Being the biggest bony fish in the world but end up with the gentlest heart and somewhat a confused-looking face, the Mola Mola sunfish is one of the wonders of the deep sea. The elusive sunfish is not easy to meet. They only live at tropical and temperate waters, and they usually dwell deep in the twilight zone of the ocean. Bali, being a tropical island, is one of the few places in the world to see the Mola Mola. But you can’t just fly to Bali just anytime and hope to see the Mola Mola. You actually have to wait for certain months when they finally emerge from the deep waters into the surface. Here are some preparations to do should you wish to meet this wonderful creature!
Plan to See Mola Mola Bali During It’s Season
During most of the time of the year, Mola Mola spend its time in the deep waters, where it’s dark and cold. They will come out of the twilight zone when colder currents flow. In Bali, this happens around mid-June/ early July to November. You might see Mola Mola out of the “season”; you just have bigger chance to see them during the season.
Bring 5mm Wetsuit to Dive with Mola Mola Bali
Despite of their tropical water preference, Mola Mola actually love cold waters. They like to hang out in colder temperatures and that’s why they can only be met while the cold currents run. To see the Mola Mola in Bali, use a minimum 5mm thick wetsuit. Shorty might be appropriate in other Bali’s dive sites, but not for Mola Mola.
Prepare Deep Diving Certification
What shallow means for Mola Mola doesn’t translated the same for us. They usually swim around in 60 meters depth. It falls into deep diving category for divers and there’s no way you can dive with only Beginner Open Water certification for that. You need the Advanced Open Water to be qualified to dive into 60 meters below the surface. If you don’t have the right certification already, this is the right time to get into the course.
Prepare for the Currents
Nusa Penida is famous with its strong currents, which is what the sunfish like. To see Mola Mola in Nusa Penida means you have to be prepared with the currents. Unlike other dive sites in Bali, it can get pretty strong and unpredictable. Make sure you have some dive current training or related experience before going there. Take a drift diving specialty course—it’s highly recommended to prep you up!
Bring Reef Hook, Just in Case
When the currents get too strong to handle, you will thank yourself for having a reef hook ready. No one wants to be declared lost while investigating the phenomenal Mola Mola.
Prep Up Your Underwater Camera
You don’t want to miss this rare opportunity. Make sure your underwater camera is ready for deep diving. List everything to prepare; probe, lighting, camera handles, battery levels, and other things you need.
Learn the Etiquette to Dive with Mola Mola Bali
Some irresponsible divers have the guts to try touching the Mola Mola. Don’t be that diver. Also, Mola Mola Bali are shy creatures; they don’t like much attentions and they especially don’t want to be surrounded by too many divers. Learn the full etiquette before you go.
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Find Accommodation in Nusa Penida
This is optional, but you might want to stay in Nusa Penida for few days aside from the Mola Mola sighting. It’s a beautiful, rugged and totally unspoilt. You might want to wander to some of its beautiful beaches and other dive sites around the island
Bring Enough Cash with You
Nusa Penida has this bareback and rustic feeling compared to the mainland Bali, but it also more remote. It has few ATMs in the island and even fewer ATM for international cards. You better bring enough cash in the pocket before embarking for Mola Mola expedition in Nusa Penida.
Dive with A Trustable Dive Centre
Never attempt to see the Mola Mola Bali alone. You need he right guidance and with Nusa Penida’s down currents, you can get lost in the process. See a trustable dive center like Dune Atlantis, one of the oldest dive center in Bali to take you for Mola Mola sighting safely.