It is not often that Bryozoans and Echinoderms are highly sought after in Lembeh, but this week’s visiting Marine Biologists, Simi and Basti, couldn’t get enough of them! The Bryozoan is a collection of tiny, invertebrate marine animals that live in large colonies. These tiny animal colonies create beautiful structures that are big enough to house fellow reef creatures. The Lacey Bryozoan (pictured) made headline marine news of recent when a new species of Goby, Shrimp and Crab were discovered living inside of it. Extremely cryptic animals, and localized to a select few regions of Indonesia, the Bryozoan Goby is the most recent “newly discovered animal” that Lembeh has to offer.
Night dives are amazing. I always knew that but since I’ve come here they have become my favourite dives ever. Due to my Divemaster Night Dive Speciality, I spend a lot of time night diving this week. Two blue ringed octopus, several leaf fishes, squids, a giant sponge crab and heaps and heaps of little shrimps in one dive – almost impossible to top!
This week in Lembongan… Usually during the dives in Crystal Bay, the large central sand patch is quickly crossed by divers who go from one side to the other, spending most of their time on the coral areas, and used by students taking courses because of the ease to kneel and demonstrate the skills sheltered from current and without harming the marine life. Well, they should consider spending more time there because there’s a whole specific ecosystem around!
This week on the North Gilis, Lombok we have been christening our new pool! We started with a dip and swim, and then we had our first scuba try out with a couple from Belgium which lead onto a Discover scuba out at Turtle Heaven dive site north of Gili Meno. Yesterday we had our boat crew Zul and Harry, and our admin staff Mita in there for a skill session and swim about, what a bunch of fun we had with millions of pictures taken. It is a lovely feeling having a whole team together enjoying being underwater which is really what we are all about.
This week, our team came out in force to participate in Trash Hero Amed’s largest ever beach clean-up! 105 people helped collect over 300 kgs of trash, much of it plastic that would otherwise have ended up in the sea (thanks to Mataboolan Photography for the picture). Needless to say, the beach in front of the dive centre looks pristine at the moment and we’ll make sure it stays this way. In other news, our IDC candidates are getting ready for their instructor exam and everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for them (not that they need it).
This week in Lembongan… We are starting our high season, and this year as previous years, we are having an increasing amount of visitors in our tiny paradise island. Curious about what is it that brings people over to Lembongan, we decided to go ahead and ask to some of those visitors the reasons why they included Lembongan in their holiday itinerary. The answers were so diverse that it surprised us! We thought it would be interesting to share some of these thoughts. Of course, manta rays and mola-mola or sunfish are some of the main reasons why divers come to Lembongan.