Updated: Oct 24, 2019
This post was written by Sophie Nougue, who came to dive with us for a few days and was kind enough to share her words and photos with us!
Also available in French here
After several months in Indonesia, I'm in Manta Point, the famous diving spot on the island of Nusa Penida, which is probably one of the best dive sites in Bali. Of course I saw pictures on the internet, of course divers told me about this particular site and yet, what an emotion to be finally here, ready to soak my scales at the foot of these cliffs beaten by the waves and the swell.
The morning sun is here. It's always a special moment to prepare your gear to dive into a mythical place long listed on its bucket list. I savor my pleasure. Julia from Purple Dive Penida and Grace are ready for the "Girly Fun Dive". Launching ....
From the descent, she is there, before our eyes, huge, graceful, she spins and runs off. I turn on my camera to make some tweaks. I look at her for a moment and lose her. Too late, I do not have time to grab it. It's a sign. The beauty of this great lady of the oceans needs to be deserved. Just an apparition to fan our desire. You have to know how to be patient, a word that has not always been part of my vocabulary. We continue our dive, carried by the current and cradled by the swell. On a small plateau, we meet the Blue Spotted Sting Ray. Nonchalant, some resting on each other, they still sleep. They are really funny. It looks like a band of girlfriends who painfully recover from the party of the day ....
Julia knows the place perfectly, we let ourselves be guided in confidence. I have a presentiment that something rare is getting ready right in front of us, a Manta is spinning in the big blue. The current gently pulls towards her, my fingers are a little feverish on the camera. Grace is by my side, ready to savor this magical moment. A crazy smile floods our faces. Drunkenness radiates from the depths. The words are weak to describe the intensity of this moment. A feeling of happiness and peace seizes our senses. The excitement of the beginning gives way to the calm of a meeting so long hoped for. I enjoy this privilege of being there.
Two weeks ago in Komodo, I already had the pleasure of diving with the Mantas. And yet, this morning in Nusa Penida, nothing is the same. First of all, the size of the one that swirls before our eyes is impressive. Three meters wide at least. The majesty of this incredible sea creature exceeds anything imaginable even in its wildest dreams. It turns right on us in a movement of absolute grace. In a few seconds, we become the guests of a majestic ballet. Miss misses with our bubbles. She comes into contact, avoids us at the last moment in his complicit sweetness, his eyes caress us. Eye to eye. A glance tinged with an astonishing humanity. Another Manta joins her. They are now two to play and spin around us. In a few seconds we are dragged into another dimension. Subjugated by the incredible fluidity and lightness that emerges from their swimming. A momentum of life flows between us. Grace shakes her hands in wonder. These few minutes far exceed our expectations.
Julia stands a little behind the scene, a huge smile bathing his face. We are three little women, three little twigs welcomed among these great ladies of rare elegance. Hardly time to realize our happiness that the beautiful vanish in the deep blue. Without a doubt, Nusa Penida deserves its fame and all our respect.