I really don't know what happened to 2015, but what a great years it's been! There have been lots of amazing expeditions, creatures and publications to my name. I hope you've all had a brilliant 2015 and looking forward to 2016 and beyond. Here's is a little run down of what I've been up to over the past 6 months:
An update is long overdue but I've fallen sadly behind on blogs of my travels, publications and exciting marine life finds of late. There's a lot to catch up on here at Ocean Realm Images!
We are already more than a quarter of the way through 2014.... how did that happen?! It's been a busy few months here at Ocean Realm Images with group trips to Socorro Island, Mexico and the Philippines, plenty of published articles and exciting new ventures in TV and film.
It has been a very busy few months since my last blog update so I thought a last quarter review style blog would be the easiest way to cover everything. Since my last update I have led a group trip to Fiji, dived in Nelson Bay, Australia with let's Go Adventures and in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia and attended the world's largest dive trade show in Orlando, as well as having numerous publications around the world.
Sport Diver UK have just published the July issue of their monthly magazine, which contains my article 'Cenderawasih Bay; Where Whale Sharks Roam'. This feature is about the month I spent aboard Dewi Nusantara in the mysterious and newly visited part of Indonesia on Papua's north coast.
As part of my PhD research I visited a small resort in central Sulawesi. It is scarcely known to non-Italians, but an absolute gem. I was in search of the amazing Walea soft coral pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus waleananus), which is known only from the reefs of the Togian Islands.
The diving is outstanding, with some of the best hard coral I have seen and many interesting critters, including bumblebee shrimp, boxer crab, tiger shrimp, four species of pygmy seahorse and the rare Kyonemichthys rumengani found in abundance.
UltraMarine have just published their 40th issue, where I am please to have an article about the reefs of the Coral Triangle. The countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and East Timor collectively make up the Coral Triangle, which is known as the centre of the world's coral reef biodiversity. It is a fascinating area to dive and I hope this article impassions people to experience it for themselves and the will to protect it.
I was fortunate enough to return to Wakatobi Dive Resort last year for the first time since carrying out much of my PhD fieldwork there a couple of years before. This time, however, I went on a trip aboard their liveaboard, Pelagian. We sailed from the resort all the way to the island of Buton, just off the Sulawesi mainland. My adventures were published in Scuba Diver AustralAsia in issue one of 2013. They have recently updated their digital subscriptions too, so check out their website or the Apple Newstand for
Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia is one of my favourite places in the world to dive. Actually, if I could only dive in one place for the rest of my life I think it would be Raja Ampat. I have been lucky enough to spend many months exploring this amazing area aboard Dewi Nusantara. In issue 38 of UltraMarine Magazine I explain why this area is so special and what is being done to protect it.