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 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
Hi gang, here is a beautiful Row Pore Rope Sponge, Aplysina cauliformis clinging to a pier in front of the Hilton Hotel. The thing that amazed me about this was that it’s the only sponge left on any of their pier posts, all the others are gone! Most of these underwater posts around Curacao had sponges and corals clinging to them years ago but now after tons of big storms and abuse from ships, snorkelers and fisherman they are gone! When we first arrived in Curacao I used to dive under the piers at Caracas Baai all the time, the posts there under the piers were completely covered with life! Then one day when I was there after a dive a giant tugboat pulled up and tied onto the dock and started pulling on the pier as hard as it could which instantly removed all the living sponges and killed the corals, it was a sad day for Curacao! Why did they do this you ask?? I was told they were bringing a big ship to the pier and first needed to check to see if it was strong enough to support the ship, they did this by pulling on the pier at full speed for like 10 minutes which as you can guess killed everything!?? After seeing the devastation that this caused I never went back again and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth after all this time, I remember just wanting to cry! One of the reasons we love Bonaire so much is because of a place called Salt Pier, they still have tons of life and sponges attached to their posts which makes it one of the best dive spots on the island!
Today our guests are going in the submarine and tomorrow we are all headed to Klein Curacao all day, should be a great time!
I tried to get a puppy photo last night but ran out of light, hang in there and I will get it!!
Well, I have to get ready to go underwater, have a wonderful day all!!
Feb 25, 13 Comments Off on Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea, Anemones
Good morning from Curacao!! Well, the Brown household has once again found and rescued another puppy from certain death. When I arrived home Thursday evening, after being gone for two days at sea Aimee says; “I have a little surprise for you in the bathroom” and opened the door. Yep, there it was, a tiny little puppy looking up at me with those cute puppy eyes, tiny feet and long tail just a wagging away! I kind of just stood their in shock for a minute thinking number one, this is not a very good surprise and number two, this could not come at a worse time with our guests arriving in two days! So she shut the door and told me the story of how she was driving down the street and on the side of the road close to being hit was this little starving creature eating a recently hit pigeon! At this point I wasn’t sure who had the sadder eyes, the dog or Aimee and within minutes she convinced me that if she hadn’t brought it home it would be road kill, so here we go on another puppy raising adventure. I will take my camera home tonight and try to send a photo ASAP.
My weekend was filled with bike riding, long dog walks along the coast and lots of house cleaning! Our two guests from South Dakota arrived last night at 8:15 and they said it was a smooth trip. Aimee and I will be taking our friends on the Mermaid to Klein Curacao all day Wednesday and tomorrow they will be going down in the sub, we want to get in all the fun in sun we can as they leave on March 5th!!
The above photo was taken at around 60 feet while diving the bottle dump in front of the Hilton last week. This is called a Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea and is one of the most beautiful creatures that live on the reef! This one here was about a foot wide, that’s about as big as they get and rarely are these seen below 100 feet. What really attracted me to the anemone was the large group of Pederson Cleaner shrimps, Periclimenes pedersoni that had set up shop on the left side of the anemone waiting for fish to stop and be cleaned. These anemones are home to so many different species of crabs and shrimps and many times I even see small fish inside using the anemone as a safe place to spend the day. The anemone feeds by pulling in floating food with all those arms and can retract it’s arms inside it’s body if threatened.
Well, I have to be in the water soon for a sub dive, have a wonderful day all!
