderful day all, Barry

Feb 12, 13     Comments Off on Old Bottles, Vintage Bottles Underwater, Bottles
Feb 11, 13     Comments Off on Blue Light Photos, Glowing Corals Under Blue Light
Feb 8, 13     Comments Off on Punda Panoramic Waterfront Photo, Colorful Buildings
Feb 5, 13     Comments Off on Trumpetfish. Aulostomus maculatus, Trumpetfishes

Here is a big red Trumpetfish. Aulostomus maculatus that I photographed yesterday just outside the Substation at around 35 feet. This exact fish has been here for over a year and can always be found inside his giant rock cave. These cool looking long fish are incredible hunters and have such patience. They will hover and wait for hours on end till the right fish or shrimp appears and then when ready will flex their body and strike!

I have soooo much to do before we leave tomorrow, have a great next few days and I will see you on Friday!!

Barry

Feb 4, 13     Comments Off on Research Vessel Chapman Exploring Klein Curacao
Feb 1, 13     Comments Off on Sargassum Triggerfish, Xanthichthys ringens, Balistidae

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