Today was an exceptionally exciting day. First day of holidays, first time diving with my new shiny Atomic B2 regs, first time playing with my Suunto D6i and transmitter and the prospect of seeing Mantas and Mola Molas!! Whahoo!! Even after a 6 hour flight and a crazy time getting through Denpasar airport I was still like a kid on Christmas Eve last night trying to get some sleep.
I’m staying at a beautiful little Sanur Guest House, on the back streets away from the hustle and bustle of crazy Bali. The fellas from Atlantis Diving picked me up at 8am this morning and after collecting a few other divers we went to their shop to get geared up. It was the usual chaotic morning rush of getting students and fun divers getting ready for their day. It seemed to take longer than necessary, but it was nice to sit back with my coffee and be on the customer side . From here we were transferred to the boat and off we went on the 50 minute voyage out to Nusa Penida.
Our first dive was called Ped. I think that is meant to stand for something, but we weren’t told what that was. What we were told was that we should expect ripping currents, and cold water. I was starting to think that I should have taken the opportunity at the shop to grab a 5mm steamer instead of my 3mm shorty. Turns out their version of cold is 26 degrees, fine by me! And the current was mild so we were in for a good dive. The visibility wasn’t amazing, mainly I think due to the fact that there wasn’t much of a current. I was told it was normally far better, however we still managed to spot a cool looking black and white spotted eel, a turtle and my old mates the clown trigger fish.
Second dive was Crystal Bay. It was here that we were told we had our best bet of seeing a Mola Mola. I had thought it was out of season for Mola Mola sightings so the mention of it of course got my hopes up, but to no avail. The current on this dive was a little stronger, and the thermoclines were a tad chilly but thankfully didn’t last long. We saw a school of batfish, a really cool spotted trunkfish, and a huge banded sea snake!
The last dive of the day was the world famous Manta Point. I have been wanting to do this dive for so long and now was my chance! My French DM told me that there is normally about 8 mantas that hang out over the shallow rocky point to get cleaned, so once again my expectations were high. As we descended, there was nothing. 10 minutes into the dive, not a great deal to report on and I found myself fiddling with my computer and blowing bubble rings. And then he arrived. The biggest most giantest manta I have ever seen! Swooping in and barrelling out, then just hanging out for a bit looking at us just as we were him. Magic!
We also saw another smaller manta as well as a heap of blue spotted sting rays and moray eels. Two mantas isn’t quite the 8 predicted but I was stoked none the less. It was a great day, though the dive guides assured me it gets much better than that, which of course means I’ll have to go out with them again next week after I return from Gili Trawangan. The crew were fab and an amazing lunch was served on board as well as heaps of fruit and bottled water. I am looking forward to diving with them again next week!
For now I’m relaxing with a Bintang and awaiting the arrival of friends Sophie and Crystal! Tomorrow, Gili Trawangan!!