I booked a day trip for some snorkelling to Nusa Lembongan with Lembongan Water Sports (I include their link because I'd happily recommend them to others). We got collected from the hotel, and driven to Sanur to catch the fast boat over to Lembongan. Once there, we had a short drive to our diving boat, where we could leave out stuff in lockers, and get measured for flippers.
The sea gets rough, and as we mocked that we wouldn't want to dive here, the boat slowed, and we were told to get off to see if we could see any manta rays. Ha! We had been warned that not everyone gets to see manta rays, but they were apparently worth the hunt.
Now, after bursting an ear drum in a freak accident when learning to scuba dive 13 years ago, I'd actually never scuba dived properly before. Getting into pretty rough waters for the first time definitely got my adrenaline pumping. My mask kept leaking, and I struggled to catch a breath. I tried over and over to clear my mask, get some oxygen in my lungs, and focus on swimming (and looking under!). After a while, my guide came over and swapped masks with me, which sorted the leaking out, but I was still finding it a challenge to slow my breath down. I was determined to though!
Blimey the manta rays were huge. They apparently average 400cm-600cm across and having them float beneath you is pretty awesome, in the true sense of the word.
It was a shame that I had to find my feet in such treacherous conditions (leaking mask, big waves, struggling for breath) but it felt like I'd won at life in that little moment. I wasn't 100% convinced I'd get off the boat at the next spot, but I felt proud I'd done it with the mantas.
Luckily the next spot was calm and delightful. Here's me and B (I'm in the distance) enjoying a more sedate snorkel in the Bali waters. It was a shame I couldn't have warmed up here, and then headed to the manta rays, but I'm sure there's a good reason for that! Who am I to question the logic of the ocean!
Once I had a mask that didn't leak and I had calmed my breathing right down I was free to relax and enjoy the peace of the water. B enjoyed freediving, but floating on the top was plenty for me!
The team worked hard to ensure everyone had a great time, and were very understanding with the weak and non-swimmers in the group. They provide life jackets and floats should people want them, and were very patient. We had a great day, and loved seeing our pictures too!