Tony Wu

Oct 04, 2010 1 Comment by Sea Stories

As you can tell from the video, it was a fantastic trip…great participants, the perfect venue, and lots of amazing marine life!

Diving through the night was an experiment of sorts…one that fortunately worked out really well. To cut to the chase, the night life in Lembeh was totally fascinating.

Some of the same animals we encountered in normal daylight hours were out and about at night as well, but for the most part, there were different critters and/ or activities.

Not a big surprise, but there were many more crustaceans and cephalopods around in the wee hours than in the day, and even critters we came across during normal hours seemed to be more active at night (like flounders, octopuses, frogfish, etc.)

We managed to see a bit of courtship and mating activity as well, though some of it (like the porcupine pufferfish mating I photographed) took place after everyone else left.

The biggest surprise for me was how easy and pleasant it was to dive on a night schedule.

I expected to be cold most of the time (I even brought along a wool cap, sweater and sweat pants which I never used), but actually, the water temperature and conditions were great through the night.

In addition, waking up mid- to late-morning and jumping into the water for a first dive at 17:30 or so proved to be a very civilized schedule. With much of the morning and afternoon free to chill out, sort through photos, charge batteries, check gear, etc., the night schedule was…well…easy.

Having so much time before the first dive also meant I never went in without charged batteries, lens cap still attached, CF card missing…or any of the other common flub-ups that happen when you’re in a rush or don’t have sufficient time to double-check gear before hitting the water.

I hesitate to speak for everyone on the trip, but I think we all felt this way, and several people asked to be kept informed if there’s another night trip, because they liked this one so much!

I am, in fact, running another night trip later this year in Ambon together with Eric Cheng and Wetpixel.

It’s basically the same idea…diving mostly at night…concentrating on the dive sites collectively referred to as the Twilight Zone. It’s been difficult to dive these prolific sites at night for many years now, but with the new Maluku Divers resort situated close by, we’ll have easy access to Ambon’s critter central.

I have no doubt that it’s going to be an awesome adventure. The underwater topography is similar to, but different from, that of Lembeh, and though there’s certainly an overlap in the resident critter life, Ambon’s marine community is unique…which means lots of new animals and behaviours to see and enjoy.

If you’re interested in checking out Ambon’s night life in November I set out additional details toward the bottom of this post. Otherwise, take a look at the trip description on Wetpixel. Click here for an online presentation about Ambon that I put together previously.

Correction: Just received updated information that the unfortunate frogfish is a Histrio histrio, aka sargassum frogfish, which is unusual, since it’s sitting on the bottom with no sargassum seaweed around. Apparently, there is an article being written now about this, based on observations from the Virgin Island

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Tony Wu travels, photographs, videos and creates stories full-time, spending most of his time in the Asia-Pacific and Pacific regions. He does his best to post thoughts, images and observations from travels on his site,, so please bookmark this site, or better yet, follow using RSS.

Tony also organizes trips and adventures, usually with an emphasis on underwater photography, and tends to prefer visiting destinations that are remote, unique and off the beaten path.

If you’d like to consider joining him on one of the excursions, here is a list of some of upcoming trips, which Tony tries (though inevitably fails) to keep updated and current.

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Autumnal 2010, The Bitter End

About the Editors

Casey R. Schulke grew up along the Kuskokwim River in a rural Athabascan village in Alaska fishing for king salmon and mushing her sled dog team. She now resides on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Casey's a poet, a naturalist, a dog-lover, has two birds, and is married to a wonderful man.

One Response to “Tony Wu”

  1. uwfotogal says:

    I really enjoyed the singing and the diving in Lembah. I’ve traveled to PNG, Solomons, Mariana’s, Marshall Islands, so many places in the South Pacific including Yap, Palau, Truk, but haven’t made it to Lembah Strait yet. It’s beautifully unique creature tantilate me to visit.

    Thanks for the music and the video. It is superb. I hope one day I can visit Lembah Strait. It looks very beautiful.


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