Monday, 1 September 2008

Bali 2008

silhouette of a Batfish

Date: 1 Sep 08 - 7 Sep 08 [7D/6N]
Location: Bali, Indonesia
No. of dives: 12

Nusa Penida
Accessibility to dive sites: 7.0
Marine Animal Density: 7.5
Dive site terrain Quality: 8.0
Marine Animal Diversity: 7.0
Visibility: 8.5
Overall Score: 7.6
Entry: Boat
Difficulty: AOW
Dive Sites: Walls/Fringing reefs/Pinnacles

<- Mola-mola a.k.a Ocean sunfish

Accessibility to dive sites: 10.0
Marine Animal Density: 8.2
Dive site terrain Quality: 7.5
Marine Animal Diversity: 8.0
Visibility: 8.5
Overall Score: 8.4
Entry: Shore
Difficulty: OW
Dive Sites: Muck/Sandy bottoms

Harlequin shrimp ->

Accessibility to dive sites: 10.0
Marine Animal Density: 8.2
Dive site terrain Quality: 9.0
Marine Animal Diversity: 8.0
Visibility: 8.5
Overall Score: 8.7
Entry: Shore
Difficulty: OW
Dive Sites: Wreck/Fringing reefs

<- divers approaching Liberty Wreck

Underwater camera: Canon Powershot A80
Underwater casing: Canon Waterproof Case WP-DC900 for Powershot A80 by Canon
Underwater strobe: Fantasea Cool Flash Nano
Underwater filter: NIL 
Land Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Land Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Land Filter: NIL
Post editing: PS CS3
Members: Lilian, Sam, KL Tan, Choon Wai and Dan 
Reason of my visit: To see Mola-mola, Liberty Wreck and Seraya muck diving

divers swimming below a school of jack fish a.k.a bigeye trevally

Dive sites
Tulamben – Liberty wreck, Coral Garden and Drop Off 3 dives
Seraya - 3 dives
Nusa Peninda – Crystal Bay 5 dives and Manta Point 1 dive

ornate ghost pipefish

Rewards of this trip
- Saw Mola-mola
- Saw Manta rays
- First time seeing Harlequin shrimps, Ornate ghostpipefishes, spinecheeks anemonefishes, Tozeuma shrimp and Ribbon sweetlips
- Seen a lot of other nice marine animals including Robust ghostpipefish, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, octopuses, coleman shrimps, harlequin mantis shrimps, squat lobsters etc
- Great 30m visibility
- Great dive gang with other divers from the same boat
- Great dive guide – Sebastian
- Everything was very smooth 
- 7 sunny days
Black spotted moray surrounded by hinge beak shrimp

Challenges of this trip
- Extremely cold water 18-20 Celsius at Crystal bay
- Hard time operating the Nano strobe, it won’t fire sometimes and I don’t know where to point it, lol… lots of spoiled pictures this time, sad!
- Air Asia almost unloaded our luggages due to some complication, fortunately after some argument we won the battle ..
a manta ray at Manta Point, Nusa Penida

Regrets of this trip 
- I screwed up all my pictures the pygmy seahorse and Robust ghostpipefish at Drop off, 
- I screwed up most pictures of the Harlequin shrimps, all of Crinoid Shrimps, poor quality pictures of spinecheeks anemonefishes and frogfish
- Couldn't find a Tiger shrimp at Seraya(coz I screwed up all pics from Lembeh)
Zebra crab - Zebrida adamsii

pair of Coleman shrimps hiding amongst the thorns of a fire urchin

Kentrodoris rubescens

Mexichromis multituberculata

Phyllidia occelata

Squat Lobster - Lauriea siagiani

Ribbon Sweetlips

Leaf scorpionfish

Spinecheek anemone fish, they are not very common

a nudibranch, I have found the name of this yet

Flabellina bicolor

Chromodoris hintuanensis

Hypselodoris infucata

Armina sp1

Blue ring Octopus, not showing its rings

Ovulid (false Cowry)

juvenile Painted frogfish

- USD 505 for 12 dives inclusive of 5mm wet suite rental, 6 nights accommodation, all land transfer, all breakfast and lunch on diving days
- LCCT(KL) to & from DPS(Bali) = RM339.00 (Zero fair offer from Dec 07)

- Diving at Bali is great, very good place to dive and relatively inexpensive
- Scuba Bali as our dive operator was great
- Ribbon sweetlips are really beautiful, slightly different from the harlequin and oriental type, they have a bit more color
- Harlequin shrimps are really slow moving and approachable, and relatively large in size for a coral reef shrimp 
- The Mantas we saw were not fully grown, teenagers perhaps
- The Mola-mola we saw was at 19m and cleaning, it came to us by itself, it was an amazing 20 minutes encounter. It came very close to me(2m from me)
- Strong current at Crystal bay, but I like it a lot coz it was exciting
- My favorite dive sites would be Seraya, Manta point and Liberty Wreck
- We had a day for sight seeing – Ubud, Tegalallang and Kuta
- Very nice guesthouse stay. Name of guesthouse was Puri Sindhu Mertha
- And of coz Balinese are very friendly and nice people

About the Mola-Mola
- The Mola-mola A.K.A Ocean Sunfish is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1 tonne. Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish. Because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts in order to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate. Adult sunfish are vulnerable to few natural predators, but sea lions, orcas and sharks will consume them. Among humans, sunfish are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, including Japan, the Korean peninsula and Taiwan, but sale of their flesh is banned in the European Union.[1] Sunfish are frequently, though accidentally, caught in gillnets, and are also vulnerable to harm or death from encounters with floating trash, such as plastic bags.
- Liberty Wreck the American USAT Liberty Glo (aka USS Liberty shipwreck) in Tulamben is Bali's most famous and accessible dive. This is one of the safest wreck dives in the world. This large war victim is just meters from the shore. The armed cargo ship was built in 1918 and served as a supply ship during World War II. It was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-166 in 1942 while in the strait approx. 10 nautical miles south-west of Lombok (she was carrying railway parts and rubber for the war effort). The ship was rescued and towed towards Bali by a Dutch destroyer the HNLMS Van Ghent. The damage done to the ship was so great that the attempt to reach Singaraja failed, the crew was evacuated and the ship was beached in Tulamben.