Steph and I joined a group from Diver Dan’s on a Bali and Komodo diving live-aboard. We never actually dove around Bali, with most of the diving being done around Komodo National Park. We had a pretty good flight, with the longer legs being in economy plus. It was really nice to have enough room to lean over and sleep. We also got to hang out in the lounges given Steph’s status, which made the layover in Taipei pretty nice.
We got to Bali in the mid-afternoon and went to a resort for the evening. We just hung out around the resort and tried to get over our jet lag. The next day we got on the boat and started the long leg of the boat ride out to Moyo Island. It took about 16 hours to get to the first dive site, which was about 2/3 the way to Komodo. We dove there and everyone checked out as far as the dive crew were concerned.
The crew on the Mermaid II was amazing, and the diver coordinator, Liane, was great. We had so much food and it was all delicious. They were also great about providing vegetarian food for Steph. Doing 4 dives a day was a lot of energy expenditure, so we didn’t end up putting on weight, despite the amount of food we were eating.
I backed out of a second dive in Manta Alley to go kayaking, and saw some dolphins, which swam underneath the kayak. I had a good time, but the water washed the sunscreen from my feat and I got a decently bad sunburn.
We also went on Komodo Island and saw the dragons. They are big, but mostly move around really slowly. I’m sure they could move fast if they really wanted to, but none did around us, thankfully.
One dive on the way back was on an active volcano, with bubbles coming out of the sand, and rocks giving off heat. It was pretty amazing to see that much activity.
We got back to Bali and got a hotel in a more typical tourist area. We took a day trip to jump off some waterfalls, and it was lovely. The drive there and back was long, but worth it, as we got to see much of the country and some more of the wildlife on the journey.
We also did a Balinese cooking class that was very interesting. There was a huge similarity to Thai food, but with a bit more Indian and Chinese influence. The best part was probably the peanut sauce, which is simpler to make than I had thought.
We ended up getting multiple events to ourselves that normally would have been with larger groups. This included the cooking class, the canyoning, and the sunset tea service.