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 July, 2015

Jul 31, 15     Comments Off on Bogas, Schooling Fish, School of fish, Fish Ball

Good morning friends, after photographing the sub yesterday and waving goodbye I swam over to my giant school of Boga’s and joined them for around 15 minutes. These fish are so amazing and always the highlight to any dive! Instead of swimming away in fear they always swim to me then surround me allowing me to join their school. They seem to have no fear of the camera or the flashes thus allowing me to snap away at my leisure, it’s a total blast! Yesterday they were swimming just a few feet over the reef, normally they are very high in the water column and no where near the reef so yesterday was a real treat.

So why do fish swim in schools? It’s called the safety factor against predators. A potential predator hunting for a meal might become confused by the closely spaced school, which can give the impression of one vast and frightening fish. Additionally, there is the concept of safety in numbers a predator cannot consume and unlimited quantity of prey. The sheer number of fish in a school allows species to hide behind each other, thus confusing a predator by the alteration of shapes and colors presented as the school swims along. Of course, those on the outside edges of the school are more likely to be eaten than those in the center. Predatory fish also gain from schooling because it gives them the ability to travel in large numbers in search of food. Also a very prevalent behavior, schooling is exhibited by almost 80 percent of the more than 20,000 known fish species during some phase of their life cycle. In many ways fish schools are much like herds of land animals or flocks of airborne birds. There is that undefined need to stay together. In some instances this herding has been the undoing of certain species, meaning if your all together your much easier to catch! I sure love my Boga’s, it’s a total blast to slowly swim thru the school and not be able to see anything around you except fish, you should try it!

I have to get out to the sea, have a great weekend!!

Barry

Jul 30, 15     Comments Off on Abrus precatorius, Poisonous Toxic Seeds
Jul 28, 15     Comments Off on Delicate Finger Corals, Porites porites, Corals
Jul 27, 15     Comments Off on Funny Fish Faces, Colorful Reef Fish Photos
Jul 24, 15     Comments Off on School of Fish, Snappers, Lutjanidae, Fish
Jul 23, 15     Comments Off on Floating Coconut, Coconut with Palm Trees

Good morning friends, I was busy yesterday working on a photo request for a new book coming out called “Just Like Us” Plants and they needed a photo of a floating coconut. Did you know that when coconut seeds drop from the trees they can travel over water for up to 200 plus days and then hopefully find their way to shore where they will grow a new tree.

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

Here’s some super fun facts from our friends at science Kids about coconuts, read on…

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/coconuts.html

The coconut comes from the coconut palm tree which grows throughout the tropics and subtropics.

The name coconut is derived from 16th century Portuguese sailors who thought the 3 small holes on the coconut shell resembled the human face so dubbed the fruit “coco” meaning “grinning face, grin, or grimace” The word nut was added in English later on.

The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) can grow up to 30 m (98 ft) tall and the leave fronds 4“6 m (13.1“19.7 ft) long.

Technically the coconut fruit is a drupe not a nut. Typical drupes include peaches, plums, and cherries.

In the early stages of a coconuts growth it contains high levels of water which can be consumed directly as a refreshing drink. The water is also gaining popularity as a sports drink as it contains good levels of sugars, dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Coconut water can be a substitute for blood plasma. The high level of sugar and other salts make it possible to add the water to the bloodstream, similar to how an IV solution works in modern medicine. Coconut water was known to be used during World War II in tropical areas for emergency transfusions.

Coconut milk is not the same as coconut water. Coconut milk has a high fat content of around 17%, but is low in sugars. It is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut cream can also be created from the milk.

Coir (the fiber of the husk) can be used for making ropes, mats, brushes, sacks, caulking for boats, and as stuffing for mattresses.

Coconut leaves have many uses such as for making brooms, woven to make baskets or mats, or dried and used as thatch for roofing.

The white, fleshy part of the coconut seed is called coconut meat. It has high amounts of Manganese, Potassium, and Copper. The meat is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons.

Copra is the term used for the dried meat. This can be processed to produce coconut oil used in cooking, in soaps, cosmetics, hair-oil, and massage oil.

Wood from the trunk of the coconut palm was traditionally used to build bridges, houses, huts and boats in the tropics. The woods straightness, strength, and salt resistance made it a reliable building material.

