This week in Lembongan… They seem to be here already – Molas in Crystal Bay. The quite cold upwellings (18°C) in Crystal Bay have brought the Mola to shallower parts of the ocean where our divers could witness them being cleaned. Mola is the heaviest of all bony fish. It usually lives and feeds in great depth at up to 600 meters. But at certain times of the year they can be witnessed around Nusa Penida in shallower waters where they get cleaned and sometimes they even jump out of the water. There are actually 4 known species of Mola. The most common is the Mola Mola which can be found all around the world in temperate or tropical waters. Smaller and less known are the sharptailed Mola and the slender Mola. Here we can see the fourth species the southern ocean sunfish (Mola Ramsayi). Molas generally eat jellyfish but they also feed on squid and small fish. The name Mola actually derives from the Latin word for millstone, which the fish resembles because of its grayish colour, rough texture, and rounded body.
The best time to see these impressive fish in our waters, is from July until October. They come shallower to get rid of the many parasites that they have on their skin, which will be eaten off by cleanerfish. For the Mola, the typical fish to do this is the bannerfish, so many times you will see the sunfish surrounded by their cleaning crew. The Mola are infamous for their impressive parasite load. Some 40 different genera of parasites have been recorded on this species alone. No wonder they want to get rid of them.
Apart from this visitor we saw some bamboo sharks, turtles, ribbon eels, the seahorse and the frogfish are still around and banded sea snakes.
This week we were quite busy with some days having two boats going out with fun divers and open water courses. The guests enjoyed the nice warm sun between the dives while exchanging their adventures from the previous dive.