It is not often that Bryozoans and Echinoderms are highly sought after in Lembeh, but this week’s visiting Marine Biologists, Simi and Basti, couldn’t get enough of them! The Bryozoan is a collection of tiny, invertebrate marine animals that live in large colonies. These tiny animal colonies create beautiful structures that are big enough to house fellow reef creatures. The Lacey Bryozoan (pictured) made headline marine news of recent when a new species of Goby, Shrimp and Crab were discovered living inside of it. Extremely cryptic animals, and localized to a select few regions of Indonesia, the Bryozoan Goby is the most recent “newly discovered animal” that Lembeh has to offer.
This week in Lembongan… Usually during the dives in Crystal Bay, the large central sand patch is quickly crossed by divers who go from one side to the other, spending most of their time on the coral areas, and used by students taking courses because of the ease to kneel and demonstrate the skills sheltered from current and without harming the marine life. Well, they should consider spending more time there because there’s a whole specific ecosystem around!
This week on the North Gilis, Lombok we have been christening our new pool! We started with a dip and swim, and then we had our first scuba try out with a couple from Belgium which lead onto a Discover scuba out at Turtle Heaven dive site north of Gili Meno. Yesterday we had our boat crew Zul and Harry, and our admin staff Mita in there for a skill session and swim about, what a bunch of fun we had with millions of pictures taken. It is a lovely feeling having a whole team together enjoying being underwater which is really what we are all about.
This week, our team came out in force to participate in Trash Hero Amed’s largest ever beach clean-up! 105 people helped collect over 300 kgs of trash, much of it plastic that would otherwise have ended up in the sea (thanks to Mataboolan Photography for the picture). Needless to say, the beach in front of the dive centre looks pristine at the moment and we’ll make sure it stays this way. In other news, our IDC candidates are getting ready for their instructor exam and everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for them (not that they need it).
This week in Lembongan… We are starting our high season, and this year as previous years, we are having an increasing amount of visitors in our tiny paradise island. Curious about what is it that brings people over to Lembongan, we decided to go ahead and ask to some of those visitors the reasons why they included Lembongan in their holiday itinerary. The answers were so diverse that it surprised us! We thought it would be interesting to share some of these thoughts. Of course, manta rays and mola-mola or sunfish are some of the main reasons why divers come to Lembongan.
Hi there! My name is Lilly and I just spend my first week of my 7 weeks total as a divemaster trainee. Diving has always been my passion and after studying 5 months in cold (but beautiful) Northern Ireland as my gap semester I decided to take my diving “career” (if you can call it that) further by becoming a Divemaster before heading back home to Switzerland. I just came back from learning how to fill tanks and spend my morning assisting a PADI Open Water diver on his first two dives. Now I have 40 minutes to write this blog after which instructor Dion will show me how to use the compass so I hopefully won’t get lost during the night dive this evening.
This week on Gili Air, we went exploring the new wreck that sank earlier this year. Situated on the North/West side of Gili Trawangan the Glen Nusa is 22 meters long 7 meters wide. It sunk around 3-4 Months ago after being towed from Bali. We knew that the corals would not have started growing just yet but we wanted to have a peak. It was a lovely dive, we dropped just off shark point and swam towards the wreck. It lays at 28 meters and the top is 22. We swam around a bit, took some pictures and headed back towards the end of Shark point.
This week in Amed… Two Fish Divers start the first PADI IDC in Amed ! Amed start to become some of the most famous diving place. Become a diving instructor and start to teach in good environment. It is magic when your students are distracted by a bumphead parrotfish while they are doing a hover skill.
Much to the surprise and delight of our Two Fish Divers, the rare and beautiful Velvet Ghostpipefish made an appearance in Lembeh this week! Though we are accustomed to seeing Ornate and Robust Ghostpipefish with some regularity, the Velvet Ghostpipefish is rarely encountered. Its bright red coloration might make you question its ability to camouflage, but in reality it does a beautiful job of impersonating a common red sponge that grows throughout Lembeh. Next on our wish list is a Halimeda Ghostpipefish sighting, which is just as rarely encountered as the Velvet. The Halimeda Ghostpipefish lives up to its name by impersonating Halimeda algae, and it just as fascinating as its beautiful Velvet cousin.
This weeks ‘dive against debris’ at our adopted dive site Muka Kampung in front of the Bunaken village was very successful. 10 guests and 7 staff joined in to collect in total 18 kg of debris. The strangest piece of debris was a bike tyre. It was a beautiful day and most of us went snorkeling as most of the debris is found shallow on top of the reef or on the surface. Everybody had a lot of fun drifting on a mild current above this beautiful dive site with amazing corals.
Compared to the last ‘dive against debris’ we collected two trash bags less but heavier items instead.
We had a successful Rhinopias hunt this week at Two Fish Lembeh!
Third time return guest David heard that there were some recent Rhinopias sightings in Lembeh, and it was his goal to see one. Just as his no-deco time was getting low on his first morning-dive back in the Strait, he spotted a big, beautiful, Weedy Rhinopias (Rhinopias frondosa). Though Rhinopias are common in a select few dive destinations, Lembeh is not one of them. Because of their relative rarity in Lembeh, they are a highly sought after sighting for divers and photographers alike. But the hunt is not over yet! Word in the Strait is that there is a second, smaller Rhinopias nearby. David, and all the dive guides, will continue the hunt all week!
