This week in Lembongan… The north coast conditions have been spot on this week and to mix things up with the manta sites, we have been spending a lot of time this week, diving the north coast of Penida and Lembongan. One dive site that has stood out for our guests has been the dive site called Mangrove.
Although the dive site is called Mangrove, we are not really diving in the mangroves. Lembongan does have a large mangrove forest that fills the north east corner of Lembongan. These mangroves are very shallow and are effected a lot by the tides, meaning that it is not possible to dive in these waters. But it is possible to take a guided boat tour or stand-up paddle tour through these shallow waters, to get a closer look at the twists and turns of the mangrove forest.
Among our normal rotation of dive sites, which of course is full of manta action, our guests enjoyed their dive at mangroves so much, that they asked to go back again. Mangrove can be one of the sites around the area that has strong current. Unlike other sites that have strong current, Mangroves’ large coral plateau area, protect it from any down currents. The 2km long dive site can be a very slow dive, where you take your time trying to find the small creatures hidden in the reef or the current can give you a bit of a push and you cover the dive site in 30 mins. We like to dive in the middle of the two conditions, and we plan this by using wind, tide and wave reports. With a little current pushing you along the reef, gives you the chance to see some pretty different types of fish that like to feed or be cleaned in the current. These fish can be standard reef fish, Napoleon Wrasse or even barracudas but it is the pufferfish that really stands out at Mangroves. This funny looking fish, slowly move their way through the current, it is often that we can see up top 10 large pufferfish on one dive at Mangroves. Pufferfish are common fish around most reefs but it is the size at this site that amazes people.