From Manta Point we head to the next dive site 20 minutes away. This leaves me just enough time to start to warm back up. Not sure if you saw the best part of the last blog was me, shivering, clutching a banana and my sanity. Was it really that cold? Yes. Am I also a pansy? Absolutely! I’m told the next site will be warmer but at this point I trust no one and brace myself for ice death to creep into my wet suit. What makes me want to do this again? Aside from being able to see manta rays, this area is also known for Mola-Mola a.k.a. Sunfish. What is a Mola-Mola? Just ask this guy.
No, it is not a baby whale, Jay! A Mola-Mola is one of the heaviest known bony fish in the world and can reach over 2,000lbs. On top of that they look weird af. Imagine a fish successfully swam through a crack in a door and came out flattened on the other side. I often wonder how evolution permitted such an odd animal to survive. Mola-Mola’s are pelagic fish and swim at about 2,000′ and come into shallower, warmer waters to mate. Apparently not a single one was in the mood when I was there so I don’t have a picture for you. Click here to see someone else’s photo so you don’t have to use your imagination anymore.
So what did I see at Crystal Bay? EVERYTHING… but the Mola-Mola. Instead of recapping every little (and big) creature I saw I will tell you the highlights.
Two words. Soft Corals. Since I am used to diving the Caribbean and waters around Florida I am used to hard corals. But now I’m surrounded by squishy, vibrant varieties of soft corals. It’s a bit of a sensory overload trying to take them all in but each rock is covered with its share of hard and soft corals. And bonus… these are alive. Not dead and dying, not bleached, but currently thriving.
An unexpected surprise was a wobbegong shark resting under a coral outcrop. Imagine a hipster shark that hasn’t shaved for a week, that is a wobbegong. Hipster sharks to reef fish of every variety. Angles, butterflies, triggers, trumpets, parrots, lions, etc, there’s not a fish on a dive chart that you don’t see.
After 40 minutes of bottom time we return back to the boat for lunch. Another reason I want to recommend Bali scuba is the lunch they provided. Each person was handed a container with a home cooked meal in it. Dairy free? They got you. Don’t eat meat? Don’t worry, you get a lunch too. This was actually the first meal that I had that was truly authentic, and it was delicious. We stayed in Crystal Bay watching pods of dolphins and jumping off the platform before we made our way to the last dive spot of the day, SD Point.