This week in Lembongan… We have a new and rather rare resident in Crystal Bay. A seahorse has decided to make a broken piece of coral its home.
He is almost perfectly camouflaged, as he has changed his color to blend into his surroundings, as you can see in the picture that Yayan took. Since seahorses are not really good swimmers, he will likely be hanging around for a while to be seen by our divers. They propel themselves by using a small fin on their back that flutters up to 35 times per second. They have an even smaller pectoral fins located near the back of their head, which is used for steering. So they usually stay attached to a piece of coral and change their colour to blend in so they can hide from predators.
While sitting there they have to constantly eat. Since they have no stomach, food passes through their digestive system quickly so they need to eat 3000 or more brine shrimp per day. Other than brine shrimp, they also feed on tiny fish and plankton which they locate by sight. But not only do we have the seahorse that has moved into Crystal Bay, we also have been seeing a tiny painted frogfish residing there and just a few days back, Wakary found a blue ringed octopus in the sand.
On the bigger side, we have been seeing many mantas in Manta Point, octopuses, barracudas, a wobbegong shark and giant trevallies. The temperatures seem to be getting colder and we had, on one dive, a thermocline bringing up 19°C water from depths, into Crystal Bay.
A lot of divers seem to be eager to improve their diving skills. This led to many PADI Advanced Open Water courses being taught in the last week. Of course the thrill of going below 18 meters is one of the reasons why many students sign up for this course. But there is much more to learn, especially here, where the currents can be quite strong. We always recommend our students to take the drift adventure dive as part of the course. So once again congratulations to all the new Advanced Open Water divers.