Nusa Penida dives
Two dives today off Nusa Penida which is a limestone island just south of Bali, took just over an hour to get there. The skipper took it gently for me as we said we did not want to get thrown about and slammed by the boat hitting the waves.
The views of the limestone cliffs on the south side of the island are very impressive. This coastline continues to be sculpted by the full force of the Indian Ocean swell.
Dive 1 Manta Point – 52min max depth 22m 24C.
Our first destination was Manta Point off Tanjung Pandan which is a cleaning station for Manta Rays. Fortunately the swell was less than we experienced on our first visit which made for a much more relaxing dive. Still cool so we wore our 5 mm plus hoods. Made for a good set up.
First part of the dive was spent at about 9m looking out for mantas. Had a really good close up experience but alas I did not manage to get a photo of that one. Saw a couple of others before heading deeper into the reef where we saw a sea snake and 2 octopus plus lots of fish. Lots of anemones on the limestone reef but the hard coral gets battered by the surge and appears to be largely nonexistent.
Dive 2 Crystal Bay – 41 min, max depth 36m, 22C
We then made our way back up the Selat Toyapakeh channel between Lembongan and Nusa Penida Islands which was surprisingly calm. We dropped off at Crystal Bay (Gamat Bay) with the goal of seeing a Mola Mola. The reef here is exceedingly rich in hard and soft corals and fish life and we had good visibility. We made our way down a gentle slope to c. 20m where it drops off a lot more steeply, where we hoped to see a Mola Mola in the deeper colder upswellings. We had a light current and no surge which made for excellent diving conditions. Notable sightings were
- large sea snakes,
- octopus, nudis and
- best of all a Mola Mola.
Our dive master Made signalled for us to stay put whilst he went deeper to see if he could spot a MM, he did and beckoned for us to drop deeper and swim quickly towards him. What was great was we got there before the other diving groups and were treated to a great view of a young Mola Mola. My watch started beeping at me to alert me that I had dropped below 30m. Thankfully the camera casing remained watertight.
It was then a slow swim back up the slope of the reef to warmer waters and a safe diving depth admiring the corals and general reef ambience before our safety stop. Saw a lovely feeding turtle surrounded by fish just before we started our ascent up to the safety stop.
Very happy quick boat ride back to Padang Bai and a tasty lunch. Thanks to Geko Diving for such a great day.
See below for a compilation of our photos from the day