We are very pleased to announce that we have opened a new resort in Bali! We are open for resort guests right now and our dive operations will start in early-June 2012.
This means that from June 2012, you can enjoy an Indonesian dive safari with one operator offering some of the best diving in the world in Indonesia – Bali, Bunaken AND Lembeh.
The resort is based on an island called Nusa Lembongan, a small island 15 kilometres East of Sanur, south east of Bali. The distance from Sanur to Lembongan is the same as Manado to Bunaken, thats 30-40 minutes by boat so its not far!
Close to Nusa Lembongan are the islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan, and around all three islands are great sites for diving.
Find out more about the diving Bali and Nusa Lembongan.
Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are home to Manta’s and Mola-mola, this is what initially made Bali famous for diving! There are more than 15 dive sites around these islands, offering a mixture of fantastic hard-corals, colourful soft corals and a range of critters from macro to pelagics, and large schools of fish.
The mainland is about 30-60mins away by boat (same distance as Manado-Bunaken!) and offers 15+ more dive sites for those who are staying longer, including the world-famous Liberty Wreck at Tulamben.
Find out more about the dive sites of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
We are renting an existing resort and converting it to our needs, and adding a dive center, compressor room and restaurant. The resort contains 10 rooms so can accommodate 20 guests, and all the rooms will have a/c and hot water. It also has a swimming pool and pool cafe for relaxing after diving!
Prices for staying with us will be similar to our cottages in Bunaken and Lembeh, but we will only be offering breakfast at the resort as there are many restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner.
There is a selection of budget accommodation on the island as well, so we can cater for all tastes!
Find out more about the resort and facilities on Nusa Lembongan, Bali
What makes us special in Bunaken & Lembeh is our 5 star service and mixture of experienced western instructors/managers and local staff, and Two Fish Divers in Bali will be no different.
A few of our staff from Bunaken and Lembeh will help set up the operation in the beginning (eg dive guide Frans from Bunaken, and Ivon who is reception/admin in Lembeh) but we will be hiring mostly new staff supported by regular visits by Two Fish management (Nigel & Febryo):
With this team we will be able to offer fun diving with experienced dive guides according to our normal high standards, as well as PADI courses with experienced instructors. One exciting thing that we also want to offer are 2-month DM internships over all three locations, more about this later!
Triple-M Package (Muck, Manta’s and Magnificent walls) - for the rest of 2012, if you book 4nts or more in all 3 of our resorts then you will get a 10% discount on accomm/dive packages in the 3rd resort! Check out the package prices for staying and diving in Bali with Two Fish Divers. To make it easier for you, we can book internal flights for you, therefore taking all those travel-hassles away from you!
PADI Courses - 10% Discount on Beginner and Advanced Courses in 2012!! Check out the prices for PADI courses in Bali with Two Fish Divers
Many people comment that Nusa Lembongan must be similar to how Bali used to be before major tourism took off – no hawkers, no traffic, relaxed atmosphere and magnificent scenery! It is fast becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, a paradise that is a world away from the pollution, hassles and hectic pace of Bali, and the perfect place to put your feet up and relax. Popular with families weary of travel warnings, this island is a safe little spot to enjoy a perfect Bali diving holiday.
Find out more about Nusa Lembongan Island.
Sidemount diving is the current craze!! With sidemount, the tanks are mounted on either side of the diver instead of on the back of the diver. It is a popular configuration with advanced cave and techincal divers, as smaller sections of cave and wrecks can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease.
Its not just for cave and wreck penetration though. As you kit up have you ever thought ‘this hurts my back/ legs’ or ‘geez these are heavy’ or even ‘there has to be a better way’? Sidemount diving is growing in popularity with recreational divers:
The downside? You have 2 SPGs to monitor but this is easy to learn. You also need 2 regs, but isn’t that better than an octopus?
Try-it in Bunaken!
We have just acquired 2 sets of side-mount harnesses and guests are welcome to try a dive with them. If you want to take it further, PADI have just introduced the PADI Sidemount Diver Course and we can offer this course if you want. You need to be an Advanced Open Water Diver with at least 30 logged dives, and on the course you learn sidemount skills in a confined water session and four open water dives. Great fun! Check out this video to find out what its all about.
