Archive for June, 2010

Escape into the “muck”

In year 2008, I took a trip from the clear blue waters in Bunaken to the very much talked about Lembeh Straits. According to my then housemate, “every single foot you move, there’ll be something moving”. I had a great trip back then and had been planning a return trip. So this was it.

Having had some good experiences with Two Fish Divers in the last trip, I decided to go with them again. A couple of email exchanges and the trip was fixed. Before I know it, I was back in that familiar port of Bitung and hopped onto the little boat that ferried me across the straits to the resort. The place had since changed abit, most noticeably the new restaurant/dining area, refurbished office areas plus some tidy landscaping. Nothing too posh nor fanciful about it, but that’s the way I like it, feels like home.

The underwater landscape of Lembeh straits is a little like Hongkong. Rustic, compact and you need a good local guide to seek out the “delicacies” you are looking for. The guides are unbelievably good at finding these well camouflaged creatures in the murky waters, at times, no bigger than a centimeter in length. We often joked that they must’ve had an aquarium somewhere and they’ll put the creatures in their pockets before the dives.

On the first day, I decided I should take the Nitrox course, so I could stay a little longer underwater without going into decompression when there’s a need to. It was a relatively straightforward 1 day course that was conducted by Helen, the resident dive instructor. This was also a good preparation for the coming dive in Malapascua in Philippines, where we might be staying a little longer and deeper to wait for the Thresher sharks.

The best part about traveling alone is you tend to mix with the other travelers instead of keeping to your own group. During my stay, people come and go, some heading to Bunaken, many others returning to Lembeh after spending a few days in Bunaken. Don’t get me wrong, Bunaken is beautiful, but once you get hooked on muck diving in Lembeh, it’s really hard to turn back. These guys completed my trip. We had fun discussing our diving experiences, photography down to which team is going to win the World Cup. The lovely staffs from the resort were extremely friendly too. Felt like I’ve never left home.

Here are some images from the trip:)

Click to view slideshow

part of your world (reprise)

As the bride rehearses the surprise song for the groom. It was beautiful.