Diving in Nusa Penida at the SD and Mangrove Dive Sites, Indonesia

Diving in Nusa Penida at the SD and Mangrove Dive Sites, Indonesia

There is a good selection of dive shops around Lembongan island.
Since we are staying in the Mushroom Bay area, I chose to dive with a local outfit called “Scuba Center Asia Lembongan.”
Run by a high energy and very friendly Dutch couple, this dive outfit is located just two doors from my hotel’s villa, which meant that I could have an early breakfast and still be at the dive shop by 7:45 AM.

Each dive master guides up to four divers, but I had a cool, easy going dive master named Pimpin, all to myself.
Pimpin is originally from Jakarta, and she got certified as a dive master in Rarotonga.
She was delighted to hear that I have been there.
She said that most people she meets have never heard of the Cook Islands, and even fewer have heard the name Rarotonga.

Pimpin studied for her master’s degree in New Zealand, and we talked about living in New Zealand, about her recent trip to Denver, Colorado and about places around the world that are exciting to dive. More importantly, we talked about what places to avoid, as the coral has been destroyed and the marine life depleted by overfishing, or by using destructive fishing methods like dynamite and cyanide, which kills all the coral and marine creatures alike.

We both agreed that when I come again to Indonesia, I simply MUST dive in Raja Ampat.
It offers some of the best coral reefs in Indonesia and the best variety of sea-life.

The dive sites of SD and the Mangrove in north Nusa Penida lay only a short boat ride away from Lembongan.
The sea in this area is usually calm, and the temperature of the sea water is pleasant at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The current is mild to strong and sometimes it feels colder as the current brings cool water from the depths of the sea, but I felt comfortable in my three millimeter thick rented dive suit.

In both dive sites, we did not see any large creatures like sharks, tuna or barracuda.
But we did see turtles, small tropical fish, and lots of small creatures like shrimp, crabs, lobster, nudies, starfish, sea-slugs and more.
The coral was alive and colorful.
Because the current was strong and the visibility was not very good, I was not able to get many sharp photos, but I had a fabulous day.

The SD dive site is located across from a village which has a primary school, which in Bahasa is the term for a primary school.

The mangrove dive site is located across from the Mangroves in Nusa Penida, which is a snorkeling and diving area in the north part of the island.
People also come here to kayak, but this is the low season and I did not see any kayakers in the water.

We took our hour long surface interval break between the two dives, on the boat.
I chatted with the other divers about their lives, hopes, dreams and thoughts about the state of the world.
I always enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of others, as it gives me a different perspective of how people see and experience life and reality.

From Nusa Penida with love,

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