As the days continued I discovered more and more fascinating species like the Flamboyant Cuttlefish and the Mantis Shrimp. These species were so alien compared to what I was used too I had a childlike joy at finding and photographing them. But there was one dive in particular that I had been waiting for since the beginning of the trip. My parents had been to Lembeh before and told me that several sites had the chance of finding not just regular sea horses but Pygmy Seahorses. Ever since I started diving over 10 years ago I have always wanted to see a Seahorse. So, when we sat down for our briefing and were told that they would take us to known sites I was beside myself with excitement.

During the dive we came across a purple sea fan. The guide used his pointer to show me a branch on the fan that had two sea horses on it. This was my chance, macro dioptres on, I got nice and close trying to get an angle where the head of a Pygmy Seahorse (hippocampus bargibanti) stuck out to separate it from the sea fan it was latched onto, and it did for just a few seconds. I got the shot just how I wanted to and was filled with excitement at the fact. Not more than 5 fin kicks away a little deeper was an orange sea fan Denise’s Pygmy Seahorse (hippocampus denise).

Our stay in Lembeh was over New Year so we are given the opportunity to see how the locals celebrated the coming of the new year. It was a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun! We all met up early on the pier and found our perch for the manic show that was about to begin. Strapping fireworks to barrels full of sand they lit these things while standing no more than 3 meters away from them. Fireworks launching into the air they started exploding much earlier in the air than their UK counter parts! Debris from the rockets scattering over us as they went bang. One of the lads kept holding onto a rocket stick while it pumped rockets up into the sky and across the water. It was certainly an experience not to be missed. After the display, we snuck away to bed before the next day’s diving!