The coconut palm is grown in over 80 countries. The top 3 coconut producing countries in 2010 were the Philippines, Indonesia and India.

In Thailand and Malaysia, trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. In fact, there are still training schools for these monkeys in parts of the countries and each year competitions are held to find the fastest harvester.

The coconut does not get dispersed like other drupe fruits (through consumption by wildlife). Instead the coconut palm disperses its seed using the ocean. A coconut is very buoyant and highly water resistant and can travel very long distances across the ocean.

The Maldives have a coconut palm on the country’s national coat of arms. It is the national tree and considered the most important plant on their islands.

Later all…

Barry

 

 

Jul 21, 15     Comments Off on Brown Tube Sponge, Agelas conifera, Sponges
Jul 20, 15     Comments Off on Juvenile Trumpetfish in Front of Online Camera

Good morning friends, many have written and asked what kind of fish is always floating in front of our LIVE underwater online video camera that we have at 50 feet out in front of our Substation lagoon. Well as you can see from the photo I took on friday it’s a little reddish/brown trumpetfish which has decided this camera is perfect for his new home. When I went out to take the photo he was right in front of the camera lens as you see here with his head down and tail straight up to the sky but as I got closer he drifted behind the camera and stayed there until I was gone. From a distance I watched as he then came back to the exact location and continued to hang there upside down, what a cool little fish. Pretty amazing that this fish can get up to three foot long! For your chance of spotting him just go to……

www.seasubmarine.com

Waking up tired today from a long 40 mile mountain bike ride yesterday that I did with three other friends and countless other activities during the day…. Yesterday evening Aimee and I carried heavy backpacks filled with water out to water our little agave plants that are dying from lack of moisture, we figure we planted them, so we better keep them alive until the rains come.

Busy day ahead….

Barry

 

Jul 17, 15     Comments Off on Kissing Cowfish, Fish Faces, Unique Fish
Jul 16, 15     Comments Off on Porcupinefishes, Boxfishes, Fish Faces, Fish
Jul 15, 15     Comments Off on Fish Faces, Parrotfish Images, Smiling Fish
Jul 14, 15     Comments Off on Baby Dolphin, Bottle-nose Dolphin Pod
Jul 10, 15     Comments Off on Rope Sponge, Coral Reef Sponge Photos

Hi gang, remember me??? Geez since last wednesday we have been going a million miles an hour leaving me zero time for the blog. Last wednesday we had relatives arrive on one of the big cruise ships and spent the whole day playing with them. We first took them for a fun dive on the Sea Aquarium house reef, then Aimee took them to meet the dolphins followed by a fun night out at a favorite restaurant and finally returning them back to their ship by 9:00. Thursday the 9th was my birthday so I took the day off and spent it with Aimee and the hounds. One of the fun things I wanted to do on my b-day was to go dig bottles at an old 1900’s bottle dump that I had found years ago but never to took the time to really check it out. We got there at around 12:00 and immediately started digging and within a few minutes I had unearthed two whole bottles and tons of broken ones. As I was digging I uncovered two sleeping hermit crabs, one was about the size of a golf ball and the other quite a bit smaller. I had to move them in order to continue my digging so. as I picked up the large one he bit me and not just a baby bite, he took the whole tip of my finger off! I can’t even begin to tell you how bad that hurt and how bad it was bleeding, we now had to leave because we had no band-aids or medical stuff of any kind, so much for that adventure and so much for trying to save hermit crabs! The rest of the day was spent complaining about how bad my finger was throbbing and how shocked we are that these little crabs have such powerful pinchers, I won’t be playing with them anymore! Around 4:00 I took off on my weekly 25 mile ride and at 7:00 we took off to a super fun birthday party at the fort in Outrabanda across the water from downtown Curacao (Punda). Friday was back to work but busy with a Brazilian film crew all day again no time to blog. Tomorrow monday, we have more students coming from Bonaire (12 of them ) to ride in the submersible, I will have to do at least 3 dives, that will be a long day!!

Hope all is well out there.

Barry 

Jul 7, 15     Comments Off on Blue Light Underwater Photos, Fireworms
Jul 6, 15     Comments Off on Hawksbill Turtle Seen from Mini-Submersible

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