This week in Lembongan, Two Fish diving instructor, Emily, had the privilege of diving with one of her heroes, Dr. Andrea Marshall. She was the focus of the Natural World BBC Documentary “Andrea: Queen of Mantas” and was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays. Shortly after, Andrea co-founded the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF).
Their day of diving began with a visit to the well-known dive site Blue Corner. The water was cold, turbulent, and moving. All good signs to achieve the team’s goal of finding some mola molas to film for an upcoming documentary being created by Andrea Marshall and her multi-talented husband / photographer / exploration leader / pilot, Janneman Conradie. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side for this dive and they had to “settle” for crystal clear water, sea snakes, turtles, and marble rays…not to mention a thermocline bringing the water temperature down to 13 degrees!
The following dive to Crystal Bay proved to be much more fruitful.They dropped down to 35 meters to behold a beautiful giant mola mola. Being the first divers to arrive, Janneman was able to approach the fish without issue while the mola mola hovered calmly letting the cleaner fish do their work and for Andrea and Janneman to get some clean footage. It was a day to remember.
Luckily for those who visit Lembongan, weekly talks are given by the MMF group directly across from the Two Fish Divers Lembongan location. The topics range from the secret life of manta rays to weird wonderful water life to underwater filmmaker presentations. Vowing to dedicate her life to the preservation and management of the remaining manta ray populations globally, Andrea continues her campaign for their protection worldwide.