22 January 2010
Misool Eco Resort
When Yogi starts singing, I have all reason to stop and listen to his song as he seldom does this. Whereas I break into a song at a drop of a hat, even if I don’t know the lyrics. Well, Yogi repeatedly sang “Life Forms” – original sung by Data after getting his emotion chip implanted in the old Star Trek movie “Generations” with Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard of the Enterprise. Yogi sang the entire stanza!!! Oh what joy! It was even in tune.
“Life forms . . . You tiny little life forms . . . You precious little life forms . . . Where are you?”
We encounter life forms everywhere. Truly everywhere on land and underwater.
In Misool Raja Ampat, gorgonian fans abound and in them, in tiny little life forms, we saw amazing living creatures – skeleton shrimps, pygmy sea horses, brittle stars . . .
I get awestruck with nature’s habitats.
There are many sea fans out there that is home to loads of these tiny beauties of many varieties. Raja Ampat is pygmy seahorse haven. And the varieties are staggering.
Comb jellyfish makes its home on a sea star and this too is just spectacular.
Crinoids or featherstars of all colors are everywhere in the reef. Clingfish, shrimps and crabs live in commensal relationships with crinoids. They are living in a relationship where the “intruder” gets his food or other benefits like safe shelter from the crinoid without hurting or helping it.
One of our most favourite dive sites is the house reef of Misool Eco Resort. It is the very location of the recent David Attenborough BBC “LIFE” series where famous cameraman Peter Scoones filmed a clownfish caring for its eggs.
This house reef has so much to offer. We did not go very far in any of our dives. There was no need for us to do kilometer long finning sessions. We concentrated in a few square meters here and there and the reef unfolded right before our eyes. Life forms appeared like magic. The reefs in Misool are so saturated with colors it was hard to find critters. But stop and keep still and the living jewels reveal themselves. Each of our house reef dives averaged 80 minutes or until Yogi ran low on air and grabbed on to my octopus to continue shooting. When he was almost out of air, I always had 100 bars left. I think he married me to have his spare air close by.