default-logo

Discovering New Belongas Bay Dive Sites

Finding new Belongas Bay dive sitesAn amazing day special thanks to jay for coming down to join us in scouting these new Belongas Bay dive sites and we all are looking forward to the next adventure and with the special explorations trips we have for the moment [crazy low prices] there should be lots to come see you beneath the surface.

New Belongas Bay Dive site 2 (also here no new name yet), we heard a rumor of a sunken island inside the bay and decide to check it out as an alternative dive site when the conditions are very rough. We pull up to the sunken island with only the captains word that it’s there as the visibility was very poor. We enter from the boat only to find out that we are only 2 meters from the bottom, so surface swim to where the reef drops off and descend. As we hit 2 meters we punch through the vis and this Belongas dive site opens up into a sandy slope with corals we are not used to seeing, we descend on to the slope with little hope that we were going to find something special [we were just happy to get wet] and were immediately slapped in the face by the sighting of a thorny sea horse. And the sightings just kept coming stone fish, a flat head as big as my arm, nudis and some amazing coral life. But we had to cut the dive short as after 2 deep dives and a long journey back to base at Belongas Bay left us with little time. But we all can’t wait to get more eyes over there to see what jewels this murky sunken island is hiding!!! A very calm shallow Belongas Bay dive site, a nice end to our day after the deeper colder dives.

 

 

Gili Islands Dive Sites – Albino Ribbon Eels

Diving Gili Dive sites with Ribbon EelsDiving Gilis this week we’ve been seeing quite a lot of Ribbon Eels. We usually spot them at a few of the Gili dive sites, but during this week we had them pretty much on every Gili dive site that we dove. We’ve spotted black and yellow Ribbon Eels and then at other Gili dive sites the occasional albino Ribbon Eel, these mostly at the Gili Air dive site Frogfish Point.

The Ribbon Eels are usually quite shy and prefer to hide in holes when you get close, nevertheless, hovering above their little hideouts for a while can bring them back out. Really cool, it’s not so often that we get the possibility to see how long they actually are as it’s very rare that we can see them swimming around in the open.

The sea has been very calm at the Gili dive sites, hardly any current and very clear with great vis. Quite different to a little while ago where we were dealing with strong currents and mediocre vis at the Gili dive sites.

Apart from the Ribbon Eels we’ve been enjoying a lot of Turtles, mantis shrimps, Bluefin trevally, rainbow runners, bat fish, cuttle fish and quite a few octopus at the Gili Islands dive sites. Also, had got quite lucky and had a few Eagle rays cruising around the Gili Air dive site, Air wall. Can’t wait for the start of the Manta Season January/February in the coming year. I’ll be sure to cruise the Gili Dive sites on the lookout for them as soon as it starts.

Exploring Belongas Bay Dive Sites

Finding new Belongas Bay dive sitesDiving Belongas Bay we have now been exploration diving and looking for new awesome Belongas Bay dive sites. We wanted to check out the rumors as well as the spectacular pinnacles and impressing rock formations along the South Lombok coastline and see if we can’t open up some more spectacular diving Belongas Bay.

New Belongas Bay Dive site number 1 [sorry no name for it yet], we dive on to a rock formation different from the rest as it is made up of what looks like a lime stone mixed with something else. As we descend to around 30 meters we are immediately greeted by a rather large white tip reef shark and we cruise along the wall with its huge groves carved out of it by the waves and currents. As we pushed along the wall we are meet by some cool topography, pinnacles, walls and some boulders, not so much coral on this Belongas dive site but we found an abundance of marine life with big schools of bat fish, fusiliers, barracudas, more white tips and a big grey reef shark who came to say hello. All in all, a great dive at Belongas Bay with mild conditions but definitely one for the low season as it is open to the waves in the high season looking forward to doing a few more dives on it before naming it and putting it on the map.

 

 

 

 

Ornate ghost pipe fish, beautiful creatures indeed.

Diving Gili with ornate ghost pipe fishDiving Gili islands last week the sea was calm, clear and flawless for diving. The water temperature at the Gili dive sites drop a little bit, we were averaging around 29C, but now we’re more around 27C-28C. While Gili Islands diving, we have been spotting a lot of ornate ghost pipe fish within feather stars at most of the Gili Islands dive sites. We always see the black, red, and robust ghost pipe fish at the Gili dive sites, but now lately also the ornate ghost pipe fish, beautiful, graceful creatures indeed.

We also had a lot of aspiring divers doing introduction dives (PADI DSD) during the week. It’s always quite cool to show “not-yet-divers” the beauty that lies beneath the sea. While snorkeling you only get tiny impression of the aquatic beauty, when in fact there is such a multitude of aquatic life to be appreciated.

