I just came back from a great day out in Amed! Amed is a stretch of sleepy villages on Bali’s east coast which has been transformed into one of the biggest diving hubs on the island.
It is about a two hour drive from Sanur to Amed on my little scooter loaded with dive gear. The last part of the drive from Amlapura to Amed is a beautiful segment through the hills and rice terraces.
My drive up was paused by a stop conveniently located about halfway to Amed… Ari Homestay in Candidasa is famous all over the island for its amazing burgers and a must stop if you find yourself in the area!
The reason to head out to Amed was to see to some long time friends, Martin & Marieke from the Netherlands who were vacationing on Bali with their two sons Merijn and Mink. They call themselves M4 and I’m a sort of honorary 5th M…
In Amed I met the family on the beach relaxing. I quickly headed into the sea with Mink, who always reminds me of those Duracell bunnies from the ads as he seems to have energy to go on forever
Back in the M4’s hotel Surya Rainbow Villas we got back to the reason to meet up…. to finally dive together! Martin and Marieke are keen divers but although we’ve known each other for 15 years we never had the opportunity to dive together. That was probably not helped by the fact that neither of us are really too thrilled by diving in The Netherlands… With the kids their last dive had been a while but a dive earlier in their holiday refreshed everything.
In the hotel was a branch of Two Fish Divers so we met up to arrange dives. Two Fish Divers is a high quality dive operation with shops in various popular Indonesian dive location such as Bali, Lombok and Manado. We gave the local manager Yvonne a bit of a headache when we came in end of the day as she had already planned the next day’s diving. And we added the challenge of adding two little boys who wanted to snorkel as we dove. Yvonne handled it like a true pro and had (re-) arranged everything in no time!
Next day we woke up (early!) and during breakfast we already noticed the strong wind blowing in swell and causing quite a bit of surge and waves. The Two Fish Divers boat captain made the right call to abort diving off the boat seeing the conditions. The Two Fish Divers staff quickly arranged a truck and vans to transport us to alternative dive sites, giving us some extra time for a cappucino…
On our first dive I went with Martin while Marieke was watching the boys. Unfortunately the surf and waves proved to much for them to do some snorkeling. Martin and I enjoyed a nice dive and it was fun to finally dive together. We swam through a bit of a coral garden till about 10 meters deep where we followed a dark sandy slope down to about 25 meters. It was mostly a macro dive, with our amazing dive guide Barron showing us his Lembeh roots. His eyes, like a lot of Indonesian dive guides, are like microscopes. Although I’m not really big into macro diving, it is fun to just focus on all the small stuff. It has a funny effect however, near the end of the dive Barron pointed out something and Martin and me put our faces in the sand to see the next amazing little critter. And thereby almost missing the foot long cuttlefish hovering just in front of us he was actually pointing out… It will take a bit more experience to get me to the level of macro spotting the local guys can do, however I saved some of my professional pride (or Barron let me…) by pointing out some nice nudibranches and a well-camouflaged scorpion fish.
On the second dive Martin went home with the boys to swim in the hotel pool, and Marieke and me buddied up. The second dive was Jemeluk beach. This is a bit more of a protected bay so with the rougher conditions a lot of divers diverted here making it a bit busier.
This dive was a mostly sandy bottom with a few manmade structures. Also there are some nice coral patches filled with life to have a close look at. Again this was a dive with mostly macro stuff, so we again relied mostly on Barron’s miracle eyes to point out all the critters. But this dive was already perfect after 5 minutes as I spotted what is probably my favourite fish in the world… A juvenile boxfish, I can watch these little cute looking guys for hours as they seem to bob around hopelessly in the surge.
It was really nice to finally share the love of diving with Martin and Marieke. Although they hadn’t been in the water for a while they picked it up like they never stopped. So luckily for me there was no need to fall into ‘instructor mode’ (although you can never fully park it) and just enjoy some dives together.
After the dives we returned back to the Surya Rainbow Villas where Yvonne of Two Fish Divers had a special surprise for us…
Menno has had the travel bug ever since spending his childhood in the tropics. In 2013 he left his office career and is now diving and sailing the world.
He enjoys sharing the beautiful underwater world and exploring remote islands. He gets his kicks when he can help fellow travelers have an amazing life-changing experience.