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Published: July 30th 2010
Mola Mola 1
This is someone elses pictures of the mola mola on another trip but thought I'd show you what they look like.
I’ve only had one day off diving since I last wrote and even then I spent the day shopping for dive equipment. I now have a new mask that doesn’t hurt my nose like my old one and it’s really small so feels like I can see a lot more underwater which is always a bonus. I have also ordered a new wetsuit as I’ve started to get cold in the 27 degrees water. Hard to believe I know but I’ve been swimming along with my arms folded as I try and keep as warm as possible!!
It’s been noted at the dive centre that I’m always the one diving everyday. The other divemasters seem to be having problems with their ears with minor injections and just generally having a bit of a cold so this week I seem to be the one about. I’ve been shadowing freelance divemasters who are all local people. Working as a guide is a low paid job and I don’t know this, but I think that’s the only reason that all the divemasters are local people and the instructors are all foreigners. The instructors course is so expensive I don’t think local people can
Mola Mola 2
Another friend's photo.
afford to do it. I might be wrong though. I much prefer diving with certified divers who are just been guided as to being taught. Assisting with simple courses like the Open Water isn’t as much fun as the first four dives are always the same.
I had one of my best days of diving yesterday where I went to somewhere called Crystal Bay and people dive there to see Mola Mola, unfortunately, because they like the cold water and there are lots of thermoclimbs there. It’s the first time I’ve ever woren two wetsuits and the water was 23 degrees. I’ve looked through my logbook before and seen that I’ve dived in colder waters with only one wetsuit and been fine so I definitely think I’m becoming acclimatised to the Balinese weather. It was really exciting seeing the Mola Mola because I was diving with a couple who were on their honeymoon and they had already dived at this site twice in search of the Mola Mola and been unsuccessful. It was my job to stay with them as Korma, the divemaster, went off searching for them in much deeper waters. Just as we were giving up at the end of the second dive, one swam towards us. They look really odd but I was really shocked when it turned and I saw it had no tail. Everyone one at Bali Scuba has their work t-shirt which has a picture of the Mola Mola and I had never noticed a lack of tail before. They are actually quite a flat, circular fish with two big fins on the top and bottom and taller and longer than a diver. Quite a site! It was really exciting to see the couple I was with so happy to have seen one after they had given up hope. To top it off, just as I was lying in the sun eating my lunchbox lunch, admiring the green scenery, I looked over and saw a shawl of dolphin swimming about in the water only 20 metres away from the boat. The last dive of the day was a drift dive along a coral reef. Korma had been telling us stories about all the things he’s seen at this site over the years so we dived with the promise of seeing hammer head sharks, reef sharks and various other rare finds, we saw a huge green turtle just as we were doing are safety stop at 5 metres at the end of the dive. I was the only person who was diving with 21% oxygen air, as to enriched air which allows to stay at depths up to 30 metres for much longer, so as a turtle swam past. I was on my limit for the amount of time I could spend in the water but I couldn’t resist staying a little bit longer even though my computer was beeping at me madly. I even had the surface maker inflated, trying to drag it along to stay in the same place whilst Korma swam next to the turtle. The couple had a really good camera and the turtle was so close, hopefully it should make for a good picture. They’ve got my email address so I’m sure I’ll find out soon. Time seems to be passing so quickly while I’m here and I wonder why.
As well as diving I have been for a bit of a road trip this evening. Whenever I have been for a long journey on my moped, I have always had someone to follow or even better, been the one on the back. However, this evening I went to visit a friend who has just moved into a rented room as to a hotel and it was not the 2 minute journey she had promised. The journey there was ok because I just followed her, the way home is another story. I had quite clear instructions on how to get to the by pass which is plan sailing from there onwards. My instructions included things such as after the massive muddle, turn left at the corner after a big pothole. I had only been driving for a minute when I had turned down a dirt track and stopped when I realised it was getting very dark. I was just turning my moped around, being careful not to squash any frogs that were trying to jump out of my way when a cow scared the life out of me. It was just lying on this dirt track but I hadn’t seen it until I was shining my headlights directly at it! After that I double checked each turning with someone at the side of the road before I took the turning so I didn’t find myself in someone’s back garden. I showed someone a card with the name of the street I live on and the first time I asked if I was going the right way, I got the response that the town I live in is a certain direction and I would have to ask again when I was closer. I hadn’t realised I was in a different town! Anyway I got back ok and even with a language barrier, everyone I asked was really kind and helpful. A belief in karma is very much a part of the culture here and I think that’s part of way the people are so kind here. It’s a good job too with corrupt law enforcement.
After spending some time with Richard and seeing how well he was doing with his mandarin, I thought I should make more effort with the language, even if people speak both Indonesian and Balinese. I have now learnt to count in Indonesian. Once you have one to ten it’s pretty simple. I may have learnt numbers but I’m not so outstanding on the pronunciation of various foods. My friends know I’ve learnt the numbers and the names of the different meats so I ordered dinner from someone who didn’t speak English. I got the right quantities but of the right things! I’ve got another 11 weeks to try and master it though!
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