Divemaster day 9

Two more dives today, back at Nusa Ceningan. It was a very early start with a 7:15 pickup as we had a few people to collect. Not helped by one of my neighbours waking me at 4am as she staggered in and put her stereo on.

The German couple would be making the last dives of their holiday today and had picked Manta Bay and Crystal Bay as their destination. Another German, Chris, joined us from Kuta while an American girl, Wendy, was driven all the way down from Ubud.

Weatherwise, today was far the worst day I’ve seen in Bali. Clouds hung overhead, but didn’t give way to rain early on. However, the sea was fairly choppy and my stomach wasn’t really my best friend as we set off. I tried to read and drink water, both successfully. I tried not to be ill, less successfully.

Manta Bay is a choppy place at the best of times and I ended up watering the fishes before we jumped in. It was worth it, though – a shallow dive of around 7m, but with a near-guarantee of seeing manta rays. We weren’t disappointed. At one point seven of these huge beasts were circling the rock we waited beside.

Like turtles, they look pretty much different from anything else in the water, yet they move silently and simply with so much ease and grace. The last one we saw swam up to another group of divers and just paused, almost as if it were staring at them before giving a casual nod and gliding off.

Back on board, we moved over to Crystal Bay for lunch which I enjoyed. Temporarily. Then I recycled it for the fish.

This was my second dive here and the visibility certainly wasn’t as good as it had been the first time. Still, there are many fish to see and it’s a relaxing dive. You can almost just hover and let them all come up to you.

As we came up to the surface, I could see a pitted pattern forming on the “sky” as raindrops slammed into the sea. Great. It was even more choppy above and it was throwing it down. At least we’d not get wetter and the rain was warm.

We were all issued with nice thick waterproofs, mainly to ward off the breeze, as we packed everything up and headed back for land. I just lay on one of the benches and tried to snooze. This is the best method I have for avoiding sea sickness and it seemed to work.

The rain eased off by the time we got back to shore and we all got dried and changed on the boat. Putu was there to pick us up and take us back to town and I walked back to the hotel from the dive shop.

I took a quick nap as I still wasn’t feeling 100% and as I woke up to go and get dinner, the rain started once again and it wasn’t messing about this time. As I type, it’s been bucketing down for around twenty minutes, and the girl opposite has just got back from a friend’s drenched right through. She was on her motorbike when it started and the roads went from “dry” to “10cm deep” in no time.

I think I need my brolly…

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