Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Axe Murderer Tours in Stars & Stripes!!!!!

I got an e-mail from my friend who I took diving a couple weeks ago. You'll remember he's the one who lives in Japan and works for Stars and Stripes - the military newspaper. He saw my blog and wrote me to ask who he could go diving with when he came to Saipan in a few weeks. We had a couple great Grotto dives together, and thoroughly enjoyed our time. I didn't realize he had taken a few pictures of me while we were diving. So in his e-mail he asked if he could use the pictures of me for something he's putting in Stars and Stripes for the Augst 12th edition. So Saipan and the Grotto will be getting some international exposure to military personnnel from his story and pictures. Things like this are worth their weight in gold promotionally for Saipan. I'm beginning to think the government should just hire me to replace Marianas Visitors Authority. I'm a heck of a lot cheaper and will probably get just as much publicity for the islands. In the picture above, I was busy doing what I'm almost always doing down there these days, taking pictures of nudibranchs. And speaking of nudibranchs, Saipan has been getting a lot of interest on the internet as a result of the nudibranch pictures I've been posting to different sites lately. The picture above is when I was taking Doug outside the Grotto for a look around. Needless to say I'm quite excited about the pictures and story being in Stars and Stripes, and Axe Murderer Tours may soon have more business than I know what to do with. Too bad I don't charge anything for my dive services, I might be able to buy myself lunch one of these days if I did. So on August 12th, you can go to the online version of Stars & Stripes to see the pictures and the story. Many thanks to Doug Johnson for taking the pictures in the blog entry for today and then agreeing to let me use them.

Seriously CNMI government, if you really want to save some money, you could hire me to keep promoting Saipan through my blog instead of all that money you spend on MVA. You can just pretend that I wouldn't keep doing it for free anyway. I'm telling you though, I think you'd get much better bang for your buck! And Angelo can't understand why this seems to be the favorite Saipan blog. Sorry pal, you kill innocent grass and scare trees to death, I play free tour guide and bring Saipan lots of great exposure. Promote Saipan - vote Harry's World!

New Nudi's

Sunday I decided I was just going to look for nudibranchs in the Grotto, to see how many different kinds I could find. I wasn't really looking for the Halgerda guahan and malesso, but I found them anyway in spots I hadn't seen them before. But again, not in anywhere near the numbers I saw last weekend. And since I did discover several new egg ribbons, I believe that my theory holds about last weekend being some kind of designated reproduction weekend on the Halgerda calendar. It could be a total coincidence but someone up in the parking lot had "I Like the Way You Move" the Earth, Wind & Fire version playing really loud with their doors open and windows down. Maybe that inspired the nudibranch's the previous weekend, after all they do have some very fluid moves. But the point here is that I was looking for other nudibranchs, and much to my amazement, I actually found some of the tiny little critters. The amazing thing to me is that these guys are between 1/4" to 1/2" in length. They are so small they just look like little blurs to me without my reading glasses, but then when I can blow the picture up on the computer screen, these are what they look like, amazingly detailed little creatures. I still have no idea what the nudibranch in the top picture is, so if you know please leave a comment and enlighten me. I do now know that the second nudibranch, the orange one with white bumps with pink on them is a Cadlinella ornatissima, thanks to Erwin Kodiat at nudipixel.net. If you'd like to check out my nudibranchs there, you can go to my gallery. I've got to believe though that for every one that I manage to find and see, there are probably at least 50 that I've missed. That's why I'm still looking for a seeing eye diver, someone with better eyes than me who can point me in the right direction. One of the authors of the books who is using several of my pictures has suggested that we start compiling a list of all known nudibranchs in Saipan. He said it appears we may have some that are significantly different than others known in other parts of the world, and having a database of them would be very usefull for researchers. I wholeheartedly agree, and plan on seeing what I can do to get all nudibranch photographers interested to cooperate in the project. Plus it will be one more way to get Saipan on the map, and on the internet. The nudibranch in the picture above was just identified by Bill Rudman on the Sea Slug Forum as a Chromodoris cf. lochi, as he put it, "for lack of a real name". We're going to put Saipan on the map with nudibranchs, just as soon as I get my seeing eye diver!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of these beautiful little creatures that most people don't even realize exist. And if you enjoyed them, remember, vote for Harry's World!