Yesterday, we went for a fantastic snorkel adventure on Pulau Menjangan, a national park and snorkelers’ haven 5 miles off the northwest coast of Bali. Home to amazing species of marina fauna and more than 1500 species of coral, sponges and other flora, it is one of the most biodiverse and more well preserved reefs in SE Asia.
An easy location for snorkelers and divers alike, the waters had a visibility of more than 30 meters. Combine that with the abundant fish and wildlife species, colorful coral of all shapes and sizes, and an easy boat ride from Bali, and you can imagine the snorkeling. Better yet, the island location protected by its national park status and a lack of any hotels or resorts on the island itself, makes for amazingly pristine conditions for family snorkeling.
Better yet, the spots chosen by our guide included underwater drop offs. Here, we could enjoy the interesting corral as well as the bigger fish swimming just along the much deeper abyss. We saw every color fish imaginable – bright yellow, vermillion orange, deep blue, black, white, red, and even dark purple and lavender. They were striped or spotted. Some had big noses or long tails. We didn’t get to see eels or turtles, although they are seen on occasion. But, the multitude of medium and small fish more than made up for it.
Our day was delightful. We headed up first thing in the morning to the pier, had a lovely boat ride out to the island, where we suited up with snorkels and fins and fell into the sea. Wow! The kids were naturals and the abundance of sea life made the 90 minute snorkel fly by. Also on our trip, was one beginning diver from Michigan and a free-diver from France. It was fun to watch their experiences too. I loved watching the French diver go down for minutes on end as he gracefully explored the slightly deeper areas. Then, after a tasty lunch, we motored to another area where we got in another hour or so dive.
I love the fact that our kids get to experience the sea life like this. It was especially fun that they recognized and remembered water creatures that we’d learned about just a few months ago at the Sky Tree Aquarium in Tokyo. A fun and unforgettable day.
OK, Great Barrier Reef, I’m afraid you’ll have a tough act to follow.