How to get the most out of encounters with sea turtles

Belly rubbing sea turtleOn your next dive holiday to Indonesia you will definitely bump into at least two types of sea turtles, the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.

We get both types of these sea turtles at all of our dive locations in Indonesia.

To ensure that you get the most out of your encounter with these beautiful and gentle creatures here is some facts about them, some tips on how to tell them apart and some pointers on how to interact with them.

Mola Mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world

Mola mola at Buyuk, Nusa LembonganThis week we saw 5 Mola Mola on 1 dive in Lembongan so I thought that I would find out what a Mola Mola is, and the first thing I discovered is that the Mola Mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world!! (sharks and rays can be heavier, but they’re cartilaginous fish).

The Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish, resembles a big floating blob, and the adult has an average weight of 1,000 kg and is 180cm long (250cm fin to fin).

Lots of Blue-ring octopus in Lembeh but what are they?

Blue ring octopus
We have been seeing loads of Blue Ring Octopus recently in Lembeh so we thought we would tell you a bit about them!

Ecology
There are possibly 10 different species of blue-ringed octopus but only 4 have been formally names and all are inhabitants of asian-pacific waters:

  • Greater Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata)
  • Lesser Blue-ringed Octopus or Southern Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa)
  • Blue-lined Octopus (Hapalochlaena fasciata)
  • Hapalochlaena nierstraszi

Introducing the Incredible Mandarin Fish!

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

Currently lots of Ghostpipefish in Lembeh but what is a ghost pipefish?

We are seeing alot of Robust ghost pipefish in Lembeh at the moment so we thought that we would tell you what they are.

Family Solenostomidae
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.

Dolphins in Bunaken

DOLPHIN_1It is common to see dolphins in Bunaken National Park. There are 28 different types of whales and dolphins that have been seen in the park, however they are shy animals and most of the times we see them in the surface rather than diving.

When we do see them then often it is in very large schools of 50-100+ animals, as in the photo on the right.

Here a little bit more information about these amazing animals!

Whitetip Reef Shark in Bunaken

IMG_1738 In Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi the Whitetip reef shark is one of our regular encounters.

Despite having a face that looks strangely like that of a disgruntled weasel, the Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) is generally unaggressive toward humans who invade its environment. Although it often rests in caves during daylight hours, this species is probably the most commonly-encountered shark of the tropical Pacific. Indeed, for many divers and snorkellers, the phlegmatic Reef Whitetip is their only ambassador to sharkdom.