Wakatobi Dive Resort, September, 2009
Click image for close up view
This is south (just barely) of the Equator, so it's beginning spring - OK it's the tropics, there are hardly any seasons here, but this is a great time to come to this resort.  Wakatobi, and Indonesia are at the crossroads of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  This means there's a constant swelling of nutrients and therefore a plethora of marine life - in quantity and diversity..

Nudibranchs
Indonesia is the land of the nudibranchs and Wakatobi does not disappoint...here are a few of the beautifully colored little gems!

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CHROMODORIS MAGNIFA
There are so many nudibranchs that this is a sub-species as it does not match exactly a named species.  Who cares!  It's beautiful.
 
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PHYLLIDIOPSIS SHIRINAE
Sort of dull looking after all the color, but they are sort of pink in the ocean and very pretty!
 
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PHYLLIDIA OCELLATA FAMILY
Nudibranchs are still being categorized.  Here is a variation.
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CHROMODORIS ANNAE
A beautiful show of orange, white and black band on a turquoise body with bright orange crown.
 
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PHYLLIDIA OCELLATA
Again another variation or may be immature stage of this family.

 
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PHYLLIDIA OCELLATA
This one has yellow instead of orange.
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CHROMODORIS COI
A great find early in our diving.  These are the sorts of critters that make us want more dives!
 
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PSEUDOCEROS BIFURCUS
Polyclad flatworm and a mighty colorful flatworm too.
 
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PLEUROBRANCHUS GRANDIS
This was a large sidegill slug about 6" to 8" long.
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CHROMODORIS WILLANI
Just the slightest variation and poof another species!
 
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SOMETHING DIFFERENT
We've been told that this is rare for Wakatobi so we're not sure of it's identification - possibly of the Dendronotus family.
 
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FUZZUS WUZZIS
OK it's really Jorunna funebris , but this name seems like it suits - about 3" long!
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PHYLLIDIIDAE VARIATION
These were the only ones we found.

 
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THURIDILLA UNDULA
About 1" long.

 
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NEMBROTHA LINEOLATA
A very tiny fellow with a lot of feathery stuff on his back (to protect his gills).
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Cuttlefish
This is what Claire wanted to see more than anything else.  When we stumbled upon our first on on our second day of diving, I was ecstatic!  Even more so that I got to quietly spend time just looking into his eye while he looked in ours. 

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BROADFOOD CUTTELFISH
On the reef in about 8-10ft of water, here he was.

 
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HIDING IN THE REEF
Cuttlefishes main defense is camouflage.

 
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THIS IS HIS QUIET POSE
He was looking at us as much as we were of him.
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CLOSE-UP OF HIS ARMS?
Notice the suckers .

 
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CLOSE-UP OF EYE
You have to wonder what he's thinking - probably like Obi Wan: "You don't see me, I haven't been here!"

 
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ANOTHER VIEWING
This one is angry - and all pokey and again camouflaged in the reef
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AN ELEPHANT?
This is another familiar pose of the cuttlefish - with the elephant like arms.

 
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MASQUERADING
Trying to get lost in his surroundings.

 
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ABOUT TO CHANGE
As we were all gathered around this one, he was beginning to change colors before our eyes.
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Oddities
It's pretty amazing what's under the water - odd looking, odd acting, and stuff that shouldn't logically be there!  Maybe it's just that the Pacific is so foreign, but these were some of our favorite oddities.

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LEAFY SCORPIONFISH
Fish cleaning a little too far.
 
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LIZARDFISH
Back to the spa.....
 
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CONVICT FISH
Life must be spa-licious in Little Cayman for the Groupers.
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THORNY OYSTER
Yikes - don't think I want to eat that!
 
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GIANT CLAM - SORTA
OK - it's not all that big, but this is a giant clam...just the littlest variety of that species.
 
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GIANT CLAM - BIGGER
Now this one is more like it, but still not the Jules Verne version.
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CROCODILE FISH...
Another Where's Waldo moment. Here's an easier view to see.
 
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RIBBON EEL SMILING
Ooooooo or yawning.
 
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RIBBON EEL SAYS HELLO
This guy was not shy and loved posing for his close-up.
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PULSATING XENIA
How amazing these little cups are moving in and out every second.
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REEF HERMIT CRABS
These hermit crabs don't inhabit shells instead they are in little holes in the reef!
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CRINOID
This is from the starfish family and they wander through the water, then cling onto a surface and feed from the passing water!
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General Stuff -
Fish, Reef, Critters and Seascapes

Indonesia is full of all sorts of amazing critters, reef and fish

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HIDDEN
Click above for the original photo, &  here is the enhanced version for older eyes.
 
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CROWN OF THORNS
This can be very devastating on the reef.  But the reef here is so healthy and alive, doesn't seem to hurt it all that much.
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ANEMONE FISH
Who says purple and green don't go together?...maybe I need to add pink to that color combo!
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WAKATOBI RESIDENT
This little Pygmy seahorse was discovered here at Wakatobi, so of course everyone wants to take its picture.
 
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PANULIRUS VERSICOLOR
Don't you just love these Latin names - I'm just glad to find them!  This is the juvenile version of this lobster!
 
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BLUE DOT RAY
Actually these are quite small and zip around with amazing speed, even amongst the divers.
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TRIGGER
Like a lot of fishes in Indonesia, they are beautifully colored.
 
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SPOT BANDED BUTTERFLY
It's hard to describe all the beautiful colors of fishes in this area of diving, but pictures help.
 
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CLARK'S CLOWNFISH
In case  you're dying of curiosity this is the orange version!
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BLACK SADDLED TOBY
Very small and sharp-nose puffer looking.
 
