Early January 2017. It is Friday and Racha Noi day in Chalong with Seabees diving. For Natasha and me it is also our last diving day of this holiday as we need to fly back to Almaty Kazakhstan to take on our professional duties (which for the time being are not yet full time diving). The tour leader on the Excalibur II is Alexander Schepens. Also today he had a marvellous team of dive instructors on the boat as always….and not by accident(;,. We are lucky to have also Jeffrey Davies, one of the worlds famous Nudibranch experts on the boat….and while we are not diving in the same “dive group” we decided to be diving closely together. Good specialists together see more then on their own….l’union fait la force
The first dive is at Maritta Rock. Natasha and I are diving with Alexander as our dive instructor and with Nick another “loyal” seabees diver. As we decent into the crystal clear water we enjoy the big boulders and soon we are at +- 23 meter. On the edge of a very big boulder Jeff is photographing the Chromodoris Hintuanensis. For me it is the first time I see this nudibranch in Phuket. I take 3 pictures with my Nikon D800 at F16 and 1/200 at ISO200.
After the dive also Jeff can not immediately remember the name and when he has seen the Hintuanensis the last time….turns out that in 2008 he posted the last sighting on Nudipixel. Very happy to have found a for us “new species”. We finish a very nice first dive of the day.
After lunch we do the second dive of the day at Racha Noy “Natka Rock”….always quite and “easy”…..but never boring and always ready for some new “news”. We frankly called the dive site like this as the Thai name we always forget ….and as it is next to “Maritta rock”…and Natka is my better second half and super dive lady and dive partner.
This time Natka and I dive with Alexander, Nick and Ladina. What a big surprise when we find after a few minutes already another Chromodoris Hintuanensis, this time a very juvenile one. Also new, at least for us is that in this specimen the rhinophores are disproportionately developed. Be it an aberation of nature or a “normal” evolution where juveniles have when they are very young disproportionate rhinophores we do not know yet…..so if you have any inside on this just let us know.
On the same dive day we found for us 3 more “new species” of nudibranches that at least Natasha , Alexander, Ladina and I have never seen on Racha Noy…..more on this in some later post.
Enjoy the beauty of the see….
@ All for a smile