Beginning our Trip
It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of Menjangan in words. This place is breathtaking! We jumped in the Blue Season Bali van around 7 am and began the 4-hour drive up to the resort. We stopped along the way to see some of the gorgeous scenery that northern Bali has to offer and also picked up our team mascot for the trip; a giant pink bear we named Mandy.
Day 1: Arriving to Menjangan Resort
When we got to Menjangan resort I was overwhelmed with how peaceful this place is. There was a nice warm breeze and the only sounds you could hear where coming from the jungle. We had a delicious buffet lunch and then checked into our rooms. After getting all our stuff set up we headed down to the dive shop. Our first task would be a beach clean up. We split up and spent about 2 hours cleaning the beaches. I was shocked by the amount of trash that had washed up on the shores in paradise. People don’t think about the fact that all the trash they throw on the ground ends up the ocean. We took notes of the types of trash we found and will send the data to Project Aware.
After finishing the clean up everyone was ready to get in the water. We set off for a night dive in Bajul Bay with the goal of finding some Madarinfish. Mandarinfish are small (up to 6 cm) neon colored fish that generally dwell in reefs. Menjangan is special because it is a Mandarin fish breeding
ground. Around 6 pm in the evening these guys pop out of the coral to get freaky for a few minutes. And guess what? We saw some!! We arrived a little late so didn’t get to see the Mandarinfish above the coral but with some torches we were lucky enough to locate some inside. These guys are very cute!
Day 2: Diving and Beach Clean Up
The next morning we headed out to Menjangan Island for some more diving. Our first dive was at a site called Eel Garden and was a wall dive that reached about 40 meters. The conditions of this dive were the best I have experienced so far! The water temperature was 28 degree Celsius (82.5 Fahrenheit) when we jumped in and the visibility was 25+ meters. The vibrancy of the reefs was incredible. There were so many species of coral and fish that I was unable to keep track of what I was seeing.
After our first dive we went to Post 1 for another beach clean up. This time we spent about 2 hours. It is amazing what a few people can accomplish! When we got to the beach it was covered in trash. By the time we left it was clean. It felt great leaving for our second dive and knowing that we had given something back to the ocean. When we were loading the trash we picked up onto boats we met a local named Nono who has come up with his own project to combat the pollution we are seeing in our oceans. Nono has started a project where he teaches locals to make handbags by recycling plastic waste. This has a great impact in educating the local community because it not only brings awareness to problem of pollution but also provides a skill that local populations can use to support themselves.
Our second dive in Anchor Wreck had similar conditions. Because of the size and age of the ship all that is left of Anchor Wreck is a few poles. The wreck is thought to have been an 1800’s trading vessel or possibly a slave ship that anchored at Menjangan and sank soon after. To find the wreck you follow the anchor chain down and find the mast at about the 30 meters. What surprised me about this dive was the amount of light you could see between 30-40 meters where wreck lies. I am talking clear blue water!
As I hovered around 30 meters I could see all the way to the wreck as well as all the way up to the surface. These are dream diving conditions!
Later that night we went to the local bar and had a barbeque and a few drinks. It was really nice to spend some more time with the BSB crew. I got to talk with people and find out more about them. It’s a good feeling to be building a little family here.
Day 3: Final Dives and Saying Goodbye to Menjangan
Our final day at Menjangan was similar to the first two. We woke up in the morning and went for a beautiful dive at Temple. Next we went to the beach at Post 2 and spent another couple of hours cleaning. After lunch we went on our final dive at a site called The Bat Cave. When arriving to this site on the boat we could hear all the bats that were living in the cave (hence the name bat cave). It was cool when we took a peak inside and saw that some caves had over 150 bats hanging from the walls. During the dive we could even hear some of the bats underwater! Conditions for the dives were just as great as the fist two days. The water temperature was around 29 degrees Celsius and the visibility was 20+ meters. On this dive I even got to see a big Moray Eel swimming which is something I hadn’t seen before. It was a fantastic way to end an amazing weekend. I feel so grateful to have spent such a peaceful weekend exploring the beauty that Bali has to offer. I am already counting the days until I get another change to dive Menjangan!