The past eleven days have been spent on a very special trip aboard Dewi Nusantara surveying and exploring a couple of areas in central Raja Ampat, in conjunction with the Sea Sanctuaries Trust. The trust works with local communities to conserve large tracts of reef from overexploitation and destructive fishing. For the trip, we had the honour of being joined by the eminent Doctors Gerry Allen and Mark Erdmann from Conservation International, who were surveying the reefs and searching for new and unus
After ten months away, I am pleased to find myself back in Raja Ampat, Indonesia on the stunning live aboard Dewi Nusantara. It is often cited that this area has the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world: literally as you leave this region, in any direction, the number of species decreases. As well as accommodating a huge variety of species, the reefs are also bustling with extraordinarily healthy fish populations. For this reason Raja Ampat is a marine biologist's panacea and the perfect spot for me to be conducting talks on the aquatic li
My final trip aboard the Dewi Nusantara liveaboard started in full force.
I've recently returned from another briliant trip to Lembeh Strait in north Sulawesi, Indonesia. We stayed at Lembeh Resort and dived with Critters@Lembeh. They were a really great bunch and we had an amazing time diving with them. Some of the underwater highlights for me during this trip were my first ever zebra seahorse (a colour form of Hippocampus trimaculatus), a mototi octopus (Amphioctopus siamensis) (which advertises it's venomous bite with a pair of bright blue rings either side of the body and occasion
In June 2011 I visited Pico Island in the Azores, which are situated 1500 km west of Portugal in the mid Atlantic. I had been lucky enough to be granted permission by the Azorean government to enter the water with Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). This priveledge is limited to professional photographers and supported by my marine biology background. Great care must be taken not to disturb these gentle giants and so we were only on snorkel, not SCUBA. Our daily excursions were organised by Pic
The final leg of our road trip from Brisbane took us to the island state of Tasmania. We took the red eye ferry from Melbourne that left at 9pm and got us to Devonport on the north coast of Tasmania at 6am the next morning. We'd had quite a hectic weekend in Melbourne and were exhausted by the time we found our seats on the ferry. In hindsight maybe a cabin with actual beds would have been a good idea but we decided the cheap seats would be fine. We arrived in Tasmania at dawn and decided to take the scenic route to Hobart, where we were diving the next day. To cut a long story short w
After a couple of days chilling in Sydney with friends it was time to head south again on our epic Brisbane to Tasmania road trip. Part two was equally diverse and rewarding as the first. The thousand kilometres of coast we covered between Sydney and Melbourne gave us opportunity to encounter a variety of marine ecosystems starting in Jervis Bay. It is the largest natural Bay in Australia and was our first experience with a large macroalgal dominated habitat (i.e kelp). We saw heaps of filder rays, which are a kind of shovelnose ray that has a beautiful patterning over the body. It was
My friend Laura and I are currently on a geographically epic dive road trip from Brisbane to Tasmania. We are stopping at some of Australia's top dive sites on the way where I'm taking images and preparing an article about our adventures for Sport Diving Magazine. I've spent the last few years diving tropical coral reefs conducting research for my PhD studies so I was keen to experience some of the cooler waters off Australia. I became slightly obsessed with planning the trip and we'll be visiting a number of locations in search of particular spe
I have recently returned from two trips aboard the Paradise Dancer in the Raja Ampat region of Indonesia where I have been in search of the recently described and extremely elusive Satomi’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus satomiae). The Paradise Dancer, or Dewi Nusantara as it is also known, is a member of the Peter Hughes fleet and the crown jewel of Indonesian liveaboard diving.