Sat 10th - Mon 12th May (Week 34)
Sat 10th - Walked down to the beach to explore and were quite surprised it was black sand, and more of a locals fishing beach than for tourists. There was lots of rubbish both in and out of the sea, and didn't look very inviting. When you got a little bit further around the bay to the nicer hotels, they had made a bit more of an effort to clean the beach, but still wasn't somewhere we fancied for sunbathing. We booked a dive for Monday, and got snorkelling gear for free, so spent a couple of hours in the afternoon checking out both reefs. There is a natural reef which was pretty good and we saw quite a few clown (Nemo) fish. They have also made a Bio-Reef - where they have sunk metal structures and were the 1st place in the world to put a low voltage through them to encourage coral growth and it is actually very impressive. So much coral, all shapes, sizes and colours and we spent about 2 hours exploring it all. Quite a few jellyfish though and although most were harmless, we did get stung a few times. Despite the beach not being amazing, the scenery is very pretty - jungle mountains in the background, palm trees, frangipanis, hibiscus - all very tropical and reminds us to Bora Bora.
Sun 11th - Spent 3 hours snorkelling around the Bio-reef and natural reef trying out the new GoPro and managed to rack up over 1000 photos with rapid fire etc !! Really enjoy snorkelling around the coral here, always something new to see and very clever how they have created interesting shapes out of metal - such as mantas, dolphins etc and used them to encourage the coral to grow. Just as we were getting out at 12pm, I spotted a seahorse ! Just incredible that it was just floating along the sand, not holding onto anything and if it had been amongst the seaweed just nearby I wouldn't have spotted it at all. Followed it around taking photos and videos and was so pleased to have finally seen one in the wild ! Had a lovely few hours of blissfully quiet sunbathing by the hotel pool, just me and the deep blue pool, blue sky, and lush green jungle mountains behind. Could happily stay here another week or so !
Mon 12th - Very windy during the night and woke to grey clouds and more wind than we would like for diving ! Went to Fun & Fun Diving at 9am, got kitted out, then drove to the dock to get the dive boat over to Menjangan Island. The first dive wasn't very good visibility or too much to see, so just used it to get back into diving mode again. The 2nd dive was much better, much clearer with excellent coral of all shapes and sizes. We saw 2 large cuttlefish, a well camouflaged crocodile fish, and played with some friendly clown fish - my favourites ! Good days diving with amazing coral, good practice for the GoPro, and all for £35 each ! We are both on our 50th dives now, 10 of which have been on this trip alone.