This week in Lembongan. Starting on the 1st of June, the Lembongan Marine Association meet to prepare for the annual reef check survey. Along with the Coral Triangle Centre and the Nusa Penida Marine Park Association and volunteers from the dive ships on the island, got together to preform this years reef check.
We became an ambassador in the ‘Project Aware’ initiative and adopted the dive site in Bunaken, ‘Muka Kampung’.
Marine debris is the rubbish of our everyday lives, it travels over land, down streams, rivers and storm drains to the ocean. It can drift thousands of miles leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Every year, debris kills thousands of marine animals and sea birds, chokes coral reefs, smothers critical environments and contaminates our beaches and recreation sites. Better information about sources and impacts is extremely important to drive changes in infrastructure and waste management policies. Who is responsible? All of us. Together we can help prevent and clear up this mess for a clean, healthy ocean planet.
This week in the North Gilis, Lombok the wind and waves have picked up over the last two days but the diving has continued. The visibility is ranging from 8-15 meters.
The north gilis are known for their island life from a nice relaxed holiday to a party time on gili Trawangan, but the diversity of sea life is also something to be famous for. We have been bumping into a lot of moray eels this week, especially the giant morays. We often find them peaking out of rocks and corals and when we are truly lucky we can find them in action on their hunt for food. The Giant morays here come in all shapes and sizes partnered with relatives from the snowflake morays, white eyed morays, garden and ribbon eels, and the fibrillated morays.
It has been a Frogfish Frenzy in Lembeh this week! From big to small, from Hairy to Warty, from orange to black, and mated to single, I think we’ve seen a bit of it all! It hasn’t been only the variety of Frogfish that has impressed our Two Fish divers, but also the behaviors. Many of the Frogfish have been very active, awkwardly moving about the reef, chasing one another, chasing our divers (true story!), yawning and luring. Once again, Lembeh proves to be a Frogfish paradise!
This week in Lembongan… The strange green waters of the past weeks has finally cleared and we are back to the standard, 20 meters visibility that Lembongan is common for. Even the manta dive sites have cleared up with the average visibility being around 15 meters over the last few days.
We continuously educate our staff and send them also to external courses to enable them to serve our guests diving in Bunaken with the highest standard. Please see below some examples of the current staff education.
The magnet has been showing us what she is made of this week. As you may know the magnet is a challenging dive site where only the more experienced divers may go but under the water she hides some of the best diving, hammer heads. White tip reef sharks barracudas, tunas, jacks and every know and then somthing extra special.
This week in Gili Air, North Lombok we have been cracking on with our free try dives in the swimming pool at Villa Karang, Gili Air. We have been in the water all week with beginners, as well as offering refreshers for divers that have been out of diving for a year or two.
Bali has once again shown its amazing diversity this week as our guests have seen everything from Thresher Sharks to Mimic Octopus when diving in Amed. With our new boat we are able to get to places that other centres cannot reach and it paid off for guest Barry and guide Bayu at one of the reef corners between here and Tulamben – while hanging out at 25m Bayu looked up and was pleasantly surprised to see a large Thresher Shark (Alopius Vulpinus) cruising slowly by – of course he immediately pointed it out to guest Barry who had Thresher Shark high up his bucket list. Tick!! Threshers are known for often being seen in deep water, so you can imagine the feelings of our technical diving manager who was at 50m on the same dive site at the same time but didn’t see it!
Hatching Flamboyant Cuttlefish, one of the famous critters in Lembeh, greeted eighteenth-time repeat guest Nicole this week! She says she keeps coming back to Lembeh time and again because there is always something new to see! The tiny, squirmy, Flamboyant Cuttlefish were encased in eggs that had been laid in an overturned coconut husk. The white eggs turned nearly clear when the baby Flamboyants were ready to hatch. The 8mm juveniles instantly took on their full Flamboyant coloration as they squirmed free of their eggs and began hunting for food in the sand.
It has been another epic month here when diving in Nusa Lembongan, the oceans have been gifting us with all sorts of wonders. Over at Manta Point there have been so many manta’s coming in to feed and be cleaned giving all the divers amazing close encounters 20 plus with each visit! At the north end of Nusa Penida we have also been very lucky with sightings of the magnificent Mola Ramsiay cruising along the reef only at 20m deep but we have also been treated to a very very rare sighting of a Thresher Shark, which is typically a very deep water shark only occasionally coming up to the shallow waters to be cleaned!!
Bunaken Dive Site “Muka Kampung”, the turtle city!
Everybody loves turtles and at here we see them all over the shop and they certainly are not of the shy sort! If you get hit on the head by something it might not be your buddy struggling with his buoyancy, it could also well be a turtle pushing you out of the way to settle on its favourite spot on the reef!
