Diving With Manta Rays in Nusa Lembongan

Categories Bali, Lifestyle, Travel
Diving with Manta Rays in Lembongan

Even after all these years in Asia, I have never gone diving before (I know, it’s weird). People have been telling me “how amazing it is”, but I just never saw the potential in it. However, when a bunch of my friends wanted to head over to Nusa Lembongan to dive for Manta Rays, I figured it was my time to try this out.

We headed over from Bali to Nusa Lembongan to stay with our friends at the Blue Corner Dive. We got in around noon on Saturday, and decided to start filling our coconuts with rum (as you do). By sunset time, we were all hammered, enjoying the beach and the quietness of Lembongan.

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Diving with Manta Rays in Nusa Lembongan

Sunday morning, we got up bright and early, ready to explore the deep blue (damn, this is getting cheesy). My friend Dorianne and I were the only uncertified divers, so we went for a so-called Discover Scuba Dive. We got an hour introduction (which was done amazingly by the instructors at Blue Corner) with some theory and test-dives in the pool before we were ready to join the others for a proper dive.

Manta Point is a dive spot right outside the beautiful Nusa Penida island. This spot is known as a “cleaning station” for manta rays, where they hover in near-stationary positions close to the coral reef so that cleaner fish can consume parasites from the manta’s gill slits and body surface.

We got a quick fact-session about mantas before we dove, and we were also told that we have to be lucky to spot them, as they are not always there (my instructor said she had over 1000 dives before she saw mantas for the first time).

As we descended to the deep, it took me a little while to get used to breathing from the tanks. As soon as I felt comfortable, it was an incredible feeling exploring the reef, floating around in complete silence. Suddenly my instructor pointed above us, and a group of huge manta rays appeared. They floated over us like UFO’s, going in circles, minding their own business.

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Diving with Blue Corner Dive Nusa Lembongan

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Diving with Manta Rays in Nusa Penida

Manta rays are believed to be the most intelligent fish in the ocean, and when they see divers, they are curious to find out what we are. The mantas would come all the way up to us, hover around, and determined whether we were a threat or not. With a lack of better words, it was an absolutely magical feeling. Being so close to an utmost incredible being like manta rays felt so surreal, and in hindsight it almost felt like a dream.

The current at manta point is quite strong, rocking us back and forth. I didn’t really think about it while down there, but as soon as we rose to the surface, my hangover kicked in with a vengeance. Back in the boat, I had to lay down to avoid hurling up my breakfast, and it was a bumpy ride back to Lembongan. Still, it was totally worth it.

(Underwater photo curtesy of Blue Corner Dive, Nusa Lembongan)

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