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Dive Review of Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Island, North Sulawesi

Lembeh Resort, Sep, 2006,

by James Jenkins, CA, United States . Report 3085.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, California, Cocos, Galapagos, Hawaii, Fiji, Truk, Palau, Solomons, PNG, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 75 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No gloves. Lembeh provides a guide for each group of up to four divers. While you dont have to stay right with the guide, youll want to as they are expert at finding stuff and know where the permanent residents are!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments There is a huge camera room next to the dive lockers. I dont think it would have been crowded if two-thirds of the guests had cameras. 220 and 110 volts are available; clean towels are supplied. There are computers with USB ports and CD writers.

On the boats there was a large shelf area for cameras again, enough room for 6 or more outfits for 8 divers.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was one of our best diving trips, land or liveaboard! Perhaps, like Stan Waterman, we are getting older and enjoying the macro stuff more and this location and resort delivered.

We had been hearing about Indonesia and Lembeh Straight in particular for years. KBR and Lembeh Resort were getting rave reviews for critter diving so we finally had to try it and are we glad we did! BTW, there is coral and wall diving further north up the straight worth the trip if you need a change from black sand.

Imagine Dinas Beach (Milne Bay, PNG) on steroids with a guide to show you critter after critter. Heres a partial list from just my first day (3 dives): electric scallop, winged pipefish, Pegasus sea moth, xeno crab, cockatoo wasp fish, leaf scorpion fish, mantis shrimp, Randalls goby, various cardinal fish, razor fish, dragonets, flying gurnards, painted frog fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, blue ribbon eels in all phases (black, blue, yellow), rhinopius (one pink, one green), two giant frog fish, coconut octopus, false stone fish, tons of nudibranchs, lion fish, and scorpion fish. (Dont expect large fish, sharks, or rays.)

There is a dusk dive on the house reef that delivers mandarin fish and also a decent night dive. Night dives are offered every night with a minimum of two divers. All were good to excellent -- some highlights: Bobbitt worms, coconut octopus out hunting, cuttle fish, free-swimming snake eel, pluerobranchs, hairy frog fish, devil scorpion fish, stargazers. Ask for Nudi Falls.

Generally, the water was calm but we had strong (20 25 knot) winds which created chop and also added to heat loss traveling to and from dive sites (given wet wetsuits). Visibility ranged from 25 to 50 on most muck sites and improved to 80+ on the sites further north up the straight.

The diving is not challenging and currents, when present, are mild. Beginners (50 100 dives) can do these dives, but should work hard on buoyancy before going and learn to keep legs up and bent when kicking near the bottom. I.e., while a beginner can do most of the dives, he is likely to ruin much of the diving for other guests by stirring up the bottom, etc.

All diving is from large boats which generally took up to 8 divers (two groups of 4 with guides). Entry is via a back roll and return is up a ladder; they will hoist your weights and tank if you wish.

Water temperatures ranged from 75° to 79° F and there were some thermoclines and currents with even colder water. (My only complaint for the whole experience was that I was not prepared for the cold.) Keep in mind that you will not be very active on most dives and take the proper rubber!

The resort is beautifully laid out. The dining room has views of the straight and jungle. There is a small media room with two computers with Internet access. The older rooms are a comfortable walk and climb from the main area; the new accommodations have great views and breezes but are quite a hike! (While we returned to our room several times a day, we did take dry bathing suits down to avoid the hike between morning dives.)

Many of us used the pool for a rinse and sunning between dives. There are padded chaise lounges and beach towels.

We principally dove with Ronald. He was terrific! On occasion we dove with other guides and they were all attentive, great at spotting critters, and very helpful. Everything from transfers from/to the airport in Manado to room cleanliness was as good as any resort weve been to.

We'll definitely return.

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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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