A manta ray emerges in blue fog. Manta Point, Nusa Penida. Bali.

The ballet of mantas

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

Oh, dear! Not yet had the time to tell all my dives in Amed, that already, I attack those of Nusa Lembongan. And no half measures: I take you directly to Manta Point!


First splash this morning, early in the morning, in cold water... !!!! Here, terrible thermoclines turn divers into little ice cubes.

Well, I'm exaggerating a bit, I must be the only one to get out of the water with purple lips. I left my too thin suit in my bag and borrowed a suit from the center World DivingIt's thicker than mine. But it's a bit wide (it's a XS) and lets cold water flow through. I think I'll put another shorti underneath. Brrr. Here, the water goes down to 20°C...

Manta Point

But... it's worth getting up at dawn to immerse yourself in cold water in a neoprene suit, not even your size. At Manta Point, an aptly named site, south of Nusa Penida, the neighboring island of Lembongan, the manta rays were there.

A manta ray emerges in blue fog. Manta Point, Nusa Penida. Bali.

In spite of a bad view (thermoclines + plankton), we saw them. The mantas so graceful, which seem to fly more than swim, with their slow but powerful flapping of wings, er... fins.

However, I am not very optimistic at the beginning of the dive. We spend the first quarter of hour in a freezing water, to turn around rocks without too much life, and still nothing... At the end of about twenty minutes, we zap on another rock, and the first "ding-ding" of the dive-masters knocking on their tank make us turn the head.

Yes! There they are, the beautiful, majestic mantas, circling around the rock in a never-ending ballet.

But it is a real suspense, because of the lack of visibility. We scan the bluish fog as long as we can, watching for the black triangle of a fin, an elongated profile... And I must say that we completely forget the cold when a new manta appears. The heart beats suddenly faster, we find the energy to swim, to get closer, a little bit closer!

It is always at the last moment that we see them appearing, at low depth, most of the time in less than 10 meters. Superb spectacle, which leaves me enchanted.

Crystal Bay

Relaxation on the sun deck of the World Diving boat, between two dives. Nusa Lembogan, Bali.
Relaxation on the sun deck of the World Diving boat, between two dives.

We are less fortunate Crystal Bay, a pretty white sand cove with coconut palms, still in Penida, supposed to house molas-molas, the famous moonfish.

Crystal Bay

They are surely in the corner, but despite better visibility and a warmer water, you can not find them. My guide Wayan scans the blue, in vain.

We crossed a sandy area until another portion of the reef, but still nothing... Too bad, I comforted myself by photographing a moray eel, on the way back, on the reef, in 12 meters. A nice fishy aquarium. Nice atmosphere, nice trip, but everybody was a bit disappointed.


Never mind, I'll be back!

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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  1. These moray eels......beurk.....I really don't like them,they're scary and ugly!!!!!Bisous!!!!Here,just a few mini sea urchins.....but I must say I don't venture very far......I'm a bit of a coward.......Rebisous!!!!

  2. Well, I'm leaving Koufounissi.....I don't know when I'll find a next internet connection....So, until then......I hope you'll write lots of new adventures that I'll have plenty of reading if I find a "HOTSPOT" ......
    I kiss you hard ... .. 8)

  3. But no, the murenes are nice... They have an unattractive physique, but it's not their fault. I like them!

    Enjoy your holidays in Greece (with or without Hotspot)!


  4. coucou, I've just had a look at your site this evening and I see that you're back in the sun! lucky you! Your photos are always so beautiful, I'll have to go back to your site tomorrow to take a closer look, to get away from work and steal some of the sunshine we're missing this July!
    @ more
    laurence 8)

  5. Hello Laurence!

    I'm delighted that Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs brings you a little escape... That's the point!

    Yes, I'm a lucky girl to be back in Asia... I'm currently in Nusa Lembogan, a small island south of Bali. Sporty diving (currents and thermoclimates), but it's worth it, especially when you come across big, friendly creatures like mantas...

    Alas, I missed the molas-molas again today!!!! Grrr. Anyway, I'm not going to start complaining...

    See you soon!