We knew the week was off to a good start in lovely Bunaken when we were surprised by a pod of dolphins swimming and playing on the surface. While it is not uncommon to see dolphins in Bunaken, it is always a welcome treat!
Returning from what had already been a great dive on the sloping wall of Sachiko, filled with turtles and Napoleon wrasse, we had just settled in for the journey back to the dive centre when our guest Mark spotted them from the bow of the boat.
About 100 meters ahead, at least 20 dolphins were breaching the surface. We cruised closer and the pod started coming towards the boat and spent a good 15 minutes just playing around the bow, racing the boat and breaching the surface. Quite a magical experience!
More dolphins kept playing nearby. After a while they seemed to have had enough and started swimming off. Our captain revved the engines and back they came. The race was on! Spurred on by the speed of the boat, ‘our’ dolphins started racing each other and the boat for a few more minutes. Simply and amazing way to end a morning’s diving!
Watch this space on Facebook, we’ll be posting a bit of video footage in the next few days.
An abundance of the spectacular Ornate Ghost Pipefish here in Sekotong this week. Casandra and Stefan joined us this week for some diving and were very happy with it. Yes they got to see the beautiful Ornate Ghost Pipefish hiding amongst the feather stars along with turtles, nudibranchs, Cuttle fish which Casandre admitted was her absolute favorite and a whole range of shrimps.
Also this week we had Laura joining us for a couple of dives with our dive master Bagyo and came back very happy after dives. Laura got to see the amazingly cute Pygmy seahorse, giant moray eels, lionfish, Indian ocean Walkman, wrasses, turtles and got to play with a huge group of sardines. Although the visibility was not as good as usual she still thoroughly enjoyed her dive.
The boat men have again been reporting sightings of the elusive dugong out on our dive sights while we have been diving, but unluckily we are still yet to see it under water. We will all be keeping our fingers crossed in the near future for a chance to observe this beautiful creature.
This week here in Sekotong the weather has been hot hot hot with one day of rain that lasted about two hours. The water has been nice and hot as well holding around 28 degrees C, we have had some mild currents, no waves and the visibility at around 15 meters.
In Belongas, South Lombok this week we had been visiting the ever so graceful sea cobras that mainly hang around our dive site “ The Cathedral “. That is not to say that we don’t spot them elsewhere…” The Magnet “is another home for them where we can spot up to 6 in a dive.
At “ The Cathedral “ we generally almost all the time descend directly on to at least one sea cobra, sometimes it can be up to seven.
This week with the couple of day trips we have had, as we descend dropping down to the maximum depth of 35m along the wall of the south side, we have had the cobras swimming up towards us, along our bellies and arms and back down again. They are extremely playful, loving and have fun with the bubbles from which we create by simply breathing.
An awful lot of the time divers can feel uncomfortable with how close they get but for sure they will do us no harm. Just relax and enjoy a sea creature that is interested to play with you.
Other than the sea cobras we have been diving with still our resident white tip reef sharks, a couple of hammerheads, green sea turtle, trevally’s, a range of lionfish and something that we don’t see so often is the honeycomb moray eel and a big one at that!
As for the smaller creatures we have spotted rock mover wrasse, leaf scorpion fish, hairy frogfish, skeleton shrimp and much much more!!!
Belongas truly has everything!!
The muck diving in Lembeh revealed a variety of Melibe this week! While we were seeing Melibe viridis (Green Melibe Nudibranches) earlier in the year, this week we are seeing smaller, yet no less impressive varieties: The Melibe megaceras, Melibe engeli and the rare Melibe colemani.