Puppy pictures on the way, Barry
Feb 22, 13 Comments Off on Old Bottles Underwater, Sponge Encrusted Bottles
Good morning all, we are back from our 6th overnight trip aboard our new ship the “Chapman” and our state of the art, five person mini sub called the “Curasub”. Wednesday morning we left the main harbor at around 8:00 and did a short 30 minute trip to the Hilton beach area and tied up the Chapman to a bunch of existing piers. Once docked we immediately picked up our floating dock and set in the water which turned out to be quite the attention getter! Crowds of people from all the different hotels and resorts stated lining the shores wondering what is going on?? I quickly jumped on our little Boston Whaler and got a ride to shore so I could get photos of the launching of the sub from a different view point. The first thing I did was to inform all watching what was going on and answer as many questions as possible. Soon after my little talk the sub was being picked up and getting ready to launch which was really fun for all to see. After the sub took off underwater I did the same equipped with my D-800 and a 16mm lens and went on a fun hour dive!! The area around the Hilton (underwater) is known as “Bottle Reef”, it’s covered in millions of old bottles mostly from the 20’s through the 50’s!! The bottle dump starts in the shallows and seems to go down as far as the eye can see and the cool part is, most are covered in encrusting sponges and small corals as seen above. If you look closely at these bottles they are covered in beautiful encrusting sponges and a few even have a few small corals attached, pretty cool huh?? I am guessing that this area was a big dump site at one time because of all the trash on this reef, it’s like they say, “out of site, out of mind”! I would not recommend this dive site to anyone wanting to see beautiful corals and sponges but would recommend it to those who like “muck-diving” This has always been a cool site to find octopus, lizardfish, scorpionfish, bottles and eels, but not so many fish because of the lack of sponges and corals. After the dive I surfaced and got ready for the return of the sub which ended up being gone for around three hours! They again found sponges and cool stuff that will be used for Cancer research and even brought back a giant slit shell for me to photograph in the lab later this week. After re-loading the sub and floating platform we took off at full speed (8 knots) to an area called Playa Forte, three hours to the West. We arrived late in the evening, close to sunset and dropped an anchor in a sandy quiet area right below the spot were divers jump off the cliff during the day. This was were we spent the night. We again had people lined up along the shoreline wondering what the heck is going on, it was like the circus was in town! I think we had 14 people on board this time and it seemed so quiet as we are used to at least having around 20! We had a great grilled feast on board that night under the stars with just a gentle breeze, it was a perfect evening at sea! After dinner I went inside and watched movies my mom had sent that I had been waiting to see until the call for “lights out” came at around 10:30. The next morning we again woke to many folks onshore watching us and taking our photos, it’s not everyday a giant ship with a cool submarine docks at their local marina so I guess it made sense that we were attracting so much attention. The sub took off as scheduled for a three hour collecting trip underwater all in the name of cancer research and again they came back with smiles on their faces saying this was a great reef! We departed Playa Forte at around 2:30 and turned East into the wind for a long but beautiful three and a half hour trip back! Aimee was there waiting at the docks when we arrived and the whole ship sang her “Happy Birthday” from high above, it was pretty funny! That’s our two day trip in a nutshell, so much more to say but I just don’t have the time.
Have a wonderful day and a great weekend, Barry
Feb 19, 13 Comments Off on Brain Coral, Coral Reef Photo, Diving Klein Curacao
Good morning all, here is a cool shot of a giant colony of Brain Coral with a beautiful gorgonian sitting on top. I again found this on the last trip to Klein Curacao at around 60 feet! This was the first time I had ever seen such a big colony of brain coral growing on the side of a shear rock wall and it was so big that it was hard to get it all in the picture. These big round corals are home to so many different little fish. Some live inside the coral mound like the Secretary Blennies and others just spend their days laying on it like the Sharknose gobies who patiently wait for a fish to stop for their daily cleaning.
Lots of excitement around here this morning as we prepare to leave on another two day trip with the sub and the newly restored Chapman (ship). The plan this time is to go West and explore some of the South side of the island and I think we will be docked at Playa Forte tomorrow night.
Our friend Emily leaves tomorrow already, she has been here a week and is nice and tan! She has been spending her time with friends at the beach, swimming with the dolphins, collecting sea glass, hiking, and is gone most nights out dancing, I think she had a great time!
Well, I have to start packing again, have a great few days, will see you again on Friday!
Be well and have fun!
