1YoT: Diving Nusa Lembongan

One of Inna’s lifelong dreams was to travel and scuba dive all over the world. So far, the only place we’ve dove on this trip is the still-there-but-dying Great Barrier Reef, but now its time to explore our second dive site: Nusa Lembongan.

Inna dove four times at Nusa Lembongan, and I snorkeled once (I was supposed to snorkel twice, but I got majorly sea-sick, so I sat out the second one). And while the conditions here weren’t as good as at the Great Barrier Reef (visibility was lower and the currents and swells were super-strong), there was so much sea life, and so much less of the reef was dying, Inna actually enjoyed diving here more than the Great Barrier Reef!

There was so much sea life at Nusa Lembongan, we have eleven videos to show. Most of them are short so hopefully you can check them all out. Or at least check out the ones with titles that interest you. Finally, in addition to the videos, we also have several stills of the sea life we saw. These stills are from other videos that didn’t turn out as well; there are no duplicates between the videos and the stills. This should give you an idea of how much sea life we saw.

We’ll start with this sea turtle video, captured on Inna’s first dive and one of the best clips Inna has ever taken. Inna saw five sea turtles while diving Nusa Lembongan, and lots of other sea life which we will detail below.

0:28 moray eel
1:05 unicornfish
1:48 unicornfish
1:51 triggerfish
1:53 tons of fish
2:23 butterflyfish
2:30 wrasse?
2:39 school of fusiliers?
3:04 Clark’s anemonefish
3:09 unicornfish
3:11 longfin bannerfish
3:22 tons more fish
3:34 reef close ups
3:47 butterflyfish
3:52 longfin bannerfish
4:19 more fish
4:26 butterflyfish
4:41 school of fusiliers?
4:56 pufferfish
5:14 butterflyfish and a school of yellow tailed fusiliers
5:24 lots of blue fish
5:29 wrasse?, triggerfish, and butterflyfish

Taken the same day as the sea turtle video above (the day I explored the mainland), the above video captures another one of the coolest sea creatures Inna saw on her dives. 

0:04 butterflyfish
0:27 tons of fish, inc triggerfish, longfin bannerfish, and others
0:35 school of fish
1:00 wrasse
1:14 reef close up

0:01 butterflyfish
0:07 triggerfish
0:11 tons of fish, inc butterflyfish, triggerfish, wrasse, fusiliers, and others
0:31 triggerfish and butterflyfish
0:43 unicornfish
0:58 anemonefish
1:11 longfin bannerfish
1:22 yellowtail something-or-other
1:24 angelfish

0:08 tons of fish
0:20 butterflyfish and unicornfish
0:45 Clark’s anemonefish
0:54 wrasse
1:01 unicornfish
1:03 butterflyfish
1:07 triggerfish
1:21 butterflyfish and titan triggerfish
1:31 ? and ?
1:40 rabbitfish? and butterflyfish
2:06 unicornfish
2:19 dancing fish

0:01 butterflyfish
0:09 tons of fish, inc wrasse, butterflyfish, and others
0:20 ?
0:28 butterflyfish
0:29 angelfish
0:30 yellow ?
0:52 nudi branch

Outside of sea turtles and moray eels, it was all about the fish. Inna saw so many fish her first dive day, she often didn’t know where to look!

20161216_083509

I went with Inna on her second dive day, snorkeling above as she dove below. For those who’ve never been on a dive boat before (like me prior to this day), this is what they look like.

For Inna’s second day of diving, we went to Nusa Penida, a large island south of Nusa Ceningan, which itself is south of Nusa Lembongan. The boatride to Penida alone was worth the trip over here, it felt like boating Hawaii and it was incredible.

The reason we went this far: manta rays. We dove at Nusa Penida’s Manta Ray Point, where we saw several of these guys.

Snorkeling at the surface, all I saw were manta rays. But Inna dove down below, so she saw lots of other cool stuff. Most exciting: three sting rays, one of which remained buried in the sand, while two emerged and swam through this video.

20161216_124544

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the currents and swells in these waters were rough. I didn’t notice the swells while snorkeling, but once I got back on the boat, the effects of swimming in them struck. I got majorly seasick, to the point of passing out and almost throwing up. Because of this, when we got to our second dive location, instead of snorkeling, I swam to the beach (pictured above) and took a nap.

0:20 ?
0:30 longfin bannerfish
1:00 reef forest
1:19 school of fish
1:27 triggerfish
1:30 unicornfish
1:45 butterflyfish
2:07 school of fish
2:23 longfin bannerfish
2:44 unicornfish?
2:48 longfin bannerfish
2:51 Indian bannerfish?

Not snorkeling here was definitely a good decision. While there was tons of sea life, the currents here were insane. They were so strong, Inna and her dive partners had to use all their strength just to keep in place. Even the fish were having a hard time in these waters.

The currents here were crazy, throwing around fish left and right. But they didn’t seem to affect this sea turtle too much…

0:09 tons of fish
0:17 ?
0:25 grouper (huge!)
0:41 trumpetfish
1:06 tons of fish

Despite all the currents, there were pockets of calm water, and these pockets contained some incredible fish.

This brings us to the end of our dive videos. A lot I know, but we saw so much, hopefully the videos were worth it. Finally, as promised at the beginning of this post, here are some stills of additional sea life we saw. These are all from clips that didn’t turn out well, otherwise I would have included them with the videos above.

scorpionfish

In the above picture, a scorpionfish (one of the coolest fishes in the world) is camouflaged with the reef. Can you find it?

Some other unique fish Inna saw include a flatfish (left photograph, top of photo) and a lionfish (right photograph, center of photo).

There were several angelfish in the videos above, but not these two. Every single breed of angelfish is so colorful and beautiful, it is always exciting to see them.

The videos also contain several Clark’s anemonefish (cousins to Nemo, a clown anemonefish), but none like this. This one was swimming in the open; it didn’t see Inna and almost swam into her; at the last second he changed course.

unicornfish

We also saw several unicornfish in the videos, but this one, not in any of the videos above, was too beautiful not to include here.

Here are three additional sea turtles Inna saw. These plus the two videos make five sea turtles in total, a lot considering Inna only spent two days of diving!

In addition to sea mammals and fish, the reefs themselves contained lots of life. Pictured above are a four-pointed starfish, a weird thing I don’t know the name of, and a huge clam.

Finally, before we go, how about some pictures of the reef itself.

With that, we come to the end of our underwater experiences at Nusa Lembongan. We’d never heard of this place before visiting, but the sea life here was so spectacular, it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

Next up, Inna and I said goodbye to the coast and went inland, to Yogyakarta, the center of one of Indonesia’s largest islands and containing two of the grandest religious sites in the world!

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