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Dive Review of NAD Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Straits

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Vivian Weber-Pagel, WI, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6575
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Tulamben, Bali
Raja Ampat Region, Indonesia
Ambon, Indonesia
Cayos Cochinos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
This is muck diving/critter hunting at its best. Each guest group has its
own dive guide, so specifics can be worked out with him.  Dives were
generally 75 minutes in length.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
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  
A dry camera room was available to photographers.  Camera gear could be
safely stored and set-up in this area.  Ample lighting, electrical outlets,
and camera towels were available.  Fresh water rinse tanks were available
on the boats and camera-specific rinse tanks were available on shore.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
NAD - NOMADIC ADVENTURE DIVERS.  Could it live up to its name?  Well,
Folks, let me say this right up front.   This report will provide you with
almost no negatives to consider.  Our two-week stay at the NAD Lembeh
Resort could not have been more wonderful.  So, where to begin?  Let's
start with that very first impression that one gets upon arrival.

After long and arduous days of travel ......
	Plover to Madison, Wisconsin, USA
	Madison to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
	Minneapolis to San Francisco, USA
	San Francisco to Jakarta, Bali
	Jakarta to Taipei, Taiwan
	Taipei to Manado, Indonesia
.......we arrived in Manado where we were met by NAD Resort staff at Bitung
Harbor. After a short, beautiful boat ride from the Harbor we arrived at
the Resort, nestled between two hills inside a tranquil bay.  It is a sight
like this that breathes new life into weary travelers.  
We were treated to a cool drink as Serge, Manager of Dive Operations,
provided an overview of the resort layout, schedule, dive op, meal routine,
and checked dive certifications.  We then retreated to our air-conditioned
rooms where our bags awaited us.  
We explored the grounds before dinner and were delighted to find all kinds
of nooks and crannies where one could find a comfortable place to be in
solitude or to mingle with other guests and staff.  
The dry, Camera Room  provided ample space and electrical outlets, high
work tables, and towels where one could set up and store camera equipment. 
Similarly, the computer room was lined with high tables, stools, two
computers, outlets for personal computers, a resource library, and lounge
Next on the agenda - dinner.  The dining room is open air with a long table
capable of seating all guests.  What a wonderful opportunity to meet the
neighbors and share stories of the day's diving.  A menu announced the
specialties available for us at each meal, and food was served buffet
style.  Each meal was a delicious adventure of flavor and color and
cuisine.  The quantity and variety satisfactory to even the pickiest
So with all of our physical needs met to great satisfaction, let's talk
about what we're all here for -- the diving!  Lembeh Island is known for
its muck diving and vast array of critters.  So, here is the one
shortcoming that might be perceived by some.  You will generally not be
diving colorful reefs, and you will not likely be encountering large
pelagics. In Lembeh, you dive the ocean bottom, and you meet the small and
smaller ocean critters.  It is a macro photographer's dream -- and I didn't
wake up for two, glorious weeks!
Boarding our dive boat, Stargazer, we enter a covered area with cubbies for
personal belongings and baskets under the seats for our dive gear.  Camera
rinse tanks are nearby.  Each diver has a personal gear basket which is
toted to and from the boat by the dive staff.  Following each dive day,
gear is rinsed and hung/placed carefully for drying.  Boat towels are
marked with your room number; fresh water, tea, coffee, fruit or pastries
are available.   As you pass through this covered area, there is open deck
space, a tank and gear-up station, and an area where the staff assembles
and prepares to meet your every dive need.  
At the dive site one of the guides offers a thorough dive briefing which is
accompanied by a site map. Dives are generally 75 minutes in length,
followed by a full hour surface interval. There are two morning dives and
an afternoon dive.  Night dives and shore dives are also options.  Each
group has its own dive guide, and we fell in love with our Joni.  Always a
bright smile and witty comment, Joni had the eye of an eagle.  I swear he
could spot a 1/2-inch critter 3 meters away!  I sometimes could not keep up
with his spotting.  Still photographing one incredible creature, he was off
finding another.  He also took great joy in helping me to finesse my strobe
when I was struggling with lighting. Free instruction - you can't beat
that.  The visibility was generally good, and there were no significant
currents.  After a week of incredible dives and sightings, I figured that
we had seen it all.  But each day brought yet another new critter.  It was
so amazing that I have to share the list with you.
  Orange Frogfish
  Napoleon Shrimp
  Humpback Scorpionfish
  Bangkai Cardinalfish
  Robust Ghost Pipefish
  Foot-long Pipehorse
  Porcelain Crabs
  Variety of Cleaner Shrimp
  Harlequin Shrimp Pair
  Bubble Coral
  White Devil Scorpionfish
  Cardinal Fish at Mouth of Anemone
  Grey Shaggy Frogfish
  Red-Lined Sea Cucumber
  Starfish Shrimp and Shell
  One-Inch Serpia Cuttlefish
  Wonderpus Octopi
  Red-Banded, Purple Bodied Shrimp
  Black-Banded Sea Snake
  Box Crab
  Map Puffer
  Tiger Shrimp
  Spotted Sweetlips
  Varieties of Lionfish
  Lemon Goby Pair
  Spinecheek Anemonefish
  Black-Saddle Snake Eel Eating Fish
  Black-and-White Mantis Shrimp
  Lembeh Sea Dragons Entwined
  Mating Nudibranchs
  Burrowing Stargazer
  Bubble Decorator Crab
  Skeleton Shrimp with Eggs
  Leechhead Slug
  Coconut Octopus that tires of us, gathers two shell halves, sits on one,
and pulls the other over its head!
  Crab wearing Upside-Down-Jellyfish
  Mantis Shrimp Charging Camera!
  Map Puffer with Eggs
  Siagiani Hairy Squat Lobster
  Fibriated Moray
Long Nose Shrimp
Hairy Shrimp
Pygmy Cuttlefish 'Zapping' Food
Rolls of Nudibranch Eggs
Upside-Down Jellyfish

