1st Trip to Menjangan

Just after a wonderful day of diving in Padang Bai, the schedule was printed off and it became official, I was off to Menjangan. Menjangan is pretty much as far as you can go up north and slightly westward on the island of Bali. Normally from Sanur it would take about 4 hours drive but on this particular trip we first had to go basically as far down south as you can go to Nusa Dua to pick up our guests. So, in total after setting my stopwatch from Sanur to Nusa Dua back up to Menjangan it took just over 5 hours. I’ve had the pleasure of doing this scenic drive once before on my visit to the Zen Resort, so this time around I decided to bring my eye mask and have a little snooze. What a great idea that turned out to be because next thing you know I was waking up in Menjangan refreshed, revived and ready to dive! For the two dives we were scheduled to do we had along with us 3 guests, our local guide Putu ’the great’ another divemaster named Jacques and myself. Shortly after arriving we hopped on a boat and set off to Menjangan Island roughly 30 minutes from shore. (technically you could get there much sooner but the boat engines up there are quite slow) Nonetheless, we enjoyed a nice little 30 minute boat ride to soak in the sights and set up your gear. Although there are several nice dive sites around the Menjangan area as well as some great snorkelling, the sites on our agenda were Post 1(Eel Garden Point) and Post 2(Drop Off). Both are wall dives with a magnificent array of large sea fans known to house pigmy seahorses, the occasional passing of whitetip or blacktip reef sharks and several other species and colours to keep the eyes continuously curious and satisfied. Post 1 the site we dove first eventually ends off with a large white sandy patch with hundreds maybe even thousands of garden eels. It’s there where we also had a brief visit from a little blacktip… Always a pleasure! From there, there are several little patches of reef which we spent the remaining 20 minutes or so at around 10 meters scanning through to see what we could find. Once surfacing, we stopped at a nearby beach for some lunch where we were accompanied by a couple deer (not every day you see deer on the beach) then we were back in the ocean for dive number 2. This one was once again another wall dive which stretched as far down as the eye could see and like the first, housed loads of sea fans and a vast array of all forms of life. The highlight on this dive for me was discovering a nudibranch I have yet to see out here in Indonesia. Before even coming to Bali, I had never seen a nudibranch and knew little about them. So, ever since the first time I saw one out in Seraya, spotting and documenting different types of nudibranch has become a bit of an obsession of mine and now anytime I see one I have yet to lay eyes on, I consider that a great dive. All in all, my first trip out to Menjangan was a success for both myself and all who came along. Next time I hope to visit some of the other favorite dive sites like Secret Bay, The Anker Wreck, Sandy Slope, Mangroves and Pemuteran. Also the Mandarin Fish you typically see during night dives is a huge attraction for many visitors from all over so I hope I get a chance to see them. We finished off the day showing each other the photos we captured and enjoyed a nice beverage then it was back in the bus for a short 4 hour drive back to Sanur. Once again the eye mask went on and I dreamt of what dive adventures awaited me in my near future!

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