Mola mola and Dugong

Author: Alexandra Sutopo
Trip report on Two Dugongs Diving Ocean Sunfish

 

This Mola Mola diving trip was initiated by the arrival one of the dugong from Kapal Selam Scuba Diving Club Jakarta to Bali. Then Hengky and Erwin from our Scuba Diving Club in Bali started to organize a one day scuba diving bali trip. The plan continued on and at the end we could gather about 12 divers with one incognito diver! Great! Unfortunately 1 diver cancelled a day before so that left the group with 11 divers.

On cold Saturday morning, August 2, 2003, at 06.00 am 11 divers gathered in front of Bali Scuba Dive Center. After good morning greetings to each other and a surprise from one of the dugong to the other one, we left Bali Scuba diving center to Padang Bai with 3 cars. Car 1 with Hengky, Mimi, Ottie and Rochmad. Car 2 with Yoni and Chris. Car 3 with Rizal, Mia and Lala.

We arrived at Waterworx Bali diving center, Padang Bai at 08.10 am. We reload all the dive gear and tanks for 3 dives into 2 boats. Boat 1 with all the �experienced� divers Hengky, Rizal, Rochmad and Ottie. It was a wooden boat with 1 engine. Boat 2 with a guide from Waterworx Bali diving center as the leader, Yoni, Mimi, Ulin, Mia, Lala, Armando, Christian, Victor. It was a fiber boat with 2 engines.

We left Padang Bai around 09.30 am and heading straight to Gili Selang to do our 1st scuba dive there. We were all so excited to see what awaited us at Gili Selang. After about an hour and 20 minutes boat ride, we arrived at the 1st dive site. Our guide leader checked the current and it was quite ok � meaning looked quite strong�. We then get ready to dive. We dived at 09.45 am and when we hit the water, we could feel the current was pulling us!! Great! It�s gonna be a fun dive!! The water temperature was 26�C. It was ok. By the time we dived, almost every diver put on their gloves to get ready to grab a rock to hang on!! We started to dive against the current. We had to stop from time to time to catch our breath. I could not remember much from the 1st dive. All I remember was just tried to go against the current and I saw a small beautiful nudibranch I�ve never seen before. The maximum depth was around 20.7m. After 38 minutes we had to go for the safety stop. When we surfaced, we noticed that the O-ring from Mia�s tank was a bit leaking.

The diving boat then move to the second dive site which was at Gili Biaha. After a 1 hour 32 minutes of surface interval, we got ourselves ready for the second dive. The current was still noticeable! We hit the water and we could feel the strong cold current sweeping below. We dived down and look at the temperature and it was down to 23�C !! Cold! Visibility was 15m. We dived and swam against the current. The divers on the other boat dived down first and went straight to the famous cave. Apparently 3 of them got sucked in by the strong surge and hit the wall directly. After a while they got thrown out of the cave. That was a strong surge. The others just watched them got thrown out and decided to abandon the cave. The surge was approximately 3m�it was giving us quite a headache. We continued to dive to about 22.5m. Then our local diving guide showed us a small gap under a rock which has a baby shark. Every body was starting to look under the rock. Rochmad and Rizal heading back to the boat because of dizziness. Suddenly, our guide gave a strong signal and pointing to other direction. It was a huge Molamola. MOLA MOLA !!!! or Ocean Sunfish !!! Every diver abandoned the poor little baby shark and start heading to that big shadow of Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish). I was stunned! I was just looking at it. Hengky started to chase that huge fish or The famous Ocean Sunfish. It was 5m in diameter. He did not manage to chase because he was almost running out of air (after that cave experience).

We surfaced after 60 minute of dive with great smile on our faces and we screamed�.�MOLAMOLA!�. Wuauuuww�.that was quite an experience. It was already past 01.00 pm and we were all starving. We head down to our 3rd dive spot which was planned at Gili Mimpang. We stopped there and had our lunch. During lunch we could feel that the wave was high that we could go surfing!! After discussion, we head down to Blue Lagoon for our 3rd dive of the day.

After 1 hour and 36 minutes surface interval, we dived down at Blue Lagoon. The water was warmer but the visibility dropped to 12m. We saw a Blue Spotted Ray and also White Tip Shark. The current was quite strong but manageable. After 49 minutes, we head back to the boat.

On the way back to Padang Bai, we were still so excited with the experience of our 2nd dive. We arrived at the diving center and started to take showers and gather all equipment and put them in the cars. After 1 hour of chatting, took pictures, some of us then head back to Kuta, some to other place. A nice scuba diving trip with lots of fun and a great surprise by the Molamola!!!

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