Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Redang'07: Dive pics Part 3

This is the resort where we stayed, Pelangi Redang Resort. It's got an outdoor pub/karaoke bar/disco which provided lots of nighttime 'entertainment'. Volumes are very loud and there really is no escape from the pulse of the disco beats. Not so fun if you are trying to sleep or worse, nursing a headache after being in the sun for too long.....

If you buy a coconut (drink) from the fruit stall next to the resort, they charge you RM5 a piece. So some of the more nimble (and frugal) guests actually took to the trees to pluck their own coconuts. Me? I'll stick to my favourite mango smoothie, thank you.

This is our divemaster, Jan Shir. He was also the dive instructor for Erwin and Meng who took the opportunity to take up the Advanced Open Water certification.

I stumbled upon this flatworm almost by accident. It was lying about an inch from a rather large nudibranch (below) which was, of course the focus of my attention then. It was only after reviewing the pic on the LCD screen that I noticed it, and so made my way back to the site to take a close up of it in all its ladylike lacey glory.

This nudibranch caught my attention, not for its unique pattern (indeed, it's quite a common species in these parts) but for its size. It was about five inches in length, positively a giant in the world of sea slugs.

I reached my 100th dive here in Redang and while it's not exactly a very impressive number by any standard, it has afforded me multiple opportunities to catch this critter (the blue spotted sting ray) in action, so much so I am no longer as fascinated by it. That doesn't take away the fact that this is a really interesting (and dangerous) creature that most of us take for granted.

The following few pics were taken at a spot called, of all things, Sharon's Stone. It's a sandy bottom site where there aren't any corals nor were there many fish. In fact, i would call it the marine equivalent of a desert. And, not unlike a desert, it also has its share of inhabitants, that are quite literally out of this world. Like the above, my first sighting of a sea hare, named after its 'ear'-like frontal projections.

Asther and co. also did a couple of dives here but due to the strong currents, were unable to enjoy the dive, let alone spot anything of interest. Which is why I am dedicating this really unique once-in-a-lifetime sighting of an extremely rare nudibranch to her. Hehe.

I know what you're thinking. NO, this is not a bulls-eye that accidentally fell from somebody's breakfast buffet and dropped into the sea. It's actually a type of nudibranch whose evolution from the sea snail family cause it to retain remnants of a shell. Evidently the shell (the brownish 'eye') has become too small or insignificant to provide any real form of protection for the organism.

Millions of years ago, this sea snail and the nudibranchs shared the same ancestor much like the evolutionary connection between human beings and gorrillas. I think the nudibranchs were smart to ditch the shell.... seems kinda silly to be lugging your house everywhere you go.

Ok, this has got to be the absolute wierdest sea-creature I have ever seen. It's about a foot loong, has 3 - 4 pairs of 'legs' on each side, and a pair of air-sacs where its head is supposed to be which it flings forward and then contracts to pull the rest of the body forward.

I was not expecting to see sea horses here in Redang, so to actually find one was quite a welcome treat. This little fella looked a bit incapacitated though, as it wasn't very active and was content to just be blown about by the strong currents.

I came across this lone sea-pen while drift diving along the seabed. It was only after reviewing the shot on the LCD that I realised that there was actually a small lobster hiding behind the purple fronds (you can see its small claws sticking out).

This is side (and front) view of a really weird nudibranch. Still trying to figure out what species it is. Asther?

And this is the backview of the same critter. You will notice that it seems to have a very interesting red patch at the end , almost like a baboon's famous red butt.

Ah, I love this shot. Look at the little clown fish swimming so happily, smiling, without a care in the world.....

This is the leng-loi of the group, Sharon. An independent and sporty young woman, she is an avid diver who's game for just about any activity.... and the one responsible for dragging me kicking and screaming into the night dive!

Lest she kills me with her death stare, this is the other leng-loi of the group, je présente ma soeur , Wendy.... seen here with Nigel, both of them beaming like silly puppies coz they've just completed their Open Water Certification and are now certified scuba divers. Congratulations guys and welcome to the club!

And this was our group photo, taken just two minutes before we were supposed to board the boat back to the mainland. Bryan commented that I look fat in this pic.... Sigh.... Guess the diet hasn't worked.

Ah... another holiday has ended, another memory to be cherished. Au revoir Redang, till we meet again.


blind_sublime said...

Wait wait...WHAT!!!??? You've dived in Redang for 100 times already??!!!!!
Hmm, do you think the Malaysian Book of Records will accept you as one of the record holders?

Amazonman said...

Not 100 dives in redang lah.... just reached 100 dives OVERALL when i was there last month. I not so 'kheng'!


Asther said...

Photo 8:
This was a tough one but after some research, I'm guessing this as a Hoplodoris nodulosa. Although it does look similar to Hoplodoris armata as well. Sigh... I WISH I WAS THERE WITH YOU!

Photo 9:
Can't ID this one. ;) Was it crawling when u saw it?

Photo 11:
This looks like Melibe mirifica to me.

Photo 14 & 15:
Most probably a Dendrodoris denisoni (because of the blue spots) or Dendrodoris gunnamatta which is a color form of D.denisoni. ;)

OiNK!! said...

ya la, fat already, can see tetek through your t-shirt !!

Amazonman said...

To Asther: Thanks once again for your comments and corrections. I really appreciate it.

TO oink: BIATCH!