Laha

  • Indonesia
  • #309
  • 21 m
  • 71 min

[ 06.05.2013 - 21:57 ]

On tuesday 7th, we were in Indonesia, to dive at a site called Laha. We entered the water at 6:57 with Jason, Jason, James, Nicole et Philippine.

The cruise is ending and after all those nights to arrive in the region of Ambon from Raja Ampat , we are determined to make the most of it and scrutinize the seabed with more attention than ever, looking for known and unknown creatures.

Having a guide almost guarantees not to return empty-handed, but it is even more satisfying to discover your own creatures behind a coral, buried in the sand or under a rock . Over the years we've learned a few tricks of those magicians, and we are familiar to some of their favorite covers. Nevertheless, most of the time we are playing ' Where's Waldo ' without knowing in advance what the character looks like, or what size it is; turns out it's really easy to miss the arm sized crocodile fish that's just below you when you are looking for nudibranchs the size of a nail.

Ambon is renowned for its "mucks dives" and I was quite confident that we would find interesting critters, especially with my favorite spotter Philippine, but I didn't really know what to expect... one thing's for sure, we were not disappointed!

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As we were going down, we stumbled upon a collection of fire urchins, and after some more looking the guide found us a couple of coleman shrimps on of of them.

They live in pairs (male & female) and clean up some space on top of the sea urchin with their claws . Once properly installed they feed on food particles captured by the spikes around.

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With her eagle eye, Philippine spotted a seahorse the size of a hand side that everybody had missed. It floated upside down and its pattern resembled the bottom it laid upon, so it was easy to assume it was just another alga .

One diver was so excited by the discovery of a bamboo shark that he was heard screaming in his mask. This is the second time I crossed one, it's probably the least scary shark that is, with its small size and soft, rounded shapes.

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The weedy scorpionfish belongs to those species that are both fascinating and disgusting. You'd rather not find yourself face to face with one of those without notice, but when you're lucky enough to encounter one, you're likely to spend a fair amount of time looking at it from every angle, with its natural pout, its excrescences and its surreal colors.

As I was looking for nudibranchs my eyes landed on a stretch of sand with a mini dune that looked strangely regular. I took a step back and followed this dune in both directions to find other strangely regular shapes, and it was then that its eyes appeared to me: a stingray was hidden under the sand.

Proud of this discovery, I could not resist to test Philippine by pointing at the area to see whether she would spot it too. More often than not, having someone pointing at a spot only slightly increase your chances to see the critter hidden there, unless they used sign language to tell you what kind of critter it is, and how big it is.

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A dive in such a place is likely to mean new nudibranch encounters, and indeed, I discovered 3 new species.

It's been a fantastic and peaceful dive, there was a lot of life, little trash, and we had the dive site for ourselves.

On this dive

Tortuba
May the fish be with you