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Ambon Trip Report, April 2014

Ambon Trip Report, April 2014
Equator Diving recently held their second annual ‘Perfect for Photographers’ group trip, and this time our hosts were Maluku Divers Resort in Ambon! Maluku Divers Resort is specifically designed for photographers with a large camera room and four large camera rinse tanks. The resort itself is set amongst mature trees in a beautiful 9,800 metre private beachfront plot with each individual bungalow offering a sea view. In addition to the camera room the resort has an ‘Al fresco’ restaurant area producing excellent food, including three course meals for lunch and dinner, a bar area and of course a great dive centre. During our 10 night group trip we dived all of Ambon bay’s famous critter sites, as well as the ‘Duke of Sparta’ Shipwreck and the stunning dive sites of Pintu Kota and Hukarila Cave, which lie outside of Ambon bay.

The Critter List!
This is a snap-shot of our critter list and I’m sure our guests could add many more critters to this list…Cuttlefish both mating and feeding (not at the same time), Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Coconut Octopus, Wunderpus (my personal favourite!), Snowflake Moray, Zebra Moray, Chlamydatus Moray, White-Eyed Moray, Giant Moray, Painted Frogfish, Giant Frogfish, Warty Frogfish, Hairy Squat Lobster, Oliver’s Squat Lobster, Crinoid Squat Lobster, Harlequin Shrimp, Mantis Shrimps, Emperor Shrimp, Skeleton Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Pygmy Seahorse, Thorny Seahorse, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Robust Ghost Pipefish, Halimeda Ghost Pipefish, Ringed Pipefish, Blue Ribbon Eels, Bumble Bee Shrimps, Leaf Scorpionfish, Paddle-Flap Rhinopias, Candy Crab, Porcelain Crab, Flat Rock Crab, Coral Crabs, Anemone Shrimps, Banded Boxer Shrimps, Popcorn Shrimps, Orangutan Crabs, Cockatoo Waspfish, Snake Eels, hundred’s of feeding Spanish Mackerel mouths agape (ok so not a critter) and a huge variety of Nudibranchs!

The Photo Competition!
Towards the end of the trip we held a photo competition with guests entering up to 6 photos each and both guests and resort staff voting for the top 3 photos. No editing of photos was allowed, so photos were straight out of the camera. The entries were exceptional and first prize went to Marli Wakeling for her Emperor Shrimp photo whilst second and third prizes went to John Hill for his photos of a Flat Rock Crab and a Soft Coral Porcelain Crab, respectively. After an initial vote Marli and John’s photos were in a tie that even a second vote couldn’t resolve so eventually the restaurant manager – Hafes – stepped in to choose Marli as the winner! For the winners there were prizes courtesy of Maluku Divers Resort!