Unusual Underwater Finds
26 February 2015 | West Shore of Papua Indonesia
The most vivid and unusual sea urchin we have seen in countless hours of snorkeling across half of the planet.
The name New Guinea always had an exotic tone, far away, half way around the world, head hunters. Now, the towering rock cliffs which rise from thick green jungle of western New Guinea is a quarter mile from our anchor. Having become accustom to our primitive surroundings, New York City is now the exotic place on the other side of the planet.
Through Indonesia, we had been reef hopping along the shores of islands to continue our underwater explorations which began far to the north west, in the Raja Ampat area of Indonesia. We have now sailed to Triton Bay, an indentation of the west shore of New Guinea, in a quest to swim with the large Whale Sharks that frequent the area and whatever new discoveries there might be. It would be useless to name all the islands we have been to in this area. Few people have heard of them and they would be very difficult to find on a chart. But if you ever make it here, ask anyone at the newly completed, thatch roofed huts at the SCUBA dive operation named Triton Bay Divers and they can map all the best locations for you.
Just like in Raja Ampat, the discovery of completely unique marine life continues. No where in the world have I ever seen a 2.5" diameter, royal blue color, sea urchin with vertical rows of short spines like the one pictured above. We have now found only a few on only one remote reef. But we recently saw in a reef guide that they are found from here westward towards the Indian ocean. For a short while, we thought we had a completely unique creature in our camera lens.
Rebecca certainly has the eye for the tiniest of marine animals and those larger fish which are well camouflaged. I would not get one quarter of my unusual images if it were not for her microscopic and camouflage-penetrating vision. As an example, to the right, in the Photo Gallery, in the Triton Bay Underwater folder, see if you can pick out the Scorpion Fish in the newest addition of images.
The water temperature here is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, we use light weight wet suits as we can be in the water for 4 hours at a time. There are a lot of nutrients in the water so the visibility is only about 30'.