My upcycling vision and notice board is ready for #boomboomblog2022 by @sympatexter
Judith came up with a very interesting topic for soul searching as well as writing. For me, these two are linked anyway. You can read all about it in German on Sunday, 29th of May 2022.
Even though I still publish on our English blog "Dive, travel, connect & protect" I feel quite stuck with my creative writing. Lots of our late postings were based on Yoeri's YouTube series "Take a Minute to Relax". I love them (clips and stories) as I always learn a lot about the underwater world.
However, my last German post on "Blog: Abgetaucht" was in July 2021. Somehow it feels like a lifetime away. 2020 I had a real run. I'd like to jump back into that playful, cheerful and positive mood and just write like I don't care.
I am looking forward to the inspiration and motivation created by such a challenge. Let's go with the flow!
#visionboard #blog #writing #creativewriting #yourstory #gowiththeflow #devotion #devocean #unstuckyourself #Inspiration #motivation #challenge #soulsearching
🐢 World Endangered Species Day
🧐 Not a very happy affair as species are listed as endangered when they are likely to become extinct in the near future. This can be due to the loss of habitat in general or the loss of too many individuals to keep up a healthy gene pool.
👉 The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) records the global conservation status of many species in the so-called Red List of Threatened Species. Another abbreviating playing a crucial role in trying to manage the decline of biodiversity is CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention). CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect such endangered plants and animals.
🏝 For Statia, Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback Sea Turtles are listed under Appendix I of this treaty. Commercial trade in wild-caught specimens of these species, about 1,200, is illegal (permitted only in exceptional licensed circumstances).
📸 Let's only take pictures or ban them on posters to raise awareness about their status. Most importantly, we work towards protecting whole habitats as this will profit not only the one species listed as endangered, but the ecosystem as a whole. After all, we don't have the data to determine correctly if "a population has declined between 50 and 70 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer" in order for them to qualify as being endangered.
🐙 One thing is for sure: Yoeri counts as his own species! And encountering turtles - no matter if while diving, snorkelling or swimming around Statia - is a very special experience as they might just come to check you out.
💙 Learn more about "Statia's sea turtles 1: Species, sex & individuals" on our blog "Dive, travel, connect & protect" (link in bio).
🙏 Special thanks to Andy for taking this picture many moons ago.
#statia #worldendangeredspeciesday #endangered #endangeredspecies #statia #eustatius #devocean #devotion #turtle #hawksbill #seaturtle #diving #marinepark #yoeribulk #cites #iucn #blog #conservationstatus #caribbean #caribbeannetherlands #dutchcaribbean #tauchen #scuba
Moon meditation! What I recently learnt: Every lunar eclipse is called a blood moon and every full moon has its own name.
🌕 As this month it was the flower moon, I did evening meditations out in the garden right next to my favourite flower.
😊 So proud I grew this one successfully from a cut off branch. I also reproduced other plants and gave them a new home in our big garden.
🌪 All this and more I wanted to share with you in my first proper IG story ever. After hours (so it felt) with uploading 8 pictures, adding stickers and text describing my gardening and upcycling project, it had all disappeared ...
🌈 Luckily, meditating helps me to accept what happens, to stay calm and breathe.
🌞 At least, I practiced using the business suite and its tools. I shall give it another try tomorrow. For now, I go out into the garden to feel the sunshine.
#fullmoon #meditation #flower #flowermoon #devocean #devotion #Statia #Eustatius #caribbean #nightsky #gardening #breathing #shithappens
Chilling in the sun! Happy Sunday 🌄
🌱 When watering our vegetable garden yesterday we disturbed a Red-bellied Racer (Alsophis rufiventris) sunbathing. Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera ready. The one on the picture we spotted up on the path to Mazinga the highest point of the volcano Quill on St. Eustatius.
🐍 This harmless snake species can be found only on Statia and Saba these days, after the Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) was introduced on St. Kitts and Nevis over 150 years ago. Meant to kill the poisonous snakes on plantations as it is immune to them, the mongoose didn't stop there. The carnivorous mammal reproduced happily wiping out all snakes on the islands.
📣 A good reminder to not mess with the balance within ecosystems by introducing alien species.
