Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Other Photos from Ambon- Indonesia


Maluku Diver Boat - Sitting in the boat Mayang, Emily Aiken, Jennifer Widom, Alex Aiken, Tim Aiken, Me, my mum - and standing - Marcel the resort manager

All photos below are taken by myself with Canon G9 and Epoque strobe

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ambon- Maluku Divers -Indonesia

Me and my Family went to Ambon... for our new year holiday. At Ambon, we stayed at Maluku Divers which is around ten mins from Pattymura Airport. We were lucky to be able to stay at Maluku Divers because it was supposed to be full. one of the guests cancelled so we got their room. We dived with Maluku Divers for three exciting days.

The beach at where we stayed were full of rocks. Unlike in Tulamben (Bali), the size of the rocks were small, so I could still see the sand. The rooms at Maluku Divers were bungalows. Our bungalow included a huge bathroom, two study desks, one bed side table and three beds for me and my family.

Our bedroom.

The diving in Ambon is amazing! In Ambon, the water is full of rubbish especially in Twilight Zone. But the visibility is clear enough considering the amount of rubbish there are. There were some interesting rubbish worth of seeing though!

My dad bought a new camera for my sister, so now I can use which is my sister's G9. He taught me how to use the G9, about the settings and all those stuff. I'm happy to be able to use a camera because when I dive, I could actually do something useful, instead of searching for animals. I am very proud, now all the underwater pictures in this report are taken by myself.

The special underwater creature that can only be found in Ambon, is the Ambon Frogfish (... ). The fish has a muscular-looking body, with faint orange and White lines. Unfortunately, we didn't see the Ambon Frogfish, but we saw other amazing creatures...

1st Day
1st Dive- Batu Badiri

In the middle of this dive, my camera was out of battery so practically it was dead. I couldn't take pictures of anything and I was really annoyed with myself for not changing the battery.
Although, there weren't as much interesting creatures. There were only this Warty Frogfish, Crocodile Fish, a Nudi and Garden Eels. The rest of the fishes I saw were the usual ones, such as Trigger Fishes, Antheas, Moray Eels and much more.

After the first dive, me, my family and our guide went back to the resort to change our tanks. Luckily, it isn't the guests who change the tanks, it is the workers- phew!

Nudibranch Nembrotha Sp.

warty frogfish

2nd Dive- Jetty Right

There two sides of the jetty, left and right. Me and my family went diving on the right side. There were more interesting animals than the dive before, and I changed the battery of the camera so I was able to take pictures of the animals I saw. There were Sea Cucumbers, Bat fishes, many Moray Eels, Sexy Shrimps, Anemone fishes and my favourite- Nudis! There aren't much Nudis in Ambon, but most of them look very interesting, unlike in Lembeh; many Nudibranchs, but more are plain looking and ugly.

Once we finished our second dive we went back to our resort to have lunch. The lunch and dinner in Maluku Divers is a 3 course dish, appetizer (soup), main course and dessert. The food made are Indonesian, but the recipe is twisted so foreigners will enjoy them too.

Blue ribbon eel

White eye moray eel
3rd Dive- Rhino City

The diving in Rhino City is a slope with some corals, just like most of the other dive sites in Ambon. Me and my family saw the most amazing creatures here, out of all the dive sites we went to in Ambon. There were Sea Cucumbers, Nemos, White Eyed Moray Eels, different type of Shrimps, Leaf Scorpion fish and other types of Scorpion fish. I saw a Banded Sea Snake slithered/swam by near me. I took some pictures of the Banded Sea Snake. I took pictures of a Sea Horse, a well camouflaged Cuttlefish, a couple Dwarf Lion fish, common Lion fishes, Ornate Ghost Pipe fish and a yellow Star Gazer! The Star Gazer was hiding in the sand, and at the beginning, we could only see its back. I then blew the sand away with my hand to see what it was. Then, surprisingly there was this ugly face with tiny eyes staring at the sky, and a happy mouth turned so upside down that I nearly could've made out a letter 'n' from it.
Star gazer

Ornate ghost pipefish

2nd Day

1st Dive- Amahusu
This dive site was at the other side of Ambon. The island is in the shape of an 'n' and Maluku Divers is at the right side of the left line of Ambon. There were Puffer fishes, Nemos,Sexy Shrimps, Lion fishes, Pipe fishes, loads of Rigid Shrimp fish, FLABELLINA, Nudis, a Leaf Scorpion fish and a Juvenile Sweetlip- wobbling and wiggling around, doing the salsa (fast forward mode)!
Juvenile Sweetlips

A Lion fish.

2nd Dive- Kaca Lengkung
This dive site was just a minute away from Amahusu. The guides told us that Kaca Lengkung is known for its Pigmy Seahorses clinging onto the coral, I hoped we could find one, and we did! At the beginning of the dive, the guide found what looked like an Octopus hiding in a coral. I couldn't take a picture of it because we could hardly see his whole body. Apart from the Seahorse and Octopus, we saw Nemos, Nudis, a Porcelain Crab on anemones and Sexy Shrimps.
After these exciting dives, we went back to our beautiful resort to have some delicious lunch!
Pigmy Seahorse

Porcupine puffer fish

3rd Dive- Twilight Zone
This dive site is near the village and a port so there are many rubbish. the visibility is clear though, I saw many creatures and interesting rubbish. There was a Demon Stinger, 2 Ribbon Eels, Nudis, 2 GIANT (I literally mean GIANT) Eels hiding in a big coral, a Wasp fish, around 50 Rigid Shrimp fish (not exaggerating) and some more Moray Eels. Moving to the end, when we were under a fishing boat (turning on its engine, which was really LOUD), there was a slope where it was covered with trash! The weirdest one of all was this Barbie doll with no arms and legs- not a single arm! There was this Blenny that got out of its bottle, a Sponge Frongfish, Spot-fin Lionfish and a HARLEQUIN SHRIMP! I have never seen a Harlequin Shrimp before and I have always wanted to, and I now have! I took some good pictures of it (I think), as it is shown.
Blenny in a bottle.
Rigid shrimpfish

My beautiful harlequin shrimp

3rd Day
I can't believe that it was the last day diving. Me and family were having so much fun! We had a Mandarin dive at Twilight Zone to swipe our depression of having to leave my favourite resort, Maluku Divers.

