This week in Lembongan, during the discovery dive of Vishal, we focused a bit on the usual inhabitants of the coral reef, and particularly the damselfish which are populating the coral reel. Damselfishes are these energetic little fish that you will spot everywhere on the reefs of South-East Asia seas. They have 321 known species, usually with oval body shapes (up to around 35cm) and bright colors.
In Gili Air this week … we found a Giant Frogfish at Gili Air again!! Well the last time it was a painted frogfish, and this time the colour was a faded purple/grey. Such a nice find as these odd shaped bottom dwellers tend to camouflage and hide a lot.
It was found on the dive site called Hans Reef where it was found chilling out on an artificial cage at 12 meters. This dive site is in the North Gilis, and this week the waves have frequently been big, limiting us to the North sites of all 3 Gili’s. This is not a bad thing as we have lovely sites up in the north with a variety of sea life, enough to make all divers of all levels happy!!!
This week in Amed, Two Fish Divers organized lot of dive trips in Padang Bay. Padang Bay muck diving is comparable to Lembeh. Our fun divers Rob and Peter joined the trip, because they are macro lovers. They could go on the dive site Jetty and spot lots of critters such like frogfishes, gurnard lionfishes or ghost pipefishes.
Watching behavior is a favorite pastime of many Lembeh divers. Animals feed on other animals, fish spawn with one another, and of course there is plenty of egg laying going on. This week in Lembeh, Two Fish Divers guests were shocked to see a Shaggy Scorpionfish gobble down a Wonderpus! For a moment it looked like the Wonderpus had a fighting chance as its tentacles braced against the face of the Scorpionfish, but in the end the Scorpionfish won the fight. And this isn’t the first time a Wonderpus has seen the inside of a fish’s mouth. A few months back Two Fish divers saw a Wonderpus eaten by a flounder. However, the dive-guide’s gentle tap on the flounders nose made it spit the dazed Wonderpus back onto the sand! For now it remains 1:1 for Wonderpus against predatory fish…
The North Gilis this week we have been going wild with try dives for the boat staff!! It has been extremely fun, a little challenging at times but well worth it. A real team building exercise and also it is good for all the staff working within the dive centre to know for themselves exactly why we do this. After a few pool sessions we are then out and about exploring the sites.
Who knew there was beautiful reef diving in Lembeh? Often overlooked because of all the world-class muck diving sites, there are also some amazing reef dives in Lembeh. Angel’s Window is a regularly requested site amongst return guests because of all the incredible animals encountered there. Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses are easily located at a few sites, but the Denise Pygmy Seahorse is a rare sight in Lembeh Strait these days. The Denise is differentiated from the Bargibanti by its smoother look: while the Bagibanti has many tubercles to match its host Gorgonean fan, the Denise has fewer tubercles, giving it a smoother appearance. And while the Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse is usually found living on pinkish colored fans, the Denise is assumed to more often reside on orange fans (though not always).
The North Gili’s this week we have had 6 Scuba Diver courses and plenty of Discover Scuba divers. Up here on Gili Air we get all sorts of travellers turning up from families on a long holiday to daily travellers going about Southeast Asia to couples and so on. Since opening here we have noticed a lot of beginner divers. It really is a great place to start as the currents are avoidable; we have crystal clear warm water and Turtles everywhere. The Scuba diver course is really a great introduction to diving and it allows you to continue and practice with professionals. It only takes 2 days which seems to be ideal for the people visiting the Gili islands.
A few of our guests were lucky enough to witness baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish hatching in Lembeh this week! Their eggs were first discovered a week prior and a few dedicated guests and guides returned time and again before finally witnessing the big event! As if it’s not incredible enough to watch the juveniles squirm about inside their eggs, to see them shift color just moments before pushing through the egg must be truly incredible! Once out of the egg, the teeny-tiny Flamboyant Cuttlefish remained brightly colored as it sought out its first meal on the reef…
Are you a scuba diving pro in Bali, the Gilis or Lombok looking forward to the season slowing down a little? We’ve got the perfect cure for any boredom – come do any technical diving course with us and receive a massive 10% discount as a local dive pro! And there are opportunities for technical fun diving, too!