This week here in North Lombok we have been noticing the colour and beauty coming back to our reefs. The North Gilis have not been famous for their colourful, pristine coral reefs due to dynamite fishing so many years ago but indeed the beautiful colour is coming back. There are so many dive sites up here which truly do blow me away. The amount of hard corals that cover our reefs is incredible ranging from massive table corals, blue corals, brain coral, plate coral, stag horn coral and fleshy coral. These corals create shelter and safety for creatures/fish such as pipe fish, lionfish, moray eels, ribbon eels, juvenile bat fish, turtles, octopus, shrimps and many more.
It was an exciting week in Lembeh as Martin, a first time visitor to Lembeh, asked his girlfriend, Carola to marry him! He hired Two Fish Lembeh’s transport boat to take the two of them to a beautiful, private white-sand beach where they went for a long, romantic walk before asking the Big Question. She said “Yes”, of course, which makes Lembeh a very memorable place for the both of them! A huge congratulations to Martin and Carola from the whole Two Fish Divers crew.
The Manta Rays in Lembongan…. The underwater action at Manta Point has continued throughout the week, with sightings of schooling manta rays, matting trains, mantas cleaning and some feeding action. The Manta Rays presence at Manta Point over the last 3 weeks has been outstanding and we have almost had a 100% success rate in sightings.
Bunaken resort update and info about the national park! After we had it a bit quiet in the last few days we have a full house again and there is a great buzz in the resort. We are diving with two boats which go to different dive sites.
We also have three students in open water courses who will be spoilt forever to do their courses on the amazing coral walls of Bunaken Island. Isabel saw an eagle ray one her first open water dive today.
This Week in North Lombok, Gili Islands, we discovered a new dive site!!! Yes indeed, it came by chance as we had planned on heading east along frog fish point when a current from nowhere appeared so we decided to go with it. On the dive was myself, Sandy, Surge (USA) and Martin (Austria). All fairly new Open water divers and fighting the current was not an option. As we flew through the water over sand at around 14 meters we came across what looked like a sunken island covered with whip coral, feather stars, anemones, rocks and crevices. A beautiful discovery. As we held onto some rocks to look within for moray eels, pipe fish and so on we found a huge, yes huge Crocodile flathead. Measuring it with my measure tank banger the size was 15 inches. This is the first time I have seen one on the North gili’s.
In November 2016 we are running our inaugral Bali tech safari, a 6-day diving safari taking in the deeper dive sites of Amed, Tulamben, Candidasa and Padang Bai.
If you are a qualified tech diver then our Bali Tech Safari is the perfect chance to get your tech diving fix. If you’re not yet a qualified technical diver then maybe you would like to find out how to join us? Read on to find out what’s happening…
In South Lombok, sightings of hawks bill turtles are common, you probably just need a little luck. But this week, we were so lucky that we saw them almost every dive. It’s been a lovely week here with the turtles out in force. That’s not all for this week! There were many sightings of other marine life as well.
Whether you are a first timer or have been here numerous times before, an encounter with a Mimic Octopus in Lembeh is bound to enchant and fascinate you! The Mimic Octopus was named after its unique ability to imitate venomous animals, providing it with some semblance of defense in an otherwise soft and tasty, defenseless body. Discovered only 15 years ago, the Mimic Octopus created quite a stir in the scientific community for being the first of its kind to go beyond traditional camouflage as a form of defense.
It has been a busy week with life-changing adventures for the 8 candidates doing our PADI Instructor Development Course in Lembongan. Over the last week and a bit, these 8 candidates have been working hard to get themselves prepared for becoming PADI instructors. Today is the first day of the PADI Instructor Exam, Mikko, Tristan, Flora, Nicole, Prashanti, Rhome , Sherrine and Matteo are all prepared for the two days of exams.
Are we teaching orang-utans to dive underwater in Bunaken? Not just yet, but we’ve been spotting plenty of orangutan crabs (picture by Alex Schade) this week. And what a busy time it has been, thanks to an Indonesian bank holiday. Instructors and dive guides got plenty of in-water time and all of our boats were called on, too. The result? Lots of smiling divers and many congratulations all around as we’re adding more certified divers to the underwater world.
This week on the Gilis, north Lombok we did our first night dive on our house reef just in front of Villa Kerang, and what a fantastic new experience for us, not just for the student Firdaus but myself included. The night dive was led by our instructor Kuss, a local instructor that has been working on these islands for at least 15 years.
The big news from Amed this week is we can now offer you 3 different styles of diving entries. You may or may not know that many of the dive entry in Amed & Tulamben can be done as shore dives. With decent facilities on land, easy entries and exits and often not too much current, this often makes sense. Other than that nearly all centres are limited to using Jukungs – the local fishing boats. In traditional outrigger style, this is definitely the most authentic way to travel at sea here, but it is not necessarily the most comfortable. So we’re pleased to announce our third option.
We want to welcome Scott and Robyn to the Two Fish Lembeh Management Team, and as semi-pro photographers they promise to help you improve your Underwater Photography Skills!