Maurine and I, gypsy life-stylists we are, are in the final stages of packing up our belongings and moving everything to a storage locker in preparation for an extended five month adventure to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. We'll start with a week in Bali. Bali is a great place to begin and also recover from jet lag. Hotels are reasonable, food is good and cheap and Bali happens to be home to Pak Ketut, owner of Bodyworks in Ubud, our massage therapist. There's nothing like a deep tissue therapy massage for getting jet lag kinks out and preparing for an adventure.
We begin our diving journey by flying to Manado (Sulawesi Island). From Manado's Minahasa Resort we'll dive the walls and reefs of Bunaken National Park with our long time friends The Diving Docs. A week later everyone will drive across the pennisula and we'll be spending another week hunting & photographing "critters" at Lembeh Island Resort. After the Docs depart M and I will host a Secret Sea Seminar week at the resort. Our seminar series "Revealing the Art in the Animal" or "How to Stop Taking Pictures and Start Creating Images" offers instruction and entertainment to anyone with an interest in the marine environment and under water photography.
Next we'll head to Sorong, Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, for a couple of weeks aboard the private mega-yacht Athena. (If you are interested in knowing more about this incredible vessel just Google "Yacht Athena".) We are guiding the owner around Raja Ampat and down to Triton Bay. Mark Erdmann, head of marine programs in Indonesia for Conservation International, and Gerry Allen, the world's leading tropical marine ichthyologist, will be joining us. One of our goals is finding new species and also documenting the reefs for a future gallery show in New York. BTW, David Doubilet, National Geographic's principal reef photographer, is expected to join us for part of the journey.
After we leave Athena, Maurine and I will be going back to Triton Bay to work on various projects in association with Conservation International. Operations will be based out of CI's new field station located in the heart of the world's richest reefs! We'll be at the station at least a month. We'll have a white Christmas on one of the most beautiful (white) sandy beaches we've ever seen!
Then just after the New Year we'll head to the other side of the island of New Guinea to Papua New Guinea's New Britain Island. There we'll be assisting Howard Hall Productions who are filming the follow up to their award winning DEEP SEA 3D Imax film. Long time friends Howard and Michele want us there not just for our photography skills but more for our "critter-hunting" abilities. Of course we'll have cameras in hand but mainly we'll be scouting subjects for the 3D Imax camera.
We'll be back in the states, if our plans don't change though they often do, sometime in mid-February. We'll be making BLOG postings along the way, so stay tuned for Step Two!