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 translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Leave on a tropical island far from everythingthat's good. But immersing yourself in a tropical sea is better... For me, happiness is underwater! This time it's in Lombok, Indonesia, near Bali...

New underwater adventures

July 6, 2015. Today is a great day: I'm back below the surface again!! 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 the Emirates airline in Dubai.... Inside, there are a few indispensable things for my underwater and photographic excursions: my diving equipment and elements for the waterproof housing of my camera.

Fish and nudibranchs just have to behave... 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) southwest of 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 great 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 she's not getting any better as the days go by. There are a lot of plankton and suspended particles, which make the water "foggy" and don't make my job any easier, as it's a question of atmospheric photos...

But with perseverance - I spend all my time adjusting the angle of my single flash and trickery with the sunlight - I end up getting decent images. It must be said that there is no shortage of photogenic subjects: large coral tables, giant barrel sponges, delicate gorgonians, clouds 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

When it comes to fauna, there are few "big" fish, apart from a few turtles, napoleons and imposing starry balloon fish. But on the "small" side, there's plenty of fun to be had.

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 astonishing nudibranch full of excrescences with 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 pygmy seahorse... 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 you visit the gorgonian sea fans filled with pygmy seahorses), that is to say at the level of what we can generally expect in Indonesia. It's worth diving there during a visit of Lombok, but I won't make it a diving destination in itself. (Maybe I'm starting to get picky, too?).

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

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 itselfDive 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 (hardwood) and simpler bungalows (bamboo) arranged in a beautiful garden facing the sea. The place is beautiful and very quiet (it's a pity that the management and the food are not of the same level, for what I experienced during my stay... but it can be improved).

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 about my dives in Belongas Bay is online! To read here :
→ The Magnet: Rush of adrenaline

😉

  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hello Corinne

    It's always a pleasure to read your news, and it reminds me that I miss Indonesia and especially its underwater world.... It's been 5 years since we have been there. In any case thank you for these images they are good, it is only happiness 😉

  2. Hello
    I do not know you physically but I am very pleased with all your dives and send to your friends your articles.
    It's exciting to read you and see your high quality underwater photos.
    Thanks again and see you for new readings and adventures.
    Take care as they say there.
    Yours sincerely Anne (Marseille)

    1. @Anne: Thank you very much for taking the time to write this little message. I am very touched that you share the articles of my Little Bubbles elsewhere with your friends ... What encourage me to continue in the same vein!
      🙄

  3. Hello Corinne,

    Great pictures and beautiful article. Thank you for sharing these wonderful diving spots with us.

    Good dives 🙄

  4. Salam Corinne,

    Hey, I can see that this part of Indonesia has developed well: I had spent a good fifteen days there almost 20 years, only a basic guest house existed in Sekotong, there was nothing on the surrounding islands that I had explored a little, and a fortiori no opportunity to dive. Are there people coming to this part of Lombok now? and who has invested in this lost region and off tourist trails? Westerners?
    Bizzzzzzzzz to you. I will repeat myself, but it is always a great pleasure to follow your adventures, whether for your text or for your sublime underwater photos ...

    1. @Pit: and for me, it's always a great pleasure to come across a comment from you ... You're a pioneer of Indonesia ... Twenty years ago, there was nothing, but rest assured there is still not many people to come to this corner of Lombok. It is much less developed than in Bali or in the gilis of the North and it remains a little "off the beaten track".

      I think the investors (attracted by the new airport) are mostly Western and Chinese. But I doubt that this part of Lombok knows a development fulgurant ... We will see.

      Kisses too !!!! 8)

  5. Hello Corinne

    Once again you transport us with your story and your beautiful photos 🙂
    Ah! Indonesia when you hold us .........I'm going back there on March 12 and frankly I can't wait 😉
    Thank you for sharing

  6. @Corinne: I was obviously waiting for news of your latest journey! Uh, not luggage, right ❓ obviously 😉
    I always liked this small world sometimes unsuspected and always very colorful, lilliputian creatures! But so difficult to see! But I love the big one even more! So, we'll see what he's going to pop out of the big blue! 🙂

    1. @Didier: hey, hey, the luggage ended up following, that's the main thing... When diving, I can't get enough of either the "small" or the "big". I was again spoiled this time, I must say 🙂

  7. Hello Corine,

    Thank you for this wonderful report on Sekolong bay, I especially
    admired the beautiful Photos of Nudibranches and micro - seahorses
    saw my age it allows to dive by proxy and it's great.
    Thank you again and best regards.

