Tuesday, March 31, 2009
8th Annual Sonoran Festival of Fine Art
April 3 - 5, 10AM - 5PM daily
Carefree Town Center
More Information: http://www.sonoranartsleague.org/
Come out and enjoy the great weather, exquisite art and charming streets of downtown Carefree. The Sonoran Arts League hosts the Event at Carefree Town Center Festival, featuring 100 local and nationally-acclaimed artists, food booths, entertainment, and exhibits dedicated to wildlife and desert preservation. In addition, Carefree Farmer's Market will take place in conjunction with the Festival in the Carefree Town Center Amphitheater. The easiest way to get there is to head North on Scottsdale Road (Which turns into Tom Darlington) to the town of Carefree and follow the signs. The Festival is located at the sundial in the center of town on Easy Street which is just south of the Tom Darlington and Cave Creek Rd. intersection. We hope to see you there.
"RAJA AMPAT TURTLE"
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Don’t let the rubbish, sometimes low visibility and remoteness of this diving destination scare you away. If you are an underwater photographer or just a diver that likes seeing the strangest and rarest creatures in the underwater world, then Lembeh is a must dive location. You will see more new types of marine life on your first dive than many will see in years of diving. It is referred to as muck diving because of the often poor visibility and garbage in the water that primarily comes from the major port city of Bitung. But the many species of frog fish, seahorses, scorpionfish, leaf fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, nudibrachs and pipefish have adapted in very unique ways to this environment and use it as an advantage. The most important key to a successful Lembeh diving trip is to have an experienced dive guide with a very keen eye because camouflage is the method of choice for most of the marine life.
You can read my entire trip report about Lembeh and the NAD-Lembeh Resort on my website at http://www.scubarews.com/About_the_Artist.html#Trip_Reports . Here is a brief summary of that report:
All of the resorts on the Lembeh Strait are within 10-20 minute boat rides of the good dive sites, so when I chose my home base for diving my main criteria was reasonable price, photo facilities, and good dive guides. The budget friendly eco-resort NAD-Lembeh satisfied my top criteria and exceeded expectations in many other areas including the food. Seasoned underwater photography and video veterans Mike Veitch and Simon Buxton recently took over co-management of the resort. If you frequent wetpixel.com forums you probably know these two characters or have at least read their informative and sometimes entertaining posts. Their combined experience and personalities make them great hosts for any diver, but especially serious photographers.
In 4 short days of diving I logged 12 dives and over 13 hours in this immaculate muck. While here I left my camera set up for macro the entire time with my 105mm lens on my Nikon D300 in a Sea&Sea housing with dual YS120 strobes and fisheye focus light. A 60mm lens would have been great on some of the dives because the octopus and some of the fish are a little too large for the 105mm. But I was able to get nearly everything on my macro muck list including several types of pygmy seahorses, Pegasus sea moths, Ambon scorpionfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, Banggai cardinalfish, mandarinfish, snake eels, dragonets, lionfish, octopus, giant frogfish, pipefish, mantis shrimp, waspfish, lionfish, and a plethora of colorful nudibranchs. This was my second trip to Lembeh and the muck diving was even better than I remembered and my stay at NAD-Lembeh a pleasant surprise.