Sunday, May 16, 2010

Diving Nusa Penida

Today, we dove Nusa Penida. I had high expectations as I had heard so much about it. We departed from Sanur beach and took a 45 min fast speedboat ride to Nusa Penida. The ride was bumpy due to seriously large swells in the channel. Our first dive site was Manta Point. It is an area with large boulders and a small underwater mound that is a manta cleaning station. The bottom is around 12-15m and the top of the mound is around 6m. Vis was quite poor for the area (so I'm told) at about 10m and rather cloudy. The water was also quite surgy, with side to side movements of up to 2m (!). At first, a shy manta or two showed up, just doing fly-bys with minimal photo ops. After a few minutes of hide and seek, the mantas seemed to lose their inhibitions and started popping up everywhere and posing for photos. I probably got within 2m of them a couple of times. We counted 7 large mantas and they stayed with us until we surfaced 70 min later. Not the best conditions but one hell of a close encounter.

Our next two dives were at Crystal Bay and Bed. Crystal Bay is famous for mola molas but it is not mola season at the moment. We actually saw one in the distance but it quickly sped off before I could get any photos. Apart from that, both dives were quite forgettable.

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