Well, the last week of my divemaster course in Lembongan was bittersweet. I was so excited to finally journey to the breathtaking Bunaken I had heard so much about, but could not shake the melancholy I felt for leaving Nusa Lembongan Island. I did however get very lucky, as my last week there was full of guests and scuba diving courses, which meant a lot of daily fun diving for me! I thought eventually I might get tired of the reef walls along the north coast of Nusa Penida, or eventually my wonderment for Mantas might dwindle but I am now quite sure, that is impossible.
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.
So there I finally was, arriving in Nusa Lembongan, to begin my much anticipated journey on the divemaster course. After planning the trip for months, and packing up everything I had in the States, I was ready to start what has so far been a delightful yet challenging adventure. The first couple of days were absolute paradise. I started with fun dives in the morning witnessing some of the most alluring marine life I have ever seen, then spent the afternoons reading by the pool, and watching the harlequin sunset over the beach. But of course, this couldn’t last forever, some work had to be involved in getting my divemaster certification.
This week in Lembongan… Our instructors have been busy teaching new students about the wonderful world of diving. We have had Rowan jumping between teaching an Open Water course with the help of Yayan, to teaching discover scuba divers. Bryce and Fred have been out panicking and screaming for help while teaching a rescue course. Yayan has popped over to Bali to teach another person Open Water course and Fred has just started a deep specialty course.
This week in Lembongan…. It has been a week of large creatures. The start of the week was full of manta rays enthusiast which resulted in us heading, by request, to one of the manta dive sites 6 times over the course of 5 days. We are very understanding with our dive site picks and if that is what the people want, that is what the people get. On one day, we went to a manta dive site for all 3 of the dives. With all these trips to see mantas, our guests were not disappointed and they had the chance to see lots of manta rays as well as some other large creatures.
I finished my DMT on the 10th with one of the most memorable and insanely overwhelmingly beautiful display of manta life I’ve witnessed, or even my mentor Rowan has witness. A 65 minute dive where we undertook some unknown swim throughs, slipping in and out of overhangs as the swell ebbed and flowed, using it to our advantage. As it picked up we decided this might not be the best idea anymore as we were moving sometimes 3 meters at a time with it. Unable to hide from it, Unable to fight it, it brought us where IT wanted us to go.
This week in Lembongan… The condition around the islands has been very still, allowing us many trips to the manta dive sites. While Eanna was practicing his guiding at Manta Bay, they were finishing up their safety stops, when instructor Rowan, spotted in the distance, one manta ray approaching. This was quickly followed by another and another, with a total of 7 manta rays passing by to feed.
So there I was, my first day after arriving in Nusa Lembongan, sweating, thirsty and in need of an ice cold coconut to rehydrate the never ending perspiration that comes with living in Indonesia, i was ready to start what can only be described as a life altering course.
I had been her for 5 weeks prior to this, travelling, surfing and the inevitable dose of party thrown in the mix. Deciding to do my Rescue course, and further than that, my DMT with Two fish in Lembongan was a decision I had been weighing up for almost two months and now it was to become my reality.
This week in Lembongan…. What an amazing week we’ve had over here in Lembongan. Not only have we had multiple visits from the usual suspects, our friends the bantas, but we were graced with multiple visits from the Mola’s too. Both underwater and breaching on our surface intervals, which is always a shock!
The molas were so close to our groups that amazing videos were shot by our customers, on a very clear day of diving. Adding to all of this we were lucky enough to have a close up encounter with the largest fish in the ocean, the Whale Shark, which can grow to over 12m in length, ours was a mere teenager coming in at an approximate 5m. We are still waiting to here back from www.whaleshark.org for identification of the little chap.
This week in Lembongan… The storms, rain and big waves of last week have now left us and the sea has calmed down, meaning that we have been able to get back around the island to the manta dive sites. We went to manta bay a few times this week but one dive really stood out and it wasn’t only because of the manta rays we saw. It was truly a spectacular dive at Manta Bay.
It seems lots of people have made diving their New Year’s resolution as we have had lots of people come through and complete their dive courses in Lembongan, including the PADI Open Water, Rescue and a few specialties.
This week in Lembongan… With the low season settling in and the crazy rush of high season just a memory from last year, it is time to start preparing for coming high season. This means it is equipment servicing time in Lembongan!
This week in Nusa Lembongan… It is meant to be the wet season and in the past, January and February are months when the rains come, but not this year. We have had some very hot sunny days and with no rain, it means that the water has been super clear this week. We have had an average visibility of 20 meters at most of our dive sites.
This week in Lembongan… We have been spotting many leaf scorpionfish under the water on our north dive sites. The north coast of Pendia’s gentle slopping reefs, dressed in coral, provide a great place for these camouflaging creatures to hide out.
This week in Lembongan… We were able to find a tiny flatworm drifting in the soft current at the Mangrove dive site. Now normally it is the dive guides with the amazing eyes to spot the tiny little creatures but on this dive, instructor Bryce was lucky to spot this flatworm that was drifting with the current, all curled up in a ball before settling on a bit of coral to open up and hang on.
This week in Lembongan… Dive guide Rein was able to this amazing creature hiding in the rubble at 27 meters in Crystal Bay. This strangle and colourful scorpionfish is on the top of many macro diver‘s things to spot under the water and to have the chance to see one of this colour is very lucky!
This week in Lembongan… With the changing currents due to the change of the season, we have seen an increase of visibilty in Lembongan. With this visibility have come a few more jellyfish. Although to no worry to divers, these strange creatures provide an interesting sight while underwater.
This week in Lembongan… Turtles have been cruising by our divers and giving them a little wave. There are a lot of divers that have the turtle at the top of there list of things to see under the water and Lembongan is a great location to spot them.
This week in Lembongan… Our divers have been able to spot some lions… Lion fish that is. The common and the long fin lion fish are common sights in the waters around Nusa Lembongan and they are natural inhabitants, so they are not a pests like in other parts of the world.
This week in Lembongan… The seas have been calm and flat, allowing us some great chances to nip around to the south coast of Nusa Pendia to the famous manta sites. Although Manta Point hasn’t had the number of mantas that it normally has, Manta Bay has been the site of choice for these hungry manta rays to feed.
Goodbye mola! Today I finished my divemasters with a really good last day! While mapping crystal bay a mola came by to wave goodbye to my instructor Gwen and me. The first half of my Divemaster was in Sanur, Bali mainland, where I started with 4 days of theory and skills practice in the pool with my instructor Reuben. During these days I learned that performing a skill and demonstrating one is a whole different story and how much control in diving I have left to gain.
This week in Lembongan… Mola Mola Mola!!!! After an amazing mola season we believed that these creatures had made their way back to depths, as the water has begin to be warmer but, no! They decide this week, to come say hi to our divers and show them that they are still here!
This week in Lembongan… Two days ago, our divers were really lucky, as in one day they spotted; manta rays, a bamboo shark, schools of giant trevallies and up to 8 marbled rays relaxing on the bottom.
This week in Lembongan… Some of our guests decided to finish their stay with a night dive in Lembongan Bay and had the chance to see a blue-ringed octopus! Mijin, from South Korea, who was doing her Advanced Open Water Course with Gwen, changed all her plan when she heard about the chance to do a night dive and also convinced Elise (Dive Master in training) to come for her first night dive.
This week in Lembongan… We spotted a mantis shrimp at Manta Point calmly sitting out in the open, even if they look gorgeous, some call them the nightmare of the ocean, as they can be powerful killers, but maybe it’s why we love them!