Limbe Strait - underwater zoo amazing creatures about. Sulawesi, Indonesia (Lembeh Strait - Underwater critter zoo, Indonesia)
For divers, Indonesia - a kind of a unique region. That greater number of resorts and safari vessels, routes and areas for diving in no region of the world, it is understandable, the largest archipelago, and even the tropics. Of course, the resorts on the islands off the west coast of Harlem in the very darkness of Papua little cockroach who knows, but the district Limbe Strait at the northern tip of Sulawesi is well known in diving circles.
1. Underwater inhabitants of the slopes Limbe Strait especially for lovers of the underwater macro photography, as well as divers with a penchant to enjoy searching and examining of colorful detail, rather than something big and floating. Actually most of the area is covered by the definition of muck diving.
This capacious phrase entered in the dictionary dayvesky Bob Halstad, when he was captain of the ship on a safari with accommodation on board Telita in Papua New Guinea. In order to save fuel is not hauled to remote clients colorful reefs, and told them about the following:
- "Dear, why do we need to swim, you know, the open sea, rolling, flow. Who needs these colorful corals, fantastic visibility, the abundance of pelagic fishes? This is all as old as time. I invite you to plunge into the unique underwater world and guess where? Yes, right here in our bay at the pier, where at the bottom of the stunning landscapes of black volcanic sand, full of different types of garbage cans, old boots and tires, and in them you will not believe this is living. In general, dive and see for yourself. "
For a convincing exposure phrase was important expression, feeding, and of course, without a personal example will not do. The term caught on and it is believed that if you just dive on the reefs and are looking for Marco, it does not muck diving, but if you issleduesh dark, often muddy ground, with a heap of rubble and coral oppressed, then this is muck diving at its best.
In the picture a classical representative of the maximum diving - hairy frog fish (Hairy frogfish or Antennarius striatus), a very conspicuous because of its thread-like skin appendages. Usually masked by the day and hunt from ambush, in the eye it is a ray of dorsal fin, transformed into a kind of rod with bait on the end. Fish rhythmically waved to them and lure oscillates, resembling a worm that attracts fish to the mouth of small fish that it eats.
2. Actually, the strait itself is small, only 1.5-2 km wide and about 15 km and is located between the eponymous little island and the coast of Limbe northern tip of the vast Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The nearest international airport of Manado (MDC), the shortest path through the arrival of Singapore.
3. Additional colors in the special atmosphere of the maximum diving adds a sufficiently large neighborhood and Bitung Port Development. The number of vessels in waters more than a few dozen, mostly fishing and transportation of agricultural products. The port is located in the southern part of the strait, so that when the wind and current directions of the north its effect on the diving is reduced to the conditional minimum.
4. The shores of the continent more tightly tuned, mostly villages, some economic affairs. Hilly coast, in fact the slopes of many volcanoes, fertile soil and spread the plantation. From the side of the island because of smaller buildings Limbe more complex logistics, although a lot of land in private ownership and are waiting for investment projects. On the banks of the waters are adored by all divers specialized dive resorts, combining comfortable accommodation, excellent restaurant and a multipurpose dive center. All in one place on the beach, no need for any transfers in the morning, the hassle and expense. Stay at the resort can typically make 3.5 dives per day, if have the enthusiasm and dive on Nitrox, it can be and more. Prices range 800-1600 per week all inclusive dive, to dive sites in the course of 2-10 minutes on average. In the photo view from the sea resort Kungkungan Bay Dive Resort.
5. Generally, the maximum diving especially revered photographers, as well as individuals with botanical bias and calm temperament, inclined to the knowledge of the ordinary. Who else but they can spend 20 minutes photographing a shy fish, frog or looking through a magnifying glass a tiny shrimp. In the picture the orange color variation giant fish-frog (Commerson's frogfish or Antennarius commerson), sitting under a coral colony of xenia (Xenia), with characteristic pulsing polyps, rhythmically opens and closes in the diet.
6. Having completed one dive on the limb with an experienced guide you can see ten kinds of fish, which even an experienced diver is not always seen in the water. Another unusual fish, the leading ground life - fish, scorpion fish scorpion or Echmeyera (Purple Scorpionfish or Rhinopia eschmeyeri). Such a thick-lipped swallow can suck into the mouth of the fish in a quarter of its size.
