It’s a whole different world!

When you thinking of diving in a tropical location, you think of clear vis, amazing corals, wonderfully bizarre animals and huge schools of fish, right?

Well, next time you have a chance, take it a little farther. Most tropical destinations have mangroves and mangrove channels, that sit where the salt and fresh water meet. Many are pretty shallow, and you can easily explore them by snorkeling. But if you really want to get down there and look closely, take your scuba gear.

By chance I wound up in the mangrove fringing the Utwe Biosphere Reserve with snorkel gear and no camera. What I saw was amazing and I went back, with scuba and camera.

It’s a whole different world.

Fish that we don’t often see on the reef: Humbug and Blacktail Dascyllus, Picassofish, and Monos for instance, corals that are adapted to this very harsh environment and the most amazing sponges. And did I mention the surreal effect of the mangrove roots?

It’s not for everybody, as I said the water is shallow, currents can be fierce and the visibility is usually not crystal. But if you are looking for a new environment to explore, it might be just the thing.

Here are a few photos from my “exploration”:

Humbug Dasycllus

Humbug Dasycllus, Sponges and Nudibrach Egg Sprials

Humbug and Blacktail Dasycllus

Humbug and Blacktail Dasycllus

Mangrove Roots and Sponges

Mangrove Roots and Sponges

Tiny Nudibranch Pair with Eggs on Blue Sponge

Tiny Nudibranch Pair with Eggs on Blue Sponge

Go Diving! :)
Katrina

 
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Diving! Again or Still or Whatever :)

I’ve just spent a couple of excellent weeks diving, with old friends and new. I’m at that really nice place in training a new dive guide, where I need to be there, but he’s almost ready to fly on his own. So I get to dive, watch amazing animals on our incredible reefs, enjoy good company (and lunch!) during the surface intervals and, oh yeah, take pictures. :)

Here’s one that I’ve been try to get for a long time.

Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii)  Being Cleaned

Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii) Being Cleaned

These fish have amazing color and pattern changes. This is a male fish, and he is usually just a dark grey / blue when he is cruising down the reef. That big dorsal fin is normally folded pretty close to his back. When he is courting a female (or maybe establishing territory?) he will turn a fluorescent royal blue with dark stripes and flare his fins. Sometimes just the stripes will fluoresce. This is what he looks like when he is getting a massage in a cleaning station.

I’ve just added about 30 new photos to my gallery. On the home page the photos from the last two weeks are mixed in with the photos from my trip to the US mainland in the spring. If you just want to see the diving photos, select “Ocean” from the Galleries drop down menu.

Enjoy!
Katrina

 
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United Flight Number Change

It’s not a rumor any more.

This was posted yesterday. Check here for the full  post.

UNITED Micronesia Island Hopper Flight Number Changes from late-October 2013

by JL

Update at 0615GMT 20JUL13

UNITED from 27OCT13 is adjusting operational flight numbers for its Micronesia Island Hopper service. Existing Eastbound service from Guam and Micronesian Islands to Honolulu, will switch from UA172 to UA155. Westbound flight from Honolulu and Micronesian Islands to Guam, remains unchanged.

So, if you are having trouble locating United flight 172, try looking for flight 155.

Then book a flight and come see us. :)

Cheers,
Katrina

 
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What DO you do all day??

Besides all of the ordinary things that go with running a small business? I volunteer, a lot!

Yesterday, I spent volunteering with the KIRMA (Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority) Marine Division in their annual survey / cleanup of crown of thorn sea stars.

These sea stars are coral predators, and while they are a natural part of the reef, over population can have disastrous consequences. The good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it :)) is that we didn’t find any crown of thorns in our section of reef.

So what did we see?

The crown of thorns are often found under coral overhangs and other shady places, so I got to do a whole bunch of looking under coral ledges and inside the hiding places created by the piles of coral. I saw LOTS of nudibranchs, a beautiful pin cushion star, a couple of lion fish, some living shells, other innocent sea stars and critters that prefer to avoid the sun, and of course tons of coral and fish. Not a bad way to spend the day!

I didn’t have my camera with me, but if you’d like to see some representative critters, take a look here: Katrina Adams Ocean Photos

Today? It’s the Chamber of Commerce Board meeting (I’m the secretary) and related stuff.

Tomorrow? Don’t know yet, but I”ll bet that there is something.

What DO you do all day?

Whatever it is, enjoy!
Katrina

 
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Katrina’s Spring Adventures!

Well, I’ve had an exciting few weeks and not always in a fun way. The “not in a fun way” part involved multiple computer failures, computer viruses in hotel “business” centers and discovering that Android tablets are useful in a business context – as long as you don’t rely heavily on Microsoft Access data bases. You really don’t want to hear about those trials and tribulations, just know that I’ve got a reliable machine and Internet access again! YEAH!!!