We also had a group very experienced group of Belgian divers diving Gilis with us. They came to dive the Gili Islands for the first time and enjoyed the Gili dive sites for a couple of days before then heading down to dive the southern Gili’s for a few more days. They had a great time diving Gilis and saw a awesome amount of aquatic life, they were truly surprised what diving Gilis can offer.

Of course, the Gili Islands diving favorites, Turtles, have been around in abundance as well. Apart from that we enjoyed diving the Gilis with mantis shrimp, blue fin trevally, stingrays, shrimps, emperor fish, moray eels and lots more. We have been diving Gili Islands this week with aquatic life everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you look, there were diverse fish swimming by all the time.

 

Diving Gili Islands – Bobbit Worm

Gili Islands diving with Bobbit wormRecently while diving Gili Islands at Meno Slope we spotted or first large elongated worm. This worm is the same family as the Bobbit worm but it’s still classed “undetermined” (has the scientific name “Eunice”). Thanks to the “eagle eyes” of our guide we could enjoy this unbelievable find. They are extremely hard to spot as they are burrowed in the sand or off and on under debris. The possibility to see them out in the open is minutely rare. Astounding, I just couldn’t believe it, such an awesome Gili diving day!

Diving Gilis mostly around the Gili dive sites around Gili T and Gili Meno this week, we frequently bumped into turtles, mantis shrimps, stingrays, sharks, jacks, octopus, barracuda and lots of small stuff like shrimps, crabs, nudiebranch and lots more. On some of the afternoons we have had noticeable swell and surge at the Gili dive sites, but at the end of the week it calmed down again and its back to relaxed Gili Islands diving.

 

SOUTH GILI EXPLORATION – DIVE THE LOMBOK STRAIT

Diving Lombok at the Wallace LineExciting exploration diving around the southern Gili Islands. Explore untouched regions of the southern Gilis and discover new, pristine dive sites around South Lombok. Dive the Lombok Strait and explore as well as name new colorful reefs.

Rp 1.350.000 for 1 day/3 dives including water/coffee/tea/snacks on board.

Dates for the trips are flexible, trips will run when 4 divers have booked. Minimum prerequisites are 50 logged dives with advanced certification. Contact Exploration@DiveZone-Lombok.com

What makes this special – The Lombok Strait

South Lombok DivingThe Lombok Strait is a channel in Indonesia linking the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean, and is situated between the islands of Bali and Lombok. The narrowest point is at it’s opening in the south with a breadth of around 20 km, between the islands of Lombok and Nusa Penida in the center of the channel.

The Lombok Strait is significant as being one of the primary pathways for the Indonesian Throughflow that trades water between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. It is additionally a part of the bio-geographical boundary line between the fauna of Indomalaya ecozone and the explicitly differing fauna of Australasia. The boundary line is referred to as the Wallace Line, for Alfred Russel Wallace, who initially mentioned the remarkable variance between animals of Indo-Malaysia from the ones from Australasia and together with just how immediate the boundary line was between the 2 biomes.

There is a extraordinarily massive volume of water moving through the Lombok Strait, however what is actually so amazing is the fact that it accommodates the eggs as well as larvae of the aquatic life of the Indo-Pacific. This is what makes it into such an impressively varied region, possessing over 4000 recognized varieties, in comparison to around 1000 in the Red Sea and 400 in the Caribbean.

 

DIVE 2 OCEANS – DIVE THE INDONESIAN THROUGHFLOW

DIVE LOMBOK AT ITS BESTDive the Pacific- and Indian Ocean during an exciting 2-day exploration adventure! The diving starts at the Southern Gili Islands and the trip will take you around the tip of Lombok to Belongas Bay. Fantastic scenery, pinnacles and adventurous diving are a guarantee! Dive where no one else has dived before and name the new dive sites you discover on the way…

Rp 3.000.000 for 2 days/6 dives including shared accommodation at Belongas Bay, full board, water/coffee/tea/snacks on board.

Dates for the trips are flexible, trips will run when 4 divers have booked. Minimum prerequisites are 100 logged dives with advanced certification. Contact Exploration@DiveZone-Lombok.com

What makes this special – The Indonesian Throughflow

Diving Lombok and the Indonesian ThroughflowNorthwest of the Indonesian archipelago is the Pacific Ocean at which the ocean level is 150 mm higher than average, at the same time to the south is the Indian Ocean at which the sea level is 150mm lower than average. This 30-centimeter variance is a result of the trade winds together with related oceanic currents that run in opposing direction in the northern and southern hemispheres. The outcome is the most significant flow of water on earth.

The amount of water typically associated with the Throughflow is so great, that conventional dimensions like cubic meters or gallons are simply not sufficient to express it in an easy understandable manner, that is why the Norwegian scientist Harald Sverdrup introduced the “Sverdrup”, a measurment unit that represents “one million cubic meters of water per second”. In more simple terms, imagine a waterway which is 100 meters wide, 10 meters deep and also runs at a speed of 4 knots. Npw put 500 of these waterways put together and you have 1 Sverdrup. It’s approximated that the total amount of seawater that journeys through the Indonesian Throughflow is between 20 to 22 Sverdrups, or else 10,000 of these waterways.

