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. Toyapakeh, one of our dive sites, that is a favorite of many of our instructors and guides, is especially nice for seeing small critters. It is named after the village located on the land close by the dive site. This is the only Muslim town on Nusa Penida. Apart from the amazing amount of critters living in the reef, the coral gardens at this site are stunning.
As you jump into the water and start to make your way onto the plateau, where the wall starts, the current takes you over the flat terrain and along the drop-off. In the varied amounts of hard coral, you are able to find many mantis shrimp, cleaner shrimp and anemones, with crabs hiding inside. Some of the anemone fish get a little protective and swim up to the divers to warn them off with clicking sounds. Also every now and then, a curious moray eel sticks its head out from under a rock or coral.
Following the plateau, the landscape starts to slowly change and you fly over a garden of stag horn coral and through a myriad of small fish. In the distance; a school of drummer fish draws circles and a star puffer gets cleaned by wrasses. Looking back over to the drop-off and passed the scatted bommies, a giant trevally swims by in search of food. Hidden in the coral, many different types of nudibranchs can be discovered, octopuses wait to be discovered and a turtle happily munches on some lettuce coral.