Personal diving trips in the Gilis

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September 14th 2013
Published: September 14th 2013
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Arriving on Gili Air my main priority was to find a diving company, and book a dive for the morning. After visiting a few different dive shops I finally settled with the first, and arranged a dive for 8am.

Turning up in the morning I discovered I was the only customer on the 8:30 dive, so it was to be just me and my instructor. The dive was at shark point, and despite there being no guarantee of seeing any sharks, my instructor soon found me a white tipped reef shark around 1m long hidden in some rocks. It was amazing to see my first shark, just a shame it didn't come for a swim so I could get a better view! After leaving the shark I also saw thousands of fish in their schools, and it was quite surreal to turn round and see so many fish between me and the surface. I could have stayed there for hours! During the dive we also found an Octopus, only 30-40cm in length, who changed colour right before my eyes. There was also a flounder persistently swimming around me towards the end of the dive, which was pretty fun to observe as they have an unusual makeup, and are quite quirky looking creatures. I can't forget the 5 turtles too, which were smaller than in Borneo, but lazier too so I could spend more time watching them going about their days eating coral.

Upon returning from the first dive my instructor asked if I'd like to go and see Mandarin fish. My response was 'what does that look like?' So he found me a picture. They look really pretty, so I decided yeah, why not and arranged a dive for the following evening. The dive site was just off the beach, so after kitting up, including torch, we were off down the beach, amongst lots of boats, for our dive. Upon entering the water the 2 things I noticed were much poorer visibility and it felt much colder than my previous dive. I was very glad to be in a full wetsuit for this one.

It didn't take very long to find the mandarin fish in amongst the coral, although they do a good job of hiding, and you need a direct line of sight to be able to spot them. They are beautiful though, as soon as I saw one I was very glad I came on this dive. Throughout the dive we saw loads of mandarin fish, ranging from around 3-5cm.

On the dive I also saw 2 different species of Moray eel - one of which I'm not sure liked my torch light, judging by the amount of snapping and how far it emerged from its hole. I backed off at that and decided it was time to swim away! There were a lot of pipefish on the dive too, as well as the usual finding nemo characters.

It was quite fun to do a dive as the light was fading, I'll have to try a night dive next. I'm off to Gili T next for my last few days in Asia, so plenty of time for a few more dives!


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