Highly sought for their fins, meat, oil, teeth and cartilage, sharks have a high price on their heads. Demand for shark fins, lacking fishery management and virtually non-existing regulations for almost all shark trade are pushing many shark species to the brink of extinction.
The heat is on to give decimated shark populations the protections they deserve. And Project AWARE is targeting the power of one of the world’s largest, most effective wildlife conservation agreements to do it – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
While CITES has helped to save a myriad of terrestrial species like the African elephant, the effort to add sharks and marine fish to CITES is still relatively new territory, resulting in difficult battles.
Help by Signing the Petition! You can join tens of thousands of AWARE divers and shark advocates who are serious about shark protection. Sign the petition and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same. Sign the Petition here
Help by Joining us for Shark Shout Out 2012 Activities in Bunaken and Lembeh – we are running a number of things at our resorts that allow you to be involved.
Get educated! We show a Special Shark documentary or Shark Quiz in the evenings. We also have a weekly Shark Guardian presentation, below is a trailer/introduction to this presentation.
Take a course! Two Fish Divers have already donated USD500 to PADI to certify all our instructors so that they can offer the new PADI Shark Conservation Course, this donation has been handed over to the Project AWARE – Sharks in Peril project.
(Note – we were the first PADI center in Asia Pacific to make 100% of their instructors able to teach Shark Conservation Speciality courses! Check out the event on Facebook here)
The PADI Shark Conservation Course costs €20 for 2 dives & manual PLUS €30 for the PADI certificate. All proceeds from the certification will also be donated to the Project Aware – Sharks in Peril Project.
On our Instrcutor Course (IDC), we are also including the PADI Shark Conservation instructor speciality course for FREE. This means that all our new instructors can teach PADI Shark Conservation Courses themselves wherever they end up working, thereby helping to “spread the message”.
Make a donation! Brendon (our Course Director) and Liz (our resort manager in Bunaken) are running an organisation called Shark Guardian, this is dedicated to the conservation of sharks by reaching out and giving presentations at schools. Be the first to become a Shark Guardian Member by donating EUR20-50, you will:
We hope that you will join us in Bunaken or Lembeh and get involved in Shout for Sharks!
The mandarin fish is one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean and their special mating display can be seen right here in both Bunaken and Lembeh waters!
• Scientific Name: Synchiropus Splendidus
• Found: Indo-Pacific Ocean (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia)
• Size: 1 -2 Inches
• Diet: Carnivore – feed on small worms, protozoans and small crustaceans
• Habitat: Broken coral rubble beds or under dead coral
• Depth: 1 – 18 metres
• The name comes from its fantastic colouration which resembles the robes of an imperial Chinese officer (Mandarin)
• They live in pairs and groups of up to 5
• Males have more orange colouration in their face and are larger in size with an elongated first dorsal spine. Females have smaller dorsal fins.
• Mandarin fish are distinctive due to their unusual shape and broad, depressed head
• One of its most remarkable features is their big outward-set eyes. This is an ideal adaptation for food hunting and feeding in the dim light environments underwater
• They swim with a rapid pulsating of their fins which tends to make them look like they are hovering, like a humming bird
• The mandarin fish is one of the few marine fish which does not have scales. As a protective compensation it is protected by a mucous-coated slimy and smelly skin, which not only protects them from most parasitic skin diseases, but also discourages predators due to its horrible taste. Their bright vivid coloration also serves to give out warning to predators of their nasty smell and taste.
• There is little information on specific predators of this species, although scorpionfish are known to lie in wait to attack an unsuspecting mandarin fish, normally during the mating ritual.
The mating of mandarin fish by spawning is something you HAVE to witness before leaving Bunaken!! Just before the sun sets, 3 to 5 females will make their way to a particular region of reef (“street corner”!) and gather where males visit and display courtship behaviour, hoping to attract the females. The visiting males may tour around various sites in one evening spreading their sperm among a number of different females!
