This Week in Lembeh…. We get close up! One thing we here at Lembeh are known for is being a Macro Photographers wet dream (pun intended). Very similar to this Napoleon snake eel, many of the critters here allow you to get close up and personal. Many of these critters going about their business on the sand, making appearances while buried in the sand or just saying a quick hello. Its possible to accommodate everyone from simple point and shoot cameras to 4k Cameras and beyond.
The leaf scorpionfish or paperfish is about 10 cm long. Their color varies from green, red, pink, brown, ocher and yellowish to a ghostly white. The fish is almost as flat as a leaf and resembles a leaf in many other ways. The leaf scorpionfish resembles a dead leaf lying in the water. To enhance this camouflage, it even makes gentle sideways movements in its pelvic area which make it resemble a drifting inert object
This week in Lembongan… The big waves that were predicted for the weekend didn’t affect us as much as we had thought. Of course we were not able to go visit the mantas, but we were able to do many wonderful dives on the north coast of Nusa Penida.
This week in Bunaken… A large amount of eagle rays have been seen on the dives this week and the divers had a nice surprise visit from a pod of pilot whales who played in the bow wave of the boat one day on the way back from the morning dives.
In Belongas, South Lombok this week we have had one of the most pure natural experiences with the Banded Sea Snake (Laticauda Colubrine), showing off their elegance, flexibility and outstanding hunting skills. Although extremely venomous, the banded sea snake has no interest in us divers what so ever. Their food of choice is mainly eels and small fish which we have an abundance of here in Belongas!
This week on Mainland Bali: we have been doing a number of daytrips around Bali mainland and on one particular trip to the Japanese Wreck in Bali we found some incredible critters.
This week in Lembeh…. Lembeh is where Frogfish shine! Like this Juvenile Painted Frogfish, they have been popping up everywhere lately. Hairy, Giant, Painted, Warty, all have been making an appearance. Always a favorite with divers the frogfish come is all sorts of colours, markings and sizes. They often blend in quite well with their surroundings, but not always…. Sometimes they really stand out. Makes you think “Who are you trying to fool!?” While fishing, sleeping, yawning or doing anything else, slow and steady is the case with them. Rarely will they be in a rush for anything.
This week in the South Gili Islands, Lombok … we saw a growing number of Flabellina funeka. The purple lady nudibranch or Flabellina funeka, is a species of aeolid nudibranch, and is a very colourful sea slug. It is usually smaller than 45 mm. It has annulate purple rhinophores with pale tips.
The bright colours of the purple lady serve to advertise to predators that it is toxic.
This week in Bunaken… We have had a nudilicious time here in Bunaken this week! With nice and calm conditions and not much current to speak of it was easy for the guides and guests to take their time and find plenty of amazing, colourful and rare nudibranchs hiding in the cracks and crevices on the reef. (Photo: Dom Jeanes)
This week in Bali, A familiar face of one of the cousins of the Lembeh Residents! Bali’s dive sites so often remind us of Lembeh with so many similarities in life forms just like this Tube Dwelling Anemone. Whiles muck diving here we have been finding a number of species which we so often see in Lembeh.
This week in Lembeh…… We Sea–Horses! Recently a fairly common site our guests have been noticing are the abundance of Seahorses around the strait. From the tiny Pygmy to the much much larger Common Seahorse, they can come in all sorts of forms. The Pygmy’s can range from brown to yellow to pink/purple they ranging from 1cm-3cm. Where as the Common and thorny seahorses regularly range from 17cm-20cm. Unfortunately they are highly prized in the aquarium trade which adds to the rarity to see them in their natural habitat. Though at the moment spotting them here isn’t difficult.
Belongas, South Lombok is known for its big waves, deep waters, strong surge and strong currents in season. Now most of us divers have always believed that strong currents equal big fish! Usually this is the case. This week however we have had calm surfaces, light surge, next to nothing with currents and a water temperature of 27ºC. Yet it has been a week of everything we could possibly want and far from what was expected at this time of year.
