Off southeastern Bali lie the small islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and their much larger neighbor Nusa Penida whose landmass is bigger than the bukit peninsula off southern Bali. We are staying in the town of Jungutbatu on the western side of Nusa Lembongan in a villa right on the water and directly in front of two beautiful waves: Shipwrecks and Lacerations.
Most of the local people are sea weed farmers. Roughly three inch thick branches are sharpened on one side by hand and stuck into the sand in the shallows inside the barrier reef. Two parallel lines of these branches are set out with rope hanging in between for the seaweed to grow on. These dark rectangular plots make a patch work in all the inland waters and shallow protected coastal areas. The locals go out at low tide to harvest the sea weed, plant more and maintain the plots. They push motorless boats along with long poles, gather sea weed in vast baskets and in the bottom of their slender boats. When the tide gets exceedingly low the area inside the outer reef looks more like an agricultural field than a beach.
The people at the dive shop told us the diving was better here than in the Gilis and they were right. The reefs here are more alive than I have ever seen before. The bottom is completely covered with an overlapping patchwork of corals, humongous sponges, tunicates and what Dave likes to call psychedelic cauliflower. Fish swarm the reefs.
As our trip has progressed the place we area has becoming increasingly stunning, the waves have gotten more dreamlike, the diving more spectacular, the place we’re staying in nicer in a more amazing location AND cheaper! Who could ask for anything else?