Elasmobranch week at Bunaken!

Bamboo sharkIt has been an elasmobranch week at Bunaken. In particular our deep divers Danny and Rachel were lucky enough to have sharks and rays on almost every dive this past week. Danny even lucked out and had an encounter with a scalloped hammerhead at 50m.

All the action wasn’t happening down deep though, we had an unusual visit from a brown banded bamboo shark, which had found a nice hole to hide out in on Lekuan Dua. Also the usual suspects of white tips, black tips, eagle rays and the abundant blue spotted ribbon tail rays kept everyone happy.

Guillermo our Divemaster Trainee goodbye in South Lombok

Guillermo our Divemaster trainnee says goodbye in South Lombok

Time has come for me to move to Bunaken (North Sulawesi), which is the next location of my Divemaster internship. I actually chose to do my Divemaster internship with TwoFish Divers because of the fact that it can be done in several fantastic locations in Indonesia. Another clear benefit of this multi location approach is that it also allows the trainee to interact with, and profit from the experience of, a larger pool of instructors, as well as to experience the day-to-day activities of dive centres with different characteristics. Therefore, after my first two weeks in Lombok, I will continue now my training in Bunaken. My third, and last, training location will be Lembeh!

My first tech dive on Bunaken wreck

JakeThis week I, Jake, went for my first tech dive on Bunaken wreck with Dom and was feeling pretty special with all my tanks. I had an amazing dive its a really cool wreck with lots of swim throughs and a whole bunch of nudibranchs.

Also diving in to the blue on the walls of Bunaken with Barry and Louise from the U.K. almost immediately we were greeted by 2 pontohi pygmy seahorses we were all very excited and lots of pictures were taken. As for the rest of the dive we saw green turtles, orang utan crabs, boxer shrimp and many many more.

Elise’s Divemaster Training in Bali

Elise's Divemaster Training in BaliThe first two weeks of my Dive Master course went by in the blink of an eye, can’t believe I’m halfway through already! To give you an idea about this 2-week-blink I’ll tell you about my experiences so far.

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 yet to gain.

Belongas, South Lombok- Blue Spotted Stingray’s

Blue Spotted Stingray's

This week in Belongas, South Lombok Blue Spotted Stingrays galore once again at our dive Site “Gili Sarang”.

We have often seen more than 25 stingrays hanging around the same spot, some swimming, some resting but all in within a 10 meter radius and to this day we are still mesmerized by it. It is truly wonderful to just hover and watch. I can’t get enough of it and the divers we have come to visit Belongas are the same often voicing the fact that they have never seen so many.

A New Young Diver Explores the Reefs of Lembongan

A New Young Diver Explores the Reefs of LembonganThis week in Lembongan… A new young diver explores the reefs of Lembongan. Jack, a 10 year old, who completed his junior open water course with instructor Gwen, had a lot of fun getting his certification. Jack is an active snorkeler and surfer back in his home country of Australia but decided that that was not enough and wanted to get down underwater to explore the reefs. 

New wreck at Bunaken

AnemoneWe have had some great dives this week and have even found a new wreck at Bunaken! Not that I think it will be attracting many divers, just out of recreational range Naomi and myself spotted two pretty new looking engines and long tail props along with some bamboo outriggers, whilst on a tech dive. Possibly the mission for a future search and recovery dive? This was just one of many highlights on a beautiful Mandolin dive; mating big eye trevally, sharks, stingrays, moray eels, massive maori wrasse as well as the reef bustling with life. All of this in beautifully mild conditions; warm water, great viz and a nice drift taking us along the reef. The picture attached shows the lovely scenery that we have to enjoy during our shallow stops; no boring blue water hangs for us.

Great Hammerheads in Belongas, South Lombok

Great Hammerheads in Belongas, South Lombok

Belongas, South Lombok this week has been the rise of Great hammerheads.

Down here in Belongas we have the opportunity to see both the scalloped hammerheads and the great hammerheads. The scalloped form in schools where as the great are known to be more solitary.

When we encounter the great hammerheads we usually only see 3-4 on a dive if we are lucky but this week on individual dives we have been spotting 8-10!

Molas All Around Lembongan

Mola molas in Nusa LembonganThis week in Lembongan… Our guests have had some pretty amazing encounters with these special creatures. Annie who spent 5 days diving with us, saw a mola every day and on some dives she saw up to 5 molas, swimming, cleaning and even jumping. One of the most special moments of the week was with Annie’s son, Neils. Neils is only 8 so he is yet to become a scuba diver like his mum, but that did not stop him from getting the chance to see a mola!

Schooling schools of squid, Belongas, South Lombok

Squid from Belongas Bay

Once again here in Belongas, South Lombok our conditions have been up and down with temperatures ranging from 19ºC-24ºC, visibility from 5-25 meters, waves from .5-4 meters and current from small to strong washing machines and still our season has not ended.

We have been seeing hammerheads, mobula rays, white tip reef sharks, barracuda, devil rays, trevally, tuna and more and more schools of squid mainly at the dive site “Gili Sarang”.

Treasure of North Penida

Treasure of North PendiaThis week in Lembongan… The waves have picked up in the south, so the manta sites have been unreachable but this means we have spent the week drifting over the colourful soft corals of the slopping reefs on the north coast of Nusa Penida. Although the south coast does bask in the glory of the manta rays, the south is mainly covered with sponge coral that does not hold the bright colours like soft coral does. This is due to the changing wave conditions that effect the coral spore moment, meaning soft coral find it hard to grow. This is quite different on the north coast, it seems with the magic of nature, the slopping fringing reefs provide the perfect environment for coral spores to settle and process the beautiful colours that cover these slopes.

Calm Sea For Nyepi Laut in Lembongan

Calm Sea For Nyepi Laut in LembonganThis week in Lembongan. It’s that time of year again. On the fourth full moon of the Balinese calendar Nyepi Laut is celebrated on the islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. This year this day falls on September 29th. On this day the inhabitants of the three islands pay homage to the Dewa Baruna who is the ruler of the seas. This ritual has been performed in the region of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan since 1600 during the reign of Dalem Waturenggong. The ritual practice of that day includes meditation and quiet contemplation on the importance of the watery environment that surrounds and sustains the islands.

Prize Find For Shrimp Geeks at Bunaken

Periclimenes lanipesA prize find for shrimp geeks was finally captured on camera at Bunaken by our in house shrimpophile Robyn. Robyn has spent the last week doing night dives around Bunaken amazed by the amount of life that comes out to play only once the sun has gone down. The basket stars have been a firm favourite as they swarm over the reef, especially once she found they were full of their own little critters.