Three Blue-Ring Octopi
Giant Yellow Frogfish
Skunk Clownfish
Network Pipefish
Crown of Thorns Starfish
Mantis Shrimp With Eggs
Coconut Octopus
Ghost Pipefish
Hairy Cowry
A Rainbow of Tunicates
Whip Coral Shrimp
Basket Star
Slender Filefish
Black-Finned Snake Eel
Ribbon Eel
Warty Frogfish
Sea Cucumber Crab
Feather Stars Feeding
Orangutan Crabs
Golden Cuttlefish
Anemone Crabs
Galletea Elegans Squat Lobster
Big Eye Soldierfish
Fang Blennies in Bottles
Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse Pair
Reticulated Starfish
Snapper Juvenile
Hairy Frogfish
Helgarda Okinawa Nudi
Halimeda Crabs
Flabellina Nudibranch
Convention of Nudibranch
Fingertip Dragonet
Red Night Shrimp
Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Whip Coral Shrimp
Cockatoo Waspfish
Snowflake Eel
Pygmy Dragonet
Ghost Pipefish with Eggs
Flame Helmet Snail
Coleman's Pygmy Seahorse
Harlequin Snake Eel
Juvenile Flying Gurnard
Trailing Nudibranchs
School of Striped Catfish
Crocodile Flathead
Mandarinfish Mating
Juvenile Golden Cuttlefish	
Mimic Octopus Swimming 
Mimic Octopus in Flounder Posture
One-Inch, White Painted Frogfish
Walking Crinoids
Napoleon Snake Eel
Moorish Idols
Clark Anemonefish
Tube Anemone
Big Eye Goby
Sand Perch
Red Cushion Starfish
Feather Pen
Tomato Anemonefish
Juvenile Ribbon Eel
Stargazer with Lure Out
Yellow Shaggy Frogfish
Rare, White Halimeda Pipefish
Cardinalfish at Mouth of Anemone
Decorator Crab With Fire Urchin Atop
Friendly, Large Cuttlefish
Tigertail Sue Cuke With Shrimp Pair
Ornate Ghost Pipefish Pair
Golden Puffer
Black-Spotted Puffer
Sweetlips Juvenile
Orange Scorpionfish
Banded Pipefish With Eggs
Yellow Crinoid Shrimp
Tiger Shrimp Pair

Halgerda batangas
Halgerda okinawa
Chromodoris Rudiani
And more, too numerous to mention

And this, my Friends, is a list of only those creatures that I took photos
of and can identify or describe!  Just another glorious day in paradise. 
But I can't end this report without introducing you to the leadership team
that makes NAD-Lembeh so very special.
You've met Serge, Manager of Dive Operations and delightfully sassy,
Jack-of-All-Trades.  Then there's always-smiling and efficient Linda,
Office Manager.  And the heart of the resort - Owner/Operators, Simon and
Zee.  I was so impressed with how this young couple manages and operates
NAD.  Everything runs like a well-oiled machine. The Resort is well
designed and well cared for, and they have never-ending ideas for
additions, improvements and upgrades.  They are available to each guest and
respond quickly to any need or request.  The relationship between Simon,
Zee, their Managers and other staff seems based on a sense of family and
mutual respect.  They are engaged with guests and work side-by-side with
staff whether the project be preparing for dinner, building a new dock, or
planting new flora.  Perhaps this next observation best depicts who they
are as people and managers:  NAD-Resort hires two shifts of kitchen staff
so that their employees 
can work reasonable hours and attend to their families as well as their
careers!  You don't see this type of consideration often; and as a workers'
rights activist, that warmed my heart and demonstrated who Simon and Zee
are.  The other heart-warmer is daughter, Bella, just eight months old at
the time of our visit and the apple of everyone's eye.  Thanks to each of
you for an outstanding trip.  I can't wait to 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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