North Lombok, Gili Air this week we have been getting busy, busy and more busy!! Equipment room done, stocked and in working order, swimming poold nearly finished and posters everywhere on the windows. Just in time for our steady flow of fun divers and courses. Our boat has been out every day with a minimum of 2 divers to the maximum of 9. Around the Gilis we get all sorts of life, from macro to Pelagics.
This week, our whole team – from dive guide trainee to assistant manager – got together for an underwater clean-up of our house reef. Amed’s house reef might initially look like a sandy slope, but look closer and you can spot many amazing creatures like the longhorn cowfish or the flying gurnard.
In the run up to PADI Womens Dive Day 2016 with Two Fish Divers we thought we’d introduce you to the girls in our team, and share their stories of how they got into diving and what they love about it… First up is Team Lombok – Here we’re going to meet Martine and Kate!
This week in Amed … we discovered one of the most famous critter’s in Amed, the Denise’s pygmy seahorse! One of our guests is a very experienced diver Monica and she did her PADI Wreck Diver, PADI Enriched Air Diver and PADI Digital Underwater Photography specialities, and she asked us to try and find some rare and very interesting critters. That was a good opportunity for us to show what out guides can do!!
This week we have had some great Gili Island diving as Gili Air has started to become busy busy and busy! The dive shop is almost complete and looking great, a massive space once the rubble has gone, we can really see now what the finished result will look like. The island is getting full of travellers, families and vacationers. The atmosphere has picked up to the feeling of high season.
Sometimes it’s the simple Lembeh critters that excite people the most!
This week at Two Fish Lembeh, Emperor Shrimp, Blue-Dragon Nudibranch and territorial Anemonefish are the main topics of conversation at the dinner table. And rightfully so! Though common to Lembeh, these crazy critters are not so common in other areas of the world.
This week in Nusa Lembongan… A cuttlefish has been spotted at Crystal Bay. Hidden in the sandy area of the dive site, a small cuttlefish has been found by our dive guides. This expert of camouflage is able to change its colouring to help it blend into its surroundings. With the sand being soft, it is able to wiggle its way sightly into the sand to help camouflage itself even more!
This week in Amed …. The high season is starting in Amed and we have just had a PADI Open Water Diver course with 3 students where they discovered mimic octopus in Amed on our house-reef, as well as frogfishes, seahorses, snake eels and wide variety of nudibranchs.
We have a lot of courses going on in Bunaken at the moment! Our instructors Dion and Markus have their hands full currently…
We welcomed four new open water divers to the underwater world in the last ten days. Ten year old Finlay just finished his Scuba Diver Course yesterday and he is very excited to explore the amazing coral walls in Bunaken. We also had four Advanced Open Water course, two Rescue courses, two nitrox specialties, one night diver and one sidemount specialty course in the last few days. In our very popular Divemaster course, we have four dive master trainees in Bunaken at the moment.
This week in the North Gilis, Lombok we had Jacqui Join us from the UK. It was an absolute pleasure diving with her, we visited the sites called: “Turtle Heaven”, “Bounty Wreck”, “Shark point” and “Bat Fish Point”. Jacqui is a diver just like me, extra slow and hunting for macro. We knew that here in the north gili’s there is a lot to see from the bigger sea life to the small stuff but in those 2 days I was surprised to see such a vast amount of macro.
Interested in seeing a variety of Octopus in Lembeh? The best way to catch the most variety is to vary your dive schedule. The morning dives are the best time to see Reef, Mimic and Coconut Octopus. Mimic Octopus sightings are well sought after due to the animal’s unique ability to imitate venomous animals when threatened. The Mimic Octopus plays an amazing game of charades and can convincingly mimic venomous Lionfish, Banded Sea Snakes and Banded Soles in its attempt to scare off potential predators. And though it is our most commonly encountered Octopus, the Coconut Octopus is not to be dismissed! The right individual can be endless entertainment as it plays peek-a-boo and shows off it’s attachment issues as it runs across the reef holding a house of shells or coconut husk!
This week in Lembongan… For those that have been keeping up with our blogs from Lembongan, you will know that a few weeks ago, the big waves kept us from getting to the manta dive sites and then last week, the waves dropped down, but there was a lack of manta rays. The great news is, the manta rays are back in Manta Bay and Manta Point!
In 2015 PADI launched the PADI Women’s Dive Day event. It was met with a great response worldwide with events going on in over 65 countries, and PADI have decided to repeat PADI Womens’s Dive Day in 2016 on the 16th July.
Two Fish Divers have decided to participate by making some special offers across all of our locations, so remember 16-07-16 not as Barbie’s measurements but as the date of PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016 and read on to find out more about it.
This week in the North Gili’s, Lombok our water has finally calmed down. We had a good week of big waves, strong currents and visibility of 10-15 meters. For the diving it was fun as we just flew across the reefs but when it came to parking the boat to offload divers and equipment there we found the challenge. The past few days have been back to crystal clear, calm water with plenty of marine life filling the reefs.