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MOORISH IDOL!
Moors must have the same star power their idols we do.
 
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LIONFISH
Here they are part of the environment.
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ANTHIAS
There are tons of pretty varieties of these anthias type fish.
 
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REGAL ANGELFISH
With this color promenade, I'd be regal too!
 
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SADDLED BUTTERFLYFISH
Having a little Picasso experience.
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MEYER'S BUTTERFLYFISH
More striking colors and in great number around this reef.
 
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REDFIN ANTHIAS
More beautifully colors!
 
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WAKATOBI HUMPHEAD BANNERFISH
These fish were plentiful, but fast on the reef, but one would venture out for his close-up every once in a while.
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Pairs
It's the only way to travel!
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FOX FACED RABBITFISH
A lot of these fish mate for life.
 
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MASKED RABBITFISH
They are commonly found out on the reef together!
 
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PINK ANEMONEFISH
Clownfisn and anemonefish are always clustered around anemones and usually two or three varieties per anemone..
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LONG NOSED BUTTERFLYFISH
These colorful fish are everywhere and as with most fish in Indonesia, therefore easier to photograph - there are just so many of them!.
 
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VAGABOND BUTTERFLYFISH
Not sure where they come up with the common names, but didn't seem too lost too me!
 
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MOORISH IDOLS
Nothing's more fun seeing one than seeing two.
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Shrimps
Where would CWUAP be without our shrimps, and Indonesia has shrimps galore that are just as delicate and exotic as anywhere else.

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SPOTTED SHRIMP
An old favorite,  but still illusive.
 
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BUBBLE CORAL SHRIMP
Tiny, tiny, tiny, but so delicate.  If you look closely you can actually see the outlines of their transparent body.
 
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ANEMONE SHRIMP
Out here these things are small and transparent - but they are in the anemone if you can find them.
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LOOKS WHO'S HIDING?
One of Walt's favorite finds - all the way out here in the Pacific!
 
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MANTIS SHRIMP
No this is not the monster from the deep lagoon - although it may look like it. Of course it's more commonly known as Gonodactylus stomatopoda!!!?!!!
 
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LONG ARMED SHRIMP
OK - this is my name for this shrimp which is actually Periclimenes tenuipes!
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Tunicates and Sea Squirts
These became fascinating for us and we couldn't take enough pictures of the many varieties of tunicates and sea squirts.

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BLUE TUNICATES
Basic coral that sorts thru the water looking for nutrients.
 
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BELLS ON A STEM
Although they are on a stem this system seems to work well to gather nutrients.
 
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BRIGHT COLORED FAT ONE
But then if you're bright colored and big, there's always something yummy passing by.
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LIKE MUTED BELLS
More delicate and tiny tunicates that seem to defy the strong current that they live on.
 
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TWO DIFFERENT TYPES
In Indonesia the real estate is very limited, so a lot of sharing going on.
 
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SEE-THRU
Here you can see the basic structure - in one hole and out the other!
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Bali, Indonesia
Probably because it is so hard to get to, the Balinese are so lovely to their guests.  We stayed at the Alum Kul Kul in Bali and I felt as thought I was in the Year of Living Dangerously, without the revolution part!

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ARRIVAL SCHEDULE
If your not blurry-eyed before you see this schedule you will be after - where and when we are leaving.
 
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ORCHIDS EVERYWHERE
The Singapore Airport is the most fantastic anywhere and just for our enjoyment - orchids everywhere.
 
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MASKS ALREADY?
What re these people going to do in a full-blown epidemic?!
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SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Isn't she beautiful?  And she's just one of a ton of them we saw.  Their uniforms are gorgeous and the service is spectacular!  This is the only way to cross the Pacific Ocean.
 
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TOO MUCH TIME ON PLANE
However there's just only so much a person can take, and finally one has to resort to drastic measures!
 
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TMTOP, PART 2
Or you can simply count the little dashes on the flight screen in front of you for 5 hours!
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ENTRANCE - ALUM KUL KUL
Isn't this beautiful!
 
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MEETING NEW FRIENDS
Dive trips are a great way to meet new friends.
 
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INDONESIAN FEEL
OK - I finally feel as though I'm in a foreign country!
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MANDALA-ISH
The don't arrange a cut flower arrangement in the front foyer...
 
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FLOWERS, PART 2
...instead they do this madala-ish type arrangement.
 
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FLOWERS FINISHED
Isn't this gorgeous!
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GOODBYE BALI
On our last leg of our trip!
 
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HELLO WAKATOBI
There it is - just like the pictures.
 
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WHERE EVERYTHING IS
And here is where everything is.
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WALT'S FAV AIRCRAFT!
Walt is so witty, isn't he!!!
 
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WAKATOBI TSA
They have one flight every 10 days - it's a hard job but somebody's gotta do it!
 
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AT LAST!
Our home for the next 10 days!
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Wakatobi Resort at Night
Probably because it is so beautiful, it was fun to photograph.

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THE JETTY AT NIGHT
The jetty was the bar at the end of the long warf looking out over the reef wall.
 
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A LITTLE BOOKAH
Our new friend Steve looking quiet and peaceful.
 
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DIVE AREA VIEW 1
Entrance into dive shop
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DIVE AREA VIEW 2
Coming in from night dive
 
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DIVE AREA VIEW 3
whole dive area
 
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THE RESTAURANT
Very nice and very good food!
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JUST BEFORE DINNER
Not only lovely to look at but delicious to eat!
 
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DINNER FOR TWO
Very romantic!
 
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OUR TABLE
Discussing the day's dives. You dress for every meal.
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