Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
February 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Dive Into Ambon; Maluku Resort & Spa, Indonesia

a psychedelic experience without drugs

from the February, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Subscriber Content Preview
Only active subscribers can view the whole article here

Dear Fellow Diver:

I returned from my first day of diving off the island of Ambon to find a big, red-haired Viking from Finland I'll call Aleksi regaling our congenial dive hosts, a big, easy-going former Londoner, Kaj (pronounced "Kai") Maney and his vivacious Aussie partner, Barb Makohin. The table before him was littered with empty bottles of "Big" Bintang beer. The grinning Finn explained that he possessed the directions to find an ultra-rare psychedelic frogfish, first discovered in 2009. He had flown in for a few days on news that the frogfish had returned. He had reconnoitered the location and was now happy to share it with Kaj, a long-time friend.

Dive Ambon ResortThe next morning Aleksi pointed out a stand of palms to triangulate the "secret" spot. Within minutes, I beheld the pink- and white-striped psychedelic frogfish -- a mesmerizing peppermint swirl of color straight out of a '60s Jefferson Airplane poster -- not seen since 2014, and before that, not since it was discovered in Ambon on the north rim of the Banda Sea. Taking turns, the three other divers patiently waited while I enjoyed photographic ecstasy with my all-purpose Nikon 60mm macro lens. She was a female behaving in typical frogfish manner, staring fixedly upward, nestled in a protected nook.

Our two guides gave me plenty of reasons to be flying high, skillfully pointing out such critters as delicately colored nudibranchs, a juvenile painted frogfish, lacy ribbons of eggs, a spiny devilfish, and many others I have yet to identify -- the Tropical Pacific Reef Fish Identification book labels some fish as simply "undescribed." The two other sites we dove that day were Laha III and Laha I, both in 30 to 40 feet of water near a turn in the bay that sheltered a small fleet of local fishing boats. The currents were crazy. Because of the locals' habit of tossing trash into the ocean, the bottom held a sandy swirl of "cultural artifacts" that made for challenges when photographing the giant frogfish, Pikachu nudibranch, rhinopias, leaf fish, ornate ghost pipefish, flatworms and schools of scadfish. By day's end, my camera card was loaded with 350 photos, almost exclusively creatures and fish, since hard and soft corals were scarce on these sandy-bottomed muck dives. (Bob Halstead, that Aussie curmudgeon, gets credit for coining the term "muck dives.)...

Subscribers: Read the full article here

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2019 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.