A new frontier in discovery and exploration, Cambodia offers wonderful vistas both in and out of the water.
text sol Foo Photography Paul Ferber, Kua Kay yaw & birKan Tanis
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Photo Kua Kay yaw
Photo Paul Ferber
hen I was invited to dive in Cambodia, I was more than sceptical. I’d never heard of anything like that there. then Paul Ferber, manager of the Dive Shop Cambodia, set the bait: he sent me pictures. I booked the next possible flight out. After all, even if the diving were average, I knew I’d still have a good time exploring this place that is more known for Angkor Wat, the Mekong ...view middle of the document...
All these concepts are still in their infancy but the first steps have been taken; in the meantime, Ferber is trying to protect the dive sites by keeping them a secret until everything is official. of the three dive centres in Sihanoukville, DSC has been most actively charting and discovering new sites. Ferber has found reefs so pristine and untouched, it is unbelievable: Barrel sponges my size, shoals of fish — unafraid and curious, colours in every hue carpeting the reefs, and a rich variety of marine life living on the
top: rowland's bornella is a common sight at Koh rung. left: sunset over mai Pai village in Koh rung. a picture of peace and tranquility.
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Photo Kua Kay yaw
a solitary banded sole trying to blend in.
This minuscule squid seemed to have gotten itself tangled and was struggling to get away. 72 Issue 98 • asian Diver
very edge of Cambodia. Just off the reef you’ll find a sandy bottom with a different population of crustaceans, cephalopods, seahorses and mollusks. With a maximum depth of 18m on most dives, it is very easy to stay down there for a long, long time. on one of my reef dives, I came across acres of anemones, waving with the currents, dotted with barrel sponges, sea whips, finger and stag-horn corals, and there were parrots, angels, butterflies and damsels everywhere. Many of the anemones were unoccupied by clownfish, which made me think this would be the next prime site when word gets around! on another dive at Secret Reef, schools of fusiliers, sergeant majors and soldiers swam in the hundreds. I found six Rowland’s Bornella — a rare nudibranch — within feet of each other, xeno crabs on sea whips, and mysterious cleaner pipefish under rock ledges. tuskfish swam about carelessly, and were not too bothered when I tried to get up close to them.
I found six Rowland’s Bornella — a rare nudibranch — within feet of each other, xeno crabs on sea whips, and mysterious cleaner pipefish under rock ledges.
But the highlight of the trip was the muck diving. Sand dollars the size of dinner plates, five to six species of seahorses, octopuses hiding in every nook and cranny, comical sponge crabs, decorator crabs, feisty sea mice, flounders and jagged mollusks were just waiting for me to swim around. Quite a distance from the reef, Ferber and I found this huge barrel sponge on the sand. It had left a trail, like something was dragging it away from the reef. Curious, we went to it and found this comparatively tiny (palm-sized) sponge crab under it. this little guy must have thought he struck gold with the barrel
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Photo Paul Ferber
a yet unnamed squat lobster on a gorgonian fan.
This little Flabellina was only 3mm long!
i had the amazing experience of observing the wondrous melibe, a rare creature, feeding.
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