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Dive Review of AquaOne in
Indonesia/Lembeh Straights

AquaOne, Jul, 2005,

by linda rutherford, ca, usa (Contributor Contributor 17 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 1881.

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

Weather rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 17 to 65 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 divemasters.

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 vest.

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 Resort.

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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