Creature Feature - Sea Moths
We have some weird critters here in Bali, making it a photographers dream. But one of the weirdest is the Sea Moth which can often be found walking (yes walking!) around in pairs.
The sea moths are a family, the Pegasidae, of fish found in shallow coastal tropical waters usually down to depths of about 6m. They prefer bays with sea grass or seaweed with sandy or silty bottoms, which is why we often find them on the entrance of the shoreline at Amed.
The family contains two genera and five species. They are sometimes also called sea robins or dragonfishes
Growing 4-15 cm in length, Sea Moths are distinguished by flattened bodies, the presence of large, wing-like, pectoral fins, and a body encased in thick, bony plates. Their pelvic fins are also modified, allowing them to "walk" across the sea bottom where they live. If disturbed they can move at greater speeds by beating the caudal fin.
Dive Log - The Jetty, Padang Bai
Being a bit of a critter freak when the Divemaster suggested we try the Jetty at Padang Bai, he was met with a huge grin from me as I had heard about this site but never dived it. And needless to say I wasn’t disappointed.
We back rolled off the boat and swam a short distance so we were nearer the columns for reference as it is a fairly shallow site and you never know what the visibility would be like. But as I stuck my head down, I saw the bottom, excellent! As we descended I spied an anemone which I knew would be interesting and sure enough it was home to some cool shrimp as well as nemo.
The jetty is home to quite a bit of rubbish that gets caught under there, puts a different slant on the term ‘Muck Diving’, but it’s amazing how these creatures adapt to their environment. Mark called me over to a burlap sack whilst doing an impression of what I thought was a puffer fish. Screwing my nose up a bit because puffer fish are quite common and at the time there were a few around me, I swam over to where he was pointing and what I found was the tiniest red frogfish that had found residence there.
Dive Log - USAT Liberty Wreck Tulamben
After a 2hr drive from Sanur we pulled into the Paradise Hotel in Tulamben, some people were checking in for the night as it’s a great location to base yourself for a dive safari. I was just a day tripper. The hotel is well set up for divers with a sea facing restaurant which is wetsuit friendly, a good sized kitting up area next to the rinse tanks, fresh showers and changing rooms as well as toilets for those day-trippers like me.
Once we had set up the gear on the tanks (a service that is provided, but I always like to do myself) two tiny Balinese women arrived with what looked like towel hats on their head. A few seconds later I found out why when they picked up full scuba tanks, with BCD, and placed them on their heads. If this wasn’t incredible enough, they placed a second tank on their shoulder then set off down the pebbly beach!
The Diving Helper Club - Tulamben
When you first dive in Tulamben the thing that makes you look twice are these agile Balinese women walking around with not one but two scuba tanks on their heads! The ground is pebbly and not exactly even around the dive site so their sense of balance is amazing and these ladies you wouldn’t see in a Miss Universe weight lifting competition, these are slight, elegant Balinese ladies with amazing strength.
These ladies are all members of the community based Diving Helper Club of Tulamben. Founded by Pak Kari Yasa in 1978 the club provides a porter service to all divers diving there anywhere from your hotel or car along the kilometer of beach which is home to 3 awesome shore dives.
Each diver or dive centre pays them a small fee for this service. The income is then pooled and split equally at the end of each day, 20% goes to the club itself. The money accumulated by the club then pays for community based provisions such as new gamelan instruments, so part of the money is shared by all
Nyepi Laut (Quiet Sea) 20th October 2013 – Nusa Penida
Nyepi is the Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isaawarsa (Saka New Year) according to the Balinese calendar. Nyepi, a public holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year.
Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no travelling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.