Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beauty at Menjangan Island - Bali

Just last week, I was lucky enough to visit Bali from Singapore for a few days. During our 4 day stay, I managed to sneak in a day of snorkeling at Menjangan Island. From what I have researched, this place was less frequently visited by tourists due to its distance. I believe I made the right choice! Unfortunately I could not visit the other popular areas such as Nusa Dua, Lembongan, and the Blue Lagoon due to our busy schedule but I must articulate the beauty experienced at Menjangan Island. 

The tour (for 2) commenced at 6:00am and it took about 3hrs to get to the ferry to Menjangan Island. It took another 30 minutes to get to Menjangan Island. Below are few pictures of the boat ride to the Island. 

The boats we took
A Silhouette of Java Islands

The local crews were amazingly friendly and was an experience to remember. A picture of them below:

Just before arrival, we were briefed that we will be visiting two sections of the island. One from the beach and another from the boat. We were also told that the reefs were 3 metres from the beach and to my astonishment, it was true. The reef began almost immediately. The water was warm. Warmer than the Great Barrier Reef. I only had my skins on and did not feel cold whatsoever. The total experience was just amazing.

About 20 metres from the shore there is a massive dropoff which was quite frightening. This was my first encounter with such a dropoff and I was told that there are amazing aquatic life down there which could only be experienced through scuba diving. Maybe next time?

Due to my lack of knowledge of coral names and tropical fish, I am unable to identify (name) most of the fish in the pictures below. I took almost 500 pictures but below are few of my favourites.

The group of fish (below) did not have any qualms approaching us snorkelers and seemed quite curious of what's going on. Maybe they thought it was feeding time?

Feeding time?

Beautiful coral and the community it supports

 A view I only have imagined seeing.. or through documentaries :)

Our tour guide, who is an avid snorkeler and underwater photographer knew where some of the more popular species inhabited. One species in particular was the famous Nemo (clown fish) which was about 4-5 metres deep. I was able to reach the clown fish (2) but was unable to get a good picture as I kept floating up. This made me realise that I need weights! Maybe next time I will be more prepared. Anyway, you can see this image better if you click on it.

Do people have 'clown' fish phobia's?

Another coral(?) that caught my eye was the one below. It had a beautiful blue tinge and was quite sparse in this area.

Blueatiful Blue..
 Some more coral..

This was the dropoff I described earlier. You can imagine the depth through the deep blue.

 Edge of the reef

 Scattered millions of blue green damselfish

 Close up of the scatter millions..

 Yellow Mellow

Common reef species: Blackback butterfly fish

 Nemo's mentor: Moorish idol

 spotted marble

I know my blog was supposed to be my snorkeling experiences in Sydney but I think having a variety spices up your life :) 

Snorkeling at Menjangan, Bali was my first snorkeling experience outside of Australia. Having been to the GBR, Menjangan Island provides a different experience due to its charismatic boats, local Balinese people, and its isolation. I hope to visit this site again and hopefully it will not lose its charm.

I wonder when my next snorkeling trip will be?

signing off..


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