7. And here, as they say, the main thing is not to be afraid. When floats a foot above the floor and suddenly you see a couple of bleary-eyed from carnivorous krivozuboy grin, then fainthearted can be uncomfortable. In fact, we are witnessing yet another unusual fish astrologer (Stargazer or Uranoscopus chinensis), it is completely buried in the ground, leaving out the eyes and organs of touch and out of such an ambush catching fish swimming by. Very clever predator, and so relies on his cloak, which will swim very close.
8. Find the reef decorated Trubkoryla (Ornate Ghost Pipefish or Solenostomus paradoxus) not everyone can. Its size is not conducive to rapid detection of (8 - 12 cm), and the ability to mimic - to adjust the appearance of a surrounding objects can merge with the sea lily, a fan or gorgonian soft coral colony. On the dark soils are more visibly, and sometimes a pair of swim and almost always face down, looking at something in the ground and looking for small crustaceans.
9. Typically muck waters replete young individuals (the form of juvenile), it is quieter, you can always find shelter and a better chance to grow up. If you look at different things and flooded cavity, can be found just a tiny version of the familiar fish, for example, decorated with fish-frog (Painted frogfish or Antennarius pictus). The name comes from their mode of travel when they are not in a hurry, you literally walk on the bottom front of the paired fins, and when in a hurry, you can help yourself tail, bouncing over the bottom a few inches, like a frog.
10. Quite a magical-looking spotted shrimp Harlequin (Harlequin shrimp or Hymenocera picta), the size of several centimeters. In this species disproportionate claws, but they are not used to fight or hunt, more as a demonstration to clarify the relationship front for territory and females ohmureniya.
11. But this bright and colorful marine life has a reputation as a real fighter, able to withstand even the larger enemies. This animal is called a cancer-sea mantis (Peacock mantis shrimp or Odontodactylis scyllarus), according to some sources he was world champion in the impact force in the category of minimum weight * maximum acceleration. Powerful forelimbs can strike like a hammer for a few hundredths of a second, so they break the thick shells of calcareous shells or skeletons of chitin opponents. Extracts and too curious divers on a finger or a hapless photographer on a glass lens, underwater case. Unique highly eyes will always find where poudachnee hit, so pouvazhitelnee this crayfish.
12. On the sandy soils of many animals use tactics zaryvaniya in the bottom. This chernoplavnikovy eel (Black finned snake ell or Ophichthus altipennis) reaches a length of up to several tens of centimeters and completely buried in the ground, podkaraulivaya small prey. Any object larger than itself lead us to a depression and he is hiding in the burrow, so to find out to see the need to look far for a few meters.
13. But still very nice reef inhabitant of the order ugreobraznyh - Nosatov moray (Leaf-nosed moray ell or Rhinomuraena quaesita). As can be seen in this very expressive nose eels. One of its features - a sex change and color in their lifetime. When they are young, they are all young black males, as they grow older are blue, as begins to break through the color yellow, it means that men are fully matured, but then they all turn yellow and become great in females. Such is the sex life before you become someone's mother, they were someone's fathers.
14. All the beaches of the Strait of black, consisting of volcanic sand. Most resorts are located in bays and home reef is a sandy field with coral oasis, where life is concentrated. Most of the dives from the shore is free and guests otnyryav basic program from the bot can continue to dive at house reef. As the depth is not large, typically make dives 3.4 bot, and 1-2 at home reef, including at night.
15. Mack diving is good that attention is concentrated and passing the monotonous landscape of the eye literally clings to all the unusual and colorful. Not proplyvesh past Striped coral shrimp (Banded coral shrimp or Stenopus hispidus), when to stop and watch it, you can see it in the traditional line cleaner. Shrimp or she finds a customer, such as moray eels, fish or invitingly waved his white whiskers, antennae, and then proceed to cleanse the body of other creatures, by eating parts of the old skin, or parasites. Relationships are so professional and trustworthy, that clients even shrimp crawls into the mouth, cleansing the same mouth.
16. Limbe Strait, as well as the entire south-east Asia, is rich in colorful nudibranchs. Is due to the toxicity can not be Asians, and they are not caught, so that any area of their lack of interest. Almost all have bright colors and distinctive appendages on the body, each type of individual growths, but they all play the role of skin gills, providing a breath. Nudibranchs - the most photographed underwater macro object, because reliable variations, there are about 3,000 species, or even more. In the photo a beautiful Leopard hromodoris (Chromodoris leopardus), crawling on the sand at the lunch box of the sponges.
