Wednesday, November 29, 2006

28th November 2006

weather: sunny
sea condition: calm vis : 10 - 15 m

Guides: Jimmy, Ron, Lee, Nina

Sipadan was absolutely awesome today! There were 3 groups of us who went diving in Sipadan and all of us saw the big school of barracudas, leopard shark and a big grey reef shark. The roaring current this morning at Barracuda Point provides such an adrenaline rush to the excitement to seeing all these great fish!!!

There were no new exciting macro that we found today, just the existing macro stuff like ribbon eels, giant mantis shrimp, gobies, hairy squat lobsters, ghost pipe fish and nudis.

Here are some of the pictures for today's Paradise Log.


School of Barracudas. Picture by Yukie Tanaka

Pair of many host goby. Picture by Ishida Mami

Imperial shrimp on sea cucumber. Picture by Ishida Mami

Leopard blenny. Picture by Polpat Vongmasa

Lubricogobius exiguus. Picture by Ishida Mami

Group members from Mikomoto Hammers' Dive Shop (at SWV from 24th November to 27th November)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

25th November 2006

weather: sunny after a short rain early morning
sea condition: calm vis: 10- 20 m

Guides: Jimmy, Jay, Bobby, Lee

Another day of diving, another day of excitement here! Sipadan has been keeping up with its name with its rich and diverse marine life for us to see. In the morning, there were a big school of barracudas with grey reef sharks, white tips, turtles, purple fire goby, pink leaf fish, jacks and giant trevallies, dancing gobies, big napoleon wrasse and schools of batfish, black snapper and unicorn fish.

Macro has been exciting as well today. We managed to see flamboyant cuttlefish, black ray shrimp goby, ring-eyed jawfish, flabellina nudibranch, black sail fin goby, hairy squat lobsters, giant mantis shrimp, blue ribbon eels, pygmy seahorse, soft coral crab, whip coral shrimp and many ornate ghostpipefish.

Sorry for those who expect to see more pictures today cause we were not able to get pictures to be posted here for this entry. Hopefully we are able to get more nice pictures for all Paradise- Loggers out there.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

21st November 2006

weather: sunny
sea condition: a bit choppy vis: 10 m

Guides: Nina, Jay, Lee, Bobby, Ron, Allan

The sea condition is a bit choppy today and it affects the visibility underwater. The visibility was about 10m on this day.

On this day we saw school of barracudas, leopard shark, bumphead parrotfish, jack fish, turtles and sharks. It has been kind of hard to see the school of barracudas in the past week. May be due to the currents and the tide condition for the past week. Seems like the currents are just not as what it normally used to be in Barracuda Points. But all that seems to be changing back to its normal trend again for this last 2 days. Hopefully the school of barracudas can be back often for us to see them. Everybody just loves to see them! Especially when they perform their well beloved 'tornado' performance.

Below are some of the pictures that we managed to get for all Paradise-Loggers out there.
Enjoy guys!!

A close shot of barracuda school by Bruno Detti and Lucci Allesandro

School of barracuda with Clarence's buddy, Suet Ling

Silhoutte of barracudas, image by Muto Koji

Leopard shark resting by Asanome Yuka

School of bumphead parrotfish / buffalo fish by Asanome Yuka

Gold-spec jawfish. Image by Asanome Yuka

Monday, November 20, 2006

Paradise Log Special Edition 3 - It's a Nude Fest!!!

Yes, it is indeed a"Nude Fest"!! Wait a minute......when we say "Nude Fest" here, we actually refers to a celebration of one of our most beloved underwater creatures - nudibranches.......
}xP Don't get too excited yet!!! Hahahaha!!!

Thecacera picta - white color variation. Picture by Sophia Chan

Chromodoris annae. Image by Geri Murphy

Chromodoris tritos - Image by Lee Tiow Aun

Flabellina exoptata. Image by Sophia Chan

Nudibranch are sea slugs (soft-bodied snails) which does not have any shells in their adult form. The word "nudibranch" comes from Latin nudus meaning "naked" and Greek brankhia meaning gills. Most of them have externally retractable or contractible gills located around the back of the nudibranch. Some of them have their gills located around the sides of their body (example flabellinidae family).The head generally have two contractible rhinophores (used to detect odors) at the front of the animal.

