Tag Archives: scuba diving

A popcorn shrimp in its mushroom coral, photo by Daniel Gearyat Atmosphere Resort Philippines

Last month our marine biologist, Kirsty Richards, launched the new (and exclusive) PADI Critters Specialty course at Atmosphere. I’ve always loved collecting things, whether it is Polaroid photographs, Pokémon cards or PADI Specialties. When I discovered that at the end of this particular specialty, I’d be better able to find a spotted porcelain crab, or an ornate ghost pipefish – I was sold. Despite being in from the get-go, I had to patiently wait my turn as the course has been an instant hit at Atmosphere. Marine Biology 101 One balmy October evening, we communed for the first part of …

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Atmosphere launches the new PADI Critter Specialty course

We are incredibly excited to launch our new PADI Critters of Dauin specialty course! The incredible diversity of critters along Dauin’s coast has long been a well-kept secret. But not anymore. As the cat slowly gets teased out of the bag, we are launching the PADI Critters Specialty, unique to Atmosphere! Are you a diver who loves cryptic and colourful critters and would like to know more about what makes them tick? Do you think “how on earth did they find that?” when your dive guide points out a tiny hairy shrimp, then this specialty is for you. Kirsty created and …

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The humble sea cucumber is not a marine creature which gets a lot of love. Although, spend a few minutes reading up on them and you’ll discover they’re quite the creature with plenty of hidden secrets! Closely related to starfish within the group “Echinoderms”, sea cucumbers have diverged from the 5 fold symmetry of a starfish to a single, cucumber-like, body. With over 1,250 different species, sea cucumbers can be found from the shallowest of tropical lagoons to the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. Vacuum cleaners of the ocean Ever seen links of what looks like sand poop? It’s …

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christmas critters of dauin

Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus giganteus) Aptly named to be at the top of our list, Christmas tree worms are a type of tube-building polychaete worm. Their multicoloured (and tree-like) spiral tentacles can be seen poking out of holes they’ve board into corals and are used to catch passing prey which is then passed down into their mouths. Popular with photographers, these brightly coloured underwater Christmas trees will disappear in front of our eyes should they sense anyone getting too close. Humbug dacyllus (Dascyllus aruanus) Despite it’s name, I like to think the Humbug dacyllus is a happy little fish and …

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When Diving becomes Meditation

There are many reasons why people chose to learn to dive; on top of the list is a desire to explore the underwater world and see the endless array of amazing marine life. Having been an avid diver and dive instructor for many years, I have seen my fair share of breathtaking pelagics and crazy macro critters and now I approach diving in a slightly unusual manner. When I don my scuba equipment I do so as a means of escape. Descending beneath the oceans’ surface gives time to be alone with my thoughts, lost in a silent world where …

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