Menjangan Island - Bali Dive Site

Menjangan became Bali's first internationally known dive spot in 1978. The island in the Barat National Park is surrounded by coral reefs that drop down as deep as 60 meters in places. This spot is most renowned for is wall diving where huge gorgonians can be found clinging to the coral crevices. Pygmy seahorses and morays are often spotted in the cracks and under overhangs along the walls here. Other marine inhabitants include batfish, titan triggerfish and fuseliers. Visibility is usually good here often beyond 20 meters.

Menjangan island is surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches. Coral formations close to the shore are good for scuba diving and snorkelling.

The island of Menjangan is surrounded by a coral reef, characterised by deep drop offs of up to 60 metres and by complex rock formations. These distinctive features have given rise to a great number of large and small caves, festooned with sponge and soft corals and often inhabited by large groupers, moray eels and in the smaller caves by young snappers and batfish. The sea beds are also rich in large barrel sponges and vibrant sea fans, some of which are truly enormous. Given the depth, the moderate flow of current and protection from strong winds, it is common to see tuna, shoals of jack-fish, batfish, angelfish, sea turtles, and on occasion, sharks, especially off the outer corners of the island.

The more popular dive sites at Menjangan are: The Eel Garden, Pos II and, for the more experienced, a deep dive (40M) to the Anker Wreck, a 150 years old wooden boat.

The Anker Wreck
No-one knows the name of this small wooden boat, even if it had one, or what brought it to the area. The wreck is actually named for the anchor that still lies about 6-8M from the surface. You follow the anchor chain down the steep slope to the flattened remains of the shipwreck (35-50M), which lie across about 60M of sand. This is the deepest dive site offered by AquaMarine, we believe that the good visibility and calm conditions mean that it will present no problems to experienced divers.

Following the anchor chain down to 32M, there is a second (coral-covered) anchor at the point where the site becomes a sand slope. It is here that you see the first parts of the wreck, dark against the white sand. Across the site you will find copper sheeting and bottles, the boat's cargo (artefacts, not for souvenirs). There are still some parts of the boat which remain out of the sand, and which are covered in gorgonians, a sure sign of little or no currents at the site.

The wall to the west, at 5-10M, is rich with many overhangs, cracks and caves. A good idea for an extended safety stop after this dive.

Garden Eel Point
Starting this dive from the most north-western tip of Menjangan Island, following the wall southwards towards the Bali/Menjangan channel, you will see some of the most healthy and diverse coral on Menjangan. The cracks and breaks in the wall are filled with a great diversity of reef fish.

If conditions dictate that you cannot enter at the NW tip of the island, you will enter closer to Garden Eel Point.

Gradually following the wall down from the top (5-8M) to 25M (max depth 35M), where it becomes a white sand slope, you find a big gorgonian fan with long-nose hawkfish. This area is also known for sightings of white tip reef shark, small schools of barracudas, turtles, and of course Napoleonfish. From this 25M point we ascend (slowly) up the slope, over many soft corals, until reaching a huge colony of garden eels, which covers the slope from 20M to beyond where it flattens out at 14M.

From Garden Eel Point we head south to a coral garden at 5-12M. This area gives us Big-Eyed Trevally, Titan Triggerfish, many clownfish in their anemones and often a surprisingly number of scorpionfish.

Pos II
Located on Menjangan's most south-easterly point, Pos II can be beach-entry or boat-entry, and is usually drift-diving: whether beach or boat, the dives start at 12M, where the white sand slope meets the top of the wall.

If there is a current, it is generally north-easterly. Slowly descending along the wall, drifting with the current, to approx 25M (max depth 50M+) we see a profusion of soft corals, sponges, small gorgonians, moray eels and lionfish. Levelling out at 25M, the current takes us along the wall to the east point of the island, a dramatic area covered in large gorgonians. Here, where we meet the waters travelling down the north-east of Menjangan, there is an upwelling of cold waters from the deep ocean. This brings with it turtle, Manta Ray, shark, occasional Mola-Mola and other pelagics. We, of course, also encounter thermoclines here. Our safety stop is done above the remains of the coral reef (8-12M). As there is quite a population of Titan Triggerfish in the area, we need to choose our spot carefully.

Very occasionally we find that the current is actually heading west. Almost immediately you find an area where, if the conditions are right, you can see pelagics. Descending slowly along the wall, the diversity of reef fish is remarkable: angelfish, anthias, chromis, gobies, scorpionfish. The surface of the wall is full of crevasses, cracks and overhangs which hide many treasures. There is the occasional cave too.

Located 20mins along the north coast from Labuan Lalang, Pemuteran is a small collection of resorts located on the beach. The diving here is on 500M wide coral-covered banks or mounds that go from the sand floor, at around 25M, up to about 6M from the surface. The top coral cover is a mixture of hard, soft and fire corals with some sea fans and sponges deeper. No currents to speak of and visibility is usually good, but varies quite a bit due to shallowness (wave action stirring up the bottom, run-off after rain).

The coral cover was very badly affected by coral-bleaching after El Nino in 1998.

Apr-Oct gives good conditions in Pemuteran but during the NW monsoon (Dec-Mar) conditions are usually poor (Jan and Feb is v wavy).

Due to the easy conditions, and close proximity to the resorts, you can night-dive at Pemuteran - not only on these coral mounds (takas) but also on the reef just off the beach.

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