Feb 18, 13 Comments Off on Footprints in the Sand, Walking on the Beach, Feet
Good morning Amigo’s!! For all of you out there wearing sweaters and jackets today wishing you were strolling on a sandy Caribbean beach, this photo is for you!! I shot this last week early in the morning at Klein Curacao before the boat loads of tourists arrived, it was my turn to make first tracks! The sand here is so soft that if you walk above the tide line you will sink right in, it’s kind of like fresh snow except a lot warmer. During the early morning or near sunset the sand has a beautiful yellowish glow to it but during the heat of the day it looks pure white and actually hurts your eyes to look at it because of the glare. Looking out at the water you will see two different colors which is common all around the Caribbean. The light blue is shallow water to about 25 feet, perfect for snorkeling and the dark blue represents an abrupt drop-off which gradually descends thousands of feet!
So how was your weekend?? We are still mistified by the Russian Meteorite that did so much damage and showed up with no warning at all?? I read that during the day meteorologists are unable to track falling debis because telescopes can’t be used in the light, that’s a scary thought!!
The weekend here was pretty quiet, I hung out with Emily and worked on getting the house cleaned up for our next guests that arrive in a week.
We are planning another trip with the sub and the Chapman this week but not to Klein Curacao, I think this time we will be headed to an area around the Hilton, I will let you know.
Drop me a line when you can, I love to hear from you all!
See ya, Barry
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
Good morning friends, here is a cool old port bottle that was found the other day with the sub at around 950 feet!! We find quite a few old bottles but this is the first one of these we have ever seen! It’s age is estimated to be around the 1820’s and like most of the other bottles we find this was also filled with hundreds of beautiful deep-water shells! The weird thing about this bottle was that it contained Cerian land shells, so the mystery is, how did they get in there?? One idea is that the bottle was picked up in the 1800’s on land after the shells/snails were inside and thrown into the ocean?? Or, the live shells were washed into the ocean during a storm and once dead inhabited by hermit crabs that carried these shells all the way down to the deep, unlikely but possible.
We are all super busy here again getting ready for yet another overnight trip to Klein Curacao. We will leave tomorrow morning at 6:00am and return sometime Thursday afternoon, so again a week of short blogs, sorry! The goal for this trip is to take the folks from the Cancer foundation deep out on the reef in search of new sponges that may hold a cure for cancer so stay tuned for more.
Our friend Emily arrives tonight and if possible her and Aimee will meet us in Klein Curacao sometime tomorrow on another ship.
Sorry so short folks, tons to pack!!
Feb 11, 13 Comments Off on Blue Light Photos, Glowing Corals Under Blue Light
Good morning all, how was your weekend?? I had heard our friends in the Midwest were being hit by a winter storm but not sure to what extent?? So many States rely on these snow storms to deposit the much needed moisture to get them through till the summer rains, without it they are looking at another dry year filled with forest and prairie fires! Here in Curacao we are also in need of moisture again, it has been very windy and hot for the past few weeks and everything is starting to dry up!
So lets see what did I do this weekend?? On Saturday morning I took the dogs for a nice two hour walk and then met my ladies from the Smithsonian and took them for two hours of collecting sea-glass, which turned out to be one of the best glass collecting days ever! The conditions have to be just right for glass collecting here, and usually high tide and big waves are what is needed! After our fun in the sun, I went home and worked on my driftwood jewelry holder and spent some time with the dogs, the day went by so fast!!
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with dogs, glass and I tried so hard to get out and go riding but just wasn’t into it, I guess a little down-time won’t kill me.
Here is a new Blue Light photo I shot in Klein Curacao a few days ago late at night. This is what almost all the corals look like out on the reef at night under blue lights, it’s something you have to see to believe! I carry a hand-held blue light flashlight and wear a yellow shield over my mask and my camera is all equipped with blue-light covers over the flashes, it’s super hard to do but a great challenge.
Well, our Smithsonian group has left, we sure will miss them, who knew scientists could be so much fun?? Our next customer is here now and they are with the Cancer institute and will be using the sub to locate deep-water sponges that may hold a cure for cancer. This new party will be here for 2 weeks and I will keep you posted if anything interesting pops up.
