Manta Bali 2004

Author: Rizal Prayuga
Trip report on Quest for Manta in Manta Point, Bali

 

My mobile phone alarm rang and I woke up slowly trying to grab my mobile to switch the alarm off�. Jump straight away from the bed as I looked at the clock showing 7.00am. Man!!! I had to meet up with the gang in Sanur at 7.30 and it took me 30-40 minutes from my place to sanur. I must be late�..

After a quick shower and brushing my tooth, I step on the gas heading to meeting point. As expected, my friends from Kapal Selam Diving Club is there giving me a grin as I parked my car.

Immediately we went to the beach and took off to the dive site�. Took us around 45-1 hour to get to the diving point that we were waiting for �Manta Point� in Nusa Penida.

A lot of question in my mind on the way to Manta Point. Whether we are going to see what we go for today or not?? This is a very important dive for me as I never saw Manta rays since the first time I went scuba Diving in 1994.

The boat is slowing down�. Approaching the dive sites slowly while checking on the tide and current� I am getting more and more nervous trying to find an answer to my biggest question while looking at the sea surface�. Suddenly I get over it after I saw few manta on the surface near the wall�. I regain my confident and keep telling myself that I�m going to see my manta today!!! Next thing you know you hear the water splashing as 7 divers jump into the water.

We began to descend to the dept�.. I swam upside down ignoring the reefs and other fishes and focusing on the surface to see what I came for� minute by minte passed by and I looked at my dive computer knowing that I have dived for 10 minutes. I began to lose my confident minute by minute suddenly I saw a shadow in a distance and immediately chased them� It comes ut to another disappointment as I found out It was only a hawksbill turtle. He will be a big thing to see if it was any other dive.

�Just keep swimming� I keep telling my self (Quoted from �finding nemo� cartoon movie, Dorry my favorite) after a while another shadows coming followed by a hammer head beeps from our leader Mr. Knutt. In a few second I SEE IT!!!! It was the one I am looking for the manta rays!!! Next thing you know few other mantas swam above us and I just keep hovering and looking at each encounter carefully.

The feeling was even greater as the mantas swimming on top of us almost all the time during the dive. We even saw a medium size manta passing our group very close, she probably curious and checking on the group asking �what kind of fish are they?

The tank made us all surface, the whole gang seems very happy. For myself, I am extremely happy.

The boat went to the next dive spot called Toyapakeh during the trip we all share stories about the amazing first dive. Lala, one of our member who has been known for her supplies started to distribute the famous mixed jellies. We are all enjoyed it. Keep up the good work Lala�

Jokes and laughter filled our surface interval� The next thing you know, Chris from Bali Scuba have made a briefing for the second dive. We decided to do the second dive in Toyapakeh Wall instead of gamat bay The reason whay we divert the spot is because the current is very stong in Ceningan-Penida channel. From the surface, the current seems so strong, safety issues were being stressed by Chris.

Then we dove again. The current underneath is as strong as the current lala, Tim, Armando, Ulin, Chris, Knutt and myself trying hard to keep the group together by hanging on to the rocks. The corals were great in Toyapakeh wall however we cannot enjoy it very much as we are flying like superman underwater. For me it�s quite an adrenaline dive and when we surfaced we just know that we almost dive from Toyapakeh to Crystal Bay. WOW!!! What a distance��

We immediately had our lunch after the 2nd dive. It was very quiet as all of us focussing on the meals that we had. Great food though, thanks to Bali Scuba for every good lunch we had every time we dive with them.

As usual, the second surface interval filled with �KSDC� stuff, we joked around and talking nonsense (but made us laugh though) the only thing is missing is the ********* which only available when all KSDC members is all together� (some of us know what that is)

After 1 hour of surface interval we dove again, to make the dive more exciting we set a mission to steal some of the guest in Quiksilver day trip guest�s panties (hehheheheee�) we all assume that the gals are wearing bikinis (no laugh this time)

The Water were splashing as 7 divers goin to waters for the 3rd dive we went for toyapakeh this time. Heading to quiksilver platform we all gently descending to Toyapakeh Slope a very beautiful coral down there and we spotted a lot of morray ells during that time.

It was an ordinary dive until we heard a huge sounds, we found out that it was the quiksilver boat sailing back to Benoa harbor coincidentally while we are on around 5 meters depth. Everybody is doing their best to have their negative buoyancy and themselves on the bottom of the ocean the next thing you know the whole surface above you are bubbles from the sucking propeller we made it through though.

After the trouble we went up and have a good laugh together about the last dive..

It was a great dive for all of us as drift, pelagic and adrenaline dive comes together in one day��

We will wish to have such a group again later� a great time, great dive and great buddy. I will always remember this trip as I saw manta rays for the first time in 10 years of diving

We all went back to sanur, Tim is having late sate lunch at sanur with his lovely wife, lala is busy with their equipment and myslef are too busy with my schedule on Monday. I guess We all just drifted away with dives we had today�.. I hope ht rest of the gangs feels the same�. See you all on other occasion and I just can say �I had Monday!!�

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