This week in south gilis Lombok … The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) or Bernis eel is an elegant creature bearing a resemblance to a mythical Chinese dragon with a long, thin body and high dorsal fins.
A couple of weeks ago still black and a junior and now grown up he has changed colour to a shiny blue.
This week in Lembongan… It’s been a week of spotting many small creatures. Well, that is if you don’t count the 20+ mantas we’ve been seeing regularly at Manta Point. Our guides have eyes like hawks, at least that’s how Tom (who stayed with us for over a week) explained it.
This week in Bunaken… With a large amount of night dives this week the divers have enjoyed seeing lots and lots of crazy crustaceans. Normally fairly shy during the day, once the sun sets the reefs are littered with the tiny little red dots that are eyes of shrimps and crabs reflecting the torch light. (Thank you Guillermo for the beautiful marble shrimp photo!)
This week in Lembeh…. All shrimps aren’t “Shrimps”. As I’m sure the Giant Mantis Shrimp think, “ Who you calling a shrimp?! ” Something we have a bountiful amount of here in the strait is shrimp. They come in all colours, shapes, and sizes. For example the whip coral shrimp is only about 1 cm, compared to the Giant Mantis Shrimp who’s eye alone can be larger than 1.5cm. Even if there is little to find on a dive, one can guarantee shrimp. The variety of shrimp in the area can keep a diver and photographer coming back for more.
This week here in Belongas, south lombok we have been experiencing big waves, moderate currents and superb yes superb visibility! The schools of Barracudas have stayed with us again all this week ranging from 150-200 in each. They have been spotted circulating the reefs at 3 dives sites. Having the visibility so clear this week has meant that throughout the whole dives the barracudas have been clear and part of the group.
This week in Lembongan… Big fish, round fish, long fish, thin fish, many fish, small fish, ugly fish, colourful fish and two or more fish… We’ve seen it all. But on one of our last safety stops at SD on the north coast of Nusa Penida a Humphead Wrasse decided to hang out with the divers for most of the three minutes.
This week in Bunaken… Divers have been spoiled this week with plenty of encounters of large game fish. Schools of big eye trevallies and yellow fin tunas have cruised by as well as massive dog tooth tunas, great barracudas and giant trevallies. All this activity has also made the reef fish more on the edge and it’s a quite impressive thing to watch when hundreds of red fang trigger fish get startled and in unison swoops down to the reef with a big ‘SWOOOSH’. (Photo: Dom Jeanes)
This week in Lembeh…. This is Cheerleading Lembeh Style! We have been seeing our own versions of pom pom wielding cheerleaders in our waters. The cute yet elusive Boxer crab (Lybia) is a type of small crab from the Xanthidae family. They are most recognizable from the pom pom like anemones they carry in their claws. Though very shy our guides have a knack for finding these small guys.
The full moon has come and gone this week leaving us with a fairly calm surface and currents next to nothing. This has not meant that all our big beauties of the ocean have disappeared alongside with them. On our dives out in Belongas Bay, South Lombok this week we have been lucky enough to encounter groups of white tip reef sharks, at least four each time. Some gracefully chilling out in the blue next to reef while other’s were spotted taking it easy under an overhang.
This week at the south gilis Lombok … crustaceans are giving their best pose to the camera. Squat lobster are dorsoventrally flattened crusaceans with long tails held curled beneath the thorax. More than 900 species have been described, in around 60 genera. Besides squat lobsters, we saw other crustaceans and critters like corallimorph decorator crap;
This week in Bunaken… The divers got a cephalopod sensation this week when they ended up among freshly hatched octopus and cuttlefish. During a dive over at the mainland, ‘the muck diving of Bunaken‘, Benita and Janine from Australia all of a sudden found themselves among heaps of tiny little octopus swimming around in the water as well as several baby cuttlefish hiding in the stag horn coral. It is all about being in the right place at the right time! (Photo: Phil Clarke)