Well, I have a lot to do, it’s actually raining out as I type, I can’t believe it??
Have a great day. Barry
Feb 8, 13 Comments Off on Punda Panoramic Waterfront Photo, Colorful Buildings
Hey gang, remember me??? To say the last few days has been anything but crazy would be a major understatement and today is turning out to be about the same!! So lets see, we left Curacao on the Chapman early Wednesday morning with a state of the art mini-sub and some of the top marine scientists in the World in route to the small island of Klein Curacao located about 5 miles East of Curacao. The scene above was what the city of Punda looked like as we passed by on the Chapman, it was like being on a big parade float with hundreds of people waving as we passed by and we loved it!! The trip to the island takes around two and a half hours and we all kept busy with watching movies on our computers or listening to music, making plans, eating, or many found a quiet place to sleep! Once on the island, we first tie up the ship to three giant anchors that are laying on the sand and then start up the crane. Pretty much the first order of business is to lift the custom made sub dock into the water which floats behind the ship. The sub is next, it gets hoisted and lowered into it’s dock and then within minutes our pilot and it’s four Smithsonian passengers climb in and off they go in hopes of finding new fish and creatures no one has ever seen before!! I was in the water shooting split level photos while the sub was being lifted and until they left, after that I climbed out and rinsed off. The first thing I did was to swim to shore and off I went on a fun-solo driftwood collecting trip and it was a blast! I was only gone for around an hour because of having a full load and it was getting hot and I had a long walk back. I spent the rest of the day taking photos of our operation and everyone doing their thing, it was a very busy day! In the evening I went on my 4th Blue Light night dive and photographed all kinds of different corals which glow different fluorescent colors under the blue light. I was the only one in the water that evening and didn’t get out till around 9:00pm, it was major dark and very cold but I had a great time!! On-board during my dive the grill was lit and they were cooking fresh caught Wahoo, Lionfish and assorted meats, the smell was wonderful!! After dinner the Smithsonian spent a good part of the evening logging and photographing all their new finds from their 4 hour sub dive during the afternoon, they found some cool stuff!
Thursday was a close repeat of the day before starting out with the sub leaving at around 9:30 for another 4-5 hour expedition down to 1000 feet! After they left I took some friends on a two hour hike again around the shores of the island in search of anything we could find!! We found more great wood that I will use for jewelry hangers plus shells, fossil corals, dried sea-fans, and truck loads of weird stuff, it’s so much fun!! Walking around Klein Curacao is a mixture of balancing on rocks, partial sandy beaches and navigating around large masses of driftwood, it’s a beach combers paradise! After the long walk we went back and ate leftovers from the night before and then watched a few movies. Many others onboard went diving and or snorkeling but since I had such a restless nights sleep I needed to find some time to crash. When the sub returned at around 3:30 I again grabbed my camera and jumped in the water and took some more split-level photos, they are difficult to get but if you get a winner it’s worth the trouble! It took the scientists awhile to get all their new finds on-board and they kept busy with that the whole way back to Curacao. I pretty much always have a camera in hand for the whole trip and am busy shooting everything, I have a ton of photos to pst from this trip so keep tuning in! We got home at sunset and then took hours to unload the ship, I had to have a friend go to the airport and pick up Aimee as I was so busy! The trip was a big success and everyone had a wonderful time, I will send more pics this week.
Running so late, I have to go to the deep-water lab now and photograph a new deep-water scorpionfish!!
See you soon, Barry
Feb 5, 13 Comments Off on Trumpetfish. Aulostomus maculatus, Trumpetfishes
Hi all, excitement is in the air this morning at the Substation as the Smithsonian has arrived and we are all busy packing for our first overnight trip to Klein Curacao tomorrow morning. The scientists are all busy signing sub wavers as I type and after that they will climb into the sub and head down to 1000 feet!!! The goal this morning is to pick up a Sipuncollector which we call a “grass mat” that was put there one year ago. What is a Sipuncollector you ask?? It’s a small 12-inch long mat of sorts rolled up and placed in the sand to catch Benthis Worms and other deep sea invertebrates. These mats are down there for so long that many creatures will find them and move in thinking this is a nice save home but in reality they are donating their little selves to science! When they pick up the old mat hey will put a new one in it’s place and again come back in one year to see how they are doing. Once the mat is at the surface a scientists will unroll it in the lab and very carefully find and separate all the little things that will be in there, it’s quite a task and can take days to finish. My job last year was to help photograph all these tiny things but this year I will be on the ship headed for adventure but I will let you know what they found.
