So before heading back to Tanjung Benoa (home), we stopped at an aquaculture facility in Northern Bali. It is only 20 minutes away from the Bali port of Gilimanuk.
The scenery is beautiful! All the rice fields are gone and replaced by thick forests. The road is lined with trees and greenery. The weather was also very cool.
Along the sides of the roads, these monkeys would hang out. Grooming each other and doing other "monkey businesses". We stopped but they all ran into the woods. I chased them for a picture, but this was as close as I got. Only if I had a banana!
Here is a better picture of the monkeys. I took this picture from a newspaper. These monkeys are from Lombok and they are friendly and wait for handouts on the roads. I remember them when I was traveling through the small island looking for coral. These are the same species of monkeys that I encountered in Northern Bali.
The monkeys ran into this santuary of some sort. There were nobody around and I saw this Hindu alter. Everyday, the Balinese Hindus offer gifts to their gods and pray.
I think this place was a tourist spot, but nobody was around, but the monkeys!
So here is a typical fishermen boat that is used to go out to the nursery area where the corals are grown.
Sorry for the blurred picture, but about 100 yards out, there are these floating platforms where the corals are grown.
There are coral racks that are hung by ropes on these floating platforms. The corals are anywhere from 20 feet to 40 feet. I got to tell you that it is pretty dangerous walking on those planks! And it was getting dark!
Here is a picture of what the racks look like. Again notice the many not so nice corals being grown. This is why I go and hand pick the pieces.
We got back to shore and I took this beautiful picture of Northern Bali horizon, as the sun was setting.
Back at the farm, we examine some of the aquacultures that we got. Some of these same corals are grown in Sarangan as well (Turtle Island). This montipora looks like it has been growing for a while, can't even see the concrete base anymore.
Nice orange polyped digitata. Note the green polyped purple based encrusting monti on the left and an unidentified digitata on the right.
Nice red/orange capricornis, again been growing for a while.
Another group of encrusting montis. Some of them are Superman and Sunset montis are not that uncommon.
Nice red acropora! It photographed brown, but believe me it is red. Probably could turn brick red under some 10k halides, although I prefer 20k on my sps tanks. But the lower kelvin would help with bringing out the reds (in my experience).
Tricolored raspberry millepora. Killer piece that needs some artificial lighting to make it go crazy!
A red millepora, that photographed brown! It was very nice, dark orange - red color with green polyps (can't see the polyps).
Here is another Northern Bali acro that is unique to the area. It looks like an acropora insignis. The body is green with purple tips. Another potential limited edition stag for sure!
One of my favorites! Acropora plana. The base color glows green under actinics. Turns brown fast when taken out of the ocean. Need good lighting for sure to keep up the good color.
Here is one acro that is definitely not common. If you guessed acropora tenella, you are right! Still kind of fresh mount and slightly bleached. I told the guys this coral needs to be grown deeper, as too much sun is not good for certain corals. There is a false perception that the farmers prey to. Everyone is looking for nice colored pieces. When a coral starts to bleach, it turns into a pastel color, looking very striking under water. They now undertand and "knowing is the half of the battle." (I got that quote from GI Joe back in the days when I was a kid!).
Well I hope you enjoyed this road trip! I will be taking off to Banuwangi for new corals tomorrow late night. But not to worry, as I will post some more coral pictures tomorrow before I leave for you to enjoy! Cheers - Eddie.