Tale of Encrusting Sponge Scary Face

Of the island of Bonaire is a dive site called Witches Hut home to the diver eating Encrusting Sponge Scary Face.....

...and the monsterous Witches Hand.

Many divers have decended into the depths at Witches Hut only to be dragged down by the Witches Hand and eatin by the evil Encrusting Sponge Scary Face. It is said that on Halloween night you can see all the divers rise up from the deep to reclaim their lost certification cards....

Have a Great Halloween!


A Great Day to Dive!

One of our favorite islands is Utila, off the coast of Honduras, where we always stay at Laguna Beach Resort. Utila is known for great diving, and if you are lucky, whale sharks. Wagner, our boat captain, has a true gift for finding whale sharks.

On this special day we were doing our surface interval in the channel when Wagner spied a flock of birds circling and swooping down to the water in the distance. It was whale sharks feeding. As the whale shark comes up from the depth, with its big mouth open, schools of baitfish try to escape and boil up to the surface. The birds swoop in to feed.

Wagner said he would put us right on top of the whale shark, all we had to do was wait until he said jump.

With mask, snorkel and fins we jumped on the given signal and swam down with a lung full of air. In the abyss I could see something huge coming straight toward us but I was too mesmerized to move. My lungs were beginning to burn for fresh air but there was no way I was going to miss this experience. Suddenly the huge fish was upon us with its mouth open wide enough to swallow us whole. I looked over at Mary and her eyes were wide with excitement. I just knew it was going to hit me but it made a graceful turn. As it glided by it looked at me with an inquiring eye and the gentle giant’s dorsal and tail fin narrowly missed me.



Shark Bites: by the Numbers

400 million
How long sharks have existed on planet Earth.
20-100 million
The number of sharks killed by humans each year.
10
The number of humans killed by sharks each year.
20,000
How many teeth a shark may use over its lifetime. Sharks never run out of teeth; when one is lost, another spins up front from the rows of backup teeth.
2
How many months a great white shark can go without feeding.
20
Speed, in MPH, of the shortfin mako. Making it the world's fastest shark.
60
Length, in feet, that the worlds largest shark, (actually a fish), the whale shark, can grow to. Don't worry, it eats plankton!
$400
Blood money paid for shark fins per kilogram- this is what ignorant people pay so they can eat soup!

source: National Geographic News

Donor's Choose Challenge! We Still Need Your Donation!

Wow, with the help of Kevin and Dr. M at Deep Sea News and Lauren, an environmental educator for a park in NYC , our challenge was met and as a result Memories has made a matching contribution of $50. That brings Memories contribution for the Ocean Bloggers Oceans in the Classrom Initiative to $175! Read below the projects our donations will help to fund.    

Nemo in the Classroom" or "Invertebrates in my Tank"
"I am the teacher for the districts 5th Grade Gifted and Talented students. Our district pulls out these students for 2 days a week to come to our campus for enriched classes of differentiated instruction. We try to have students use knowledge and make connections between subjects and create projects of high quality.

Breaking Science News
"My project will expose students to current events in Science through Weekly Reader's "Current Science" magazine. Most of my students are from impoverished backgrounds and have received few chances of being exposed to current events. Most of the households do not receive newspapers.

Experience Sea Floor Spreading
"Have you ever wondered what happens at our last frontier in the depths of the ocean on the sea floor?
My 6th grade science class lives in a high poverty area that is located far from any sea or ocean. Many students have never had the experience of seeing the ocean. Most students coming into 6th grade have little knowledge of the sea floor or what occurs there.

Remember there are still unfunded projects needing donations and you help by making a donation at DonorsChoose.org.

Be sure and visit Deep Sea News to read: We Did It! But We Can Do So Much More!

Save the Oceans!: One Kid at a Time and YOU can help!

Every so often an opportunity presents itself to allow us to pass on to future generations the wonders of our most precious resource, the living seas.  Memories is proud to be teaming with other Ocean Bloggers to promote Ocean Literacy through an "Oceans in the Classroom Initiative".  This worthy initiative allows individual K-12 teachers to bring ocean literacy to the classroom through educational projects designed to teach about coral reefs, marine life and science of the sea.

As you know the oceans are being strained from a myriad of environmental impacts.  The survival of healthy oceans depends on future generations understanding, respecting and enjoying the oceans of the world.  Your financial assistance can help in a large way toward ocean literacy.

Please take a look at the Ocean Bloggers Oceans in the Classroom Initiative and help us bring ocean literacy to the classroom.  The wonderful teachers developing these projects are resourceful and creative so any donation is appreciated.  A donation of $10 helps to reach many students and of course the more we donate the more students we reach.

Memories wants to thank Deep-Sea News, The Right Blue, and all the other ocean and nature bloggers  for allowing us the opportunity to participate as a sponsor in such a worthy cause.

Please visit the DonorsChoose.org site and donate today!

Lionfish - Alien Invasion

Beauty and timidity belie the lionfish’s true demeanor; that of an efficient predator. Docile during the day, the lionfish is a very effective hunter at night. It uses its fanned-out pectoral fins, like fingers, to trap small prey  which it stuns with its venomous dorsal spines before swallowing them whole.

Welcome to Jellyfish Lake - Palau




You hike up this steep trail, holding on to roots, to get to the Jellyfish Lake. As you descend the trail you see a dock not unlike others you might see around a lake. There is some apprehension about being the first person to enter the water, but my excitement cannot wait, so I quickly don my mask and snorkel to ease into the lake.

Jellyfish Lake is a salt water lake located in the Rock Islands of the Pacific island of Palau. It was morning, the sun was low, and as I swam through the lake I didn't see any jellyfish. Just as I entered the area of the lake with the greatest sunlight there they were, millions of them, glowing and moving through the water with a throbbing rhythm.

These jellyfish have been isolated in this salt water lake for millions of years and, as a result, have evolved very small stinging cells so you can snorkel with them without risk of being stung.

The dock at Jellyfish Lake

The unassuming Jellyfish Lake


NO WAR

Have you ever had a Forrest Gump moment? When you just happen to be present at an historic moment but did not know it.

On the morning of March 18, 2003, Mary and I were sitting on the steps of the Sydney Opera House when we saw people running around the building.

Right over our heads two guys had climbed the building and painted “NO WAR” in big red letters on the roof. Needless to say it was quite a big deal and not a little embarrassing to the local police who were suppose to be on extra alert for terrorists.

These two guys climbed the building carrying paint buckets and brushes up to the building’s highest sail and nobody notices until it is over. This was our Forrest Gump moment.

Unbeknownst to us it was also the eve of the Iraq war and this was the initial protest.

The next day we waited at our hotel to take a van to the Sydney Airport. The driver was noticeable nervous but we have no clue why. So we all blissfully pile into the van when he says we need to leave early. He tries to enter the main highway only to be blocked by police barricades and hundreds of protesters. I ask the driver what is going on and he says “guess you haven’t heard mate but your Bush declared war today.”

He took another turn and more police on horseback blocking our route. He backed up, turned around and took another street, still more protesters and police. After over two hours of stop and go traffic on side streets we finally get to the airport. Only problem is we have missed our flight time by an hour.

We go to the Qantas ticket counter to see if we can get on another flight and the guy says “no worries, you didn’t miss your flight because the plane hasn’t arrived from Cairns yet.” Seems there was a baggage strike and our flight was delayed. We spent three more hours in the Sydney Airport before the plane finally arrived.



Building crew power washing the NO WAR off the Sail