Coral potato and glass fish. Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Coral potato and glass fish. Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.

Diving in Lombok: Sekotong Bay

#Lomnok # Indonesia

  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original text:

Leave on a tropical island far from everything, it's good. But to immerse yourself in a tropical sea is better ... For me, happiness is under water! This time, it's happening in Lombok, Indonesia, near Bali ...

New underwater adventures

July 6, 2015. Today is a great day: I'm back under the surface! ! ! My new bubble pool: Sekotong Bay, in the southwest of Lombok (the island that faces the eastern coast of Bali).

I do not care anymore. I have been on a small island for two days, Gili Asahan, and I finally recovered my bag of travel, "Forgotten" by Emirates Company in Dubai... Inside, there are some essential things for my underwater and photographic excursions: my diving equipment and elements for the waterproof case of my device.

Fish and nudibranchs just have to stand ... I'm coming! ! !

The diving boat of Dive Zone. Gili Asahan, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
The diving boat of Dive Zone. (Gili Asahan, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

Photographing the coral

Sekotong Bay and the "gilis" (islands) of southwest Lombok are still little known, little visited, few dives. Here, I have been told, the funds are less damaged by fishing with dynamite, tourism and the warming of water (which makes the coral bleach) than in the northern gilis (Air, Nemo , Trawangan).

My verdict, after several days of diving: yes, there are beautiful sites in Sekotong Bay, with coral in good shape!

Swarm of glass fish around a coral potato. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Swarm of glass fish around a coral potato. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

But at first, the photographer that I am is a little disappointed by underwater visibility, very bad - and it does not improve much over the days. There is a lot of plankton and particles in suspension, which make the water "foggy" and do not make my task any easier.

But by perseverance - I spend my time adjusting the angle of my single flash and cunning with the sunlight - I end up getting pictures of drinking. It must be said that photogenic subjects are not lacking: large tables of coral, giant barrique sponges, delicate gorgonians, swarms of glass fish ...

Coral potato and glass fish. Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Crown of glass fish around a coral potato. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
The shadow of a diver cuts behind a delicate fan of yellow coral. Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
The shadow of a diver cuts behind a delicate fan of yellow coral. Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
This sponge-barrel is 3 meters high! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
This sponge-barrel is 3 meters high! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Coral table. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Coral table. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

Small animals

Question fauna, we meet few "big", except some turtles, napoleons and imposing stellate balloon fish. But "small" side, there is enough to have fun.

So, I got a little loose with the macro lens ...

Nemo, the clownfish, opens the ball! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Nemo, the clownfish, opens the ball! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
This nudibranch plays acrobats! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
This nudibranch plays acrobats! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Impressive, seen up close, this little hairy sponge crab. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Impressive, seen up close, this little hairy sponge crab. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
A nudibranch with the appearance of a pink rabbit. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
A nudibranch with the appearance of a pink rabbit. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Good kisses of the fish-toad. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Good kisses of the fish-toad. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
When the cuttlefish bristles ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015)
When the cuttlefish bristles ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015)
Nudibranch in white livery with black edging. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Nudibranch in white livery with black edging. (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
This amazing nudibranch full of excrescences, which sports two black eyes, is called "Bornella Anguilla". (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
This amazing nudibranch full of excrescences, which sports two false black eyes, is called "Bornella Anguilla". (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
A big belly for a tiny seahorse-pygmy ... Soon babies! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
A big belly for a tiny seahorse-pygmy ... Soon babies! (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

Diving, diving, diving

Five days fly like a string of bubbles to the surface ... I dive every day, too happy to find the underwater weightlessness and the fascinating little world of the coral ecosystem ... ????

My guide Rheyn graciously poses, to the Indonesian ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
My guide Rheyn graciously poses, to the Indonesian ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

The sites accessible from Gili Asahan and the nearby Lombok Coast are usually gently sloping reefs, down to sandy bottoms or littered with coral debris. The islands of Sekotong Bay offer quite a bit of different spots, which always allows a B plan when there is too much current at one place ...

Overall, these are sites accessible to divers of all levels. Nothing amazing underwater (we are not at Komodo nor to Sipadan nor to Raja Ampat), but I would still describe the dives in Sekotong as "nice" (especially when we go on visits to sea fans filled with seahorses-Pygmies), that is to say at the height of what we can generally hope in Indonesia. It's worth a dive while visiting Lombok, but I will not make it a diving destination in itself. (Maybe I'm starting to get tough, too?)

Anyway, Sekotong is an interesting area to explore. The "gilis" of the area are really beautiful, quiet and authentic on the "land" plan.

Oil sea, that day, in Sekotong Bay. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Oil sea, that day, in Sekotong Bay. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Here, the beaches are rarely crowded ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Here, the beaches are rarely crowded ... (Sekotong Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

Some practical information

In this summer of 2015, there is (to my knowledge) only two dive structures located in Sekotong Bay itself : Dive Zone and the center Odyssea Divers from the hotel Cocotinos.

I opted for Dive Zone (which recently joined a well-known Indonesian organization, Two Fish Divers, which also has centers in Bali and Manado) and I stayed at Pearl Beach Resort on Gili Asahan. This accommodation is a partner of the diving center, which has its annex on site. (There are other possible accommodations on Lombok itself or the surrounding islands, but it is less convenient for diving every day.)

The "resort" in question consists of a handful of comfortable bungalows (hard) and more simple (bamboo) arranged in a beautiful garden facing the sea. The place is beautiful and very quiet. (What regret that management and food are not the same level, for what I experienced during my stay ... but it can improve.)

Pear Beach Resort, Gili Asahan. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
Pearl Beach Resort, Gili Asahan. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
View of Pearl Beach Resort Beach, Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
View of Pearl Beach Resort Beach, Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
The garden at Pearl Beach Resort in Gili Asahan. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)
The garden at Pearl Beach Resort in Gili Asahan. (Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.)

Finally, Dive Zone is also the only dive operator to bring people to the site The Magnet. It is a spectacular pebble, battered by waves and currents, off another bay, Belongas Bay, about an hour's drive from Sekotong.

Only divers considered experienced (with more than 100 dives) are accepted because the conditions can be sporty or difficult. I can not recommend too much caution, more than elsewhere, on this very particular site. The reward is that we cross big beasts ... I'll talk about it again, since I went there.

Update: That's it, the article on my dives in Belongas Bay is online! To read here:
→ The Magnet: adrenaline rush

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  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

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