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Diving & snorkeling with mantas on Nusa Penida

Diving and snorkeling with the manta rays was easily the highlight of Nusa Penida; the island had some stunning scenery but these graceful giants were my favorite sights

Diving and snorkeling with the manta rays was easily the highlight of Nusa Penida; the island had some stunning scenery but these graceful giants were my favorite sights

Large tiger cowrie; Once common, this sea snail is now much less abundant due to shell collecting and the destruction of its habitat by such processes as dynamite fishing, especially in shallower areas

Large tiger cowrie; Once common, this sea snail is now much less abundant due to shell collecting and the destruction of its habitat by such processes as dynamite fishing, especially in shallower areas

Semicircle angelfish; it's amazing how much some fish change from juvenile to adult - for example, juveniles of this species are blue-black marked from top to bottom with narrow white stripes

Semicircle angelfish; it's amazing how much some fish change from juvenile to adult - for example, juveniles of this species are blue-black marked from top to bottom with narrow white stripes

Manta Point is one of the most iconic dive sites around Bali and about a 45 minute speedboat trip from there while less from where we started on Nusa Penida

Manta Point is one of the most iconic dive sites around Bali and about a 45 minute speedboat trip from there while less from where we started on Nusa Penida

There really weren't any noteworthy fish on our dive but the mantas were spectacular; Manta Point is the most popular dive site in the region for good reason

There really weren't any noteworthy fish on our dive but the mantas were spectacular; Manta Point is the most popular dive site in the region for good reason

Chromodoris magnifica; this colorful sea slug feeds on sea sponges; Lee and I were lucky to have a divemaster to ourselves

Chromodoris magnifica; this colorful sea slug feeds on sea sponges; Lee and I were lucky to have a divemaster to ourselves

In addition to mantas like this one, we saw a monster manta in the distance that was 15-17 ft across!; the dive site is called Manta Point since the rays come here for a cleaning station

In addition to mantas like this one, we saw a monster manta in the distance that was 15-17 ft across!; the dive site is called Manta Point since the rays come here for a cleaning station

Oriental Sweetlips; this colorful fish is usually quite shy and will hide beneath coral when they see me but this particular one was bold and unafraid

Oriental Sweetlips; this colorful fish is usually quite shy and will hide beneath coral when they see me but this particular one was bold and unafraid

It was very cool seeing these juvenile manta rays while snorkeling!; we were told that the mantas tend to hang out around Manta Bay for socializing

It was very cool seeing these juvenile manta rays while snorkeling!; we were told that the mantas tend to hang out around Manta Bay for socializing

Juvenile midnight snapper; you seldom see the distinctive juvenile of this species (adults are rather boring looking) because most don't survive but, fortunately, adults can live 40-50 years

Juvenile midnight snapper; you seldom see the distinctive juvenile of this species (adults are rather boring looking) because most don't survive but, fortunately, adults can live 40-50 years

Banded brown bamboo shark; my first time seeing this species; these sharks are nocturnal animals and can survive out of the water for up to 12 hrs

Banded brown bamboo shark; my first time seeing this species; these sharks are nocturnal animals and can survive out of the water for up to 12 hrs

Large peacock mantis shrimp; I first thought this was some type of lobster since I'd never seen one before; these unique creatures can actually break the glass in an aquarium

Large peacock mantis shrimp; I first thought this was some type of lobster since I'd never seen one before; these unique creatures can actually break the glass in an aquarium

The mantas were so close and weren't at all bothered by those of us snorkeling; there was one boat of snorkelers but other than that the site wasn't crowded at all

The mantas were so close and weren't at all bothered by those of us snorkeling; there was one boat of snorkelers but other than that the site wasn't crowded at all

The visibility was good and there was a nice variety of coral but our eyes were always on the lookout for the mantas; the water temperature was fine so no wetsuit was needed

The visibility was good and there was a nice variety of coral but our eyes were always on the lookout for the mantas; the water temperature was fine so no wetsuit was needed

Lee and I very much enjoyed our two dives off Nusa Penida; the underwater scenery was nothing spectacular but getting to see so many manta rays made it well worth it

Lee and I very much enjoyed our two dives off Nusa Penida; the underwater scenery was nothing spectacular but getting to see so many manta rays made it well worth it

Posted by VagabondCowboy 23:02

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