🌳 On Statia and Saba, the racer plays a key role in regulating small reptile and amphibian populations. Even though threatened by other invasive species like black rats (Rattus rattus) and cats (Felis catus) the population was considered stable. Therefore, the @International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded the status of the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable" in 2016.
🌬 But then Irma and Maria, two category 5 hurricanes, hit both islands in 2017 causing a lot of damage to the ecosystems. Loss of habitat, reduced number of prey, and direct mortality of racers raised concerns.
📉 Hannah Madden from the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI) and Lara Mielke from Saba Conservation Foundation joined forces to conduct a survey using line transects in different vegetation types. Density estimates for Statia (2019) are lower than Saba (2021), although both are in decline according to the researchers. Unfortunately, there is not enough data from before the hurricanes for modelling the trend in detail. They published an article on the website of the @dcnanature too. Just go to dcnanature.org/red-bellied-racer to read the details.
😍 In any case, we call ourselves lucky to have one in the garden. 🤞 for pictures!
#racer #snake #quill #stanapa #dcna #cnsi #Eustatius #Statia #naturenews #caribbean #redbellied #devocean #devotion #Saba #iucn #vulnerable #enda
Unless you are invited! 😆
Or you bring some food along! 😋
Throwback Thursday: Amed, Bali, Indonesia spring 2020
The island is in a soft lockdown. Under the cover of darkness, we venture out for a dive.
At first, the coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) grabbed his shells - there are not always coconut husks available - to seek shelter. As soon as he noticed that my focus light was attracting tiny worms and other plankton he let down his guard though. Making use of my presence, he caught as much as he could while the water was rushing by. The strong and changing currents occurring day and night in the bay of Amed, Bali, often made it a little tricky to photograph.
Octopus, cuttlefish and squid are in a class of their own in multiple ways. Classified as cephalopods they lack a backbone in their soft bodies but show remarkable intelligence for invertebrates. These savvy softies arouse a great deal of interest in divers and scientists alike.
Read more about these wonderful creatures and their magical transformations in "Savvy softies: Octopus, cuttlefish and squid" on our website (link in bio: Photography → Underwater photography).
#amed #Bali #indonesia #coconutoctopus #octopus #softies #devocean #devotion #warmregards #postcard #greetings #postkarten #diving #tauchen #duiken #plongee #bucear #menyelam #scuba #macro #nightdiving #Amphioctopusmarginatus #Amphioctopus #islandlife #inselleben #lockdown #2020 #throwbackthursday #tbt #cephalopod
To new beginnings: This one comes with a hammock from where we can see Statia's volcano The Quill and the ocean!
😍 Pure bliss and gratitude
💃This little white house on the prairie we make our home now. And we even have a bed for guests!
🙏 Manifestation at its best! This house and garden offers all we envisioned over the last months - and more.
🚗 First time in my life, I own a car. Okay, we own a car together. In any case, our Lola even has a garage now!
🌱 Off to find spots for all the plants and herbs of my moveable garden now.
🏵 Celebrate your weekend and create the life YOU want to live!
#newbeginnings #manifestation #plants #garden #home #homesweethome #statia #sinteustatius #steustatius #Eustatius #caribbean #caribbeannetherlands #dutchcaribbean #celebrate #createyourlife #celebrateyourlife #volcano #quill #hammock #oceanview #seaview #weekendvibes #envision #gratitude #bliss #lifeworthliving #devotion #devocean #islandlife #inselleben
Every end is a new beginning! 🍀
Thank you so much, Josiane and Steve, for inviting us in your house, 🙏 for offering the opportunity to settle on Statia 🏝 and for giving us time to search for our own little place. 🌈
Enjoy your wonderful home and we wish you many, many spectacular sunsets to come! 🌅
#Statia #sinteustatius #Eustatius #steustatius #caribbeannetherlands #caribischnederland #dutchcaribbean #caribbean #Netherlands #islandlife #inselleben #Karibik #sunset #palm #palmtree #palme #sonnenuntergang #devotion #devocean #saba #home #homeawayfromhome #thankyou #thankful #friends #everyendisanewbeginning #newbeginning #end #endofday #eveningsky
This relaxing Minute features a colourful character, and its relationship with anemones, as well as certain coral species, and even some sea cucumbers: Harlequin Crab (Lissocarcinus laevis). In it, we see a Harlequin crab caught with its hand in the cookie jar, as it tries to get to some food before the anemone can eat it.
