Trip report to Sulawesi and Singapore - part 2 (splitting them as otherwise it is a nightmare to load the pages)
Diving in Lembeh
Let me first tell you a few things about diving
there. In a lot of places it is so called 'muck-diving'. Meaning that you have
black sand (lots of volcanoes around) and it is amazing what you can find in
there. Other dive-sites are with beautiful coral and so there is some diversity.
Some dive sites are more interesting others less... (like everywhere).
Visibility is not always good so it is a good idea to stick close to the guide
or at least know in which direction he disappeared so you can find him back. It
happened a few times that I lost Sem and didn't know where he had gone. So I
just stayed where I was.
When diving in Lembeh it is a good idea to have a stick. Using this with responsibility it is a good way not to harm the reef and yourself. A lot of what you might think are rocks are no rocks... With the stick you can find out if things move which is a sign that they are no rocks. But it helps as well to keep you steady when taking a pic and you can bang at your tank with it when you found something interesting and want everyone else to see it.
Another thing you have to be careful about is that you don't touch creatures that you might find cute. A lot of this stuff is rather poisonous... And my personal experience is as well that I never dive in a shorty as there is a lot of stuff swimming in the water that stings. My hands looked bruised for a couple of days and I didn't want that on the rest of my body as well.
For diving in Lembeh there are certain rules (that all resorts have to obey!): not more than 15 divers per dive-site (LOVE that rule!!!) and no more than 4 divers in a group. Since the dive sites are close to each other it is easy to go to another one in case there are already too many divers down. Two Fish divers have a rule that limit dives to a max. of 75 minutes (if you have enough air of course ) but this is not a general rule.
So let's get into details... I have lots of more pics and will upload more later on to my website as a diashow. For now I will show you these so you get an impression of how diving is there and what strange or tiny creatures you (or your guide ) can find.
I marked two things on this pic. The lower arrow points to a Lembeh sea Dragon, a pygmy that exists only there. You see how tiny it is. When checking the pics afterwards I suddenly thought 'What is that EYE doing there?' and only then did I see that above the sea dragon there was a scorpionfish. Example of how well these creatures can hide.
Sea moth (I think...)
Here you can see why lionfish are sometimes called firefish as well...
A dragonet (like the expression of her face *hehe*)
This is the famous mimic octopus. He can imitate flounders, sea snakes, lionfish and I think turtles (but not sure about the turtle). He can change colours as well as shape.
The fire urchins often hitch a ride on crabs. Poor carbs run around desperately to get rid of their riders but the urchins are very firm in the saddle *jeeehhhaaaawwww*
Don't ask me what that is I have no idea...
Rita, that one is for you. Thought about you a lot as there were lots and lots of porcupine fish. And they looked like the one in the aquarium in New Orleans...
These guys were dacing around in most of the dive sites.
A rhinopias. Beautiful, isn't it?
Believe it or not but at least the brighter part of this 'anemone' is a nudibranch. Since the other one looks similar it might be a nudi as well.
It is always a good idea to check the sea cucumbers as often colourful shrimps are hiding below.
This is one of the most beautiful frogfish that I have seen. It is a giant one (about the size of a soccer ball).
And this is everybody's darling: the hairy frogfish. Whenever new divers arrived at the resort they wanted to go and see the hairy frogfish..
Pgymy shortpouch seahorse (not sure I got the name right have to look it up). I was rather proud of myself that I found two of them myself.
Okay: you work! Where is the fish?
Order that lobster in a restaurant and you get home hungry...
Didn't make the tiger shrimp bigger so you get an idea how small it actually was..
I think that this is an indian walkman
This is not a jellyfish but a nudibranch
Orang utan crab
In bubble corals it is always good to check for shrimps
Just a general impression. Clownfish are something like everybody's darling but I learned to keep away from them. The big black ones were very aggressive and did attack us. My camera saved me once but someone else got bitten in the finger although we really didn't do anything.
I believe I can fly... *sing*
How many bumblebee shrimp do you see? I see 3.
This is a shrimp (sawblade shrimp or something like that).
Isn't that little red nudi a cutie?
And another cutie..
Love the skeleton shrimp and was proud that I found them myself.
When I first saw the flamboyant cuttlefish we came out of the water and everyone else talked about it. I said that I hadn't seen it and the answer was 'But you took pictures of it!!!!' When I realized which had been the flmaboyant cuttlefish I was surprised because it was so small that I had thought it was a nudibranch. This pic has been taken with a macro lense so don't let appearances deceive you. That cuttlefish was about only 3-4 cm long... (and it is poisonous!)
Star fish (it was one of the biggest I have ever seen)
This is not the mimic octopus but the wonderpus
Transparent shrimp everywhere
This is the famous sea snake. Sea snakes are very poisonous so I always keep my distance from them. During this dive though the snake was behind me and obviously fell in love with my yellow fins. Fortunately another group of divers were behind me and Handry used his stick to keep the snake away from my fins. Then he banged his tank so I turned around and realized what was going on... would have been funny if these snakes wouldn't be so poisonous...
Not sure what she was doing but looks like dancing to me.
This is one of my favourite pics. Aren't they cute?
Is it raining yet?
This one again deceived me. When I took the pic I thought that this was a flatworm. Only on the pic I saw the eyes and realized that this was a flounder. There were lots and lots of flounders but I never saw such a small one and not of that colour either.
I LOVE frogfish...
The next two pics have been made within 12 seconds. It is another one of the poisonous, tiny creatures in Lembeh: the blue ring octopus. The blue rings appear only when he feels threatened. I have a third pic another 4 seconds later where the rings have disappeared again.
And this is the famous Lembeh seadragon. When I first heard the name I expected something much bigger. The difference to a pygmy seahorse is that the seadragon has a much longer tail and he has antennae on his back.
No clue what species this is but it does look like something coming from a nightmare.
There is a lot of garbage in the water but I heard that it is clean now compared to a couple of years ago.
Two frogfish. The green one looks like a witch with his one tooth. Heard that the giant one eats smaller frogfish so I hope the green one survived...
Another beautie (small again)
And I love that one. Not sure whether this is a flatworm or a nudi but probably a worm.
A few more Lembeh Strait pictures from the surface
time between dives before we leave Lembeh and go over to the Sulawesi mainland.
Helen from Two Fish Divers (before she got sick the next day - not so nice for her).
I had thought that the boats had sunk but the boys told as that they stay at the resort in turns to put the boats deeper in the water during the night (depending on the tides). Otherwise there might not be any diving the next morning.
Someone told me that those are liveaboard-dive boats.
Coming up from the mandarin-dive.
... continue to Minahasa