It's my 3rd visit already.
We went diving at Tulamben and Nusa Penida. Great diving experience to me but not for my wife. She had equalisation problem which I thought she has get rid of it. She's already an Advance but I wasnt with her during her course! Just got to know that her instructor had given her a drib of sudafed directly to her ear before 1st dive of each dive trip.
An instructor fren that I just met told me that it's not appropriate to do that. Reason? Sudafed will wear off by time and divers might have difficulty to equalize during the ascent! Worst, eardrum burst. So, I am really skeptical if wifey should do diving again or not. And, she quitted without any REFUND! Man, I am a bit pissed off with the diveshop.
It wasn't on its best that day. Visibility was abt 15m. But still able to spot cuttlefish, ghost/robust pipefish, pygmy seahorse etc.
The Mola Mola encounter happened the next day at Cystal Bay, Nusa Penida. It was a cloudy morning. News was that some divers had seen them 4 days in a row. I prayed for the lucky number 5. My wish was granted.
Water was cold towards the cleaning station, 24C. 3mm wet suit was futile in defending the heat outflow from my body. Then, the DM showed us 'the sign', 1) Palm Grasp & 2) Raise the thumb & the last finger. At 35m, from far, there's a giant shadow which got nearer and nearer until I saw the trademark dorsal fins. Yes, the MOLA! It swam away and disappear in deep ocean once it noticed us.
Thought that was it. Then, DM showed 'the sign' again, and pointing down. The 2nd MOLA! Obviously, it was cleaning itself. Moorish idols were dancing around it to feed on the parasites. I tried to get closer but somehow manage to have a look on my gauge. 40m! Afraid that my underwater casing will leak, I hovered steadily and did the video recording.
Felt drowsy once got on the boat. Was it too deep? Close to Narcosis? Not known. When the boat about to depart to the next dive site, shout from pair of divers at a distance attracted our attention. Gosh... they (divers from another group) had been drifted by the current! Yes, Crystal Bay is well known for the tricky current that from many direction. We picked them up and brought them to their boat.
From the boat, we already could spot the mantas 'playing' with wave at the cliff side. I was thrilled with the image of a school of manta circling above me already. Once got into the water, the chill just freezed whatever imagination that I had into ice cube. It was 20C! In the water, I kept moving my body moving to generate heat. useless. My muscle kept shivering until I felt pain. Worse, where did all the mantas gone? I remember my breath was short and fast. Gas tank was already at 50psi. Deva ju. When I felt gave up, a small manta swam towards us like a kite. Followed by an adult glided thru underneath us. That's it. Endured a 40min icy water for a 2min manta show. Priceless. Priceless? Priceless my ass!!! Sneezed out a chunk of bloody mucus from nose once I emerged from water. Too cold and it hurt my blood vessel at sinus. Felt damn unwell. Nose still bleeding and body still shivering. Sat under the sun to catch warm until I got burnt without notice.
Got so moody on that day. I felt unwell, wifey can't dive and dive shop refused to refund. Told me all kind of crap like it's already the best package and it's very cheap. My chilly ass! If it wasn't due to the proposed itinerary & the suggested stay, over my dead body I will engage them. USD288 per pax aint cheap at all. Blame on myself that I choose to be lazy not to plan the dive trip myself.
The underwater clip is HERE. Do go to my facebook for more pic.
Finally, I saw Ghost Pipefish myself.
1 of my all time favorites, cuttlefish.
Never see such Nudibranch before. A big one.
The hidden 'ikan bakar'.
Pygmy Seahorse. Very hard to spot this tiny little thing at the coral. Relying on DM's experience.
As little as 3mm.