Superb diving and unexpected surprises

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , North Sulawesi,
Sunday, October 3, 2010


Day : 143
Temperature : 33 degrees
Weather : Sunny

Diving in Asia, and particular in Lembeh has been great for several reasons. The first is that it is completely unlike any diving we have done before and there are so many wonderfully strange creatures to see. The second reason is that you are soooo pampered and can be completely lazy in every way.  In Europe, you are responsible for gathering your equipment, lugging it to the boat and assembling it. After diving you have to disassemble your kit, remove it from the boat, rinse it out and clean everything separately, hang your wetwuit and booties up to dry, and put everything else into your kit box and store it away until the following day. It's hard work people! And only then do you finally get to drag yourself up to your room for a fresh shower and change. In Asia, you choose your equipment the previous day and the staff put it into your kit box for you. On the day that you dive, you turn up to the dive boat at the appropriate time. Not only is all of your equipment already on the boat, but it is also assembled and ready for you to put on when you arrive at the dive site! After each dive you are given your soft, fluffy towel and served up hot tea and biscuits and fresh fruit. When you arrive back at the resort, you simply walk off the boat with your dive computer and the staff remove your equipment, rinse it, clean it, hang everything up to dry and put it away until the next day. Meanwhile you have had your shower and are now half way through lunch or dinner! What a luxury!

On our second day of muck diviing was just as fascinating as the first, only I had changed some of my equipment which meant my buoyancy was much improved and I wasn't having any belly up moments. There were no more snake incidents, and we saw the beautiful "flamboyant cuttlefish", an "electric clam",  "sea moth" as well as several octopus, jellyfish and other strange animals. The down side was that we now feel completely inadequate when it comes to taking underwater photographs and Kevin is now set on buying a strobe when we get to Singapore! We had a real dilema about whether to stay for longer but we decided to leave the following day since diving in Lembeh was expensive, and we also wanted to do a couple of dives in Bunaken. So it was with mixed feelings that we left Lembeh, hoping that we hadn't made a mistake in leaving too early and also excited about our forthcoming dives in Bunaken.

We weren't looking forward to the journey back to Manado and the ferry ride to Bunaken. We informed our hotel we would be checking out the following morning and the receptionist asked what time we would like the car to arrive in Bitung to take us what car?? It turns out that we were provided with free transport to the ferry terminal at Manado because we had stayed three nights and been diving....this small piece of news actually made our day! 

About 10 minutes before arriving at the ferry terminal in our "private car" we retrieved our lonely planet book from our bag in order to check the ferry prices. We then had a brief but interesting conversation which went something like this...

Kevin : " did you know that there are no ferry services between Manado and Bunaken on Sundays?"

Dom : " no...." , pause, "what day is it today?"

Kevin : " Sunday"

Dom and Kevin : " BLEEEEP!! "

Great planning huh?! We had now resigned ourselves to the fact that we would most probably get to Bunaken on a local fishing boat, but it would cost us dearly. We arrived at the terminal and were busy removing our bags from the car when I heard Kevin greeting somebody with an excited "Hello!!!! I can't believe you are here!!". I looked up to find Eric and Ramona (who we had met in Ampana and travelled to the Togeans with) also waiting at the ferry terminal. What a coincidence. They were just about to get on a boat to Bunaken so we joined them on this boat, sharing travelling experiences and catching up on all their news. And so we headed over to Bunaken, excited about our diving and looking forward to the next few days with friends.
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Michel Salomonsz on

interesting ;)

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