Logbook April 2016

Here comes April with its fool’s day. After few researches, there seem to be several traditions to it. One of her, quiet sustainable, would come from the use of opening or closing the fishing period in order to respect mating season. One offers a fish to the fisherman as a mark of joke.

Macro lover, my heart is definitely into the Indonesian critters. However, I should admit the Manta ray ballet is always a real joy to see. Find them on Bio column.

Astonishing landscape of Paddy rice field or colourful temple, which one of those describes the bestBali dream? Actually, they are closely associated. I will present the Indonesian traditional irrigation Subak in the Bali column.

Divers take your fins and jump into the Safari Balicolumn with our news and last availability…

Enjoy your reading…


Marine Bio

Every diver definitely dreams to encounter the queen of the seas, majestic, solemn, elegant, delicate, charming, attractive, fascinating Manta Ray!

Andrea Marshall is the first person in the world to complete a PhD on Manta Rays. In 2008, she discovered a new giant species of Manta Ray and identified two different species: Manta Ray Alfredi and Manta Ray Birostris. She actually seems to believe there could be a third one… BBC interview.

Because she tends to be resident and coastal, the Manta Ray Alfredi is quite often spotted. However, the Manta ray Birostris migrates across Open Ocean and is barely encountered. How to differentiate them? Every one will spontaneously answer the “size”… actually one of the differences. The first one usually reaches an average size of 3,5 meters, while the second one reaches an average of 5 meters. However, just to enjoy complication, the Manta Ray Alfredi can reach a size up to 5 meters while the juvenile Birostris (as its most 8 meters) passed through a much smaller size…

Let’s get closer (if she allows us) and have a look on the dorsal face. Manta Ray Alfredihas a dark colours backside. At the head level, two clear spots appear and shad slowly off the darks backside colour. The Manta Ray Birostris (the bigger one, still following?) also presents a dark backside colour and at the head level two clear spots but without shading off. Both are very distinctive.

Ok, one more difference. Unlike Manta Ray Alfredi, Manta Ray Birostris kept from older time a residual caudal spine near its dorsal fin. With all of that, if you still have doubts while watching them dancing in front of you, then I will strongly advise to just enjoy the show!

Brief world on their feeding habits, as everyone knows they eat a huge lot of plankton and let’s concentrate on their reproduction…



Manta rays are ovoviviparous. After a courtship dance that can last days up to weeks, Ms Manta will mate with his charming prince. An egg will be released and hatched in the female oviduct. The pups will grow there until fully developed. He will then be expulsed with no further parental care. The gestation period is thought to be around 12 to 13 month. The pups will reach its sexual maturity around 5 years old. Let’s remember those facts which…

… Bring us to the sad conclusion. The Manta’s population decreases in a drastic way since about twenty years. Due to its late sexual maturity, the gestation longevity and the low fertility rate, this species does not succeed in compensating their threats including pollution, over fishing (accidental or targeted) and harvest for their gill rakers for Chinese medicine use…  Mantas are now listed as the vulnerable by the UICN.



Life in Bali

What would be the Asian’s and more likely Bali’s symbol? My answer is without doubt the famous rice field, which couldn’t exist without the Subak. It would actually be a pity to dry on such a subject, as they are the traditional irrigation system.

Nothing would be possible on the island of the Gods without their participation! Subak is based on the Hindu philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, over 2000 years old, based on the principle of harmonious relationship between the nature, human and god world. Dewi Sri, Vishnou devoted wife, is represented in every plot of rice field and thanked in small temples, named Bedugul.

Much more than a simple irrigation system, Subak is a harmonious combination of forests, which protect the water supply, Paddy rice field landscape, canal networks, tunnels and dams, villages and temples. Bali counts more 1 ‘ 200 water collective management networks and between 50 and 400 farmers are sharing the water springs management.

Operated by Pakaseh, the Subak chief, the Subak are leaded with a custom legal code, Awig-Awig, detailing the rights and duties of every member.

Pakaseh duties are to fairly dispense the water between every rice field. He establish the irrigation calendar and, as seen above, the ceremony calendar. He manages the concerns and the potential conflicts between farmers, and makes sure of proper rice fields maintenance by each of them.

Such magnificence could only draw attention. The Jatiluwih rice fields, 7 ‘ 000 hectares forming a natural amphitheater of greenery and tradition, were declared UNESCO world heritage in June 2012!

Contact us for our coming up Safari and immerse yourself in this breathtaking scenery…



Safari Bali

Mars, fulfill with incredible encounters: Picturatus Dragonet and grey sharks in Komodo, yellow pygmy seahorse Bargibanti and manta rays in Raja Empat, Rhinopia Frontosa and Mola Mola in Bali … Not an exhaustive list but it would be too long complete…

You will notice an anachronism above. Mola Mola in March?! It is actually not one of those April’s fool! Happy divers!

Cruises, almost all full…
Komodo from October 9th till October 21st, 2016 – 10 remaining places

SAFARI Bali, now open to English market, contact us for availabilities and programs.

Thanks to Didier Brandedet, Pierre Martin Razi and Maarten De Brauwer for them photos.

Have a nice dive!

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