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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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NAD-Lembeh Resort, Indonesia

great critters, great people, great prices

from the July, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

When going to the ends of the dive world -- and Indonesia is -- I make sure Itravel to the best dive facility with the best guides. Having visited Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat on extended prior trips, I would start this trip in Lembeh (pronounced "Lem-bay"), about a 90-minute drive from the Manado airport, followed by a short boat ride. I was in search of muck diving and Lembeh, with a well-protected, narrow channel between it and the mainland, has world-renowned critter diving. It would take me 43 real hours to get there and almost two kilobucks in airfare, so I researched the 13 dive resorts in the Lembeh Straits and finally selected NAD-Lembeh Resort, priced at $150 a night, including diving.

One of NAD-Lembeh Resort's Dive BoatsI arrived late afternoon and hadn't even unpacked when I was asked by other guests to join a night dive -- some had just arrived from 30-plus hour trips, so why not? Stenley, the "top" guide (whom I requested in advance), helped me get my equipment ready. After a five-minute ride on the fast wooden skiff, we reached the AER Parang I dive site. I backrolled into 82-degree water and descended with Stenley. Within 60 seconds, I was staring at a coconut octopus. Then Stenley pointed out a bobtail squid. Then a bright red reef octopus. Then a six-inch umbrella shell nudibranch. And a juvenile scorpionfish, a cluster of squid eggs inside a coconut shell, a small frogfish waiving its bait. And so it continued. Whenever I looked up from my current critter, Stenley had another waiting: a small yellow frogfish, two flounders playing (mating?) in the sand, a foot-long, free-swimming banded pipefish, a seemingly unafraid golden jawfish, a crocodile flathead, and shrimp everywhere. For the entire 70-minute dive, I never waited more than a minute to discover or be directed to something unique. Then, an easy climb up the sturdy ladder, and I was met with a dry towel and hot tea and snacks....

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