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March 23, 2006

Mandarin Fish - Male Only


Distant Yap. Take a plane: Norfolk-Houston-Honolulu-Guam-Yap. Takes about 24 hours. Find the mandarin fish. Be where they mate at dusk (it's dark underwater). Capture the mating sequence when the male and female come up out of the coral tangle for about the time it takes to say "one-thousand-one one-thousand-two one-thousand-three." The same pair might do it twice or the male may go find another female. You have 15 minutes and it's over.

I was sick (from some airplane germ, I think), but went out three nights in a row to capture the mating in the shallow water off a mangrove island in Yap. It happens about 7:15PM. This is a male just before mating. I missed the big moment.

March 17, 2006

Palau - Vertical Wall


Even with 5,000+ dives (SSI Platinum Pro 5000), all but six with a camera, scenes like this still give me goosebumps. The wall is near vertical, the water clear and the diver, Bobbie Laska, is in awe with me at the red gorgonian fan, a crinoid hanging on the fan and a orange soft coral just below them. This is over-the-top beauty of nature.

March 13, 2006

Palau - Ulong Channel


A group of us moved ourselves into a rapid current flowing through Ulong Channel in Palau, Micronesia. I was flying along the right side of the channel and saw this anemone and anemonefish coming at me so I turned around backwards preparing to stop. When I was even with anemone, I started kicking with all the power I had until I could get a hold on a rock outcropping, then shot a dozen or so frames. When I finished, I let go and went with the current again.

March 10, 2006

Truk Lagoon, Sankisan Maru


Hold #2 of the sunken Sankisan Maru freighter in Truk Lagoon with thousands of rounds of ammunition that were never used in the war. The hold has enough ambient light coming from open hatch to see, but strobe light was added to the ammunition in the foreground.

March 8, 2006



"R2D2" is the name given to a pump in a room adjacent to the tops of the cylinder heads in the engine room of the Fujikawa Maru (the pump resembles R2D2, a Star Wars movie character). It usually bring a smile to anyone seeing it. The Fujikawa Maru is a 450' long aircraft transport ship that was sunk during Operation Hailstorm at Truk Lagoon in February 1944. On my sixth dive to the ship I hurried to be first in the water and down into the engine room to get this picture before other divers disturbed the silt in the compartment. Admittedly, I blocked some divers access for a minute or two and they were good enough to not cut my air hose.

March 7, 2006

Engine Order Telegraph


Sixty-three years ago, sailors moved the handles on this engine order telegraph on the bridge of the Shinkoku Maru to signal the engine room to stop and go. The ship went to the bottom of Truk Lagoon in the Pacific and is now encrusted with soft coral in brilliant yellows, reds, pinks and blues.

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