On the fun side, while I was in the Seattle – Tacoma area for the NW Dive & Travel Expo, I made a quick side trip to Kalispell, Montana with my sister. She had business, but I got to roam around, explore and take photos. Kalispell is within spitting distance of Glacier National Park, but the park was still a bit frozen. Instead, I explored Lone Pine State Park right on the edge of Kalispell and got this trailside panorama of the city cradled by the mountain range.

Kalispell from the Trail

Kalispell from the Park Trail

There is a delightful and sly sense of humor in Kalispell, as you can see from these two photos -

Love the Boots!

Love the Boots!

Don't Feed the Bears!

Don’t Feed the Bears!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge “thank you!” to my show “assistants” for all of the great help during the show! Remus (a Kosraean living in the Seattle – Tacoma area), and Wolfe and Donna (who came to help on their way home from their trip to Germany!) did a tremendous job and it was terrific to see you all again!

After the show I drifted down the coast to California, where I got to sail, go to a Scottish festival and experience a Cross Fit class with my kids.

Sailing on SF Bay

Sailing on SF Bay

Finally, on my way home I took some photos of  two of Honolulu’s “personalities”.

Honolulu Sunset

Honolulu Sunset

Honolulu Beach Front Park

Honolulu Beach Front Park

Enough about my adventures!

This weekend, June 8 and 9, Bruce will be staffing the Kosrae Island booth (# 629) at the Long Beach Scuba Show, along with Grant Ismael from the Kosrae Visitors Bureau. We are offering a great show special, so stop, ask questions (book a trip :)) and generally make a nuisance of yourself.

Have a great weekend!
Katrina

PS – We are still looking for a few divers to fill out the October coral monitoring team.

 
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Unofficial FSM National Election Results

For all of you who follow the FSM national elections.

Check this link for the unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

Cheers,
Katrina

 
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Bits and Pieces

Coral Monitoring
People wonder if our coral monitoring program is fun, if there is a lot of diving and if you see new stuff. I think that I can say that the answer is YES!.

Yesterday I went through some of the photos I took during last year’s monitoring session, looking for a parrotfish that I remembered seeing. At the time, I thought that it was a fish that was new to me and I was right. According to some of the information I’ve read, it is not a common fish.

Tan Faced Parrotfish (Chlorurus frontalis)

Tan Faced Parrotfish (Chlorurus frontalis)

If I’ve misidentified it, please let me know.

So, do we have fun? yes! Do we see new stuff? Yes! Do we spend hours in the ocean and work really hard? YES! Come find out for yourself, Oct 5 – 18, 2013.


Photo Gallery
I’ve added some photos to my photo gallery and also a “subscribe” box so that you can be notified when I add new photos. I don’t have access to the email addresses so you don’t have to worry about your address being used for anything else.


Trade Shows
Next month, April 20-21, I will be at the NW Dive and Travel Show in Tacoma, Washington. Stop in to see me if you are in the area.

Cheers!
Katrina

 
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My New Photo Gallery :)

Apologies to you who have already received this through the Kosrae Village newsletter or Facebook page.

I’ve just updated my photo gallery. I’ve added a “Travel” section for the photos that I take when I am away from Kosrae, and a “Favorites” group to highlight the photos that are currently my most hated? nah, probably my most loved. But I’m fickle, today I love you, tomorrow? Well, we’ll see.

Never fear, probably most of YOUR favorites are still in the gallery and there are a whole lot of new ones.

You can get there from the links on the Kosrae Village main site menu or from this blog, just click on Katrina’s Photos in the menu bar. But just in case, here is the address: http://katrina-adams-photography.com.

Enjoy!
Katrina

PS – The one thing that I’m struggling with in the new gallery is the thumbnail structure. It seems to be unrelentingly horizontal and chops photos off in unexpected places. If you see a thumbnail that looks interesting (or really strange :)), click on it to see the real deal.

 
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Solomon Island Tsunami Kosrae Tide Levels

Last year a joint project between KIRMA (Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority), NIWA, SPREP and FSM PACC resulted in the installation of our first ever tide gauge in Lelu Harbor. The project was funded by GEF/UNDP. The tide data is collected every 10 minutes and transmitted to the various offices.

I thought that you might be interested in the following graphic of the sea water height in Lelu Harbor as the tsunami wave passed Kosrae. The red circle marks the point when the wave should have been passing Kosrae and it looks like there was about 2 inch increase in water height at that time.

Kosrae Tide Levels

Kosrae Tide Levels

My thanks to Doug Ramsey at NIWA for creating the graph and the folks at KIRMA and FSM PACC for allowing me to publish it.

Katrina

 
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Solomon Islands Earthquake and Tsunami

Earlier today there was a huge earthquake (8.0) of off the coast of the Solomon Islands. The Solomons are directly south of Kosrae and when the tsunami was generated, Kosrae was included in the warning issued by NOAA’s Tsunami Warning System.

Very fortunately for Kosrae (and us, since we are right on the coast) the wave died out before it reached Kosrae. We are safe and sound, but that is not true of the Solomons and other islands closer to the earthquake.

We are extremely lucky the the warning system exists and even luckier that our local leaders pay attention to this and other warnings.

Katrina

 
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