Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Diving The Gilis

After being spoilt with the amzing dives off the coast of Nusa Lembongan, the Gilis were a bit of a let-down. I'd originally intended to do the DM course here, and after a couple of dives I was pleased I'd stayed in Coron to complete it. There's a lot of rubbish in the sea at the dive sites here; bottles on the surface and crisp packets hanging midwater at every site. And the coral reefs have been shattered by the typhoons of previous years.

I chose Manta Dive, and would recommend them. Especially as those two arseholes weren't working there. British-owned, they have a good reputation and the gear is recent and in good condition. The nice thing about diving from these islands is that the sites are a maximum of 30 minutes by boat from the beach; you can dive in the morning and have a good couple of hours sat on the beach before the afternoon's dive. Beats sitting on a boat all day...although I had no complaints in Coron, it's nice to be out in the ocean and have some peace.

I dived twice. The first was only notable for the turtles and a large school of Bumphead Parrotfish we encountered. These ugly brutes were quite high on my list, so I was pleased to at least have seen them, especially in such numbers. The second dip was disappointing, the dead coral ranged below us like a lunar landscape...but we came across a white-tip shark, and I had a ramorra fish for company for most of the dive. These usually swim below sharks and bigger fish, their heads touching the underbelly of their ride. It was quite cute, and followed me all the way to the surface at the end of the dive. The DM with me said that he'd seen them around divers before, but never quite so friendly.

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