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!!
Feb 4, 13 Comments Off on Research Vessel Chapman Exploring Klein Curacao
Good morning friends, you can sure tell it’s Monday already, I can’t seem to stop yawning!!! So what did everyone out there in cyber-land do over the weekend?? Saturday I took the dogs to the ocean for a two and a half hour walk to make up for such a non-eventful week due to Aimee being gone and me being so busy. I then ran around town doing errands and after went beach glass collecting which was unbelievable due to the beach being dug up by a bulldozer! I spent the rest of the day working on my driftwood creations and then finally trying to clean up the house, boy do we miss Aimee! On Sunday I left the house at 7:00 on my bike and headed for Saint Joris bay which only took me around 30 minutes to get there. At 8:00 I met a group of ladies who had asked me the week before to lead them on a bike through the wilds of Curacao. Most of these girls were all beginners so the ride was very slow and very relaxed but we did manage to get an hour ride in. After that I raced home at full speed with the wind at my back and much of it downhill, talk about fun!! After eating everything I could find I went back to the sea glass beach and then spent the rest of my Sunday working on driftwood and watching t.v. with the dogs. At around 4:30 I took the dogs out to my new finished and open trail for a two hour walk which ended with a beautiful sunset!!
Above is a shot from the island of Klein Curacao looking out at the Chapman (ship) as it unloads the Curasub into the clear blue Caribbean water. This was taken a week ago on our third trip to the island to do some first ever exploring down to 1000 feet! This week we are taking the ship and the sub back here again except this time we will be staying overnight and we will be joined by the scientists from the Smithsonian, talk about a grand adventure! I will have a friend staying at the house and taking care of our dogs as we will be gone 2 full days and not returning till Thursday evening. So stay tuned for some new photos and stories on Friday about what we found and sorry to say but there will be no blog on Wed/Thursday.
Well I have two dives to prepare for, have a great day all!!
Feb 1, 13 Comments Off on Sargassum Triggerfish, Xanthichthys ringens, Balistidae
Good morning, it’s FRIDAY!! Here is another first for yours truly, this is a juvenile Sargassum Triggerfish, Xanthichthys ringens that the sub found at Klein Curacao at around 250 feet! This little sweetheart is only about 3 inches long and frankly is one of the most beautiful fish I have seen! These fish vary in color from bluish gray to brownish gray and can pale or darken their skin in the blink of an eye. Also this fish can easily be identified by the dark line at the base of the dorsal and anal fins and has red to orange borders on the tail. These beautiful fish are common in the Caribbean but often not seen by divers because of the depth. These are uncommon in Florida and the Bahamas but have been spotted in North Carolina, Bermuda and South to Brazil although sightings are considered rare. They normally inhabit low profile sections of outer reefs and offshore banks deeper than 80 feet and rarely found along walls. In a few areas, however these fish inhabit patch reefs as shallow as 35 feet like the famous Turneffe Reef in Belize. The young often drift near the surface in sargassum floats. If threatened the triggerfish will lay on it’s side and point it’s sharp dorsal spine at it’s enemy or can lock itself into a cave or crevice by using the head spine and it’s lower belly spine to pin itself to the reef, really an amazing fish!
I had a great bike ride last night with Dorian, he was on fire!! Our week day rides are only one hour long as he is still pretty young but they are very intense and super fast, it’s like a 60 minute sprint!
That’s about it guy and gals, hope you enjoy the Triggerfish, he or she is pretty special!
See you on Monday, have a great weekend!!