"Every time I submerge, a feeling of excitement and exploration fills me."
The beginning of author Jennifer Idol's stay in Raja Ampat was filled with experiences of seeing a variety of animals for the first time - very exciting for this extremely experienced underwater photographer.
"I saw animals I'd dreamt of seeing like the wobbegong shark, mandarin fish, oceanic manta rays, and garden eels. I also turned my eye into the macro world. Generally, I consider myself a wide angle photographer, but conditions and life have made macro photography the name of the game here.
Before exploring California on my 50 state adventure, I never appreciated nudibranchs, but seeing the opalescent nudibranch there helped me appreciate the colorful dance of these gastropod moluscs.
Of the more than 2,300 known species of nudibranchs, I've seen at least a dozen in my first couple days. They do have a front and a back, noted by the rhinophores, or two antennae looking protrusions. I like the colorful and feathery looking nudibranchs best. The rocky looking ones seem to move less. Nonetheless, a close inspection shows a lot of character in a tiny invertebrate."