Archive for bali

Bali – Mola Madness

Posted in travel, video with tags , , , , , , , on September 10, 2006 by shawnheinrichs

The famous mola mola off the east coast of Bali had some how evaded me over the years. I had not even managed to catch a glimpse of this strange creature. As such, I decided to put an end to this streak.

The peak of Mola Mola season in Bali falls in September (and extends into October) when waters are at the coldest. In addition, peak viewing times coincide with lunar cycles. If you manage to time it just right (and nature cooperates) you will be in for a treat of a lifetime. As it turns out, we hit the nail on the head!

We spent several days in the crystal clear waters of Crystal Bay, Nusa Pendia (appropriately named) diving with these gentle giants. On each and every dive in the bay, we encountered between 3 and 5 Mola Mola. On one occasion, the largest of the group, measuring about 3 meters in span, allowed us to approach within inches. We spent several minutes shooting every possible angle, examining the tiny parasites crawling on its skin and being picked off by banner fish, and just appreciating the gentleness and beauty of these giant awkward fish.

These were some of the more memorable days in my diving experience. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being in such close and personal proximity to the giant mola mola. They were fully aware of our presence, yet seemed to understand that we meant them no harm. Perhaps this is why they allowed us to approach so closely and spend so much time with them. Or, perhaps they were just as curious about us, the strange, bubble bellowing, glassy-eyed fish!

Tulamben Bali – World Class Shore Diving

Posted in travel, video with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2006 by shawnheinrichs

Excerpt from prior visit: “Tulamben Bali is paradise for divers seeking world class diving without the overhead of long boat trips and live-aboards. Nowhere else in the world (that I know of) can you walk 150 feet down the beach from the door off the resort, slip on your BC and tank (which I should mention are carried by porters), swim 100 feet off the shore and spend the next hour exploring the beauty of one of the most beautiful wrecks I have ever dived.”

I returned to Bali with my wife and daughter over the US holiday of Memorial Day weekend. I had put together a nice DVD for Tauch Terminal Resort the year before showcasing the dive sites and the resort facility. The goal of this trip was to capture more of the stunning dive scenery but this time in HD using my Light & Motion FX1 set up.

We could not have been more fortunate on this visit. During our entire stay, the seas were flat, the winds were a mere breeze, the sun was shining and  underwater the visibility was spectacular. Most of the diving in Tulamen is a stones throw from the shore. Any inclement weather and the visibility can deteriorate rapidly. Not this time. Down at 30 meters, I could see from one end to the other of the Liberty Wreck. In the Coral Gardens in less than 10 meters of water, the vibrant reef and colorful fish were amazing. And at Jack Point, just 10 meters from the shore, the local school of several hundred jacks were putting on a real show.

Tulamben Bali – Liberty Wreck

Posted in photography, travel with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2005 by shawnheinrichs

Tulamben Bali is paradise for divers seeking world class diving without the overhead of long boat trips and live-aboards. Nowhere else in the world (that I know of) can you walk 150 feet down the beach from the door off the resort, slip on your BC and tank (which I should mention are carried by porters), swim 100 feet off the shore and spend the next hour exploring the beauty of one of the most beautiful wrecks I have ever dived.

The liberty ship was left aground to rust shortly following world world II. Years later, a volcanic eruption followed by an earthquake shook the vessel free, allowing it to slide into the water and settle at a depth of 100 feel. It didn’t take long for corals to take hold and fish to set up homes. Today every square inch of the wreck is covered in rich layers of hard and soft corals, sponges, anemones and fans. The wreck is rich with macro life such as colorful nudibranchs, shrimp, ghost pipefish, pigmy seahorse, and frog fish. Fish of all shapes and sizes pour over the wreck, with a squadron of bumphead parrot fish and spiraling jacks as the finale.

I spent a long weekend with my family and friends diving, relaxing and enjoying the beauty that is so uniquely Bali.