A successful male will be joined by a female that will rest on his pelvic fin. The male and female mandarin fish align themselves belly-to-belly and together, slowly rise about 1 metre above the reef. Once they are at the peak of their ascent, they will release sperm and a cloud of eggs (usually up to 200 eggs). The fish then disappear in a flash. The fertilized eggs are from that point at the mercy of the current and normally take around 18-24 hours to hatch into 1 mm long larvae. For a period of up to 2 weeks they will remain plankton with no parental involvement before finally settling on the reef and choosing an appropriate habitat where they will live for the next 10 to 15 years.
With only a small number of active females in a group’s population, competition among the males is high. In the world of mandarin fish, size does matter! The bigger and stronger males tend to be favoured by females and mate more often than smaller males. Due to the lower chances of mating, the smaller males have developed a rather desperate compensating measure where they rush up to mating pairs and release sperm with the hope of random fertilization!
This is a ritual you can witness most nights here in Bunaken & Lembeh, and is a must for any diving enthusiast – ask your guide for more information!
We are seeing alot of Robust ghost pipefish in Lembeh at the moment so we thought that we would tell you what they are.
Ghost pipefish belong to the family Solenostomidae. They are closely related to Seahorses and Pipefish, are from the same order and share the long tube like snout. They live in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters from Indian to Western Pacific oceans.
Spending most of its time in a head down position, they tend to make their homes in shallow areas or close to coastal reefs that are current swept and therefore have a steady stream of food. In many regions Ghostpipefish are only seasonal visitors, settling on the reef for only a few months each year to breed.
They are usually seen in pairs. Female Ghostpipefish have much larger ventral fins, as they double in purpose for storing eggs. Male Ghostpipefish are generally smaller than the females.
Usually they are seen hovering next to their matching host, perfectly camouflaged. These hosts depend on the type of Ghostpipefish and include gorgonians, corals, crinoids, hydroids, algae substrata and seagrass beds.
Feeding - They often hang upside down while feeding. They feed mainly on crustaceans and small fish, the unassuming prey is sucked up at the last minute through the specially adapted snout.
Reproduction - It is the female Ghost Pipefish who incubates the eggs in a pouch created by hooking together their ventral fins. In both Seahorses and Pipefish, which are closely related, it is the male who performs this role. After incubation, the eggs are released into the water column and are planktonic, travelling with the currents until they find a suitable reef to inhabit.
Robust Ghostpipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus)
Simulating rotting sea grass, Robust Ghostpipefish is a rare find due to being hard to spot.
Often seen floating upside down on a sand or rubble bottom mimicking sea grass or weeds. They are usually brown, green or dark red, with darker spots and markings.
Unlike the other types of Ghostpipefish, Robust Ghostpipefish are fairly mobile and revisiting them is not usually possible.
This is the largest type of Ghostpipe, growing to approx 15cm in size.
Ornate or Harlequin Ghostpipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus)
These are easily identified and the most elaborate type of Ghostpipefish, and are much photographed. They are found near overhangs and crevices, mimicking crinoids or soft corals. They can sometimes be spotted hanging in the current to feed. They come in a wide variety of colours including, black, white, red, yellow, brown and green.
The fins of the Ornate Ghostpipefish are well developed, large and, as the name suggests, ornately decorated.
If undisturbed they will remain in the same host fauna for many weeks.
Halimeda Ghostpipefish (Solenostomus halimeda)
This type of Ghostpipefish looks exactly like the green algae Halimeda, and it is amongst this algae where is normally found. It is green or green with white patches, just like those seen on the host algae.
There are sometimes short filaments on the snout, body and fins that look like the filaments that are also sometimes found on the Halimeda algae. All in all, this species is an outstanding mimic of its botanical namesake!
Rough or Hairy or Filamented Ghostpipefish (Solenostomus paegnius)
The colour can vary from green to reddish brown, and it is covered with many small skin filaments, giving it a hairy look.
It is often found in bay or lagoon, in sandy environments close to algae or hydrozoans.
We think thats all the types of Ghostpipefish, have you got another type? Which one is your favourite?
Join the conversation with us on Twitter, start a #twofishdivers trend, or simply get in touch!