This week in Lembongan… Last night a few of our divers headed out for a night dive in Lembongan Bay. A fairly shallow dive site which in terms of currents and waves, is a strong contrast to the other dive sites around Lembongan and Penida but it is these differences in conditions, that make it a great spot for night dives. Normally Spanish Dancers are pretty rare to find around Lembongan, but it is these crazy nudibranch that are dive guides are looking for on night dives.
All good stories have an end and this end was a struggle with theory! So you have this smart people who tell you ‘at the start of the course go through the book and do the exams immediately so you have that out of the way’ Perfect idea no?
When I first arrived in Bunaken I was stunned by the peacefulness of the place.
A boat ride across from Manado along crystal blue water and rolling, lush green mountains, and flashes of the reef from below.
A photo speaks a thousand words, so here’s over ten thousand words as we show you a lovely gallery of Amed critters photos taken by our guest Olly Tindall. Olly was here for a few days last week diving with our guide Baron – Baron found the creatures and Olly took these awesome photos. Thanks for the photos Olly and hope to see you again soon.
So, how many of these species you can identify??
This week in Lembongan… Our divers have been spotting lots of razorfish along the north coast of Penida. Not seen very often in the area and almost never when there is strong current along the north coast, but this week, the conditions have been good and our divers have been able to spot groups of these funky looking creatures pecking at the reef, looking for food.
This week in Amed, Two Fish Divers did lots of dives in Tulamben. The bumphead parrotfishes are back. The bumphead parrotfishes are the biggest of their species. They are quite easy to spot in Coral Garden at any time.
In the North Gilis, Lombok this week we have had a rise of the banded sea snake. We used to often see them around various dive sites up here but we have not spotted one for a few weeks now. This week at Frogfish point North Gili Air we have spotted 3 on different occasions. They are fairly fat beasts here not the usual slender banded sea snake, must be a lot of good food for them in this area.
To the surprise and delight of our divers, one of the rarest octopus in the Strait, the Hairy Octopus, graced us with his delightfully-playful presence this week. There also continues to be an excess of Juvenile Frogfish on the reef, in all colors, species and sizes. Everyone from super macro photographers to compact shooters will be taking home an incredible selection of Frogfish photos! Add the Halemeida Ghostpipefish sighting to the mix, and it was quite the eventful week of diving!
Apart from the beautiful scorpion fish in the picture there have been some amazing finds down here in south lombok. We have had some amazing dives with regular sightings of painted frog fish. Wonder pus, harliquin shrimp, bob tail squid, sea horses and so much more.
This week in the North Gilis, Lombok we have been busy, busy and more busy again. We have mainly had a lot of courses ranging from Discover Scuba dives, Open water courses to Advanced open water courses. Each day the boat has been out with a good few Fun divers on it as well as our courses.
Divemaster in Training Lily was fascinated by the Shrimpgobys and their Snapping Shrimp counterparts in Lembeh this week. The Shrimpgoby lives alongside a nearly blind Snapping Shrimp in a burrow and provides the vulnerable shrimp with the protection of “eyesight”. The bull-dozing shrimp provides the Shrimpgoby with a clean burrow as it spends its days cleaning out their home. Any time it leaves the burrow the Shrimp maintains physical contact with its watchful Shrimpgoby. At the first sign of danger, a single flick of the Shrimpgoby’s tail sends them both diving for safety back into their manicured burrow.
This week in Lembongan… It seems the mola season has started with a mola sighting every few days. But, they have been a little shy. Over the last few days, the ones that the divers have seen, have just been passing by and moving quickly. As rare and as special as these creatures are, even just a few seconds with a passing mola has made our guests happy. As the mola season kicks off, lets go through a few facts and myths about this crazy creatures.
Going into my sixth week of the divemaster course. Time flies when you are having fun! ? I’m happy with the choice of spreading the course over 8 weeks. It increased the amount of experience I earned by having time to do fun dives where I am able to learn from the dive guides or to guide several dives myself.