Well, today was the long awaited trip to Menjangan Island. We used Fun and Fun Adventures and had a guide named Budu. Cost paid for two people was $55 U.S. including a few bottles of water and two boxed lunches. I have to say that the trip was a disappointment. Though we left the F&F place by car at 8:30 and were supposed to return at 3:00, in actuality though we left on time when we arrived we waited about 40 minutes for our guide's "friend" to arrive. Our party of six plus guide was sharing a boat with another party. Sharing was fine. I'm good with sharing, but not so much with wasting valuable snorkeling time waiting. After the boat trips back and forth and about an hour's lunch, then being back at F & F at 2:15, we got perhaps an hour and a half in the water. And our guide spent the whole time "finding Nemo". He showed us Nemo about 7 times, barracudas twice, and that was the end of the guiding. So I would not recommend that center or that guide.
That said, Menjangan was wonderful. We stopped in two places- Underwater Cave and White Cove. The ledges of corals were unlike any we had ever seen with all the fish down the sides nibbling. It made me wish we were scuba diving! We swam quite rapidly from the drop off point to the pick up point so browsing slowly was not an option. But we did see a wide variety of fish - some we had never seen before- and in great numbers. Probably the most interesting thing we saw was a huge school of fish circling in unison as if around a vortex. It circled for perhaps five minutes and then in unison swam away. So curious- what made them circle and why did they decide to leave all at once? Fascinating.
At White Sand Cove, the water defined "aquamarine"! It was deep and crystal clear so that just watching the rays of sunlight shine through it was breath-taking. The corals here were nice, but in our opinions didn't compare to Lipah Beach near Amed. We saw more fish, some as long as 2/3 meter. It was a joy to swim through these waters, though, and we hated to get back into the boat again.
And for Jan, yes, we did meet some jellies. Hub got a lot of little stings and I didn't. Not sure why. The water wasn't just full of them but in spots they were somewhat thick. Hub and I had different strategies, he swam through them quickly and I swam slower but swatted as I went. Not sure if that helped or if they just didn't like me for whatever reason!
Hub and I agree that while we very much enjoyed the day and the beauty of Menjangan Island, we felt our time at Amed offered a snorkeling experience more suited to our tastes. At Menjangan, with such a short time in the water we only had a passing acquaintance but at Lipah Beach with five days to go in and out at will as often as we pleased we were real friends with that cove by the end. To just walk out our door into the water for incredible variety of both fishes and corals was amazing. I think we left Menjangan hungry for more- more time, more exploration, more guidance. It would be worth it to pay more and get to really relish the experience. So I'd recommend to future Pemuteran visitors who wish to snorkel at Menjangan to see if they can find a company that offers MORE! We didn't realize how little time we'd spend in the water and now we know we should have asked more questions.
Then for dinner we visited Warung Taruna which has really good reviews on TA and that, too, was a bit of a letdown. Will review that soon.
All in all, we can't complain- fourteen days in Bali and this is the only day that we have felt less than thrilled. Those are pretty great odds. And it's not as if the day was a total wash. We still enjoyed ourselves- beautiful weather, beautiful water, beautiful sky, and clean air to breathe... Life is good! And tomorrow is our last full day in Bali.