The two sites we dived were Tanjung Jepun and Blue Lagoon at Padang Bai. Both no more than a 5 minute ride on a converted ‘traditional’ local boat. A little cooler water temperature of 28degC with dive times of 41 and 44 minutes each respectfully and maximum depth 24m and 19m.
Upon descent my first thought was that the area was dormant and baron as all the corals seem to be bleached, colourless and remnants of times gone past, strewn too with obsolete fishing line and plastic litter. There was a small current running that allowed a simple drift. Less than 10 minutes into the first dive at Tanjung Jepun I thought “Who’s buoyancy needs attention?” as there was sand and silt being kicked up everywhere.


Then it became apparent, a friggin’ submarine entered the vicinity, with I assume 360degree propellers traversing the bottom, kicking up shit. My first instinct was a signal to Heather to come closer to me as the camera flashes from within the portholes seemed to get closer and more regular. Alas, some few moments passed and the sub pissed off, allowing us to continue the dive. So as you would have guessed, I was not too enamoured to spend another half hour drifting on bleached coral, traversed with fishing line and being buzzed by a sub!
And then it changed with the guides pointing out marine life, creatures that I have never seen before. Not only were there the myriad of nudibranch, again many I have never seen before but some sea life that was very different. Obviously this was more of a micro site and hence time to keep your eyes peeled and perhaps, I should have taken the Fish Identification Speciality here?

In no particular order:

  • Longhorn Cowfish
  • Ornate Ghostpipefish
  • Porcupine Fish
  • The mother of all Cuttlefish
  • Helmut Gurnard
  • Thornback Cowfish
  • Boxfish
  • Leaf Scorpion Fish
  • Peacock Flounder
  • The mother of all Rockfish
  • Lionfish
  • Ribbon Eel
  • Mantice Shrimp
  • Clearfin Lizardfish
I’m not a ‘fishy’ diver, but the variety of life was amazing. For sure, I’d like to come back to Asian wasters and Indonesia is high on the list. Next time I’ll invest in a decent camera and not leave it in the bleeding’ bus!

OK, you have caught me! No, that is not my photo but one I grabbed from CyberLand of the Ornate Ghostpipefish. The reason? I forgot my friggin’ GoPro and left is on the minibus. Doh!