Scuba diving with Sunfish
Sunfish, or also commonly referred to as Mola Mola, is the heaviest known bone fish in the world. This species is native to tropical waters, and it has an average adult weight of about 1,000 kg. Its main body is flattened; a sunfish can be as tall as they are long when its ventral and dorsal fins are extended. Among all tropical waters in the world, a large population of sunfish can be found in Bali particularly at Padangbai and Nusa Penida. Besides Mola mola, the waters on those areas are home to a wide range of marine life including manta ray and turtles as well.
Sunfish are quite common in Bali, although they are indeed spread all around the world. In fact, many diving sites in the island are popular because mola mola are often seen. A scuba diving in Bali gives you a good chance to actually encounter the big fish in their natural habitat.
Padangbai and Nusa Penida have some popular reefs and beaches for you to engage in a diving adventure and finding out how the intriguing animal looks like in real life. Although those places are considerably quiet compared to Kuta, Legian, or other beaches in the island, there are a number of good diving operators ready to facilitate your adventurous side. OK Divers, one of the operators in Padangbai, even offers PADI Diving Course and access to diving suites for both beginners and advanced divers. OK Divers in Padangbai started their diving ventures more than ten years ago, and it remains one of the most successful operators in Bali.
Another good thing is that Padangbai and Nusa Penida offers great healthy reefs and clear water, allowing you to see any marine life you encounter clearly. However, to have bigger chance of encountering the beautiful animal, you probably have to go diving in July through October. Although the fish are there all year round, there are more of them in those months. Sunfish can live down to the depth 600 meters, but you don’t have to go that deep to enjoy diving with mola mola because they are often seen in shallow water as well.
If you want to know how it feels to dive with sunfish, expect to spend at least three days in Padangbai or Nusa Penida. They are common sights, but you may not see them during your first dive. Padangbai is basically a small town, which mainly functions as a port for travelers before they continue their journey to Lombok or Gili Islands. Its quietness can be the main reason that a dive with mola mola remains one of the major tourist attractions in the place. Nusa Penida is actually an island separated from Bali, but it is easily accessible from Padangbai. To some extent, Nusa Penida is a more promising spot to enjoy diving with sunfish; as a matter of fact, Nusa Penida can be considered a world-class diving destination.