blog

koala

Location
Anilao, The Philippines

Anilao is known for its muck dives and macro finds. One afternoon I explored a dive site named Koala, and I didn’t expect to find anything larger than a crab there.

Halfway through the dive, my guide gave me the signal to look at the shallow reef. I dropped down a few metres and inspected the reef, wondering what he could’ve seen from so far away. I looked up, and he gave me the same signal. I looked around once more. Nothing.

Then, just as I looked up again, this turtle was there, right in front of me. That’s what my dive guide was trying to tell me to look at the whole time! The visibility wasn’t that great and it was pretty cloudy up above, but I still managed to get a shot of this incredibly curious guy. It was the only time I had to move away to get a proper shot of an animal because he kept inching closer towards me – he was actually trying to take a bite out of my bright green fins.

the rainbow terror

Location
Lembeh, Indonesia

The bobbit worm – where do I even begin? This terrifying creature has been on my wishlist since the day I first learned of its existence. I can’t tell you how happy I was when the amazing dive guides at Dive Into Lembeh found not one, but four of these guys on a night dive.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, here are some fun facts for you to chew on:

Freaky Fact #1: The bobbit worm can reach lengths of up to 10 feet. That makes it way taller than the average human being, by the way.

Freaky Fact #2: For their meals, they bury themselves in the seabed and once they sense something tasty swimming right above them, they use their razor sharp teeth and incredible speed to grab hold of it before dragging their choice of grub beneath the ocean floor. The feasting then begins…

Freaky Fact #3: There’s nothing wrong with my camera – that’s the actual colour of a bobbit worm’s body. When it catches the light, it practically sparkles and shimmers. Not the happy kind though, that’s for sure.

 

go team

Location
Lembeh, Indonesia

Boxer crabs (also known as the pom-pom crab) carry a live sea anemone in each claw, which is used to defend themselves and catch food. Look closely and you’ll see that the white fluffy things look just like boxing gloves/cheerleading pom poms, which explains the name (and nickname) of this unique critter.

twilight

Location
Vaavu Atoll, The Maldives

Not the best shot, but this was the only usable one. This was probably the greatest night dive I’ve ever done. At the Alimatha House Reef in Vaavu Atoll, you enter the water just before it gets dark and before you know it, you’re surrounded by hordes of nurse sharks and more than enough stingrays to make you feel incredibly nervous. The sharks swim next to you, behind you, right above you, and sometimes even under you – shoving you out of the way to be fed by the dive guides. It was an insane 40 minutes underwater. Pretty surreal too.

 

the sanctuary

Location
Southern Leyte, The Philippines

This was one of my first few decent wide-angle shots. I was on an expedition cruise with Solitude Liveaboards in 2016, and one of the dive spots we visited was the Napantao Fish Sanctuary in Southern Leyte. This protected marine area was teeming with little fish – I swear there were over 1,000 of them on every corner and wall of that long stretch of reef. I was truly blown away.

 

life

Location
Manado, Indonesia

It’s funny how I spent so much time shooting this one crab, only to find out that it was looking after what must have been hundreds of tiny eggs when I reviewed the images on my laptop. Sometimes interesting details only come to your attention much later.