Underwater Pencil

Posted in Under the Sea on August 1st, 2010 by MadDog
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I’ll be less chatty today, because I spent most of the day up at Blueblood. We are also dealing with a health problem which Eunie has been suffering through for a couple of months and a definitive diagnosis is probably not going to be available with the medical technology available here in Madang. It is very likely that Eunie will be leaving Madang in the next few days to go to Cairns where more sophisticated equipment is available and we can figure out what is causing her illness. Any treatment required for her problem will be available also in Cairns, so we’re certain that it’s the right move to get her out of here as quickly as possible. We’ve decided that I’d be pretty much in the way while that process is in progress, so I’m staying in Madang until we know what’s what.

I need to distract myself and possibly you also. I’ll show you a few more images which we got during our dive at The Eel Garden on Saturday. Here are a trio of Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii)  with Ush cruising past in the background:

There was a lot of particulate matter in the water, so I had to blur the distant background to get rid of it. It turned out to be a pleasing effect.

You might be surprised to find a pencil on the bottom at twenty metres, but if you hear the story, it will make sense. Divers sometimes use pencils to write on plastic slates. This one was accidentally dropped, I suppose. Why didn’t it float to the surface? It’s wood, eh? Well, after several submersions at depth, they soak up so much saltwater that they don’t float any more;

Here is a flock of Three-Spot Dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus)  drifting around their somewhat crowded anemone host:

They appear to have only one spot at first glance. If you get close up you can see a paler spot. However, search as I may, I have never found the third spot. Obviously whoever named the fish was math-challenged.

This is just a nice little reef scene – not much to say about it:

This is my most favoured shot of the day. I snapped it just as I was coming up at the end of the line to reboard Faded Glory:

So, now you know what it looks like when you’re watching your diver friends clambering back on the boat. The big bubbles which you see in the foreground are mine.

I hope to have more information by tomorrow evening concerning our plans for the near future.

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Make the Scene, Man – at the Reef!

Posted in Under the Sea on February 23rd, 2010 by MadDog
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Since I’m enjoying a temporary cease-fire which was prompted by an all-night connection to the web which updated my computer for the first time since last September, I’ll dispense with dispatches from the FEBA (that’s Forward Edge of the Battle area for the militarily-challenged) until or when the aforementioned connection evaporates once again. One can’t stay cranky all the time. Well, one can,  and some do,  but it’s simply not good for the soul.

To display my return to joviality and whimsy let me show you a delightful, if somewhat dangerous, juxtaposition of objects that I discovered only yesterday in a technical facility which I shall, out of pity, not name:

Using all of my vast training in covert operations, I boldly snapped this shot while nobody was looking. In fact, as near as I could ascertain, nobody was doing anything at all. Notice that it was nearly quitting time anyway.

What I propose here is a Caption Contest. The rules are simple:  (1) The caption must begin with, “In case of fire”, (2) You must leave your entry as a comment here on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi,  (you can also leave a comment on my status post on Facebook, but the official entry must be here), (3) There will be no losers. Everybody who enters will automatically get first place, (3) You may not use any of the seven words that George Carlin made famous, no matter how funny they are (sorry, but this makes it much more challenging anyway), (4) I can make up more rules whenever I want.

I may choose, if I feel like it, to ignore rule number 1, but your caption had better be very  funny!

If you want to argue any of the rules meet me on Facebook. My handle is CrazyByChoice.  I’ll take on all challengers with one lobe of my brain tied behind my back. Also, feel free to break any of the rules, as rules are, as any fool knows, made to be broken.

Now I can hear the mumbling out there, “Hey, man. What about the Reef Scene, man? I wanna make the scene, man.” Quit your whining, I’m coming to it.

Well, here’s a reef scene In Your Face, man! These Orange Finned Anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus)  are doing the boogaloo for you:Oh, to be so carefree! The only thing that you have to worry about is something coming along out-of-the-blue, so to speak, and eating  you.

While skulking about the reef surreptitiously snapping  images of innocent critters frolicking I caught this sneaky little Dwarf Hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco)  attempting to hide from me:Fat chance, dwarf!

And now, I shall attempt the unattemptable. I shall attempt to show you what can not be shown. These juvenile Three-Spot Dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus)  are unphotographable:(Much like My Funny Valentine) If you’re puzzled, welcome to the meeting. They are the little black ones with two white spots. If you’re wondering why they are called “Three-Spot”, welcome again. What’s funnier yet is the adults are dismal grey fish with no spots at all. Nevertheless, the point is that I’ve never been able to get a shot of them because they are so very, very black. My new Canon G11 (blah, blah, blah) has made it nearly possible. Hurrah for Canon. What’s next? World Peace?

Well, we’ve time for a couple of more fillers. Here’s another A. chrysopterus  looking a little lost. He was just about to ask me, “Blubbla bulubluba bla?” when he noticed that I was not a fish:Hence the look of befuddlement. Things were getting a little swishy there on top of the reef. I had only about a metre of water above my head.

And finally, because you’ll never  get tired of looking at female Purple Anthea (Pseudanthias tuka),  here are some for you:Well, never say never.

Is it just me or is there something terribly wrong with that saying? I mean, does it make any kind of sense at all? If you can never say never then how can you ever say never say never?

Must be the drugs. Sudafed and Cipro make me dizzy.

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Birds, Trees, Airplanes, Frisky Fish

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Under the Sea on February 26th, 2009 by MadDog
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I’ve got it all for you today.

This morning, my garden was sizzling with warm morning sunshine. I felt like I was 60 again. Whoopee! I was standing on Faded Glory  looking back at the house. I quickly brought my camera up to my eye by instinct and caught this crow flying past. The blue sky, warm orange sunlight on the trunks of the coconut tree, and the ominous black bird make an interesting juxtaposition:

Sky, coconuts, bird
Then I heard an Air Niugini jet about to take off. The runway is close to our house. I snap-shot again, just barely having time to zoom. There is even a small school of fish jumping at the bottom of the frame on the right:
Air Niugini departing Madang
A click on the image to enlarge will give you a view of the logo on the tail.

Lastly, here is an unfortunately green movie clip that I got on our Wednesday dive on the Henry Leith.  It is two Three-spot Dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus)  getting it on (Excuse the minor vulgarity. If I use the word – I’ll spell it out – “esss – eee – exxx” in a post, I’ll be knocked off of millions of computers.):They take turns circling, cleaning, depositing, fertilising, and chasing away potential egg stealers (including myself – they BITE!).

I just noticed while I was checking this post that, if you turn the sound up, you can hear over my breathing the sound that many of these small fishes make (Damselfishes of all kinds, including the Anemonefishes). It is a small, quick grunting sound. Turn your sound up and see if you can pick it up. They most commonly make this sound when they are perturbed. You can hear the sound most clearly starting at about 1:13 into the clip running to about 1:45. It comes back again at about 1:45 and you can hear it on and off until near the end of the clip.

Sorry for the horrible green cast. The water was very green and I haven’t yet figured out how to change the tint of my video clips. If there’s anybody out there with a suggestion how to do that, please leave a comment.

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