Sunrise; the most inspiring time to slip beneath the surface. It can be said of many dive sites the world over, but none more so than Blue Corner at Nusa Lembongan, Bali. Our namesake, and for good reason….
Something about the reef stirring and the fish joyful for another day of sunlight makes diving this formidable dive site, at this time, simply awe inspiring. Not to mention the giants that lurk beneath, making this the famous dive site that it is.
As our boat leaves the beach, heading North West towards Bali, we slowly glide over the bright turquoise shallows for just 2 to 3 minutes. Then, we wait for a gap in the waves and easily cross the reef. We are greeted to the deep side by pod of busy dolphins. This was a good start! All the while our wise, local guides are watching, feeling and using their ‘sixth sense’ to tap into their ocean and ask it what it needs from us today for the best diving experience. They have a knowledge and understanding like nothing I have ever seen before and can quickly assess which direction the current is moving, how quickly, what temperature it is likely to be and what visibility we should expect. With more than 30 years of diving experience in the area between the two of them there is nothing they have not yet seen!
The group is a small and experienced one and we have all been thouroughly briefed about what we might expect from this untamed dive site and how we will tackle it. We all quietly gear up and buddy check as we are excited, with a hint of trepidation about the dive, and giving the ocean the respect she deserves.
The cool light becomes brighter and we enjoy an uninterrupted view over the indo-pacific ocean, of the most serene sunrise. This is our cue to roll in. Now the energy level goes up and the adrenaline flows.
The moment you break the surface you begin to understand what all the fuss is about. If the current is strong, which it often is you suddenly realise just how quickly you are moving at the surface as you look down to the first plateau at about 20 metres below, whizzing along beneath you, the skilled guides coax you down quickly to that plateau so not to miss the ‘drop off’ point. The group is down and exhilarated! Immediately the guide is pointing excitedly behind us, as we turn to see what is happening we are met with half a dozen eagle rays, coming straight for us. Arching and twisting to avoid each other and stay close to the reef. Thrilled, my buddy and I signal the guide that we are comfortable and ready to drop over the edge of the wall. As we do so we turn with our backs to the current and it subsides a little. Reaching 28 metres we now look ahead the majestic reef and rock, terraced walls soar above us and it is quite breath-taking.
Soon after we are gently ushered to look into one of the rock ‘slots’ carved out by the strength of the ocean and find inside not, one or two, but three white tip sharks resting inside. Could this dive get and better?! Apparently so, as we turn to continue along the reef we are met with a barrage of Marbled Rays beneath us. Wings undulating like magic carpets but the size of small cars. I don’t know where to look! Soon after, our mystical guides signal to us to get close to the wall, in a scalloped area commonly known as ‘the corner’ now I understand the name. It is vast and Jurassic looking and indeed, blue. Waiting patiently it is easy to feel bewildered by the scenery, and we instinctively know we are waiting for something. Something special…..
Frantically our guides point into the blue and I see nothing. Until a huge fin slowly moving back and fourth like a giant metronome. Behind it something white, rounded and even bigger looks to be following the giant metronome. Could it be…..? TWO MOLA MOLA’S!!!!
The gentle giants gracefully glide in, open mouthed and seemingly as surprised to see us as we are them and assume their positions on the reef for cleaning. This is why we are here. To witness magic. They give us a good 8 minutes before it is time for us to head up into our safety stop. As we crest the edge of the wall we are still reeling from this unforgettable interaction but our senses continue to be abused by the stunningly healthy, colourful and varied reef it the shallows. As the schools of Rainbow Runners and juvenile fish swirl around us I think to myself “I wasn’t expecting this!” And as a huge Napoleon Wrasse ambles over to check us out I realise this alone is probably the best reef I have ever seen. All too soon our 3 minutes is over and it is time to surface. With smiles on our faces and admiration for our talented guides we make the 5 minute boat journey back to the golden sands and colourful bean bags of the best dive centre in the world. Blue Corner Dive.
Dive site: Blue Corner
Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
Experience level required: Advanced Open Water with 50 dives