Monday, December 16, 2013

under the sea

Yesterday I hopped a ride on a dive boat to Nusa Penida, off the coast of Sanur. It's an area famous for mola-mola, giant Indonesian sunfish, but this isn't the season for them.


Should I have been worried when the captain said a prayer before heading across the sea? I popped a Bonine just in case. We could see Batur and Agung volcanoes in the distance. 

Unfortunately the batteries in my underwater camera were dead. Should have bought a GoPro.
The first stop was an area known for manta rays. The sea was rough, so I wore a life vest and Made jumped in the water with me. Manta rays are incredible. I thought I'd seen them in Moorea, but it turns out those were stingrays. 
Then we headed to Crystal Bay. The water is incredibly clear—perhaps 15 feet visibility. The divers went off to 15 or 20 meters. 
Our third stop was the best snorkeling. Unfortunately it was also the shortest. We anchored off the northeast shore of Nusa Lembongan, near the mangrove forest, and I floated with the current. Heaven.

I saw at least 20 kinds of fish including trumpetfish, parrot fish, and one that looked like a puffy rock with orange wings. The divers said the current was crazy 25 meters down, like parachuting underwater. So they used up their oxygen very fast. 

I used a prescription mask, which was great except I had to put it on to see dolphins in the distance. Gorgeous day. (Next time, I'll stay on Lembongan and go out with a snorkel boat.)
Here's Nyoman, the captain of the Sweet Heart. His brother is in the hospital, having suffered after a 20-meter dive. 
And Made, the Rabbit, the dive assistant from Nusa Penida. Amazingly strong. 
Cool tattoos too.