Scuba Diving

Trip Start Mar 13, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Saturday, April 18, 2009

I had to be at the dive shop at 8:30am for my morning dive. I woke up an hour earlier, to dress, eat breakfast, and walk around to look for a new place to stay. I found a few places that looked perfect... perfect except for their price. All the nice ones were around $50 a night. Much too much to splurge while trying to live on a budget. I could deal with my place. At least for one more night. Then, maybe I would go to the other Island Gili Air, which is cheaper and could get a better place for the same price. I thought maybe for my last night it would be acceptable to spend around $30. We'll see if I do it or just manage where I'm at here at this place in Gili T. I mean, I can live in this place, I'm 24 and traveling around the world. What more could I ask for? I have to be smart about my money and if I want to go scuba diving for $35, I must stay in a cheap place. Besides, I wouldn't be in my room too much anyways. It would be just fine, I tried to convince myself.

Our first dive was at Shark Point! My heart started racing the moment we got into the boat. But, I'm here to do adventurous things, I had to do the dive no matter how scared I am of sharks! And I heard they were nice sharks and who knows, maybe once I'm under the water I wouldn't be as frightened of them. If anyone knows me, whenever I go swimming in the ocean to train for triathlons or just step out into the waves at Keremas for example, I'm deathly afraid of sharks killing me. When I can't see under the water, my heart pounds with fear of the unknown shark coming to eat me. I've been sure that this is the way I'm going to die. No matter how terrified I am of them in that setting though, scuba diving is different. You become one with them in their home and the majority of them wouldn't come up and bite. You just know this when you're down there. And that's why it was easy for me to go on this dive and slowly descend into their world.

To my disappointment, I saw no sharks on the dive at Shark Point. They say the water is too warm for the sharks right now, and they are staying at deeper depths. Shoot! Once I was down there, I was looking around for them. Instead of looking behind me to see if they were coming behind me so I could get away from them, I wanted to find them here. But, I'll see more sharks other times in my life, I'm sure of that. What we did see were dozens of HUGE sea turtles! Seriously, they were about the size of me! Extending my arms in a round shape wouldn't even give justice to the size of these turtles. Watching them swim around, me following them, gave me a feeling like I was in the movie Finding Nemo. Sting rays lay on the bottom, occasionally getting up to swim around. Tons of huge fish, every color of the rainbow. I wish I knew more of the names of the fish. It would probably add many more dimensions to this writing. But, unfortunately, I don't know the names. I just know that some had spots and some had strips. Some were pointed and vibrant, like the Angel Fish everywhere, and some were flat like and dull like a Grouper. Here they have the "Trigger Fish" which I assume to be a fish they love to eat, killing it with a trigger. It's not as dull as a grouper though and I couldn't imagine killing such a creature. Some were multi colored, some with neon blue. Some had spiny fans over them, others had huge gills. Small ones lived in the color, examining them closely showed the intricate details of a species. Everyone, including myself, gets amazed at seeing the big fish. But sometimes, just swimming right up to the abundance of baby fish, I get the same joy and excitement, just watching a miniature version. The coral was beautiful, but nothing absolutely spectacular. I love the soft coral the most, swaying back and forth with the current, looking like small feathers on flexible branches.

We finished the dive and headed back in. Sad as I was to not have seen a shark, I already knew the trip out here was worth it, that's how much I love scuba diving in amazing settings. I had a couple hours to wait till my next dive. I had to get fully decompressed. I read and lay by the beach and had some lunch. Then, dive number 2 at Manta Point!

I liked Manta Point even better than Shark Point! It was a flat dive, no walls here, but the coral was spread out everywhere. We saw a few more turtles and probably the most fun part of the dive was holding onto a rock and watching a turtle break off pieces of coral and eat his food for the day. We were probably 6 inches from his face, watching his "hands" and nose tearing off piece by piece. He didn't flinch or move when we approached. Occasionally, he looked up at us, but always went back to his work. We watched for 10 minutes and not a second went by when I wasn't fascinated by his mode and process of living: eating.

We also saw a large squid, which might be my new favorite animal under the ocean. The dive master put the ugly looking creature, with antennas looking like an ugly beard covering his "face." Then, the squid sharply moved away and completely changed shapes and colors. He elongated his body and his transparent body would take on the color of what was beneath him: lighter when over the sand, a darker, purple color over coral, splotchy when over rocks. When he stopped swimming, his body would revert back into a more rounded shape and a layer of "fins" circulated his body, like a thin layer of silk paper, moving constantly in the water, like curtains blowing in the wind.

We saw sting rays and fish of every color and shape once again. The spiny rock fan fish (I forget it's name even though I know the scuba diving signal that it represents), popped out at in from beneath the rocks when we searched for them. Huge Angel Fish. And then, yay, I got to see a baby shark! It was probably only 2 feet long, and looked just like any other creature down here, resting under a rock. Only it was a white tip shark. I went up close to it, and thankfully I couldn't see any teeth. I went around to the back of the arched rock he was under and touched his fin. It was hard and soft, just like the shark himself I imagine. What a dive!

I got back, took a shower and put some clothes on. I would definitely venture out for dinner tonight. I didn't feel clean after the shower, holding my breath to distract from the sewer smell. I had to shake out my clothes before I put them on. I left in a hurry. I went to a small cute restaurant for dinner. It was a little expensive but I had a wonderful fish. Okay, compared to America, it wouldn't be expensive. But, for here, yes. I figured I ate a can of tuna the night before, I deserved something edible tonight. I had a few drinks and talked with a few people. Down the main strip, I knew more people go out to the bars there. But, I was tired from the day of diving. I had no desire to go out. I would much rather get a good night of sleep. Instead of meeting with more people, I went back to my room for another early night of sleep.

When I got back to my room that night I cursed myself for staying in my place. All the bugs were out again; ants crawling on me, mosquitoes everywhere, cockroaches running over the floor, cobwebs and spiders next to the shower, obviously having lived their for some time now without being cleaned up. A huge gecko was on the wall next to me. The people working at the front of the hotel had begun to get on my nerves. They were like any other of the locals. I would be eating breakfast and when someone walked by with snorkel gear in their hand, the people from my hotel still called out to them: "snorkel gear here. Cheap price." I couldn't stand when the people would do that. Obviously when you are carrying snorkel gear, you aren't planning on getting another set. So, why bug us??? I had been slowly trying to not talk to as many people as possible on the streets, my annoyance slowly building. They are too nice and want to talk too much of the time.
I think my room had just put me in a bad mood. It wasn't a place that was comfortable for me to stay in. If I was here with the other girls, it would be completely fine. But being alone, I just felt like I could never relax. I hated having this strict of a budget to stay in a place like this. I would have to move islands and go over to Gili Air. I had to get of out Gili T.
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