It was Tulamben where I woke up on the fifth day of the journey. I made an entery to the first dive of the day from the beach of the hotel I stayed. I can enter to see the famous site for the wreck USAT Liberty, but I kept a dive for the wreck in the tomorrow early morning. Today, I am going to dive at another site whose name was Melasti.
The same beach with black sand as Singaraja. It was good for taking photos of creatures on the bottom.
The first animal I met in the dive was this nudibranch. What a unique pattern.
Harlequin ghost pipe fish (Solenostomus paradoxus). Although I think it is the most beautiful when it spreads all three fins, it depends so much on its habit or a chance that it really difficult to get a shot of that moment. I had to admit that it was almost but not quite perfect this time too.
Robust ghost pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus). It was hard to take a beautiful shot because it is less colorful and in a plainer shape and pattern, but fern-like Aglaopheniidae was quite helpful as background.
This is also a kind of nudibranch. I liked its doe nut shape. Each kind of nudibranch has unique shape and pattern. It is quite interesting that there are a huge number of colorful nudibranches in Indonesia.
Most local guides I met in Southeast Asia had good eye sight. Derek was not an exception, and he easily found small interesting creatures one after another, and what is more, Indonesia is a treasure house of curious living things. Its sea has quite many colorful creatures and corals and sea squirts in the background are also colorful. Observing and photographing such creatures are irreplaceable pleasant time.
After the first dive, We went to Amed, 7 or 8 kilometers apart from Tulamben. Preparation was done at a diving station in a Hotel.
Amed is also famous diving destination in Bali, and a home of many small creatures. There is also beautiful coral reef and it is good for snorkeling. Amed has black sand as Singaraja and Tulamben. The east half of the north coast of Bali is covered with black sand and rocks. I think the sand was provably made from lava erupted from the volcanoes that lines up in the north of Bali island.
The first dive in Amed was at Café Gram. This was for small creatures. The water was warm.
A young rockfish.
A young emperor angelfish. I always try to take a photo of its impressive pattern beautifully, but it is always difficult. It never stops swimming and it is so cautious that it hides under rocks or corals when I approach it to intend to get a better shot.
A frog fish.
I met Amphiprion polymnus shortly before exit. Many small fish swam around the anemone fish and I think its shine made my photo better one. The maximum depth was 26 meters. I spent 75 minutes for this pleasant underwater walk.
We took 2-hour surface time. There was a tennis table in the garden of the hotel which has a restaurant we had lunch. After lunch, I played table tennis with Luca and Derek under strong sunshine of tropical island. Japanese enjoy table tennis during a stay at a hotel with Onsen, hot spring not as exercise but as a recreation or a relaxing activity and I didn’t think that table tennis was popular in Southeast Asia or Europe. So I have never imagined I played it with a Indonesian and an Italian Swiss in Indonesia. I realized that I could not make light of table tennis as a social tool.
Table tennis was a so much fun that I played harder than I expected and my body became quite hot. I started the third dive of the day to cool down my body. The site was Pyramids. It was named after that some artificial pyramid-shaped fish reefs put on the bottom of the site. Luca said that there are pygmy seahorses in the site, and I decided to try it.
On the way to them, I spot various creatures.
sea goldie is always seen in tropical sea.
Hyastenus oatesii. I like its pink beady eyes.
Longnose hawkfish. This is also popular among divers.
Emperor shrimp. This was my first time that I saw them being on a nudibranch, I had seen them being on sea cucumbers though.
I was able to see a pygmy seahorse as our plan. Taking photos of it was relatively difficult due to condition, but I managed it with a few shots, and satisfied at least to some extent. I began to ascend. I finished 75 minutes dive.
I packed equipment after three dives. The tennis table waited for us and we played hard table tennis again. But it got windy in the afternoon and the wind changed the game to something another we didn’t know. We gave up the game before long.
We went back the same way to Tulamben.
We arrived at the hotel. It was when I opened the cap of battery’s room of my strobe that the room was filled with sea water. I was greatly shocked, but fortunately, the damage extended only to battery, the strobe itself was intact. I was relieved and went out to have dinner. I am going to dive at the wreck USAT Liberty, the main site in Tulamben, to see a march of buffalo fish in tomorrow early morning.
Luca’s diving service：http://www.underwatertribe.com/