1st Dive- Tower
In this dive site, we certainly did not see a tower, or a sunk tower either, but we did see many gorgeous creatures. There were pretty Nudis, a normal sized Mantis Shrimpa and this huge Mantis Shrimp, a Leaf Scorpion fish, Starry Moray Eel, White Eyed Moray Eels, Lion fish, Sea Cucumbers, Nemos with Porcelain Crabs, this really weird Sea Shell, Sexy Shrimps, Emperor Shrimps and cleaning shrimps. There were a couple of Ribbon Eels as well and a Flounder which I took photos of.
White leaf lion fish

Porcelain crab

2nd Dive- Laha
Laha was one of the popular dive site in Ambon. There weren't much of interesting creatures, but I still enjoyed it because the sight was beautiful. We saw a cool Stone fish, pipefish, amazing Nudis and Lion fishes. There were also a variety of Moray Eels, there were the Starry Moray Eel and the White Eyed Moray Eels! I took some good pictures of the Lion fish and some of the best Ribbon Eel picture I did in Ambon!

Then we went back to our resort to fill our hungry stomach. We were asked what type of dive we wanted, a Mandarin dive or a normal dive. I quickly answered Mandarin Dive because I love Mandarin fishes. Their mouth are so cute- as if they're kissing the water!

LAST DIVE : ( 3rd Dive- Twilight Zone: Mandarin Dive!
I enjoyed Twilight Zone, and I was happy to be able to come back to this dive site. I saw a Mandarin fish in the previous dive, but none were mating. We got on the boat at around 5.30 pm. At the beginning of the dive, the guide found some Zebra Crabs and Coleman's Shrimps.I saw some Moray Eels and some more at the rubble. The rubble is where the Mandarin fishes hide. There were also some other creatures as well, such as crabs and Moray Eels, other fishes and Sea Urchins! When I took pictures of the Mandarin fishes, there were some Sea Urchins. Luckily neither me, my family, the guide and the other guests that came with us (another family) didn't get injured by a Sea Urchin. Apparently, non of my sister, my dad or the other family got a photo of a Mandarin fish mating- except me! I was very proud of myself for getting some good pictures of the Mandarin fish, but I don't boast. I had help from the guide though, and it was really useful. I'm going to enter in a photo competition and send in one of my Mandarin Photos- I hope I win, wish me luck!
Mating mandarin fish

Hermit crab

I really had a fantastic time diving in Ambon. I want to go back there again for a longer period of time, and stay at Maluku divers, which was excellent! I would recommend this to everybody who goes to Ambon beacuse this place is awesome. Foreigner guests get to taste Indonesian food which is twisted a bit to suit them. For me, the food was perfect, not too spicy. Their pumpkin soup is tasty and creamy. This is funny because I don't really like pumpkin soup, in fact I hate it (not the one in Maluku divers)! The workers are friendly and funny, and they are helpful when guests are in need of them because of a problem. Some can speak English quite well, and it is fun to talk with them and their village. You never quite know when a worker's village is major tourist attraction! :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wai Village- Ambon- Indonesia

Wai Village is located at East side of Ambon. This village is known for it's harmless eels, swimming in a small, fresh and clear water river.
Before the river turned into a tourist attraction, it is used for bathing, washing clothes and drinking. Even now villagers still use this river for living.
The villagers use the river for their daily activities

Not only visitors can take pictures from above the water, but they can jump in the water and meet the eels face to face. There is a man who will look out for the eels and will bait them to come out of their hiding hole. The man baits the eels with egg that has a small hole,enough for the smell to come out, without the yolk following.

The man baiting the eel with an egg.

I was brave enough and able to hold some of these eels. They felt slimy and slippery! However, the eels are scared of me; or they just doesn't like me holding them. Anyway, my sister took some good photos of the eels (as they are shown) and me holding them too. She made some videos to add in her collection of photos and videos.

These eels has been "trained" to not bite the visitors. Although, the eels lower down the river (they are braver to come close with humans) are a bit more fierce than the ones up the river. I Found this out by learning it the hard way. My sister told me to touch the eels for her photo. I couldn't see the eels because we were standing in the river where water was going down a slope. I went for it then one of the eels bit me! It didn't hurt as much because they are teeth less, but their jaws are strong. My dad told me that the eel went for me because it thought that my finger was a little fish! After all, they eat fish too. Eels don't have good eye sight so the eel (who bite me) probably thought my finger was a fish!

I enjoyed swimming with the eels and holding them. I would want to gone back to Wai Village or maybe even Larike Village (another village that has friendly fresh water eels that visitors can touch) for a longer period of time. If I come back again, I would definitely bring goggles. So I could see the eels and not get bitten- again!