Hiking on the Great Wall

great story of my travelling daughter

Travel - Savour - Perspire - Live

A little something I wrote on the 30th of October.

thumb_img_8373_1024 #tbt halloween – selfie with the cops

“I’ve just had the most mesmerising day. After only having slept for two and a half hours because there was a Halloween party the night before, we headed towards the Great Wall. And no, not the touristy bit, but the ruins. First 40 min on the subway, then an hour and a half on a bus (that we got  scammed off of haha we got woken up and we thought the driver was saying we already arrived… They were just guys that wanted to drive us there instead hah so we just took the next bus 😉 ) Anyways, after the bus ride we had another hour and a half cab ride to the middle of nowhere. We walked up to part of the wall where we could get on. It’s almost literally…

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Racha Yai – Wreck diving

The day could not have been better….

As we started our last diving day end of October 2016 the weather had just
turned from low to high season and the see was flat. While i always enjoy
macro photography I promised my better second half I would put my wide angel
lens on for the last dive. 
We were on the Marco - Polo for our last dive day. We were not at the "usual"
boy but dropped right above the wreck. We let our colleague divers on the 
boat go first and after 10 min we also dropped in. 
Magic happened with no other divers, a perfect late son and a great dive 
group with Nick, Natka and Alexander Schepens.

Halgerda, a dream in orange to enjoy

Halgerda Bacalusia – Phi Phi Island – Turtle Rock – found by Alexander

Halgerda is a genus of sea slugs, dorid nudibranchs, shell-less marine gastropod mollusks in the family Discodorididae…..wow this is a mouth full when you check out Wikipedia.


The ovate bodies of the members of this nudibranch family are covered with dorsal tubercles and ridges. the rhinophores and the gills are retractable and mostly white with dark brown to black lines. Members of this genus are oval in shape with the mantle overlaying the foot. They feed normally on sponges creating often a nice background for underwater photographers. There are a lot of species already named but if anything there are still quite some of them out there not named at all. Do you want to take on the challenge and eternalise your name with one of these beauties baring your name ?

All my pictures are taken in Phuket and Similan Islands. Friends informed me that they also got some nice shots from Indonesia so more beauty to come …

Halgerda Stricklandi  Phi Phi Island – Turtle rock – found by George
Halgerda Stricklandi – Similan Islands


Juvenile hiding behind Mommie….

Enjoy a fantastic Sunday

© All for a smile





Jan 1th 2016 ….Cuthona Sibogae

_JKS3706 - Version 5During old years day, december 31th of 2015 we had a hec of a diving day in the ” Northern part of the Similans”.  During the day we had likely the strongest “current” dive out of my 450 + dive history. We jumped at the Koh Tachai pinnacle without being at the mooring line. And while we jumped close to the mooring line a mooring line has never been further away. We were swimmng  against the current to finally reach the line. It was like running a 100 meter sprint that turned into a 400 m steeple chase. 60 Bar later we had protection down there behind the rocks. When we came up the wind blow stronger and Nelson , the Marco Polo tourleader, decided to go straight to Surin so that we could try on new years day to get to the famous Richelieu Rock.

Jan 1th 2016…..04.00 am (did we sleep already…?) the captain is leaving the protected bay in Surin to make way to Richelieu. An hour later we are back on the bay. The waves are simply too big and while we could get there diving would be not safe. So we celebrate our first dive of the year in Surin. Guess whom we meet under the water…our good friend Ricardo from the Giamani is wishing us with a perfect side mount trim “happy new-year” under the water…..

Later that day the wind is calming down and we make our way to Richelieu Rock. Our dive  there turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. 20 min in the dive this nudibranch Cuthona Sibogae is welcoming us in his house together with his/her partner._JKS3708

They are moderately large aeolid nudibranch in which the cerata are arranged in about eight fan-like clusters on each side of the body. The cerata are cylindrical, tapering at the tip to a rounded point. The general body colouration is pale lilac purple. The oral tentacles and the upper half of the slender smooth rhinophores are a reddish purple. The cerata are similar in colour to the body except for a bright golden yellow tip and a band just below the yellow tip which ranges from deep reddish purple to deep purple. Many of the smaller outer cerata in each row are golden yellow with nno purplish basal region. It grows to 35mm in length. It is usually found associated with its food, an orange hydroid, Sertularella quadridens.

Thanks to Alexander and the entire Marco-Polo crew under leadership of Nelson and Anita for showing is this wonderful Nudibranch. Enjoy.


_JKS3706 - Version 5

© All for a smile,


2016….of to a strong start

2016 is of to a strong start. Since December 29th 2015 I had the pleasure, the honour and the fatherly duty to spent time with my son Alexander in Similans and Phuket ….mostly under the water. This small blog is merely a teaser as I have to catch a plane early tomorrow morning.


We had a fantastic trip to the Similans and did some great dives in Phuket including the Tinn Lizzy in Nai Yang….a bit like Nudi Garden in the part of the world. In net I will be writing some blogs on Nudis and other “macro” stuff but we saw also some “big stuf” like the giant leopard shark that was waiting for us at Anemone reef._JKS4283

Enjoy a small sneak preview and we will be back shortly.

© All for a smile






Barracuda point – Sipadan

Almaty…it is snowing this morning. Yesterday one thought it would soon be spring with 16 degrees over lunch. Today we ‘ll go skiing. One more busy workweek ahead and then we start packing for our christmas holidays in Belgium – Thailand and Almaty. Last year we spent Christmas time in Borneo. In last post I shared with you our Turtle Tomb dive.

Today I want to share with you some pictures of another dive-site in Sipadan called Barracuda point. A 3 min boat ride from the Island at the edge of the submerged reef is a great adventurous dive site called Barracuda Point…..because guess what …very often you encounter …indeed Barracuda’s.

When we jumped we got in the middle of big school of Jackfish who were near the surface. As the dive continued below us at 23-28 meter we saw quite some white-tip sharks, and in the blue on left shoulder also a few bigger grey reef sharks….._DSC7729as we approached the last 20 min of the dive we entered a “high current” type of street and there they were Thousands of 1 to 1.25 m barracuda’s …graciously swimming in the current. As we approached them they started circling and formed a true tornado to maximise the oxygen in their gills…. another unforgettable diving experience. A must for advanced divers.

© All for a smile



© All for a smile

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