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.
It’s not often that a guest is able to show an experienced dive guide something new in Lembeh, but leave it to John Hoover to take on that challenge! Hoover, the authoritative word on Hawaiian fish and critter life, brought Flasher Wrasse Fever to Lembeh this week as he shared his excitement for this beautiful animal at meals, on the boat, and underwater. Who knew that Nudi Falls is teeming with one of the most beautiful fish in the sea? Not a single one of us at Two Fish Lembeh! We were too busy scanning the weeds and rubble for hidden wonders such as Rhinopias, cryptic Frogfish and tiny Nudibranch to notice the plethora of Flashers chasing about.
This week, instructors Kate and Kuss have been so busy with PADI courses they needed a little support from centre manager George, who didn’t hesitate a second and swapped spreadsheets for scuba kit. The reward? Whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, batfish, frogfish and so much more.
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!