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Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

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Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:11 am

Menjangan, Bali 251013

At the risk of being clicked 'closed' even before viewing, let me begin by adding that we did not intend to start this report with a tour of Bali, but we are so glad we did!

after contacting Yos Marine Adventures Bali (Menjangan), we bought a package for 6D5N of diving with accomodations at Aneka Bagus,Pemuteran.

the driver picked us up at Ngurah Rai International (undergoing huge renovations at time of writing) and then drove to Taman Ayun which we have been before. and then right across the island from south to north and visiting the highlands and Munduk (1800m). where you can see 3 lakes! exciting! then we had lunch right on the ridge of the mountaing range where it was cool and misty. the cloud base had dropped signficantly before it rained.you can have your picture taken with any number of exotic wild birds (not the phuket species ok!) for a princely sum of 30,000 rupiah. sorry could not show you the pictures of said birds, it would have cost us 300,000 rupiah. a collection of scultures of animals that did not fit into a particular theme. it was like cameron highlands but with 3 lakes.

then it was west-bound for another 3 hours before we dropped our dive gear at Yos, then went back to the hotel. Aneka Bagus is not ideally suited for dining at the local restaurants around Pemuteran.( Taman Selini would be the perfect choice as it is right in front of Yos ) it is more than a kilometer to the center of Pemuteran. you can rent a 'speda' (bike) for 70,000 rupiah or call one of the restaurants to come pick you up. the transport is free. food in Bali has always not found favour with my taste buds and this was not any different. it can be spicy if you ask for the 'chabai' ( careful there, one 'i' extra and you will get a slap !)

Aneka Bagus has wi-fi only at the lobby. the package came with Bfast only. the villa is comfortable, but the aircond hardly kept us cool even at night.big bed, fridge, outdoor showers, bathtub and a tv (not SaTV). 2 swimming pools and the pathway leads to the sea. when we were there, it was a blood-fest...for the mosquitos!! hundreds of them and they are not perturbed by the electric mosquito coils or the burning coil for that matter. the bed had a mosquito net but we just could not keep them out. you have been warned!! as if to tell us what we already know, they come to empty a can of ridsect every night in each room...

Yos comes to pick us up at 0900 hrs everyday for diving. a van ferrying snorkellers and divers pile in and head for the jetty next to Naya Gawana Resort and Spa, where water taxis bring divers (with the tanks) and snorkellers to Menjangan. Yos does a lot of biz with snorkellers. very few were divers reminded me of Redang when i first went, i was snorkelling too...

apparently there are 2 jetties for the water taxis to convey you to Menjangan. the other which looks more like a jetty, is further up the road to Gilimanuk. this one that we used is more like a low cost terminal. now everyone can snorkel!

the ride to Menjangan took about 15 mins, the sea was smooth and the sun was blazing hot. we were the only 2 divers. the boat is wide enough to suit up for 6 comfortably. and enough space for 3 tank dives. packed lunch is included with the dive package, yes, you can chose between nasi, mee goreng or sandwiches.

our first view of Menjangan was of Bat Cave! no batmobile, no english butler stirring your guilt, just clear blue waters down to the floor 40 m below! warm waters. no currents...what a joy! the corals both soft and hard were growing healthily but not the abundance of fishes that you see in Bunaken or Nusa Penida.

macro life ? i heard somebody say ??? only bragabanties!! since there were no divers around, i had them to myself...shooting till your battery runs flat. but that was all it offered. no Nudis, no long nose hawkfish. it was admittedly a drift dive but sadly nothing else, not even eels. though we did see a 5ft white tip shark cruising below us..nice fat fellow.

lunch on the island was a simple affair, sandwich with lots of fruits. you have a choice though. ok here's the thing..bring water, lots of water!! we were visited by a Menjangan, (rusa) and he wanted water! he drank a whole 1.5 liters! and wanted more. the rangers do not give them water? there are 2 temples on this island and devotees visit the shrine and they are the ones that give whatever drinking water left to these deers. oh dear

second dive was at coral garden. again pygmies and nobody around. you do have pygmies at Tulamben and Alam Anda. but the crowd there will put you off. so there lies the choice.

the corals are a delight to snorkellers and i can see boatloads coming to this island for just that.

according to the DM all the dive sites around Menjangan are drift dives.

second day, we put on our 3mm plus the hooded vest for colder waters--Secret Bay,Gilimanuk which is a saltwater estuary. the river water is cold so deeper down it was 26 deg. a big frogfish, and an ornate ghostpipe were the only critters we found, again no Nudis. there was a group before us that did a second dive there, wonder what they saw?

