Year of the clownfish

My favorite underwater subject

My favorite underwater subject


I’m going to be out of range of the Internet for a few days. As such, this week will be dedicated to photos from a story on India’s nascent dive industry. Above, is a standard, Western Clown anemonefish.

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A year-in-review

2009 kinda kicked ass

2009 kinda kicked ass

This past year pretty much rocked. And the New Year came in fine manner.  No kisses, but a bonfire amid the palm trees (above), new friends, lobster, a decent cigar (thanks, C!), champagne and even the Harry Connick, Jr., band playing Auld Lang Syne at midnight (never leave home without the iPod).

I meant to post this sooner, but here’s a little look back at my new life (as chronicled on this blog):

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Hello gecko

Caught (and released) by researchers from Croatia/Serbia

Caught (and released) by researchers from Croatia/Serbia


Presenting a native son of Wandoor, the Andaman Islands Day Gecko. (More on this adventure later.)

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Drop a line in the water

Roots make a neat ledge for for string fishing

Roots make a neat ledge for for string fishing

One reason I came to the Andamans was to pursue a story about the legacy of the 2004 tsunami. That unfortunately fell through for a number of reasons: language barriers, logistics, me being sick in the middle of nowhere. But I did manage this photo.

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Happy Island New Year

Slow down and breathe deep

Slow down and breathe deep


Wandoor, South Andaman, India

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Beach art courtesy of sand crabs

Busy little crabs

Busy little crabs

Little, semi-translucent sand crabs scurry everywhere along the beaches of Havelock Island. They are heartily afraid of anything, even shadows.

But leave them enough time to themselves and they’re rather industrious in their digging. And they leave behind some fun “art.”

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Noticing the little things (with claws)

30-second shutter delay and he still only peeked out.

30-second shutter delay and he still only peeked out.


Taken at Havelock Island’s Beach No. 7

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Disconnected and loving it

The blog has gone dark for a reason: I severed ties to modern telecommunications for more than a week. And it was glorious.

When I came to Havelock Island for some reporting, sun and surf in a tropical Valhalla, I completely lost touch. Hell, for several days, the Internet was literally a half-hour drive from my hotel.

And when I finally did stop at a cafe, I (re)learned the painfully slow (glacier-like) reality of dial-up Internet 500 kilometers from anywhere. We’re talking pre-1998 data speeds.

So while I have had many thrilling adventures involving new friends, good food, tan lines, a deadly banded sea krait and one near-fatal (overdramatic: could have been fatal if I had freaked-out and acted utterly stupid) hiccup, the retelling of those tales will have to wait a bit longer.

I should be back to a bit more civilization (sadly) in a few days, so perhaps there will be time to recount my shenanigans then.

Happy Holidays to all.

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The lights of Port Blair

One-second exposure of the bay at Port Blair.

One-second exposure of the bay at Port Blair.

It’s painfully slow, but the Internet has followed me at least as far as Port Blair. I take a ferry from this lush, green, ramshackle burg tomorrow morning to an isolated beach. We’ll see if the Web comes along. (My phone however doesn’t work. Same carrier as the cell modem, but no signal.)

The above is a long exposure after sundown of the sea wall of Port Blair. Nothing stellar, but I like the “texture” of the water.

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Of beaches and elephants

Since I read about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands almost eight years ago during my first backpacking trip in India, they’ve been third from the top on my list of destinations. I knocked off No. 1 (Cuba, and specifically Havana) and No. 2 (Madagascar) this year, so I’m going for the hat trick.

I leave next Tuesday via overnight train to Calcutta. From Calcutta, I fly to Port Blair, once home to the prison used by the British for undesirables during the heady years leading up to Independence.

I’ll be there for almost four weeks roaming about; I plan to return to the mainland by ship, a three- to four-day journey.

I’ve got a full list of story ideas to pursue, some of which will almost certainly be jettisoned once I feel the siren call of island life.

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