Day 163-165: Tulamben, Bali

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July 11th 2009
Published: July 13th 2009
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July 8th

This morning we snorkeled the Drop-Off. It was an interesting spot with little shallow coral and plenty of fish. Highlights were one Nudibranch, three small Black-Spotted Toadfish and one big Barracuda.

Back at home we napped and read most of the afternoon, then went hunting for wi-fi airtime. We were unable to locate a place where we could buy some credits but ran into a South African guy. We started chatting and soon his girlfriend joined us. Sean and Wendy live in the UK and they're also traveling for an extended time. After a brief chat we said goodbye and went home for dinner.

When Sean and Wendy went on the prowl for dinner they found us sitting in our restaurant and joined us. They've traveled extensively and have the craziest stories. After hearing about their most recent trip to India we were sooo glad we didn't go. Apparently the Indian men were way too "touchy" for their liking. Wendy got groped all the time. They couldn't wait to get out of there.

Today's highlights:
1. Snorkeling the Drop-Off.
2. Meeting Sean and Wendy.

July 9th

This morning we dived the Liberty again. We asked
Harlequin Ghost PipefishHarlequin Ghost PipefishHarlequin Ghost Pipefish

The family of four came for the photo shoot
the guide to take it slow and we had a fantastic dive. The viz wasn't as good as our first time but that didn't matter. We saw a whole bunch of Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, Robust Ghost Pipefish, Three-Spot Flounder (freakin weird looking flat creature) and two huge Double-Headed Parrotfish, but the highlight was seeing two Pygmy Seahorses and spending 10mins just looking at them breathe and move (very slowly and awkwardly) around the fan. We were both ecstatic and Talita took a few beautiful pictures. We ended the dive on a huge high.

Later we met Sean and Wendy and we set off for Amed to snorkel the Japanese wreck again. We had a good time but after a while the current picked up and we went and sat in the warung. After lunch we drove back to Tulamben and after dinner we said goodbye to Sean and Wendy. They're leaving Tulamben tomorrow. It's real easy to chat to other "Saffers". There's just so much you don't have to explain so you can relax and just enjoy the chat.

Today's highlights:
1. Diving the Liberty again.
2. Seeing lots of Ghost Pipefish.
3. Spending time with two Pygmy Seahorses.

July 10th

This morning we joined Ric and two American guys and set off for Amed once more. The Americans were going to dive the Japanese wreck first but we elected to skip that dive (since we'd snorkeled it twice already) so we were dropped off near our second dive spot. Here we reclined in a beautiful little restaurant while we waited for them to return.

To get to Gili Selang, a little island just off the east coast, we took two jukungs (local fishing boats). They dropped us near the island and we did a slow drift dive towards the mainland. We saw gorgeous coral, thousands of little fish and two Whitetip Sharks. It was a peaceful and relaxing dive.

We returned to the restaurant for lunch and a bit of relaxation, then drove to our second dive site called Ghost Bay. There's no coral reef, only a sandy bottom with a bunch of small man-made structures. At first it looked absolutely desolate, but it turned out to be one of the most exciting dives yet. There were tons and tons of critters hiding amongst the structures. There was so many Lionfish and Firefish that you had to be careful not to accidentally run into one cause their spines are extremely venomous. We saw three Estuarine Stonefish. They are fat and slow and sit on the bottom looking like rocks. They are also amongst the most venomous of all fish and can cause death if you're stung by one of their hidden spines. Therefore we were very surprised when one of the American guys started poking ones tail with his finger! He has hundreds of dives logged so we assumed that he knew what he was doing, though we didn't approve. We saw Pipefish, Moray Eels, Shrimp, a Flounder, Scorpionfish, Ghost Pipefish, Stingray, Slugs, Crabs and a few other critters. It was a photographic frenzy down there!

At one point Talita saw that American guy poking at a Lionfish. The fish didn't dig it and in a flash (we've never seen one move so fast) it was hiding between the other guys body and his BCD. With a few more pokes it ended up between his legs. The poor thing must've thought the guy was part of the artificial reef! They managed to get the fish out from between his legs and it went
Pygmy SeahorsePygmy SeahorsePygmy Seahorse

This time she was not shy
and buried its head a small sandy hole. It had turned a dangerous red and looked very unhappy.

At another point Talita saw that same guy poking one of the Stonefish with a piece of junk to get it to move. He didn't just poke it once or twice but kept poking and harassing it. Talita furiously indicated for him to knock it off. After that he left the poor (and deadly) creature alone.

Once out of the water we wanted to know what he was thinking. He was like "What's the harm? I like to interact with the sea creatures!" and we were like "Duhhh! That thing can kill you!" and he was like "No way!" and we were like "Yeah, way!" and he was like "I didn't see any spines" and we were like "That's because he flattens his spines to look more like a rock" then he like asked Ric who said "Yup, they're very dangerous" and he was like "I'd do it again" and we were just like "Whatever dude" and left it there. Some people have no common sense.

Back at home we identified all our pictures, had dinner, then watched a

They make the ocean look pretty
movie in the restaurant before bedtime.

Today's highlights:
1. Relaxing in a beautiful restaurant.
2. Saw two Whitetip Sharks.
3. Photo frenzy with all the little critters.
4. Talita telling the guy off.

Thought for the day:
It would be great to learn not to dislike/judge someone just because you don't agree with their actions.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Heading to Gili SelangHeading to Gili Selang
Heading to Gili Selang

Ricardo in the background
Starry PufferfishStarry Pufferfish
Starry Pufferfish

This curious guy followed us for a while
Leaf ScorpionfishLeaf Scorpionfish
Leaf Scorpionfish

Hard at work pretending to be a leaf
We call em Punk SlugsWe call em Punk Slugs
We call em Punk Slugs

They are a whopping 1.5cm in length
Touchy Divers - friend or foe?Touchy Divers - friend or foe?
Touchy Divers - friend or foe?

Furious and embarrassed Zebra Lionfish that didnt like being poked around
Starry Moray EelStarry Moray Eel
Starry Moray Eel

Genie in a bottle

Hey! Hey! Hey!
Estuarine StonefishEstuarine Stonefish
Estuarine Stonefish

It might look like a rock, but it is deadly. Do not touch!
Awesome dive!Awesome dive!
Awesome dive!

Gunung Agung in the background

15th July 2009

love the pics...cant wait till we get to Malaysia and go diving!

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