at this point, i must add a disclaimer...i surfed the net and came across reports of macro heaven situated at Secret Bay. and they swear by it. although it was not backed up by photos. one even compared it to Twillight Zone,Ambon!! really? now i have been to Ambon and i have pictures of Twillight Zone.

after diving in lembeh, any dive site will seem to fall short, come on, let's be honest? so based on this, my wife and i said, no pre-judging. we told the DM to take us where he wanted without any pre-conditions. because he could see that we were disappointed and the strobes were just not going off as they should ??

second dive was at Pemuteran outside somebody's villa. thats the best description i can think of. it had a jetty with a very nice yacht tied alongside. and you know where there is a jetty, there will be marine life. and you would be right. frogfish, ghostpipe and banded ghostpipe. i spotted an orange non-banded ghostpipe. but it just would not come out without a stick of dynamite. plenty of shrimps. yes hundreds of sea urchins, their spines were everywhere. easy dive, calm conditions. vis not good though.

night dive in front of Taman Selini was a forgetable event. shot 2 flat worms. all 82 mins of it. but...to be fair, the 'karang seni' or coral art, is to be commended. the artificial reef with corals growing successfully is tied to scupltures of sea creatures. a bit off beat nevertheless, should be congratulated for the love put into it. but nothing that one would expect from a night dive.

so the tour goes on...Pura Jati! Pura is temple in balinese. it is a public access beach with shower facilities thru residential villas and a padi field. how cute is that! a huge tree provided shade from the noon day heat. a family dressed in balinese attire came to offer prayers and a floral offering whilst we were setting off into the murky waters...surely, surely this is it!! after 2 days of inactivity, i had to replenish my zeal for diving ?? before i forget, it is also 40 minutes ride from Pemuteran.

the swells made the shore diving a chore. swam for 50 m before the dive comp finally signaled it had entered the recording mode. the sea floor looks exactly the same as fur ball in Lembeh...i could hear the theme song from Rocky coming on in my head!! come to papa you little critters you. but it was not to be...porcelain crab, banded shrimp, glass shrimp, durban hinge back, slugs, that's all !! hey sly...i want my money back!!

then when all hope was lost...a blue-ring octopus!! right in front of us. poised for the attack the blue was in starck contrast to the yellow of the skin. i was lost for words ( i form a rough text of what i am going to write for the trip there and then) you know you go to a famous restaurant and they make you wait and wait, then finally the food comes and its like out-of-this-world but you dont know what to say because you are so angry?

that was what i felt when we saw this poisonous creature which so many have chased all over indonesia. it was a bitter-sweet moment. some other forgetable shots and then it was time to haul ourselves up to the showers and our lunch. laugh if you want but i had sandwiches every single day !! the food was just not to my liking---no apologies. we have been to bali so many times and it is just not palatable to me. the 'bakar' nor the curry is edible to me. even the seafood row at jimbaran, expensive as it was, was terrible. satay ? i would rather eat salad.

you can have a nap under the shade of this gigantic tree before the next dive in the afternoon breeze on the benches.

another surprise, robust ghostpipe! next to the rotting sea grass, absolutely good disguise. but it brought a wide smile to my face, i seldom see this variety, more the ornate variety. ok faith restored in the muck diving concept, and yes it was muck with all the diapers, tin cans, styrofoam swaying in the current.

last 2 dives, we decided to go back to Menjangan.

i wanted to shoot more pygmies. well, you know, hoping and getting are on 2 different planets. it seems seahorses only come out on saturdays. but it turned out to be a strange experience. have you ever been tailed by 2 parrot fishes? i mean for 2 dives? we were folowed by these 2 parrots for 55 mins... we surfaced, had lunch, fed the deers, jumped in again, and there they were! waiting for us. the same 2!!

they were just chomping off huge chunks of corals, grinding them in front of us and the other would jump in front of us and do the same routine. weird!! we have proof ok...

waiting for us for one hour 20 mins? twillight zone experience bro

a side note here, water taxis they may be but the boat man knew how to change tanks and fit your bcd to you. must be off-peak diving season. they seem to know how to handle cameras and weight belts. (july to september is the peak period)

ok, it was time to go home. this is one of those times i was not sad to leave. no macro, no pelagics. corals only at menjangan. it was trying to say the least. so why did you go ?? we had always wanted to go to west bali for diving. on that point alone, we have ticked that box. we have been to tulamben and padang bai. also nusa dua and lembongan.

