An Underwater Adventure in Indonesia

An Underwater Adventure in Indonesia WWW.ONEMORESTAMP.COM

We decided not to SCUBA dive but to just snorkel on this trip. We have dove before and liked it but there are quite a few flights coming up and we wanted to be on the safe side.

We were just on a little speed boat. Actually, speedboat implies far more fanciness.  We were on a rowboat with an outboard motor.

We ran into a pod of dolphins straight off.  The entertained themselves by swimming over and around our boat but were elusive when I tried to photograph them.  They were also not enthusiastic enough to follow us, although they were close enough to touch id you could predict where they would come up.  We definitely couldn’t.

Our first stop was a dive shop. It is important to get a mask that is fitted properly or it leaks.  Carsten found this out the hard way on our honeymoon when while we were diving he had to blow out his mask every few minutes. Usually cleaning your mask involves spitting in it (the greening the cleaner) to preven it from fogging up. Here there was a special leaf that you crush and wipe your goggles with. Much less gross.

I thought that we would have to do some travelling to get to the site but the longest we were in the boat without stopping was 15 minutes and that was at the very end of the day.  All the sites were very close.

The sheer amount of fist that we saw boggles the mind. Hundreds in every direction. Dozens of different species. We were in shallow water exploring coral reefs so we say exactly what we sould have see while diving. Palau Weh was also hit by the Tsunami in 2006 despite being the westernmost point of Indonesia. Many of the reefs were damages or destroyed and the overfishing hasn’t helped.

Most of the snorkeling took place around an even tinier 100 meter teardrop shaped island that we could see from our home. It wass uninhabited and protected. There were no beaches as it is an underwater mountain. There was a skirt of coral reef around it and then it abruptly dropped off. We moved from various places around the island eventually circling it. There were angel fish, dory fish, silversides, a shoal of 18 inch clack fish I didn’t recognize and another of dazzlingly electric blue fish. There were sea slugs, parrot fish, huge clams with glowing purple lips that were all you could see.  These kept spewing while cloud.  Were they spawning?

sumatra island snorklng beach

We visited a speot where the coal reef was particularly healthy. Rebounding as well as it could from the damage of 2006. Coal reefs are hundreds or thousands of years old so it was take some time for them to recover. There we say a tiny black and while striped sea snake. It was beautiful and also one of the most venoumous snakes in the world. They are pretty gentle but when it started to come towards us on it’s way to breath we got out of it’s way in a hirry.

We followed a green turtle for about 20 minutes. They are so graceful. The way that it flew through the water was endlessly fascinating. It even surfaces to breath at one point stating at the surface far longer than I imagined it would.

There was the spiny lionfish drifting along the bottom with the current. It’s spines are venomous but the worst that happened to us were tiny jellyfish stings. I got one on my wrist and Carsten got one on his back.  The jellyfish were itty bitty and the sting only hurt for a few minutes and even then it wasn’t much.

Out last stop was an underground volcano. In the boat you could identify it by the stench of sulfur but under water it was a curtain of bubbles and bathwater warmth. There were a coupld of fish around but no where near as many as we had gotten used to.

Heading back to our timebase, the harbor water has one last show for us as a water monitor decided that the boat was something to follow for awhile. Water monitor;s are the second largest lizard in the world and apparently pretty brazen. Feeling as if a giant prehistoric lizard is chasing you is a pretty good incentive to get out of the water.  After we got out if the water we finally noticed that both us us had managed to burn. Carsten because he spurned all sunscreening me even through sever layers of SPF 100 because I am a delicate flower.  Who can't handle direct sunlight.  Having Fun sometimes leaves a mark.