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In March 2011 I went diving in Bali. I had only time and money for one day of diving, so I wanted to make the best out of it. I went to see one of the big dive shops I read good things about and asked what do they have for the next day. They told me there are two things happening. One is diving on the USAT Liberty wreck, which is one of the most famous dive sites on the island and apparently one of the best wrecks to dive in general, anywhere in the world.
The other one is a boat diving trip, three dives in total on the reefs nearby. I asked them if it is possible to dive the spot where they usually see the Mola Molas (Oceanic Sunfish, and actually now we know the ones in Bali are only Molas...). They told me that the first dive of the day is the reef where IN THE SEASON usually they see the Molas, but it is really not the season. The season is from June to October, with the best chances in July and August. They themselves strongly suggested diving the Liberty wreck, since it is a nicer and more unique experience.
But I told them, if we will dive the Mola spot, then I want the reef dive. No matter how small chances I got to encounter a sunfish, I rather give that a try than to see a wreck. I don't know exactly how many times they told me it is not the season and there will be no sunfish on the dive, and every single time I smiled back and I said I don't care about that I will give it a shot.
The next day went to the beach, got on the dive boat and we started our trip towards the reef. Maybe it was 40 minutes to an hour to get there, so as a dive professional already (I was a Divemaster at this point) I was talking to the guide the whole time.
I told him, I want to see a Mola. He told me, he also would love to see one, since he came after the season to Bali, he never saw one. He also told me it is not the season, and we will not see any. I smiled back and told that I think we will. I am not sure why I was this super optimistic about it. I try to be like this, but I don't always manage. And the odds were really against me on this one.
But I remember smiling the whole time heading to the dive spot, and when geared up I said it out loud, that let's go, guys, we will see a mola now on this dive.
It took maybe 10 minutes after we started our dive for the Mola to show up... It was "only" one, but it came right up to us, and maybe spent a good 5 minutes with our group. Later back on the boat we learned that it was kind enough to "visit" the other diving groups as well, so every single diver on our boat got to see it.
There might be ab pattern here... I was again the persistent (not annoying, remember :P ) client, who stayed positive, wanted to see the biggest bony fish in the world so bad, that somehow against all odds it happened.
Of course, wildlife viewing will not always work out like this, it can be the complete opposite as well. I went out to look for mako sharks already three times and never got to see one. The secret is to keep trying and stay always positive, and in my case probably be persistent (and not annoying).
The photo is not mine, one of the other divers took it, at the time I did not have an underwater camera. She was nice enough to pass me this photo, which is the only one I have of this amazing day, and an amazing encounter.
#StayHome #virtualencounters #persistentbutnotannoying #igotverylucky
Trips with Barna