North Sulawesi, Indonesia
The following images were taken on a trip to Murex Manado, Lembeh Resort and Bangka Resort in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. For ten nights Randy and I were part of a group from DigitalDiver.net, a really fun group of people that we enjoyed diving and spending time with. Unfortunately, I caught a cold on the way to Indonesia and had to sit out the second day of diving at Murex and the first two dives at Lembeh Resort. The diving I did do while at Murex was really good with a couple of turtles seen at Bunaken Marine Park, nice soft corals, and pretty walls. I really enjoy the relaxed feel of Murex Resort and enjoyed the new infinity pool. The resort arranged for some entertainment our final night there with a local band coming to play and sing for us. Some of our group joined right in singing until early hours of the morning. And the next day we were off to Lembeh Resort!
Lembeh Strait Diving
We jumped into our first day of diving at Lembeh with both feet, doing four dives (including the Mandarin Fish evening dive). I saw, and photographed, my first Rinopias! The purple/pink one that I specifically had asked the dive guides to find for me. The critters at Lembeh continue to amaze me. All sorts of weird little crabs and shrimp, ugly fish that walk instead of swim, and some of the most beautiful nudibranchs I’ve ever seen! After each dive we would head for the pool to hang out until time to suit up for the next dive. There was always a morning snack in the restaurant and sometimes the staff would bring it down to the pool for us. Talk about being spoiled! The camera room at Lembeh is well laid out with divided work spaces and plenty of power outlets (110 and 220v). The food in the restaurant was really great and one night at dinner time we were serenaded with traditional singing by middle school children from the local village. They were really great!
Then, after nine wonderful days of diving Lembeh we were off to Bangka Island to stay at the Bangka Bungalows. The first dive was in the afternoon shortly after we arrived, and dive guide Opo took us to a muck dive where we photographed a “giant” Pygmy Seahorse. It was indeed the biggest (fatest) Pygmy Seahorse I have ever seen. After that we switched to wide angle, diving along walls covered with bright soft and hard corals, with huge schools of fish, and at one dive site the largest barrel sponge I have ever seen. I also got a glimpse of a white-tip shark and we saw a school of huge bumphead parrotfish. The resort is a beautiful place with a white sand beach and blue, blue water. The view from our verandah went across the water to the dormant volcano on the mainland which is usually shrouded in clouds. We wished that we had arranged to stay longer. If you’re in North Sulawesi I recommend staying at Bangka and diving this area.
Another great trip to Indonesia! North Sulawesi is definitely one of our favorite places to SCUBA dive and do underwater photography. I hope we can go back soon.
Enjoy our images.