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Dive Review of AquaOne in
Indonesia/Lembeh Straights

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by linda rutherford, ca, usa
Contributor   (16 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 1881
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Yap, Truk, Fiji, Caymans, Hondorus, Bonaire, Belize, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
17   to 65    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Top deck behind upper lounge is used by photographers to clean, repair and
to store cameras as well as extra luggage devoted to cameras. CD burner
available. TV and lounge upstairs available for video viewing.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Schedule was four dives a day. 8 am, 11 am, 2:30 and 6 pm. We tried to fit
in 5 dives a day, but with shallow, long dives (sometimes, 70 minutes to 80
minutes) we decided not to rush around to do more. Everyone was satisfied.
We were divided into two groups of seven divers, each group with two

In August, I wore a 2.5 mil suit, a hood and a 3 mil neopreme vest. But I
am a female that tends to chill easily. Most people wore hoods, but not the

Most of the muck diving was in Lembeh Straights, and most of the coral was
out at Bangka island. My favorite dives were at Bangka island, California
Dreaming, Pulau Putus, Angel's Window, and Nudi Falls.

The food on the entire trip was tasty and very enjoyable. The special hot
snacks and appetizers after the afternoon dives were gratefully devoured.
The kitchen is a tiny affair with only two people. The main cook is a
humble Chinese man who turns out a great variety. 

The boat crew is outstanding. They assist passengers totally as they get
off the mother-ship into the inflatables. The rides in the inflatables are
very short, 2 to 5 minutes, but are used to get precisely to the dive site
and for individual pick up after dive. 

Saw lots of creatures that I did not know existed. I had never seen fish
"walk" before, or seen frogfish "swim." I loved the
numerous scorpionfish and devilfish that were disguised as coral.

I wish I had known in advance just how small many of these rare sea
creature really are. If so, I would have bought my husband a super-duper
macro lens. A 4x or more would have helped.

I don't have a camera, but it did seem a bit absurd to see 7 divers
attempting to simultaneously see, photograph, AND video, something smaller
than the size of my baby finger nail. And the pymgy seahorse is smaller
than that. They appeared to be 1/4 by 3/8 inch to me...but maybe I was
seeing babies. I was shown about 6 pymgy seahores by the guides.

After the liveaboard, we stayed at Lembeh Resort which is also a very good
option and which has great facilities for camera work. Several of the
guests there were staying for two-week intervals.  We also stayed at the
very nice Santika Hotel in Manado, diving the Bunaken reef. The Thalassa
dive operation at Santika was ok but not as good as AquaOne or Lembeh

After the low vis of Lembeh Straights, I was shocked to see the perfectly
clear water of Bunaken of over 125 foot vis. Thalassa takes guest to sites
which are mostly wall dives in current, so photography is more difficult.
Perhaps other dives could be made by special request. 

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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