Fotografie

Critters wonderlands – LEMBEH

Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italiano (Italian)

The word “critter” evokes in me a particular way to experience the underwater world. A way made by hours and hours of diving in murky and green waters, keeping eyes on sand, on mud or on small patches of coral. All of this hoping to find “the Subject”.
For a long time talking about muck dives or critters it has only been synonym of Lembeh strait. A crowded channel between the North Sulawesi and the island of Lembeh.

 

The channel (click on pics to start, click on White background to close)

Lembeh strait is just in the middle of the Coral Triangle, the area where thanks to the rich upwelling currents, there’s an explosion of life. In my experience Lembeh is exactly this: an explosion of life. Small benthonic life everywhere, along the coasts, on the vulcanic sand, all around the pillars of jetties or in the garbage.
Often the first approach is not the best, expecially if diver is used to big walls in crystal clear water. Anyway really soon, thanks to guides, the diver learns to change horizons concentrating eyes on smaller areas of reef or sand. This change of vision marks the beginning of the show.
Usually the first characters are organisms a bit bigger then the typical critter and they could also have a shape quite familiar. The good guides know that the beginner needs to approach this world slowly.

 

The larger sizes (click on pics to start, click on White background to close)

The nudibranchs arrive in the same moment or immediately after. They are everywhere in Lembeh, but in some dive spots the concentration of this snails is really particular.

 

The nudibranchs (click on pics to start, click on White background to close)

The interest in small and cryptic things gradually grows in diver. Things hidden by corals, between tentacles of anemones, inside crinoids, behind algae and under sand.
The awareness that the guide’s stick is pointing a critter, it is a big step ahed for the biginner.

Tiny and cryptic (click on pics to start, click on White background to close)

Places like Lembeh are wonderlands for me, CRITTERS WONDERLANDS !

Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italiano (Italian)

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