As we look closely at this little scoundrel, we can see that the last hind legs are larger and flatter than the other ones. This is because they belong to the Portunidae family, also known as swimming crabs. With these flattened hind legs, these creatures are capable of swimming through the water column, when the need arises. However, like most swimming crabs, Lissocarcinus laevis prefers to keep its feet firmly on the seafloor, or on its host for that matter. But it’s nice to have options.
This small, yet ornate species of swimming crab has a very smooth, reddish, light brown carapace with large white to yellow spots and markings which are often interconnected. So smooth in fact, that their genus name actually means „smooth crab“. Its claws are banded with white and brown/red bands. The females can be slightly larger than the males and can grow to a width of about 3,5cm, with a body that is wider than it is long.
As with most crustaceans, after the eggs are fertilised by the male, they’re carried under the body of the female, who will protect and oxygenate them, until it’s time to release them. Once they hatch, the larvae go through a pelagic phase of several weeks, before settling down and growing into their adult form.
All about the symbiotic relationship underneath this clip on our YouTube channel or in the blog posting in "Dive, travel, connect & protect" (links in bio).
#crab #harlequin #swimmingcrab #harlequincrab #Lissocarcinuslaevis #indonesia #Bali #amed #blog #youtube #videoseries #devotion #devocean #symbiosis #anemone #diving #underwatervideo #underwater #uwvideo #uwclip #TakeaMinute #symbioticrelationship #macro #panasoniclumix #ghs5 #nauticam #archon #marinefacts #marineinfo #foodfight
Barracuda 27th of January 2015.
This picture and information are helping to build up a bigger and less invasive database of Statia's sea turtles.
Photo ID allows identifying and tracking individual turtles without ever touching them. And every diver and snorkeler with a camera can help to collect data. Just don‘t touch or harass them!
Identifying individual animals allows @stenapastatia to gather information about their moving patterns and preferences. Such data is helping scientists and conservationists to better understand the life cycle and behaviour of the animal in question.
The scales on the side of the face of any turtle are as individual as a fingerprint. As shown in the pictures, it is important to capture the side profile. Ideally even both sides of the turtle‘s face are photographed, but it will also work fine with just one. The more pictures we all send, the better the algorithm gets.
Share your photos: email@example.com
Whenever possible add the time, date and dive site the picture was taken. If you don‘t have that (exact) data anymore, don‘t worry. Every entry helps. If you are filming, just take a screenshot of the side profile. Make sure you credit your picture before handing it in as STENAPA doesn‘t have the capacity to keep track of the source of all photographs.
The bigger the database, the more precisely STENAPA can follow Statia‘s sea turtles around the island and maybe even the whole Caribbean if databases are linked with other islands in the future. Thank you for your interest and participation!
More information on how to identify different species as well as the sex of a turtle in our latest blog entry: "Statia's sea turtles 1: Species, sex & individuals" (link to "Dive, travel, connect & protect" in bio).
#turtle #seaturtle #marineturtle #photoid #photoidentification #uwphotography #uwpic #underwaterphoto #statia #eustatius #steustatius #sinteustatius #caribbeannetherlands #caribbean #stenapa #caribischnederland #Nederland #islandlife #inselleben #devotion #devocean #oceanlovers #naturelovers #dutchcaribbean #marinepark #animallover #dive #travel #protect #connect
We present one of the many Caribbean hermit crabs (Coenobita clypeatus), also known as the soldier crab, West Atlantic crab, tree crab, or purple pincher that can be found all over Statia, even inside the crater of the Quill.
Adults burrow and hide under the roots of large trees. When they are out and about and people pass by, they usually retreat into their shells which often results in the crab rolling downhill. So if you hear "rolling stones" on St. Eustatius, take a second look.
Like other terrestrial crabs, they can breathe air thanks to modified gills. Their shells help to keep the humidity necessary for the gas exchange to function properly.
In this picture is the shell mostly used by the hermits on Statia: Cittarium pica, the West Indian top shell or magpie shell, is a large edible sea snail. Hermits can use their larger (usually left) claw to cover the aperture of the shell for protection against predators.