Chromodoris magnifica, with its gills at the back portion of the nudibranch. Image by Nina Ho

Picture showing the rhinophores of a nudibracnh. Picture: Thecacera picta (yellow color variation). Has been dubbed 'Pikachu' after the famous Japanese animation character 'Pocket Monsters' - image by Lee Tiow Aun

Flabellina type of nudibranch are examples of nudibranch that have gills positioned on the sides of their body. Image by Y. Keiko

Nudibranch are hermaphrodites, they maintain both male and female sex organs with reproductive pores which is generally positioned on the right side of their necks. They will start to have contacts by either body touch or rhinophores contacts when they recognise another nudibranch that is from the same species and some courting will take place before they mate.

Mating pair of nembrotha lineolata. The sex organ is located on the right neck of the nudibranch. Image by Lee Tiow Aun

Hypselodoris apolegma, laying eggs. Image by Sophia Chan

The choice of food for nudibranches are very varied, ranging from sponges, hydroids, tunicates, crustaceans to even members of their own species. This maybe because some of them have very strict preference of food, only eating certain species of prey.

Pikachu nudibranch with their favorite food. Image by Lee Tiow Aun

Nembrotha lineolata feeding. Image by Lee Tiow Aun

Because of the lack of external shells on nudibranches, they have evolved some very interesting ways to defend themselves from predators. Some of them warn off their predators by their brightly colored body that indicates 'bad taste', some of them secrete chemicals to fend off predators, some of them mimic their food host so that their predators can't see them hidden among their food and there are even some that can simply swim away when they sensed danger (example spanish dancer).

The brightly colored and hard bodied notodoris minor that renders itself inedible by prey fish. Image by Nina Ho

Spanish dancer, one of the few types of nudibranch that can swim away from its predators. Image by Nina

Okenia nakamotoensis - fending off predators by its bright red color (Red means stop on traffic light while red in the world of nudibranch means "Stop!!! Don't eat me!!!". Image by Sophia Chan

Even with all these advanced adaptations to defend themselves, some fishes have developed the knowledge on how these nudibranches defend themselves and thus has developed some methods which the fish can eat some of the nudibranch. For example, some pufferfish and wrasses have developed a method to eat nudibranch by sucking them in and spitting them out very quickly several times to reduce the strenght of the chemical discharge each time the nudibranch is sucked in. They are such masters of self-defense even some other animals also try to mimic the appearance of nudibranch.Flamboyant cuttlefish has been suggested by some people to mimic the appearance and behaviour of nudibranches. Interesting isn't it!!

"Don't eat me......look at me, I'm so cute!!!" Thecacera picta - Image by Sophia Chan

That's it for this entry guys, hope you guys liked what we have got to share with you all Paradise-Loggers out there!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

9th November 2006

weather: sunny
sea condition: calm vis: 10 - 15 m

Guides: Nina, Bobby, Lee, Ron, Sophia, Jay

The resort now is buzzing with divers again, this time with divers from Japan. Konichiwa!!!

Sipadan has been busy as well with their usual fishes there to welcome us whenever we dive there, barracudas, jacks, white tip sharks, turtle, bumphead parrotfish, snappers, etc. But leopard sharks and rays has not been seen lately. It was about this time last year when we start to see lots of devil rays in Sipadan. Hopefully this year the rays will come back to Sipadan like last year!

Macro has been good for the last few days as well. With flamboyant cuttlefish, ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish, baby painted frogfish, giant frogfish, ray shrimp goby, purple fire goby and also not forgetting those crabs and shrimps that can be found easily, you just have to know where to look and keep looking!