The throughflow is a tremendous amount of water which has to make its path around the string of islands that run along the lowerpart of the Indonesian archipelago. The 35-kilometer-wide Lombok Strait provides the most immediate route to the Indian Ocean so it is approximated that roughly 20% of the shallow water circulation of the Indonesian Throughflow transmits through that conduit, which with regards to waterways would mean 1500 of these. There exist only quite a limited amount of channels between the islands of the Lesser Sundas and the main one which moves the most of the water flow is the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok.

 

Gili Islands Diving with BFFsAlso underwater there are BFFs….

We have been going out diving Gili Islands every day and visited quite a few of the Gili Islands dive sites this week.

Diving Gilis around Gili T. the sightings of White tip reef sharks, black tips and Jacks happen quite often, and white tip reef sharks around these Gili dive sites are usually very idle. Mostly we see them chilling out under table corals and rocks, or swimming around lazily. Actually quite great for our photographers, this way they are able to get some really good shots of the sharks. The black tips and jacks are noticeably more lively and quite a bit quicker while they are cruising around the reefs and at time quite curious to see who is swimming around in their backyard. At the Gili Islands dive site Manta Point, south of Gili T., we often run into a black tip at around 9-12m with a Jack following a meter behind it. Guess also underwater there are BFFs….

Another pair of BFFS swimming around the Gili dive sites, usually Gili T. dive sites, is a Green Sea Turtle with his bat fish friend. The Turtle usually is chomping away at the corals while the bat fish hovers above it and just hangs around. Then when the turtle goes to the surface to get some air, or when it moves around to find some more delightful coral, the BFF bat fish follows along and doesn’t leave the turtle out of his sight. Every time, again and again, absolutely a fabulous sight to see these different underwater species budding up and making friends around the Gili Islands dive sites.

At our Gili Air dive resort we have Donald from the US hanging around and enjoying the Gili Island diving as well as the Gili life. He started doing PADI dive courses with us and after finishing ff his PADI OWD, went straight on to do his PADI AOWD. Then after practicing his new found skills and passion for diving Gilis, he is now finishing up his PADI Rescue course before he goes down to South Lombok to explore the diving there…

Gili Islands dive site Batfish PointBig Waves, great Gili Islands diving fun…

Diving Gili Islands this week, we had quite strong southerly winds causing high waves in the afternoons. On a few days we were limited to the Gili dive sites to the north of the islands, but still we had some good Gili diving fun. The Gili dive sites around the north of the islands, e.g. Bat fish and Frog fish point at Gili Air or turtle heaven at Gili Meno, are quite good and we found a big variety of sea, which made all of our divers very happy.

At Bat fish point we again found huge giant Frog fish. The last time it happened to be a painted frogfish, but all frog fish are good for me. We found the, purple/greyish, giant frogfish just hanging out on old and broken cage that had sunk a while ago at around 12 meters, later we’ll see if he’s still around. Really happy to have spotted this one, these cool, weird creatures are usually camouflaged quite well and even though we have a lot at our Gili Island dive sites, still their not easy to find. Of course our resident Turtles have been ever present on almost all the Gili dive sites in addition to quite a few blue spotted stingrays, moray eels, ribbon eels, garden eels, cuttle fish, mantis shrimps, stone fish, and much more.

As PADI dive courses at Gili Air dive resort we had mostly beginner courses this week. But apart from a nice number of PADI DSDs also a PADI Advanced course.

Our Gili Air dive resort being pretty much finished off now, also the restaurant and pool bar are coming along very well and soon we’ll be able to chill with a cool drink at the pool after our Gili Islands diving fun.

south lombok diving wonder pusAstounding South Lombok Diving

Diving South Lombok, the southern Gilis, this week we’ve seen some amazing stuff on some awesome dives. We’ve had some astounding dives at the South Lombok dive sites with very regular sightings of scorpion fish, bob tail squid, sea horses, painted frog fish, harlequin shrimp, wonder pus, and lots, lots more.

Diving South Lombok was not only a fantastic week for spotting underwater life, we’ve been insanely busy and met loads of new people, as well as made lots of new friends. Jenny, diving the southern Gilis this week with Edi, said she enjoyed the best vacation ever here diving South Lombok with us and all of us are extremely happy and overjoyed that she was able to find some cool diving around the Southern Gilis that she enjoyed.

South Gili dive courses have been on the rise again and we would like to congratulate Harry and Susan who did DSDs with us at our southern Gili dive sites, now they both want to continue on with their PADI dive course and go for their PADI open water diver course. They now left after a week of South Lombok diving, but for sure they will be back soon for some more South Lombok diving fun.