Caribbean hermit crabs feed on animals and plant remains, overripe fruit, and faeces of other animals. Females release fertilized eggs into the ocean. The spawning happens on certain nights, usually around August.
We shall keep an eye out for this event and are looking forward to meeting many more Coenobita clypeatus while walking, hiking and even trail running this wonderful Caribbean island.
Species: C. clypeatus
#crab #hermit #hermitcrab #caribbean #caribbeanhermitcrab #soldiercrab #shell #eyes #statia #steustatius #eustatius #sinteustatius #dutchcaribbean #caribbeannetherlands #devotion #devocean #quill #leaves #nature #decapoda #crustacea #hiking #walking #trailrunning #experiencenature #lovenature #naturefacts #treecrab #travel2022 #animallover
One year ago Yoeri and I went on tour de Netherlands multiple times to take in all the beauty of spring. The following story was published in our blog "Dive, travel, connect & protect" as "Fly over a flower field in the Netherlands":
This small nation’s passion for cultivating flowers really started to take on epic proportions after Tulips were introduced in the mid 16th century. These iconic “Dutch” flowers originated and were imported from, the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey and beyond). Their popularity increased noticeably, after famed Dutch gardener Carolus Clusius started experimenting with tulips, and wrote what’s considered the first major book about the flower. Recognising the flower’s potential, he began planting specialised tulip nurseries around the time he became the director of the University of Leiden’s botanical gardens, in 1593.
In the mid-1600s, the Dutch enjoyed a period of unmatched wealth and prosperity. Newly independent from Spain, Dutch merchants grew rich in trade through the Dutch East India Company. With money to spend, art and exotica became fashionable collector’s items. That’s how the Dutch became fascinated with rare “broken” tulips, bulbs that produced striped and speckled flowers.
Carolus Clusius’ accomplishments at Leiden had eventually allowed others to replicate his work, leading to the creation of the Dutch tulip industry. By the early 17th century, tulip breeding and cultivation had developed into a highly profitable commercial sector, and the price of Dutch bulbs rapidly went sky high. At the time, tulip bulbs were worth more than gold and were sold for 10 times what a commoner made in a year! This boom eventually led to an unavoidable economic crisis in 1636, known as “Tulip Mania”, where the value of tulip bulbs suddenly collapsed, consequently bankrupting countless investors, cultivators and traders.
Continue reading on our blog (link in bio). Just search for tulips or go back to August 3rd 2021.
#tulips #flowers #field #flowerfield #dutch #netherlands #spring #grow #tulip #Holland #fields #floriculture #windmill #colours #pattern #devotion #devocean #history #blog #dutch #love #pink #red #rose #purple #green
No matter what the story of this egg may be, Easter on Sint Eustatius was a whole new experience.
From our first egg roll at the Welsh's home up at the Quill to party beats at the beach in Lower Town.
Thank you Statia for new Easter perspectives and a good time!
We missed the early morning parade - next year.
#cow #chicken #chickenandcow #egg #easter #eggroll #easterparty #whathappened #statia #sinteustatius #steustatius #Eustatius #caribbean #dutchcaribbean #caribbeannetherlands #caribischnederland #easter22 #withoutwords #islandlife #quill #lowertown #oranjestad
This time in „Take a Minute to Relax“ we present coral reef life in the shallows (Wakatobi, Sulawesi, Indonesia) and invite you to breathe. As we have been writing about „The reefs of Wakatobi“ in episode XI and „Coral Reef Protection“ in episode XXV of our series, we focus on the power of breathing. After all, it is a minute to relax. Enjoy!
We as humans don’t need to think about breathing, we even continue to breathe when we are unconscious (involuntary breathers). Dolphins, on the other hand, are voluntary breathers, meaning they have to decide when to take a breath. Becoming aware of how we breathe and how breathing is connecting our body and mind is useful not only while diving. Our breath is controlled by the respiratory centre of the brain.
Automatically, we don’t need to do anything – but we can. When we feel stressed, our breathing pattern and rate change, also automatically as part of the evolutionary “fight-or-flight response”. We are taking shallow and rapid breaths into the chest rather than all the way into our bellies. That’s a natural response to be ready and alert. It can, however, increase the level of stress if we start to feel uncomfortable with this breathing pattern itself or have the feeling of not getting enough air.
