If you want maximum bottom time, a shore dive is the way to go. No set schedule to follow, little to no current to worry about, easy to navigate and nearly impossible to get lost. My friend Linda was visiting from Texas, and we got to talking about what our longest dive was. Both of us had several dives that went longer than 2 hours, but we decided to challenge ourselves to make it to 3 hours.
To accomplish this, we needed to stay relatively shallow and not do too much swimming. Mucky Pirates Bay here in Pemuteran is perfect. You can spend an entire dive exploring under the pier. There are also nearby mooring bases and piles of debris that have their own little ecosystems—a macro photographer’s dream.
After helping us in the water with our gear & cameras, we told the Sea Rovers shore support crew not to expect us back for at least 2.5 hours (I don’t think they completely believed us, but they smiled and waved us on our way). It was low tide and there was limited visibility, so it was a good thing we didn’t plan to venture too far from shore. Because of the particles in the water, the dive wasn’t particularly fruitful photographically. We saw several morays, pipefish, lionfish, and the usual cleaner shrimp and anemone crabs. But here is my favorite shot of the day
Here’s the proof – 30 feet (10 metres) for 180 minutes
So, if you love long slow dives with lots of interesting critters, be sure to check out Mucky Pirates Bay with the Pirates of Sea Rovers. Maybe you too can log your longest dive ever and beat my record.
The starry moray is one of my favorite eels because of the bright yellow eyes
While shooting the shrimp, the moray suddenly stuck out his head
One of several lionfish under the pier
One of many pipefish we saw
Look for these in anemones if the clownfish will let you get close enough
I had this great idea of doing a weekly Throwback Thursday post, choosing images shot in the same week of a previous year. I found a file of images from 2009 and had several photos ready to post, but then realized that none of these critters are found here in NW Bali (I was living in Grand Cayman then).
So, I had to change my criteria and just picked photos from the past of things that could be found here. So, the photos in today’s post were shot in 2001 when I was on a liveaboard in Komodo. I’ve seen all of them this month on my dives with Sea Rovers.
Mantis shrimp poking out of its hole
Porcelain crab in its anemone
Usually you see just the tiger cowrie shell, but this one’s mantle is extended & it is feeding
I got to dive in Pemuteran with instructor Wayan who was teaching an Open Water class. While the student was doing her skills and practicing good buoyancy control, I was shooting fish. Now I just need to get my hands on a good fish ID book.
This little goby had his mouth open in every one of the shots
This white-spotted puffer swam directly towards me and turned right in front of the lens
Big sponges are often cleaning stations–this bannerfish is being tended to by a striped wrasse
I think this is in the dragonet family, but don’t have access to any fish ID books today.
Regal angelfish posing pretty for the camera
A cute goby perched on top of a coral head
We had a great dive at Close Encounters in Pemuteran–negligible current, good visibility and lots of critters to see. The expert eyes of dive guide Abdul pointed out creatures great and small. We even saw a shark wedged under a ledge–in a space too small to get my camera into (wish I had a tiny GoPro for that shot). Everyone comes to the pirates of Sea Rovers in Pemuteran to dive Menjangan, but be sure to allow enough time in your holiday to check out our great local reefs as well.
Hairy squat lobsters live in the crevices of barrel sponges
This moray wasn’t too shy and kept poking his head out when I was shooting the sweetlips
This photogenic sweet lips was sharing space with the moray eel. Had to keep an eye on my fingers while shooting
Anemone crabs have long hair-like projections on their arms to filter food from the water
With extra magnification, you can see the eggs inside this cleaner shrimp