Algae fields in the Jungut Batu cove. Nusa Lembogan, Bali. July 2008.

Lembongan, seaweed and waves

  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: 

Four days, already, that I am in Nusa Lembongan, a small island in the southeast of Bali. Very peaceful atmosphere, as I like, here again...

Seaweed growers

There are some surfers and divers to make the stormy crossing of the strait from Sanur, Bali. But we are not in a very touristy area, far from it.

The locals are seaweed growers. The cove of the village of Jungut Batu, protected by the reef where the waves roar, is in fact made up of fields of seaweed, which form a dark mosaic under the turquoise blue of the water.

Sunset over Jungut Batu Bay. Nusa Lembogan, Bali. July 2008.
Sunset over Jungut Batu Bay. (Nusa Lembogan, Bali, July 2008.)

Algae fields in the Jungut Batu cove. Nusa Lembogan, Bali. July 2008.

Cultivators of seaweed in Jungut Batu. Nusa Lembongan, Bali. July 2008.

On the sand, between the bungalows that welcome tourists, the seaweed dries, giving off an indefinable smell, a little acrid.

One gets used to it very quickly. The women carry from the shore to the beach large baskets filled with red or green seaweed, balanced on their heads.

Dream Beach

Dream Beach. Nusa Lembongan, Bali. July 2008.I like this island for this reason: the beaches are not really tourist beaches. Those who come here only for the pleasure of swimming and sunbathing are a bit disappointed.

I don't really care, since I'm always in the water with the dives, and I take the sun to warm up on the boat.

The most practicable beaches for beaches pleasures are Mushroom Beach and Dream Beach. As well as the pretty Crystal Bay on the nearby island of Nusa Penida.

I have a crush on Dream Beach (opposite), with its rocks, its offshore rollers, its white sand and its small temple.

The tears of the Devil

Next door there is a place called Devil's Tears, the Tears of the Devil. It is a portion of cliff jagged by the sea.

The stone is sharp, transformed into rocky lace by the surf. There are big holes, some filled with water, others forming corridors where the big waves coming from the open sea rush in.

The water gushes upwards, with a lot of spray. It is impressive, a little frightening. We feel at the end of the world, on these cliffs plunging in the stormy water.

Devil's Tears, near Dream Beach. Nusa Lembongan, Bali. July 2008.

Reunion with a family of friends

My arrival at Lembongan Island was easy. Some friends, Philippe and Corinne (whom some will recognize), were already there, with their children, Clementine and Maxime. They took care of booking me a room at Ketut Losmen.

The guy came to pick me up on his motorcycle, so I only had to put my bags down and join the family, who had gone for a dip in Mushroom Bay.

Nice afternoon, followed by an apero and a small meal together in the evening, facing the sea, as we had planned!

In Jungut Batu, with Corinne and Philippe, and their two children, Clementine and Maxime. Nusa Lembongan, Bali, July 2008.

Intense dive

I dive every day, with the excellent World Diving (which I recommend to you by the way), in the hope of approaching the famous molas-molas, the sunfish. Lembongan is one of the few places where they can be observed.

Today, no luck... My group is the only one not to have met them. The other groups of divers came back to the boat very excited, and for good reason. They all crossed the path of several molas-molas. I am green!

The dives here are quite physical. I solved the problem of the cold by wearing my shorti under the 5mm lent by the center, which allows me to better support the temperature variations in the water, from 22°C to 27°C, on average.

The other parameter is the currents, which are often very powerful, unpredictable and changeable... Fortunately, our dive-masters know the whims of the sea here.

Crystal Bay. Nusa Penida, Bali, July 2008.

Today, probably because of the full moon, the swell and currents were particularly strong. I did not take a single picture underwater, that's to say! It was impossible to stay on the reef to take a picture of a bug.

The only thing to do, in these conditions, is to go with the underwater "wind", hoping that the drift dive will cross the path of some molas-molas...

Come on, I believe it. Sunfish, it will be tomorrow!!! Maybe...

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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  1. Hi Corinne,
    So, I don't know if you remember me, I'm Carine Hervé, I'm a press attaché at Universal Music and we met briefly in Semporna, at scuba Junkie, you'd been diving in Sipadan with my friend Monica and I was doing my Open Water. And the funny thing is, we know people in common (Philippe and Michel, if you're reading this...).
    Anyway, no news during these 2 years, but I've just come back from Bali where I've been diving (particularly in Amed) and I thought "well, I'll go and see what Corinne is doing, if I remember correctly, she has a site...". And now I see that you're in Bali right now, lucky you! We didn't make exactly the same trip, by the way, if it's any fun, I've left you the address of my blog, it's not as complete as yours, but it's nice to have a souvenir (and then, if you don't remember my face...).
    As I have already returned from my trip, I will follow you regularly, it will prolong a little pleasure!
    See you soon, maybe one day underwater!

  2. well, I will console myself for not being in the sun far, far away 😥
    right now in Cherbourg there's a dolphin coming to visit the dive boat! for the stingrays you'll have to make do with torpedo or curly stingrays 🙂 and as for the sunfish ...... well, just think that in summer when it's really hot (right now it's not!! 👿 ) you can see some of them on the surface basking in the sun!! on the other hand you can't do anything about the water temperature ....16°C 😥
    so enjoy and send lots of beautiful photos under and on the water, again and again!!!!
    @ more

  3. @ Carine:

    Of course I remember you! It's funny, today, with us on the boat, there were a couple of dive-masters or instructors, who just happen to work for Scuba-Junkie. It's a small world out there!

    Thank you for your little message, it makes me very happy to hear from you. I had a quick look at your blog (I'll take the time to go through it better when I get back to France at the end of the month) and I've put the address in my "Travel Blogs" list.

    Your little periple is very nice, and corresponds almost exactly to the one I did in 2002, just before the bombings in Kuta... It's nice to write blogs en route, it makes for "on-the-spot" memories indeed, and what's more, it allows you to meet up with diving friends...

    See you soon!

    @ Laurence:

    16 degrees... Brrr! I come out of a 24-degree bath feeling a bit woozy, but I turn purple-blue when it gets down to 22 degrees... Anyway, I can see that Cherbourg has nothing to envy Bali after all!

    I'm granting your wish: here are some new underwater photos, not top-notch, but a nice souvenir for me... When I get back to France, I'll edit my footage to make a nice little underwater film.