Scuba Snoopy has always wanted to see the famous Mola mola, also better known as the Sunfish. A couple of months ago he met many unusual creatures in North Sulawesi but now he wanted to get up close and personal with one of the world's largest fish. After some good old fashioned Googling, Snoopy discovered that Mola mola were regularly seen from August-October off Lembongan Island on the South East Coast of Bali. So off he went to Bali and a quick 30 min journey from Sanur across to Lembongan Island on the SCOOT boat and Scuba Snoopy was at the doorstep of Bali Diving Academy, a dive company in Bali renowned for finding Sunfish.
The next day Snoopy was off to a divesite called Crystal Bay which is located on Nusa Penida Island. When the dive boat pulled into the bay, Snoopy was shocked to see so many other dive boats already at the site, he counted 24 in total! It was obviously a very popular dive spot! He was very excited about getting in the water and his dive guide mentioned that there could be some current; Snoopy was okay with that as he'd dived in many currents previously.
It appears Scuba Snoopy wasn't the only person eager to see Sunfish. Whilst at 20 metres he saw 2 'Discover Scuba' divers being carried around by a dive guide. He thought that was pretty funny and called them 'Sputnik Divers' because when the dive guide let go of one of them they hit the bottom very quickly!
Holy moly Charlie Brown! The dive guide did warn Snoopy about the currents but he failed to mention that it was like being in the middle of a Category 5 cyclone! Snoopy didn't like it when his bubbles went down, then side ways, then backwards and then the best bit was when they whirlpooled around his head. Fortunately Snoopy was able to hide in the reef with the other divers. These were the worst currents Scuba Snoopy had ever encountered and he rememberd the words of a famous QLD boat skipper "If you can't handle current join the Knitting Club"... well I bet the skipper had never dived in these currents!
And then finally it happened, and it was a sight forever etched in Snoopy's mind. A large Mola mola swam up from the depths to the bannerfish cleaning station for his grooming session. Scuba Snoopy followed the dive guide's advice of "If you see a Sunfish stick close to the reef as that way you won't scare them" and hugged the reef wall. Unfortunately Snoopy's guide didn't brief the other boats' divers.
Wow, what an incredible sight. Snoopy had no idea where all the divers came from but he realised they were in competition to see who could touch the Sunfish first. Snoopy was rather peeved that the Sunfish got so quickly surrounded by Sputnik Divers.
Fortunately for Snoopy, but unfortunately for the 20 odd divers that bombarded the Sunfish, the giant fish swam away from the crowd and headed right past Snoopy. His first Sunfish was only 5 metres away and it was big, much bigger than Snoopy but he wasn't scared!
Yay, Snoopy had encountered his first Sunfish and was totally stoked. But he wasn't done yet. The next morning he was heading out early to a site called Blue Corner. The dive guide had advised him that not many shops dived there because the current was incredibly strong. Snoopy was scared... very scared.
The dive guide was right, and this time Snoopy wished he had stayed on the boat with knitting needles. This current was so strong that Snoopy couldn't even hold on... but on the upside the visibility was about 40 metres and even though he was travelling faster than Superman he still saw heaps of cool big scary stuff! The other problem Snoopy had was the water temp... it was like diving in a freezer and he was only in a short 2mm spring suit! Whilst the surface was a nice balmy 28 degrees, below 20 metres it was only 18 - Snoopy was suprised that he didn't see a Polar Bear swim past.
This dive was insane as Snoopy covered approximately 1km in just under 20 minutes. However this was one of the best dives he could ever recall as he drifted past 5 Mola mola!!! Now Snoopy was dancing the jig as it's not often you see 2, let alone 5 Mola's on a single dive.
Snoopy was moving too fast to take photos but he still managed to get nice and close to one Mola mola at the end of the dive, as the current finally slowed down to only a category 1 cyclone. Finally he could actually say still and check out the Mola mola!
Snoopy gave the customary Mola mola signal which involves sticking out your thumb and little finger and giving your hand a shake... it was similar to the hand signal that he'd seen previously at many heavy metal concerts. Snoopy was ever so grateful to his dive Guide 'Sven' for taking Snoopy on one of the best roller coaster dives he'd ever done.
Snoopy would like to thank the crew at Bali Diving Academy for their support, in particularly the manager Sven Fautz and his two dive guides Mojo and Skinny. He's already getting ready for a trip back there next year, however this time he's packing a dry suit, REALLY long fins and some heavy weights...he's going to be prepared for those cyclone currents next time!