Our guests have been fortunate to spot blacktip reef sharks on nearly every dive this week. And as if that wasn’t enough, there have been plenty of eagle rays, too as well as our favourite sea turtles. A week for big stuff!
Week three and four passed with the blink of an eye.
These weeks I have been, assisting on open water courses, advanced open water courses, scuba refreshers and servicing equipment, every morning in the ocean was immediately followed by hours under the glaring sun in the pool or sheltered in our maintenance room tinkering with the devices one needs for the survival of the gill-less underwater. Following on from days like this, its been nose to paper (not difficult for a nose of my calibre) completing knowledge reviews from PADI’s dive master manual, studying the ocean mechanics and the history of diving in PADI’s Diving Encyclopaedia. The amount of information taken on in such a short amount of time has been a bit tricky at times, but its been the most fun I’ve ever had in terms of learning before.
So this week in south lombok we seem to have a massive increase in juvenile Cuttle fish. In 1 dive on the sand we found between 10 and 15 individuals and seeing them never gets boring with all there changes in camouflage and displays. Also on the dive we found juvenile sweet lips, nudibranches, crabs, shrimps, octopus and a hole load of pipe fish.
Go on: take a guess! What type of Frogfish do you think this is?
Surprisingly, it is an Antennarius striatus, or what is commonly referred to as a Hairy Frogfish. As it turns out the Hairy Frogfish comes in all hair lengths in Lembeh, including extremely short hair! Since this is a little known fact amongst our guests, this cool little critter caused a bit of a stir when it was spotted as a mated couple to a long-haired Hairy Frogfish. The guests were sure they were witnessing “inter-species” coupling!
This week in Lembongan… The condition around the islands has been very still, allowing us many trips to the manta dive sites. While Eanna was practicing his guiding at Manta Bay, they were finishing up their safety stops, when instructor Rowan, spotted in the distance, one manta ray approaching. This was quickly followed by another and another, with a total of 7 manta rays passing by to feed.
This week in South Lombok … we have been enjoying the beautiful white ornate ghostpipe fish on our house reef! The lovely thing about this beautiful creature is that when caught in the right light it is almost completely translucent, but its hard to take a good picture on a white-sand background!
It’s time for congratulations and celebrations this week in Bunaken as our instructor candidates have successfully passed their Instructor Exam! A fantastic start to our 2016 series of IDCs at Two Fish Divers and we’re already looking forward to the next one.
What does a guest who has visited Two Fish Lembeh 17 times over the past 6 years find new and fascinating on her current visit to the area? Ornate Ghost Pipefish that are carrying eggs! Her excitement, in turn, has made all the guests a bit more interested in the reproductive lives of Lembeh’s Pipefish…
After seeing loads of the big creatures of Lembongan last week, our dive guides have been more focused on the reef this week. The healthy colourful reef makes it hard for most of us to spot the crazy creatures, who use the coral as camouflage, but our dive guides have been trained in Lembeh, so they are extremely talented at finding the smallest critters hiding in the reef.
This week in Bunaken, our IDC candidates spent some of their time off learning more about technical diving. We’ve not convinced all of them to go to the dark side just yet, though. In the meantime, return guests Ferdy & Sue enjoyed getting back into diving and fun divers Jane & Hiroka spent their dive accompanied by three Eagle Rays!
So there I was, my first day after arriving in Nusa Lembongan, sweating, thirsty and in need of an ice cold coconut to rehydrate the never ending perspiration that comes with living in Indonesia, i was ready to start what can only be described as a life altering course.
I had been her for 5 weeks prior to this, travelling, surfing and the inevitable dose of party thrown in the mix. Deciding to do my Rescue course, and further than that, my DMT with Two fish in Lembongan was a decision I had been weighing up for almost two months and now it was to become my reality.
This week in south Lombok we are playing hide and seek in the feather stars with a whole variety of shrimps and crabs. Here in south Lombok we have an abundance of beautiful macro life including a whole range of shrimps and crabs like squat shrimp, hairy squat shrimp, peacock-tail anemone shrimp, bubble coral shrimp, orangutan crab, two horn box crab and so much more.
