You’ve got to go!
At the beginning of this month, myself and my sister decided to take a trip over to Pulah Weh, Indonesia to do a bit of chilling and of course some bubble blowing! Neither of us had ever been there before but had heard some pretty awesome things about the diving in the area from friends who were there last year. So we booked our tickets, packed our bags and headed off for what turned out to be some seriously special dives.
Having only dived in Thailand for the past 3 years, i was itching to discover some new and fascinating creatures, and i was definitely not disappointed.
We booked in with LumbaLumba Dive Center on Gapang Beach after having them recommended to us, and stayed in their accommodation. We had a really lovely room with private bathroom and balcony for only £15.50 per night, bargain! You can stay for about £10pn if you have a shared bathroom, or £25pn for one of their new cottages. The facilities are great, with a large equipment room, big dunk tanks for washing gear, a kitchen area, chill out balcony and internet corner. The set up is very relaxed, you just write your name down on the board if you want to dive, simple as that! So it’s the ideal place for people who want a professional set up without a regimented feel. The staff are friendly and the guides really know the dive sites and where all the cool stuff is to be found. Perfect!
Once we arrived, we settled in for the night and got ready for our first dives the next day. We knew the currents in the area could be quite fierce, so we decided to check out the shore diving first to get ourselves into it. Out we swam the 50m or there-abouts with camera in hand (thanks Magnus!), and proceeded to descend straight onto a Khuls Ray, a Smashing Mantis Shrimp, a school of Shrimp Fish and a Pipefish. This was the beginning of some really interesting daily diving off the beach, where we continued to find some weird and wonderful fishes on every dive. Almost every day i found something i’d never seen before – Cow Fish, Snake Eels, various Pipefish, Nudibranches, Morays, and my absolute favourite, a Cockatoo Wasp Fish. He made us laugh by pretending to be a leaf and flopping from side to side, as if to say ‘ I’m really a leaf, honestly, don’t eat me!’ Hahahaha, very cute!
The viz on the first day was unbelievable, however as the week went on, it was reduced considerably due to all the rain we where having……However, it didn’t spoil the dives at all, as it is pretty much muck diving off the beach anyway.
With our first dive being so amazing, we couldn’t wait to get out on the boat and head further off shore. So after lunch we all climbed aboard and set off to Arus Balee, one of the dive sites around 10 mins from the beach. We got in our groups, rolled off the boat and landed in the bluest water i’ve ever seen. It was like a rich cobalt colour that was amazing in itself. Straight away we found a beautiful Big Red Octopus hiding on a rock, a huge Honeycomb Moray, and some Blue Ribbon Eels. The corals were bright and pristine and the fish were in abundance. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope of colours!
We also saw 2 Whitetip Reef Sharks, a huge Hawksbill Turtle who sauntered along side us for the last part of the dive, but the highlight for me was the Leafy Scorpionfish. I had never seen any before and we found 3 on the dive, 2 yellow ones and a bright pink one, very cool!
This was the beginning of many fantastic experiences and rest of the week went by in a blur of colour and excitement – Delicate, Ornate, and Robust Ghost Pipefish, Bristly Hermit Crabs, Nudibranches, Blacktip Reef Sharks, juvenile everything and Morays everywhere!
Unfortunately, due to the weather, we were unable to get out to the dive sites a bit further away, but it certainly didn’t spoil our fun, and it means there is plenty still to discover when we head back again, hopefully in the not too distant future……….
To discover the ‘Wonders of Weh’ and dive with LumbaLumba, you can contact them at www.lumbalumba.com