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.
We have been witness to some very interesting reproductive behavior amongst Cephalopods when diving in Lembeh this week. Both Cuttlefish and Reef Squid have all been putting on quite the show! These two beautiful Crinoid Cuttlefish (distinguished by the spotted pattern on their lower arms) were caught mating beneath the overhangs of a colorful sponge, and were so caught up in the activity at hand that they didn’t seem to notice the gathering crowd of divers.
This week in Lembongan… Generally speaking the titan trigger fish in Lembongan are not an issue, and on the odd occasions where a diver gets a nip on the fin, it is only just a nip and away swims the diver and away swims the trigger fish. We do not get the crazy stories or reactions from trigger fish like they do in places like Koh Tao, Thailand. But in saying that, we are still visitor to their environment and they need to protect their nest.
While things around the resort calmed down a bit after Easter, our instructors Dion and Yvonne have been busy teaching right across the spectrum of PADI courses for the past few days. They’ve been introducing first time divers to the underwater world, explored shipwrecks and worked with our divemaster trainees to perfect their skills both underwater and on land. And they even managed to re-introduce a guest to the underwater world after a 13 year break who was most impressed by the number and size of turtles on our walls (picture by Alex Schade).
One of the first things my instructors mentioned to me when I arrived at Two Fish Divers is that in the diving industry plans change all the time. Safe to say that’s been very true for my Divemaster course. It’s not just down to dive centre logistics either, it can be simple things like a sinus infection which mean you spend rather more time with your books. Now that I’ve been back in the water for a few days, let me tell you what’s been going on.
It’s been combo time in Amed, Bali this week as many of our guests have been travelling around the different Two Fish Divers centres. Amed is ideally located for this, being just a 40 minute boat ride from Lombok and an easy transit from Nusa Lembongan. With very different diving in each place we’ve had guests seeing mantas one day then diving the Liberty wreck a couple of days later finding all sorts of wonderful critters.