This week in Lembongan…. What an amazing week we’ve had over here in Lembongan. Not only have we had multiple visits from the usual suspects, our friends the bantas, but we were graced with multiple visits from the Mola’s too. Both underwater and breaching on our surface intervals, which is always a shock!
The molas were so close to our groups that amazing videos were shot by our customers, on a very clear day of diving. Adding to all of this we were lucky enough to have a close up encounter with the largest fish in the ocean, the Whale Shark, which can grow to over 12m in length, ours was a mere teenager coming in at an approximate 5m. We are still waiting to here back from www.whaleshark.org for identification of the little chap.
Twinset manifolds – not the sexiest item of technical diving equipment by far and also not the most talked-about, you would think. Well, last week proved to be a little different – with three technical divers joining us in Bunaken for guided dives, we discovered that all of us had different ideas about manifold settings. So, who’s right?
We’ve been hitting the books in Bunaken this week as our first PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course) of the year is getting underway.
Two of our five instructor candidates are Two Fish’s own: Yayan, Divemaster in Lembongan is taking a step up and Simon from England has come back to become an instructor two years after completing his Divemaster course here. Together with Fred from Belgium, Roya from the U.S. and Prema from Southern France they are being looked after by Course Director Marie-Lise Roux who is based on Koh Tao, Thailand, but travels across Asia to teach IDCs.
Have you ever noticed that the majority of Anemonefish in Lembeh have tongue-biting isopods in their mouth? Most of the isopods are so small they are hardly noticeable. This week, however, this large, female Cheek-Spine Anemonefish put on quite the show as she gaped at divers, showing off her over-sized creepy critter.
This week in Lembongan… The storms, rain and big waves of last week have now left us and the sea has calmed down, meaning that we have been able to get back around the island to the manta dive sites. We went to manta bay a few times this week but one dive really stood out and it wasn’t only because of the manta rays we saw. It was truly a spectacular dive at Manta Bay.
We have had pretty strong wind which equals to big waves in Senggigi!! Even so we tried out a new dive site down to the south of Senggigi which we call “Temple Wall.” It is so named due to the landmarks above water. The wall was built around 10 years ago for breaking the waves…
This week, our guests Steven and Karen decided to venture a little further off the beaten track from Bunaken and headed to the northern islands of the Bunaken Marine National Park. The rewards were schooling Barracuda, eagle rays and much more.
Seventh and Ninth-time return guests to the region were excited by their first Cryptic Shrimp sighting in Lembeh this week! These cool little critters so perfectly resemble the sponge they inhabit that they are nearly impossible to differentiate from their background. The Cryptic Shrimp’s innate ability to perfectly blend in with its surroundings is a type of crypsis camouflage: an animal’s natural-born ability to visually blend in with its habitat in order to avoid predation.
It seems lots of people have made diving their New Year’s resolution as we have had lots of people come through and complete their dive courses in Lembongan, including the PADI Open Water, Rescue and a few specialties.
This week’s diving in Bunaken had something for both macro fans and lovers of big marine life – our guests saw Pontohi Pygmy Seahorses as well as increasing numbers of Spotted Eagle Rays.
Thanks to our eagle-eyed dive guides Frankli and Fenly, Mads from Denmark managed to get the fabulous shot for this blog. These miniature seahorses are fairly rare and we don’t have a lot of information about them. They’ve been spotted in (eastern) Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
“Camouflage” is a fascinating behavior that many Lembeh animals partake in as they take on the characteristics of an unrelated, inanimate object, simply hoping to go unnoticed by predators. Juvenile Orbicular Batfish are a perfect example of such a critter. Lacking toxins or venomous spines, they spend their juvenile months perfectly camouflaged as fallen leaves as they float about in small schools under the piers and oyster-farms of Lembeh. What would otherwise be a small, tasty morsel for a passing predator is dismissed as an uninteresting, inedible leaf. As the Orbicular Batfish reaches a more formidable size (topping out around 28cm/11in), they no longer depend on camouflage and transform into a completely different looking fish!
(Click on the provided link to read more)