  8. Once again, congratulations to the photographer! Framing, colors, subjects, everything is there! And what a joy to see it all without getting wet and without putting your head under water 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Alimata: very flattered by the compliment. Hairy toadfish are my friends. So are the Indonesian guides who know the sites frequented by hairy toadfish. Just ask... 😛 😀 😆 : Mrgreen:

  9. Magnificent !! Breathtaking ! I add it to my favorite sites! Very detailed, and especially as your articles are dates, it allows to know the current state of the reefs (big disappointments in Thailand on sites supposed to be mythical ...).

    If you had a spot to recommend on Lombok or Gili T / Meno / Air (for a single day, after the Rinjani trek), with dive baptisms and snorkeling nearby for my non-diving friends, what would it be?

    Is visibility often reduced because of plankton in this kind of place?

    Another question as you have experience in underwater photography: I have a compact camera waterproof to 18m Nikon coolpix, would you recommend to buy a box, or is it useless? Thank you !!

    1. @Chloe: wow, thanks for the enthusiastic post!!! 🙂 To answer your questions :

      - Alas, yes, the famous reefs in Thailand (I guess you're referring to Similan cruises) are not as beautiful as in the past. Overfishing and warming of the water (which causes the corals to bleach and die) have had consequences. It's been a while since I went to Thailand, it's back to 2011, see here: http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/voyage-cambodge-thailande-2011/ but Richelieu Rock was still splendid despite everything.

      - After a trek in Rinjani, with non-divers, for snorkeling or diving baptisms, I think that a trip to the northern gilis (Meno, Air, Trawangan) can be a good option (even if I have not been there recently). In my opinion, after such a climb, everyone will be happy to have a little comfort and "civilization" (wide choice of hotels, restaurants, bars, etc.) on the beach, with easy water activities (even if the funds are no longer what they were to the gilis of the North from what I've been told, we still cross turtles anyway).

      - For visibility, I do not know: I asked my guides, but their answers were not clear. I do not know if it's all the time like that or not in the corner ...

      - For your Nikon Coolpix waterproof camera to 18 m: I do not know if there is a box for this device, since it is already designed to be waterproof up to 18 m. If you do not plan to dive beyond this depth it is useless to add a box. If you intend to go beyond with, then yes, it is imperative to take a box (if it exists) otherwise your device will not withstand the pressure, I guess ...

  10. Hello Corinne
    Your photos are absolutely beautiful! with a special mention for your two cattle with exacerbated hair ...
    I do not know at all this corner of the planet, but you just gave me as a furious desire to go soak the end of my fins!
    Thank you for this little piece of dream

  11. Thank you ! Splendid !
    If you are looking for other diving destinations, I also recommend the Red Sea Eilat: the beauty of the underwater world is beyond imagination ... And if you are in Israel and you go through Tel Aviv, go to sleep at Norman , hotel with spa (without fish) but perfect to relax ....

  12. Hello
    we are leaving for bali in April - our favorite! We want to go to gili asahan. Can we go by speed boat from Sanur and return by speed boat or ferry to Padang Bay. We have already "visited" gili gede 3 years ago and we enjoyed his calm.
    thank you in advance

    1. @Couprie: hello, it would surprise me that there are direct links for Gili Ashan from Bali in speed-boats. I imagine that if you want to travel by sea from Bali, you will have to take the speed boats and / or ferries that make the usual connections between Sanur or Padangbai in Bali and Lombok.

      I live in Brittany, in Rennes, so I don't know at all the details of the maritime connections between Bali and the different surrounding islands... 😉 But I think you will easily find more precise information once you are there. Most of the hotels in Bali work with local tourist agencies that organize this kind of transportation... Good preparation!

  13. I read very regularly your blog, every time I make a trip to Indonesia & #8230; It must be said that for the past three years, we have been doing monoculture because after having set foot in Bali, we found ourselves in Flores, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, and here we come back from Banda.
    Meanwhile I spent my open water and now I am completely addict & #8230;
    we are on the way back from Banda and we stopped at Lombok and of course, I peeled your trips in that corner & #8230; we were at Gili Gede at Mary's home, Alam Karang & #8230; divine stay !! And an Ultimate dive center right next so dive at Layar, Asahan, Ringit etc & #8230; I totally share your point of view: the dives are very nice, splendid corals multicolored, gorgonians and barrels very nice & #8230; in short, we started timidly then it was daily & #8230; it is to be done on the return to extend the stay when one does not want to be trapped by pelni or Susi look very random in lost corners & #8230; ah, also divine muck diving at Ambon & #8230; I dipped on Lembeh in January & #8230;
    thank you for your generosity of sharing

179 Shares
Share36
Tweet24
Share119