• Drift Diving in Bali & Nusa Penida with World Diving Lembongan

     

    Reef fish Lembongan
    Reef fish always swim head first into the current

    The majority of diving around Nusa Penida (and in many parts of Indonesia) is drift diving and the currents can vary from almost nothing to drifts where divers cover 2km of shore line in just 40 minutes! Whilst some divers love the exhilarating thrill of ‘flying’ along the reef others find it a daunting and nerve racking experience, however, there are some general guidelines which can help making diving in currents both safer and more enjoyable.

    –          Follow the directions of your guide and only enter the water when instructed to do so.

    –          Stay close to the reef or the bottom as currents here will be weaker. During the dive stay behind your guide.

    –          Secure all dangling equipment.

    –          Control your buoyancy and let the current move you along.

    –          Use reef formations as shelter if you want to take a breather.

    –          Do not fight the current – it is easy to become overexerted.

    –          To determine current direction look at indicators such as soft coral and reef fish (which generally swim head-on into the current)

    –          Carry a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) and make sure you are familiar with how to inflate it.

    –          If you become separated from your group look around for one minute – if you don’t find them, go up and you should be re-united on the surface.

    –          If you cannot see your boat upon surfacing or if you have any doubt about whether your boat has seen you do NOT wait in strong surface currents – swim across the current, towards the shore if possible.

    Tidal currents vary according to the time of the tide because the vertical rise and fall of the tides also creates a horizontal movement of water moving either from the open ocean in towards shore on a rising tide or from the shoreline to the open ocean on a falling tide. There are also periods (at high tide or low tide) when the horizontal movement of water is minimal or non-existent and this is termed ‘slack high’ or ‘slack low’. As a general rule, diving on slack high is preferable as visibility is usually much better. On days when there is a large tidal range (such as close to new moon or full moon) currents can be expected to be faster as there is a greater horizontal movement of water. When there is only a minimal range (neap tides), currents are least ferocious – neap tides occur twice a month in the first and third quarter of the moon.

    Time your dives with the tides, remember the general guidelines and go with the flow!

     

     

  • Diving with Mola at Nusa Penida and Lembongan, Bali

    mola Nusa Penida Bali
    World Diving Divemasters are skilled at finding mola

     

    The mighty Mola (Oceanic sunfish) is one of the reasons why our islands and our dive sites are so famous.

    The sunfish is one of the strangest looking fish in the ocean and yet one that divers often place highly on their lists of ‘things to see’. As the heaviest known bony fish in the world and weighing in at over 2,200lbs the mola has two dorsal fins making it as tall as it is long. The most distinguishing feature of the mola is its main body area – of which there is very little – and which is flattened laterally. This strange shaping explains the German name for the fish – ‘schwimmender kopf’ which translates literally to ‘swimming head’.  The word ‘mola’ is actually latin and means ‘millstone’ perhaps referring to either the shape or marbled coloration of the fish which is very typical in the Ramsayi species commonly seen around Nusa Penida.

    Sunfish live on a diet of nutritionally poor jelly fish and to maintain their body weight they consume huge quantities. Ordinarily they are deep water fish but they are seen around Nusa Penida from July to October as they drift up the reefs on the cold thermoclines making their way into the shallower waters. Year round they carry an incredibly heavy parasitic load and these giant fish rely on some of the reefs smallest inhabitants to unburden them through cleaning.

    Mola cleaning is an incredible sight as this huge fish, which averages around 2 meters, cruises up the reef hoping to attract the attention of the smaller reef fish. Banner fish are one of the great mola cleaning fish and can be seen literally leaving the reef in swarms as they flock to the mola. Other cleaner fish include cleaner wrasse which primarily clean around the gills and mouth, butterfly fish which focus on the eyes and even emperor angel fish have been seen cleaning the dorsal fins. Another means by which the mola is thought to rid itself of parasites is by ‘jumping’ – a phenomenon often witnessed by fishermen and during surface intervals. The mola will break through the surface and then crash back down creating an almighty splash which is thought to break off parasites in the process.

    They are a truly Jurassic looking fish which, as a member of the order Tetraodontiformes, are closely related to pufferfish, porcupine fish and triggerfish. The sunfish is also referred to as the Balinese Sunfish (or Moonfish to the French – Poisson Lune). The name sunfish is thought to come from its habit of ‘sunbathing’ on the surface of the water.

    Are you hoping to see a mola? The season is our busiest time here at Word Diving so be sure to book your space on the boat well in advance. Our PADI Divemasters know exactly when and where to look for them so you’ll be diving with mola experts! To make your reservation contact us on [email protected]