Diving in Lembeh Straits, North Sulawesi, Indonesia


 img_0432What a long but happy day it’s been. The flight was at 6:10 am which meant leaving the house at 4:30 am to catch the flight to Sam Ratu Langi, North Sulawesi. This time there were 19 of us, some old friends from the  Komodo trip and others whom we hadn’t dived with. But as always, they were divers, a happy-go-lucky lot ready for adventure.img_0530

The hour-long drive down a small village road could be easily mistaken for somewhere in Malaysia, if it wasn’t for the numerous flags announcing candidates for the upcoming elections which is slated to be in April. The resort staff that accompanied us said there were no less than 50 candidates from 29 parties.

 img_0529We reached the resort after a short boat trip, had lunch, cleaned up and got ready for our first dive. The guys insisted I take my camera and underwater housing, so amid much ribbing about my new G10 (they’re just jealous!) I got the camera ready for it’s maiden dive.

Frog fish
Frog fish

The dive was just spectacular! We split from the main group to dive together as the four of us had cameras. It’s no fun for a non-camera wielding diver to dive with us, we take too long to get that perfect shot!

The dive site, Jahir, is a muck dive, black sand, loads of tiny critters and few fish, but heaven for macro photography. My new camera needs getting used to, the underwater casing is bulky but almost weightless in water. The 14.7 mega pixels promised by Canon delivered beautiful photos despite the novice camera woman behind the lens.

Stone fish
Stone fish

 We have 12 dives in all here. It’s easy diving as there’s hardly any current but good bouyancy control is a must or else the dive area would resemble a desert storm in no time! It helps that there are only four in our group, as there’s this unspoken understanding to take your photos then swim back to let the others get their shots, while you go looking for the next amazing ‘find’. It’s much like a treasure hunt in an underwater garden, looking for unusual flora and fauna to shoot. The problem is the fish refuse to pose and they are superb in subterfuge too!!! 

Nights are spent talking about the dive and Life in general, there’s television but no one’s interested. This resort actually has internet WiFi service which made my efforts to bring my laptop (don’t leave home without it!) totally worth the risk.

Tomorrow we do a wreck dive. It’s pretty deep but in good shape, by that I mean it’s not broken up, and settled on it’s side.

Taking photos underwater
Taking photos underwater

 That is a dive to look forward to! We plan to do 4 dives tomorrow. My doctor will be happy …. he said I need to work on my stamina during my stress test on Tuesday.

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