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Sunday, September 04, 2016

Diving the Liberty Wreck in Tulamben

I had just one day of diving in Bali, because my trip to Komodo starts the next day. So on Saturday I walked into the first dive shop I found on the internet and asked if they had anything planned. The only option was Tulamben. Even though I had been there two times before (in 2006 and in 2011) and it meant a 2.5 hours transfer each way, I signed up.

Later when I checked my downloaded Caches, I was extremely happy to see there was a diving Multi-Geocache!

Our first dive was at the wreck and even though it looked like there were dozens to hundreds divers around, we found a lucky timeslot, where we were almost alone in the water. The wreck seemed to have fallen in quite a lot since the last time I was here, but since I can't find any picture evidence for this, it might just be a trick of my mind. What was fun though, was that the one huge Barracuda, which was there the last two times, still hangs around the wreck :)

Our second dive was at the drop off, where we spotted a Harlekin Ghostpipefish, a large Spanish Mackerel and much more.

After the dive we had a break, which I used to walk to the final of the Geocache and I was able to claim my third geocache in Indonesia :).

The last dive of the day took us from the wreck along the house reef to the coral garden. The fish live was surprisingly varied. Highlight was a stingray at a cleaning station. 

In addition there were a lot of man-made installations which should help the reef grow. The one I remember most, a skeleton that looked like a plane was still there, although it lost its wings.

The plane in 2011
The plane in 2016

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Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Nesting Protection Program in Kuta, Bali

While strolling along the beach in Kuta, Bali, I noticed a huge Sea Turtle statue. Coming closer I saw a large fenced in area with many signs inside. This was the location of the Bali Sea Turtle Society.

They have a large number of volunteer rangers that patrol the beach while the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles come in to lay their eggs. Once the eggs are safely buried and  the turtle is on its way back to the Sea, they take measurements and tag the turtle, so that they can check how often it returns in following years. Afterwards they take the eggs and bring it to a safe location in or next to the huge Turtle pictured above. Their they have people guarding the location 24/7 to ensure that the eggs aren't stolen or eaten by natural predators.

Once the eggs hatch, they release the baby turtles back into the Sea. This is done as an event, where tourists can take a turtle in a small plastic bin, bring it closer to the shore and then all are released together. This is for one good for the turtles, because due to the large number of people, the birds, the natural predators at this stage, stay away. In addition it is good for public relations reasons, helping to spread the word that the turtles need protection.

 One baby turtle on its way to the Sea

 Some turtles are quicker than others

There they go! Even though only a few of them will survive, they at least stand a chance to grow up.

More information about this project can be found here.

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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Movies on a Plane

Flying with Singapore Airlines from Zurich to Singapore in the new and comfortable A380, I was at first overwhelmed by the entertainment choice options (90 new movies were added in September alone). In the end I did spend way more time watching movies than sleeping ;). I saw:
  1. Hail Cesar! (An entertaining comedy, but I expected a bit more)
  2. Allegiant (an okay ending to the Divergent-Trillogy)
  3. Now You See me (a wonderful smoke-and-mirrors drama about magicians in the modern age.)
  4. April and the Wonderful World (A French Steampunk Anime, worth watching!)
  5. Deadpool (Just amazing. The intro sets the tone and keeps the humor rolling till the end. I'm looking forward to the sequel).

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