Well, the last week of my divemaster course in Lembongan was bittersweet. I was so excited to finally journey to the breathtaking Bunaken I had heard so much about, but could not shake the melancholy I felt for leaving Nusa Lembongan Island. I did however get very lucky, as my last week there was full of guests and scuba diving courses, which meant a lot of daily fun diving for me! I thought eventually I might get tired of the reef walls along the north coast of Nusa Penida, or eventually my wonderment for Mantas might dwindle but I am now quite sure, that is impossible.
Bunaken is home to Asia’s best wall dives, making it easy to marvel at the sheer length and depth of them whilst overlooking the smaller creatures that live underwater in Bunaken – but this week, we’ve been fascinated by a tiny little marine dweller called candy crab or soft coral crab. Hard to spot as they mimic the soft coral they live on almost perfectly, it’s down to our guides’ amazing eyes to find them.
I had the pleasure of doing my Wreck and Night Diver specialities this week. Having not been on a night dive for over 5 years, I was reminded of why I loved it so much. Bunaken night diving is amazing; enormous crabs lurking in the reef, mandarin fish hiding in the corals, and beautiful Pleurobranch displaying their splendid purple colour in the torch light. On the final dive, when I was required to turn my torch off for 3 minutes, I was lucky enough to be diving on a near full moon, and found that my body movements activated the bioluminescence. This made the three minutes rather enjoyable, this also served as entertainment for a student taking her advanced course night dive who commented on the light show she witnessed whilst all was dark.
This week around the North Gilis, Lombok……. Peacock Mantis Shrimp seem to be the highlight of this week. They are all around the 3 North Gili Islands, we pretty much see at least one on every dive. This week however they seem to have taken over. With their beautiful multi-colours, playful characteristic and fast movements from one hole to another it has been a delight to keep bumping into these crazy shrimps.
Our guides and guests have been finding a lot of leaf scorpionfish this week underwater in Amed, and just like Josephs’ coat we’ve been finding them in an amazing technicolour array.
The leaf scorpionfish (Taeniatonus Tricanthus) is an ambush predator, often found sitting on acropora corals or hard bommies with glassfish, waiting for a small fish to accidentally swim in front of it.. then boom! No more small fish, smiling leafy In yet another example of natures tricks not only does the leaf scorpionfish look like a leaf, it often sways around in swell or current to enhance the disguise. No wonder it’s small prey are easily fooled.