Nov 292013
 

Corals

 

We generally think of human hair as slow-growing (remember that pixie cut that took three years to grow out?). For reference, human hair grows at a rate of 6 inches (15 cm) per year.

By stark contrast, corals grow at a rate of .01 – .06 inches (.24 – 1.5 mm) per year.

Let’s put it this way, the maximum growth rate of coral is 99% slower than the growth rate of human hair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Colorful Fijian Coral

Corals in the USVI - Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

Corals in the USVI – Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

So why should we care, and why I am making this comparison?  There are many factors contributing to the dramatic decline of the world’s coral reef ecosystems.  Some are controllable, and others are less so.  At a time when many cultures are entering the holiday giving season, there is at least one factor that is almost completely under our control.  Please do not purchase coral souvenirs, decor or jewelry for yourself or as a gift.  

Yes, I know that corals are beautiful, but we must admire them only in their own habitat.  Some vendors may declare that their coral is harvested sustainably, but please don’t fall for this nonsense.  Consumer demand only fuels unsustainable, and often illegal, practices.

Remember the diver’s golden rule – “take only photos and memories, and leave only bubbles”.

For further reading-

NOAA

 

 

Nov 252013
 

Sorry for the brief hiatus from the blog, but I have a good excuse for my absence.  I’ve spent the last two weeks diving and shooting critters in Bonaire.  We had some birthdays to celebrate (mine and Mr. Reeftraveler’s).  One was a milestone (Happy Birthday Mr. Reeftraveler), and we used it as an excuse to extend our trip from one week to two.

So now I find myself home, with a full hard drive, boatloads of dirty laundry (most of which smells like salt air) and 3500 photos to edit (I edit both my photos and Mr. Reeftraveler’s shots).

Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

Diving, diving and more diving – and photographing it all

That's me on Bari Reef

That’s me on Bari Reef

Mr. Reeftraveler at work

Mr. Reeftraveler at work

My sister-in-law Suzanne on Bari Reef

My sister-in-law Suzanne on Bari Reef

Daily views like this

Beach at Den Laman

Beach at Den Laman

Sun Rays over Klein Bonaire

Sun Rays over Klein Bonaire

Dive Boat Blues

Dive Boat Blues

 Celebrations

Happy Birthday Mr. Reeftraveler

Happy Birthday Mr. Reeftraveler

Dessert Tasting Platter from Wil's Tropical Grill

Dessert Tasting Platter from Wil’s Tropical Grill

Wil's Tropical Grill is so good that we celebrated my birthday there too.  Thanks Will and Sue!

Wil’s Tropical Grill is so good that we celebrated my birthday there too. Thanks Wil and Sue!

My brother-in-law on the left and my sister-in-law far right

My brother-in-law on the left and my sister-in-law far right

And Spectacular Critters – Underwater and Above

Moray on Bari Reef

Moray on Bari Reef

Bonaire Iguana

We stayed at Den Laman Condominiums, and the location and facilities were excellent.  I highly recommend a stay here, along with a dive package from Bonaire Dive and Adventure.  This is the best combination of convenience and great diving that I have experienced in my 15 years of diving around the world.

Nov 112013
 

In my last post I promised to show you more photos from the extensive house reef at Gallows Point on St. John.

Although we didn’t see the moon jellies this year, there was plenty of other sea life to watch and photograph.

Hawksbill Turtle - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Hawksbill Turtle – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

Octopus - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Octopus – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Reef Squid

Reef Squid

Squirrelfish - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Squirrelfish – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Christmas Tree Worms

Christmas Tree Worms

Flamingo Tongue - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Flamingo Tongue – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Curious Squirrelfish

Curious Squirrelfish

Do you have a favorite St. John snorkel spot?

Nov 052013
 

In September we spent a week diving and snorkeling the waters of St. John.  Our lodging of choice on St. John is Gallows Point, due in part to its extensive house reef.

Gallows Point House Reef

Gallows Point House Reef

The resort layout is perfect for snorkeling.  The walkway (pictured below) makes it easy to access the reef.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Many different creatures call this reef home.  Here’s a glimpse at some of them.

Feather Duster Colony

Feather Duster Colony

Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Front View - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Front View – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Peacock Flounder

Peacock Flounder 

Squirrelfish

Squirrelfish

Feather Duster

Feather Duster

Trunkfish

Trunkfish

Check back soon for more photos from Gallows Point Reef.