On today, there were 3 divers who did their "Memorial Dive" here with Sipadan Water Village. Below are their pictures with the dive center's banner made specially for divers who did their "Memorial Dive" here with us. The three lucky divers are Hayashi Hiroto, Yamanami Kazuko and Inoue Yukiko. Omedeto!! (Congratulations!!)

Hayashi Hiroto with his 50th dive at Sipadan Water Village

Yamanami Kazuko with her 100th dive with us

Inoue Yukiko with her 250th dive with us

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Photo Week 2006 Final - Winning Pictures

This is it folks!! The entry that everybody has been waiting for!! The winning images from participants of Photo Week 2006. This entry wraps up the Photo Week 2006.

It has been a great time for everyone of us at Sipadan Water Village. See you next year!!!

Best of Show:

Best of show winner: Giant grouper, image by Larry Chan

SLR Wide Angle category:

1st place winner: Green turtle with 3 remoras, image by Barbara Laidlaw

2nd place winner: Giant grouper, image by Finis Williams

3rd place winner: Green turtle, image by Finis Williams

Honorary mention: School of jackfish, image by Barbara Laidlaw

Honorary mention: Jeff Mitchell

SLR Macro Category:

1st place winner: Pygmy seahorse, image by Larry Chan

2nd place winner: Peacock mantis shrimp, image by John Lindsey

3rd place winner: John Lindsey Honorary Mention: Mushroom coral pipefish, image by Jack Gullison
Honorary mention: Honey comb moray, image by Jeff Mitchell

Other Wide Angle category:

1st place winner: Mary Alice (winning image unavailable)

2nd place winner: Cleaning harlequin sweetlips, image by Kent Wick

3rd place winner: School of jackfish with a surgeon fish in the school, image by Scott Graham

Other Macro Category:

1st place winner: Bubble coral shrimp, image by Tim Smith

2nd place winner: Bubble coral shrimp, image by Scott Graham

3rd place winner: Flamboyant cuttlefish, image by Scott Graham

Honorary Mention: Harlequin ghost pipe fish, image by Scott Graham

Best Use of Light Category:

1st place winner: Bill Phillips

2nd plac winner: Barbara Laidlaw
3rd place winner: Larry Chan

Honorary mention: Barbara Laidlaw

Honorary mention: Larry Chan

Best of Topside Category:

1st place winner: Children of Mabul, image by Larry Chan

2nd place winner: Sunset view by Ken Campbell

3rd place winner (2): Image by Ernest Manewal

3rd place (2): Resort view with a rainbow, image by Marsha O' Shaughnessy

Honorary mention: Sunset at Sipadan Water Village, image by Elizabeth Daly

Honorary Mention: Fishermen of Mabul, image by Marianne Campbell

Best of Resort Category

1st place winner: Resort view at night

2nd place winner: View of room and the 'Pentagon' from the walkway, image by Ken Campbell

3rd place winner: Resort walkway, image by Ernest Manewal

Honorary Mention: Boatmen of Sipadan Water Village, image by Finis Williams

Honorary Mention:Busy busy day, image by Larry Chan

Best behaviour category

1st Prize winner: Giant grouper with cleaner wrasse, image by Finis Williams

2nd place: Harlequin sweetlip with cleaner wrasse, image by Kent Wick

3rd place winner: Snake eel with cleaner shrimp on eye, image by Michelle Benson

Honorary mention: John Lindsey
Honorary Mention: Pairing ghost pipe fish, image by Kent Wick

Honorary Mention: Giant moray eel with cleaner shrimps, image by Mary Campbell

Honorary Mention: Mating green turtle, image by Michelle Benson

Virgin Wide Angle:

1st place winner: Scorpion fish, image by Scott Johnson

2nd place winner: School of batfish, image by Scott Johnson

3rd place winner: Giant grouper, image by Joe Bottalico

Honorary mention: Puffer fish, image by Claire Schilling

Virgin Macro Category: 11st place winner: Giant frogfish, image by Scott Johnson 2nd place winner: Bubble coral shrimp, image by Joe Bottalico

3rd place winner