All too often this process happens without us even recognising the connection to breathing, after all, there’s something else on our mind at that moment. At a time like that, body functions such as the response of the immune system or digestion, are having a lower priority. So, not a healthy state to be in for very long. We all have been overwhelmed by situations and emotions one way or another. Madly crying, highly agitated or simply furious, all have an impact on our breathing.
Story continues underneath this clip on our YouTube channel, in our blog "Dive, travel, connect & protect" as well as on the website (videography > Take a Minute to Relax) - all links in bio.
#TakeaMinute #relax #breathe #devotion #devocean #wakatobi #sulawesi #indonesia #shallows #reef #coralreef #reeftop #reefswim #underwatervideo #videoseries #uwvideo #fightorflight #justbreathe #relaxation #diving #tauchen #bucear #plongee #menyalam #
Supermacro! Meet the miniature version of Shaun the Sheep while diving in Bali. Yes, they also exist in other areas within the coral triangle, but the shallow bay of Ames offers a lot of encounters. As long as you can spot these tiny fellows of no more than 5 mm.
The following Yoeri wrote in his wonderful video clip with two of these snails with the scientific name, Costasiella kuroshimae, in episode VI of his series of "Take a Minute to Relax":
"The Costasiella kuroshimae is a species of opisthobranch that is categorized as a sacoglossan sea slug, or sap-sucking slug, due to its feeding behaviour. They can be found “grazing” on algae leaves, which earned them the nickname “Leaf Sheep”. Although most people these days know this creature under the name “Shaun the Sheep”, due to the uncanny likeness in “facial” expressions to the famous TV animation character. It is its adorable likeness that makes them one of the most famous nudibranchs today.
This big superstar can grow up to a whopping 5 mm in size! So in order to fully enjoy an encounter with this aquatic “Shaun the Sheep”, one is advised to bring a magnifying glass. Otherwise, one might be left with the same blank “Shaun the Sheep” expression on one’s face, when a dive guide points happily to a greenish speck on a leaf of algae.
This tiny creature has the ability to extract the chloroplasts from the food it eats, and store them in its appendages, also known as cerata. This process is called kleptoplasty, and it enables “Shaun” to harvest/feed of the energy that is released by the photosynthesis of these accumulated chloroplasts. A pretty clever way to go about it, as you’re never really sure when the next meal will be!"
More marine information and wonderful footage on our YouTube channel (link in bio). Subscribe for more ocean relaxation and information!
Thank you and have a wonderful week!
#macro #supermacro #underwater #diving #scubadiving #scuba #bali #amed #Indonesia #takeaminute #devotion #devocean #oceanschool #marinefacts #marineinfo #travel #unterwasser #nudi #slug #snail #shaunthesheep #shaun #Costasiella #costasiellakuroshimae #sapsuckingslug #muckdiving #algea #kleptoplasty #chloroplasts
What we love about Statia!
Colourful present rooted in the rich past of the island.
Two weeks ago we had the pleasure to join a historic city tour by the knowable and entertaining Gay Soetekouw. Hopefully, I get the facts straight to share my experience not only in pictures but in a blog article covering some of the past events of Sint Eustatius.
The last picture I took shows the stage at Fort Oranjestraat with the dormant volcano Quill, the flag of this Caribbean island and the famous Blue Beads of Statia.
These five-sided beads were produced out of wood ash in the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries particularly for Statia, back then known as the Golden Rock. They were given to slaves on the island as a reward - payment without spending any money. However, slaves used the beads, also different shapes and colours, to trade in between themselves.
You can still find Blue Beads underwater as well as on land. Though legend says it is actually the bead finding you and if you take it, you are destined to come back to the island. We confirm. Back in Europe, there are two nice big beads hanging in our room found in 2015 on dives at Blue Bead Hole. Last year their call for too loud to ignore. So here we are.
To learn more about the local history visit the museum in Oranjestad, check out @secar_statia as well as @statia.tourism
#Statia #sinteustatius #steustatius #eustatius #caribbean #caribbeannetherlands #dutchcaribbean #caribischnederland #islandlife #inselleben #bluebead #goldenrock #devocean #devotion #whatwelove #gostatia #history #slavery #beads #oranjestad #thequill #quill #volcano #Netherlands #nederland #anderekantvannederland #travel #experience