This week in Lembongan, The North Coast of Nusa Penida offers a lot of great dive sites and our dive at Mangrove this week was completely stunning!! The visibility was amazing and the fun divers pointed some big moray eels, scorpion fish and crocodile fish. Guy and Emily who were doing their Underwater Naturalist Adventure Dive found a lot of species that they didn’t know and enjoyed learning more about plants and corals.
The reef certainly does not sleep at night in Bunaken, though many of its residents do of course. Whilst the parrot fish and triggerfish find nooks and crannies to wedge themselves for a night’s rest a horde of other critters vacate their hiding places and swarm over the reef.
This week here in Belongas, South Lombok we have had the absolute pleasure of a visit from an Oceanic Manta! Having full boats all week with divers from the Gili Islands, U.K, France and Malaysia who all come from for Hammerheads and Mobula Rays were over the moon to run into the Manta.
Pi’I our Belongas guide says that this does happen so often usually about 3-4 times during the high season.
This week in Mainland Bali: We were super stoked to find a Stargazer in Padang Bai and that too during the day time.(Photo for reference only)The Stargazer is a fish that will bury itself in the sand to ambush its prey, when an unsuspecting fish swims over head it leaps out and drags it into the sand.
This week in Lembongan… On many of our dive sites around Penida and Lembongan we have Bali dive centers that take the journey across Badung Strait to bring their guests to dive our reefs. So we thought maybe we should do the opposite and head over to Bali to check out the diving there. For this trip we we loaded our boat Freedom with many tanks and a lunch and drinks and left Lembongan at 7.30am for a day trip to explore the famous Liberty wreck.
We often get emails from people who are planning dive trips to Indonesia and want to know where the best places for diving are, and what we can suggest for a 8-10 day stay. This is actually very hard to provide, its like asking to give suggestions for a 8-10 day stay for skiing in europe!
However, we can provide some of the considerations that you need to take into account when you are planning dive trips to Indonesia, and we can provide some recommendations based on this.
So there will be no more posts about visibility here at Bunaken. After last week bragging of 50+M viz, that cold upwelling must have brought with it a lot of nutrients as we have had a plankton bloom and the viz has dropped to 10-15M in places! That may not sound too bad for a lot of you but its pretty much unheard of here.
Belongas, South Lombok…..attracts those who are in need of encountering plenty of pelagic fish but it rare for us here to bump into the almighty Sunfish otherwise known as Mola Mola.
There have been a few sightings over the years but it is something that we don’t count on.
So what exactly is a boxfish?
Besides being the cuties fish ever, the boxfish are small fish that mainly swim in the shallow areas of the warmer parts of the world’s oceans, like coral reefs. They spend their lives passively pruning algae and small invertebrates like crustaceans, worms, and sponges off rocks and coral with their tiny, cute mouths. Their body is rigid with hexagonal bony plates fused together to form a hard shell that encircles their interior, “real” skeletal framework. It has as well rounded corners that makes the animal distinctly rectangular in overall shape. Their shell is so amazing that it has been used as a bionic inspiration for automobile design!
How cool is that?!
50M+ Visibility at Bunaken! Sounds too good to be true? Well it came with a cost; the visibility was easily better than 50m- you could see forever but it was due to almost a 10C thermocline!
Water temp at the surface was a nice 28-29C which dropped a little on the way down but the upwelling dropped temps to 20C! This of course brought with it a heap of fish activity; we had sharks, a monster Napoleon wrasse, loads of dogtooth tuna, jacks and emperors. All in all it was an awesome dive, and as we left bottom back into the warmth we thought we had experienced the eventful part of the dive.
Down here in Belongas, South Lombok….this week we have seen an awful lot of Hawksbill turtles. It has been known to see them on occasion at our Dive sites “Gili Sarang” and “The Cathedral” but we have even run into them at “the Magnet” earlier in the week. “A lovely way to end the dive, we have been so lucky” said the group of Instructor’s and Dive master’s from Gili islands, not only did they see the Turtles they also saw a Big school of Hammerheads, Great Barracuda, 7 White tip reef sharks, Eagle rays, Bamboo sharks, Lobsters and Grouper!!
This week in Bali: Normally you can consider yourself quiet lucky if you get to see even one Ghost Pipefish on a dive but this week we had Ghost Pipefish all over the site in Tulamben with a total of around 7-8 of them.
This week in Lembeh…. It’s Melibe Madness! We have been seeing Green Melibe’s (Melibe Viridis) Nudibranchs in quite a few different spots. These large and odd looking Nudies can grow up to 12cm and are usually found searching the ground with their oral hood for its next meal. Dom was able to see a few on his short visit from our sister dive shop in Bunaken. He was also very happy to see his very first Stargazer.
If you are planing a dive vacation with a friend or a group of friends now is the time to do it, we here at Two Fish Sanur in Bali are now offering great discounts for all groups of 2 or more people. The discounts are as follows 2 divers-10%, 3 divers-15% and 4 or more divers 20%, these discounts are applicable on our day trips as well as our non professional courses.
This week in Lembongan… Our waters seem to be full of crazy and amazing creatures. Not only have we seen molas on most of our dives, some of our divers have been lucky enough to see a mola with a thresher shark swimming right past it. Wow what a rare sight!
Our corner of the world is a well known haven for the weird and wonderful underwater; but usually most of the attention goes to our sister location of Lembeh Straits. Lembeh is of course an amazing destination, but it isn’t that far away and so it is of no great surprise when even our guides get their minds blown by something amazing.
In Belongas, South Lombok this week we have had a huge amount of sightings of the Banded Sea Snake. Black colour with white bands running down their entire body. They are extremely graceful and are usually spotted swimming around sticking their heads into most rocks and crevices looking for food.
This week in Lembeh….We all get along! With so much action in the water these days the critters of Lembeh strait all hang out together. As seen here with a pair of coleman shrimp sharing their home with a Zebra Crab. Living atop a Fire urchin, these two are a great display of the co-existing that goes on here.
This week in South Lombok, Eels are giving their best. Most eels live in the shallow waters of the ocean and burrow into sand, mud, or amongst rocks. A majority of eel species are nocturnal, thus are rarely seen. Sometimes, they are seen living together in holes, or “eel pits”. Some species of eels also live in deeper water on the continental shelves and over the slopes deep as 4,000 m.
In every group there is always that one friend who does’t dive and for this one person we are going to be offering a free PADI confined discover scuba diving session worth $65.
This week in Lembongan… Another busy week on our little island. We have had two full boats going out every day. Temperatures in the south of the island have dropped and our divers were happy that we rent out 5mm full wetsuits to keep them warm and cozy. We all like to wear wetsuits nowadays for diving. But how does a wetsuit really keep you warm?
Congratulations go out to Paula & Oriol and Laurent & Frederic as well as Celine for completing their Open Water course in Bunaken and to Tatsuya for earning his Nitrox certification. This week has seen a return to some pretty unusual currents here at Bunaken; ups, downs and merry go rounds- but the visibility has…