Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bali, Indonesia

Rice Terrace
Bali is magical, an island that has so much to offer, from underwater up to the volcanic mountain. I was there with some friends for 6 days diving trip, in between we managed to squeeze in some site seeing. 
Ena Villa

1st day when we checked in to Ena Villa, I just can't stop saying "wow" for a first timer, it was unusual to be pampered with a private swimming pool and Jacuzzi bath room, personal chef and housekeeper in our villa. 

Let's talk about diving, 2nd day we headed to Tulamben to dive the famous USS Liberty wreck, we started off with our first dive at Drop Off, it was a kick start to practice the shore entry before the wreck dive. Some of us rumble and tumble into the sea and some being washed up to the beach like a whale, well...once you mastered the technique to wait for the right moment and to ride with the waves, it's easy! Luckily we have Chooi and DM helping us with our camera. At Drop Off, we encountered a big school of Big Eye Jacks at 8m, they are extremely friendly, I was seated right inside the tornado swirl. It was a long 10 minutes encounter. Awesome! 

USS Liberty Wreck
On the way to the wreck, I have a shock seeing women carrying tanks and our dive equipment basket on their head. Gosh! they really have strong neck, the men were sitting around doing nothing.... the shore entry at the wreck is much more difficult because the rocks are bigger, not easy to balance ourselves. A good advice is to dive with booties and open heel fins. The wreck is lying on the port side parallel to the shore sloping down to 25m. We had about 10m viz and calm dives. The water here is warm. The wreck is huge enough to spend a few dives on it. 

Harlequin Shrimp
3rd day, we dove Seraya, just like Lembeh, black sandy bottom and lots of macro. Here I saw for the 1st time Harlequin shrimp, they are very beautiful! Both of them were hugging on a sea star leg which serve as their food, carrying it around when they move, very cute. On the 3rd dive at Emerald Point, we took a short ride on the mini bangka to the dive site, the bangka was just big enough to squeeze in our butt, we have to gear up in water due to the space constrain. The dive site is a coral wall instead of sandy slope.

Mola Mola
Now, here comes the highlight, our final 2 day dives were in Nusa Pedina hoping to see Mola mola, had prepared for 18c cold water temperature. I was with my titanium rash guard, a 3mm vest, a 5mm wetsuit, a hood and 2mm gloves, you think is too much? i was just comfortable underwater except for the fact that I felt like a Michelin. First dive in Crystal Bay was a rough start, no molas yet full of divers and bubbles and encountered some down current on the way back to shallow. 2nd dive, we headed to Blue Corner, a well known strong and nasty current dive site but we were lucky to be greeted with some drift dive. Yes we saw our first Mola here. The 1st one swam away before I managed to react, she was huge! The second one swim right towards me, it took me a few sec to react as I pop out from my dream, but she turned away when I held my camera up. I managed to take just a few shots. 3rd dives, we saw 3 of them but they were too deep and too shy. This fish is so weird, is flat like pancake with 2 chubby chicks and an O shape mouth. They have almost no tail so they use their thin dorsal and anal fins for propulsion.

On the last day, since we had enough of Molas, we headed to Manta Point, a dive site where mantas comes in for their cleaning. Like a car wash! :-) There was quiet a bit of surge during the dive, may not be good for people who gets seasick easily. While we were gearing up, the manta was swimming pass the bottom of the boat, we couldn't wait to jump in. This was my most unforgettable dive, never in my life I got so close to mantas (lost count) and one of them was about 4m wide wing span and his body was in complete black. This dive completes my Bali trip, I withdrew from the next 2 dives. as the rest went searching for more Molas, I was still overwhelmed with the Manta.

Travel date :  5th - 10th Sept 2006, 9th - 10th Aug 2009
Travel route : Singapore -F-> Bali
Accommodation : Ena Villa, Sanur
Dive Center : Ena Dive (
Type of diving : Wreck, Muck, Wall, Shore
Water temperature : 20-30°C year round
Best time to dive : Diveable all year but September to October is the best time to see Mola mola

-F-> Flight -B-> Boat

Photos of the trip
USS Liberty Wreck
USS Liberty Wreck
Orange lined triggerfish
Longnose hawkfish
Hypselodoris infucata
Kentrodoris rubescens

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