so who should visit menjangan/pemuteran? if you are on a business trip to the west of bali and have nothing to do for the weekend, this is for you. travelling 4 hours just to dive here? only if you have just got your OWC and want to put some multi-level dive under your belt. your better half wants to snorkel and you want to dive.yes. apart from that, there really is nothing that would bring me back again.

the DM also confessed that the crowd of europeans that come to menjangan are quite happy to see clear waters and healthy corals. a fact that becomes clear when you do not see even a compact camera amongst them. only the japanese come with a list for critters. if there is no demand, there certainly will not be a supply. now it becomes crystal clear.

in closing, i cannot make it any more plain that this is not where you want to go if you are an experienced diver and are looking for something specific, whether big or small. you are more than likely to be disappointed. unless, unless you love soft corals and would spend a tank of air at 7-5 m just staring a them, then you have found your corner of heaven. the diving is cheap. the accom is cheap. we paid for both. the cost of food was about the same as bali unfortunately. laundry is widely available and cheap. if you want accomodation with ease of sundry goods and food, look for one with close proximity to Taman Selini. there is an express bus service from the city that cost a fraction of the van that we took.

on the way home, it took us 3.5 hrs ,without any breaks, from Yos Marine Adventure to reach the airport. it was a weekday, we started at 0738 and we reached Ngurah Rai International at 1105 hrs.

i would not do this again, blue-ring or not. and the mosquito infestation?? thank you very much !
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#2  Postby terjuntiruk » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:12 am

Again, a nice informative long trip report. Secret Bay that bad, hah? I too read that Secret Bay suppose to be quite a good macro place. Right place wrong time maybe? Wrong guide?
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#3  Postby decimal86 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:48 pm

i read up before i went. and i am most disappointed that we saw so few critters. just 2 hours away to the east, divers had a great time with macro. DM searched, we searched. the group of divers that came up before us at Secret Bay also did not show any signs of critters sightings.
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#4  Postby raffidi » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:39 am

Critters all migrated to Lembeh already!
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#5  Postby toodus » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:00 pm

decimal86, you are a dive snob .....and so am I !!!!!! High Five bro high five.

Here's my definition of a dive snob. I was watching mantas and after 10 minutes I got bored and went looking for nudis.
On top of being a dive snob, I'm a nudi snob too. Once , a DM showed me a Ceratosoma gracilinum. I took one look at it and my expression was "Are you kidding me?"

We dive snobs should meet and exchange notes.

PM me if you wanna meet bro....
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:17 am

toodus wrote:decimal86, you are a dive snob .....and so am I !!!!!! High Five bro high five.

Here's my definition of a dive snob. I was watching mantas and after 10 minutes I got bored and went looking for nudis.
On top of being a dive snob, I'm a nudi snob too. Once , a DM showed me a Ceratosoma gracilinum. I took one look at it and my expression was "Are you kidding me?"

We dive snobs should meet and exchange notes.

PM me if you wanna meet bro....


ok-lah admission of guilt your honour! hmm at Manta Blue, i found 2 pontohi and fired away, neglecting the Mantas. they thot i was dead with my dead buried in a coral mount!!

i dont know lah, i get a natural high when i see these tiny creatures, versus pelagic. perhaps the latter has been overemphasised by the TV and other media, but the tiny fellows do not have such coverage. our dive at Lembeh..the hairy shrimp really blew our mind. now my fav !!!

yeah we should meet up with Teruntiruk as well, he is also a macro fan.

rest of my photos at Menjangan/Pemuteran found here

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11640&p=127552#p127552
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#7  Postby Narco » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:04 am

Well.. macro fans..I can understand the adrenaline rush upon spotting those critters.

Cant help it, i'm having this quick 'fall' for pelagics. Once im done with pelagics, i shall switch to macro.. hehe
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#8  Postby toodus » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:15 am

There's a saying ..Once you go macro you will always deco.

Actually I made it up and I think it's going to be a genuine saying .... Ok I hold the rights to coining this term and whoever uses it has to pay me royalty

decimal86 , you owe me Rm40.00 already
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Re: Menjangan/Pemuteran Bali Indonesia

Post Number:#9  Postby decimal86 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:38 am

ok i pay by credit card! de-coed dont know how many times already.

-- Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:52 am --

Image

entrance to public jetty is beside this luxurious resort.
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