17. If the usual riffs at times you see the black sea urchin, the urchin caught in the sands of all colors. This fire urchin (Fire Urchin or Asthenosoma varium) has a bad reputation and its needle injections are very painful because of the special poison that enters the wound. At night diving should be careful to swing his elbows and knees. This hedgehog often appears in close-up shots, because under his protection normally inhabit some shrimp.
18. One species of cephalopods, the most common in the maximum diving waters - Cuttlefish Pferfferi (Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish - Metasepia pfefferi). The English name fleymboyant can be translated as - decorated with tongues of flame, or something similar. These small (up to 10 cm) of clams in color fads can compete with themselves nudibranchs. Very interesting, if I saw this under water, assume that the dive was a success.
19. Of my favorite octopus in this part of Indonesia, you can certainly see sinekolchatogo Octopus (Blue ringed octopus - Hapalochlaena lunulata) to form very small (3-5 cm), but according to scientists it is among the five most poisonous sea creatures. Its venom is deadly to humans, not to mention the small crabs and shrimp on which it preys. These advantages of the octopus were popularized to the public by being played with the directors in spy movies such as James Bond. Someone he's biting his nose.
20. Another funny kind of octopus - korotkouhy or coconut octopus (Coconut Octopus or Amphioctopus marginatus), being small in size (8-10 cm), he found a perfect home in the form of one or two halves of a coconut (sometimes with the same end uses paired sash shell). It can be seen sitting on the floor and covering half of a coconut, or he will sit in one half and the top as a lid to close the other. This behavior is primarily to Indonesia, where coconuts at the bottom there, he can burrow into the sand or hide in a hole.
21. The dream of all photographers - Octopus simulator (Mimic Octopus or Thaumoctopus mimicus), his first scientifically described and identified as a separate species in the late nineties, it was off the coast of Sulawesi. Unlike other octopuses, which are all great mimic something still, this kind of mimics the behavior of other animals. The first adjusting to the shape and style of movement, it can simulate the ramp, fish flounder, sea serpent, and even jellyfish. His skills, he is actively used in hunting and defense. Its size small - 30-50 cm
22. Diving in the Straits are not limited to internal waters on its northern tip, which traditionally falls within, are good coral slopes. The colonies of hard and soft corals are much better feel in good hydrodynamics and oxygen-rich water. Macro life on the coral slopes deserves a separate story, but a kind of hits on fotopopulyarnosti below.
23. Kings of disguise - Pygmy seahorses, (Pygmy seahorse, or Hippocampus bargibanti), living in colonies of horny corals (gorgonian), ideally mastered the technique of imitating the shape and color of coral branches. Sizes of skates are so small (1-2cm), which find it difficult to untrained eye, just do not know what to look for. Dive guides are easy to find and show them to tourists, but this is tricky - because the skates sedentary and sit on the same gorgonian of the year, we remember them on a slope easily.
24. The body of the skate so perfectly matches the texture, with a branch of coral polyps and that the first species of skate were accidentally discovered when the corals were removed from the sea and placed in an aquarium for study. Since then, the already opened about 9 species of seahorses, living on different gorgonian. Seahorse tightly wound around the tail and gently swaying corals on the course, as a pensioner to chair a rocking chair, eating plankton.
25. In the flat recesses of coral reefs can be found pretty sedentary fish-leaf (Leaf Scorpionfish or Taenianotus triacanthus). Her body is flattened in a vertical plane and it seems to be swaying from side to side, balancing on the pectoral fins. This technique disguise harmless leaf, while the fish at any time ready to swallow up death sailing breeze. In this fish is always very attractive color of the body - light pink or whitish-green, but still they shine eyes, like a diamond in a pure form.
26. Fans of evening and night dives in closed lagoons and reefs, quiet Philippines, Malaysia, as well as the Mecca of diving in Indonesia poppies - one of the lucky few who can watch the fish tangerine (Mandarin fish or Synchiropus splendidus) in their natural habitat. This small fish (2-5 cm) is very popular among hobbyists because of its color - bluish body color with orange stripes and shades of green and purple. Even the name comes from the similarity of the colors with colorful dresses mandarin - imperial officials in China. At night, mandarin fish are beginning to be more active, swimming over coral and preys on small crustaceans. Many amazing style swimming mandarin fish, it moves in short jerks, hovering in the water, resembling a bird flying over the hummingbird flower buds.
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