This week in Lembongan… nautical charts were spread open, compasses at the ready and global positioning systems on, as Commander Laurent and the team set sail for exploring Lembongan’s waters.
Poseidon, the god of the sea, had blessed them with some outstanding conditions for them to venture where not many had been before, but it was Poseidon’s many sea creatures in which they hoped to see.
The first location for the wishful explorers was off the north west coast of Ceningan Island, know to some as Nikon Drop-off. With exploration leader, Rich, marking our entry point by GPS, it was time to roll in and discover what laid beneath.
As the rock plateau reached out from the island at around 15 meters deep, it wasn’t long before the group could see the horizon dropping away. Once the divers reached the edge of the drop-off, they looked at each other with eager eyes and began their decent down the wall, looking into the depths of darkness. The absences of current was a surprisingly welcomed change for the waters of Lembongan, allowing the explorers a great chance to discover the wall of reef. Assistant voyager, Yayan, with his keen eyes, was able to comb the reef and discover loads of Nudibranchs and pygmy seahorse hiding in the sea fans. Schools of hundreds of banner fish danced on the edge of the drop-off and schooling surgeonfish emerged from the deep. As they assented to 5 meters for their safety stop, a curious and extremely large giant trevally came over to see what was happening.
The 2nd dive would be that of something a bit more adventures, a places known for extreme currents and choppy seas but with these conditions in mind, the team was excited to see what was happening below. Know to most on the island as Elephant Rock, (given the fact that if you use your imagination, it kind of looks like an elephant’s head.) the arched rock on the way to Manta Point is a place where many have wanted to dive but conditions have always restricted it.
The day’s conditions continued to be on the divers side with only a light current and small waves surrounding the protruding rock. The team jumped in the water on the west side so that they could drift around the rock with the current. The eastern face dropped down to around 40 meters. This shelter from the current was teeming with life. Schools of fish resting against the wall before heading into the current to hunt. When everyone was ready, they made their way out into the current and along the south wall. Tunnels and caves cut into the rock face, caved by the currents and waves, large enough for the divers to briefly have a look around inside. Besides the schooling fish, swim-throughs kept the divers entertained. Once the currents had pushed the group to the west side, a eagle ray darted through the shallow waters. At this point the current was too strong to continue to the north side and so they made their way to the surface.
There is still so much more to be discovered in these waters.