Bali Stories: Dugong

In the Spring of 2012 i went to Bali for a few weeks. One of the more distant spots we surfed was called Serangan.  It’s now some sort of state/national park and charges a couple bucks to get in which combined with the distance keeps the crowds down.  The spot is a relatively mellow reef, covered with sea grass.  There’s holes and cracks complete with urchins here and there, but it’s mostly a flat reef with.  Total beginner spot but gets really heavy with swell.

serangan-island.blogspot.com
serangan-island.blogspot.com

I’d surfed there quite a few times before this particular session.  Familiar with the reef, the channels, and how the wave broke for the most part.  After a couple hours of equal parts beatings and fun waves i noticed something big out of the corner of my eye.  A few feet away of where i’d just come off a wave, a huge mass of something clearly alive surfaced for a few seconds before going back under.  It was a reddish brown in color and was nothing i’d ever seen up until that point.  No other distinguishing features…no fins, eyes, mouth, etc.  Just a huge mass of something about 4 feet wide and twice as long.  All of this processed in my brain along with “holy fuck” and a retreat paddle in a fraction of a second.  I ended up paddling way down beach and then in.

Ended up being a Dugong.  Prior to that day i’d never even heard of these things.  They are huge–like a manatee but like twice the size.  They eat sea grass which Serangan is loaded with.  Here’s a few pics:

dugong3 Exif_JPEG_PICTURE dugong2 dugong4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dugong

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