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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sea Fishing and swimming with Manta Rays!

Remember Dino, the baby monkey?  Well, his owners happen to be some of the sweetest, most down to earth, friendly locals on the island (Silisti and Kadek aka "Captain Bobo") ...and they happen to also own this cute little snack bar at the end of the mangroves street and do fishing and snorkeling trips with their own lil boat! 

 So, I married a guy who LOVES to fish, so much so that we almost paid $70 a person to do a fishing trip in the Gili Islands. So, when "Captain Bobo" quoted us $20 a person for fishing AND snorkeling to see manta ray, we were IN faster than we could say "We'll take it!"

For whatever reason, he said we would need to meet him at 6:30 am in the morning.  This was the first time in almost 3 weeks that we've had to set an alarm!  REAL WORLD CHECK!  So, we set the alarm for 5:45am, snoozed till 6am and started our scooter journey from Bungalo no 7 to the mangroves, where there store is.  Within moments, we had loaded the boat and were setting off into the sunset sunrise!

We were under the impression that we would be using a fishing rod, but like most things in a foreign country, that was obviously lost in translation!  We didn't mind this new way of fishing though!  It's what the locals do, so we were all for it! 

 And while it took almost an hour and a half for any fish to bite... they did eventually get hungry and Aaron caught the 1st of the day, a 3 kilo tuna!

Then, it was my turn with a 2 kilo tuna!  I like to think I'm a natural. :)

Well, I'm a natural at holding the fishing line and pulling the line in... but when it came to pulling the  hook out of it's bloody body, while it flopped around inside the boat, I wasn't all that interested.  I grabbed it for just long enough for Aaron to snap this picture... 

Then it slipped out of my grasp and made a bloody mess all over the boat, including on my leg! 

After fish #3, we put the fishing line up and boated over to Manta Point off the coast of Nusa Penida Island in a boat that looked as if a murder scene had taken place all over it.  Bobo actually stopped the boat a ways away from Manta Point, which we thought was weird.  Then he proceeded to tell us that he needed to scrub the blood off of the boat so the sharks wouldn't come.  I thought he was joking, but nope, he was dead serious!  lol  

Captain Bobo said that the manta aren't always here, so if we were lucky we might see a few... but boy were we lucky!  We saw at least 20!  20 GIANT MANTA RAYS!!!  It was incredible!  Aaron jumped in first to check it out and immediately pointed down that he had spotted one!

There were so many manta ray in the area that I even got the chance to snap a photo of one that swam near the boat.  You'll need to use your imagination for this picture.  It's the best I could do, since our brand new gopro underwater camera is faulty and won't turn on!  But we don't talk about that around here. 

At one point, Aaron and I were swimming close together and looked up towards the surface of the water and a giant manta ray (no less than 8 feet wide) was swimming right for ME!  ... and what does my husband do?!  He pushes my towards it!  I almost whipped around and punched him in the gut I was so freaked out!  Even though they're harmless, they're pretty intimidating if you ask me! This picture obviously isn't me, but this is how giant they were!  Aaron said he was trying to get me closer so I would have the chance to touch it like he did!  lol   

The water current in this area was sooooo strong that Aaron and I kept getting swept away, so Bobo would come with the boat and we would both hold on, for dear life, to the outriggers while he boated us closer to where the mantas were swimming!  I love this picture!  Makes me laugh every time I see it.

So, since there are no photos of my snorkeling with the manta rays, I'll just include this one, which flaunts an awesome snorkeling mask imprint on my forehead to prove that I did it!

We pulled the boat onto the beach around 11:00am (That's a 4 1/2 hour trip of awesomeness!) and snapped these pictures of our triple catch!

Is that a pretty face, or what?!

 As soon as we pulled the boat up to the beach, Silisti (Captain Bobo's wife) came up to see our fish, congratulated us on our catch, then offered to grill one up for us for lunch!  Talk about fresh!!  Yes please!

They have a little grill behind their store where Silisti grilled our fish (the one I caught!) over coconut shells! 

... and it was soooooooo delicious!  For $1.50 each, Silisti grilled our fish and made a plate of vegetables and rice for both of us!  I could get very used to this.

As if marking 3 things off my bucket list: sea fishing, eating said fish, and swimming with manta rays wasn't enough for one day, Silisti and Bobo's cat had one week old kittens for me to cuddle and love on!   

Today was one of the most awesome experiences that Aaron and I have ever had while traveling and were on cloud 9 for the rest of the day... for obvious reasons, right?!