So here it is: My second Introduction Post on the NAD Lembeh Blog.
My Name is Serge and after having written the updates here for one year as the Dive Manager i am now back for a 1 month visit and will use my time to keep you updated on what’s going on at NAD Lembeh – on land and of course underwater!
First of all i want to say something about the resort itself: It is amzing how many improvements Simon, Zee and the team have made! New entrances to the Beachfront Rooms, a entirely new Restaurant with a second floor Bar/Lounge area, a new kitchen, improved compressor facilities with a Nitrox membrane (my favourite!) and new boats and engines. I can’t imagine how they did all this in only 6 months, but they did it 😉
And second: I am also suprised by the good diving. There are many Frogfish around, good Blue Ring Octopus action (with sightings basicly every day), some fantastic Nudibranches, crazy Shrimps and tons of other cool critters. I had my third dive day today and i already can’t remember what i have already seen. And with the fantastic team of Dive Guides (Paulus, Joni, Stenly, Johan, Indra, Abner, Marnez and Steven) i am sure i will have a great time.
NAD Lembeh Resort and Diving Manager Serge got mentioned in a recent Article by Brooke Morton in Scuba Diving Magazine. In the March/April Issue 2012 there is an article about Octopuses and we are represented in the portion about the mimic octopus. Thank you very much for this article Suba Diving Magazine … and of course we are also “experts” in finding all the other famous critters of Lembeh Strait. Come here and see for yourself!
Since we found the first specimen of the green Phycocaris Species 5 months passed already and we are finding them since then constantly. After all we still don’t know if it is a new species or if it is just a variation of Phycocaris simulans (also known as the “Hairy Shrimp”) but we are at least getting better in finding them. We started to spot them on several dive sites already. But the best day was yesterday: I found one in the morning in the northern part of the Lembeh Strait and Aso found one in the afternoon in the middle of the Lembeh Strait. That makes 2 different individuals on a single day (we are assuming, that the shrimp did not make several kilometers during lunchtime). And even though it is so tiny (clearly smaller than a grain of rice) our guest keep loving it. So come to NAD Lembeh and check out the little green Shrimp!
Before we get busy in early march we started yesterday to service all of our tanks. We opened 60 of them, cleaned them, soaked them, re-cleaned them and visually inspected them. We also disassebled all parts of the tank valves, replaced O-Rings and Washers and put them back together. Until the end of the week we will do the other half of the tanks. Involved in this project are all compressor staff, diveguides and also Simon and Serge. In the picture you can see our guides Indra and Joni cleaning tanks, our compressor man Rustam opening valves and Simon keeping track of the serial numbers and replacements done. Besides this “big service” we also service our tanks a monthly basis in smaller lots – 20 tanks at a time. At Nad Lembeh we have aluminium INT and DIN tanks available in two sizes: 80 cubic feet and 100 cubic feet.
On yesterdays morning dives we wanted to go to Batu Sandar 2 (or “Rojos”) but there were already 3 boats on site (2 directly on the dive site and one boat just jumping next to the dive site). So we decided to try something new and avoid the crowds. We kept going until we reached a little beach in between Batu Sandar 2 and the next village … and jumped in. It turned out to be a very good decision: Not only had the dive site an attractive mix of corals, rubble and sand – there were also lots of critters around. Directly after decending i found a little hairy type of octopus which was the first highlight of the dive. Then we had nudibranch galore – with one cool species after another, xenia coral shirmp, nice crab species and even a mimic octopus in the deeper, sandy part of the dive site. So even though we did not get to go where we planned we still had a fantastic dive with lots of critters and even more privacy: Our 4 guests had the dive site for themselfs with 3 Spotters – Paulus, Joni and Serge. The picture shows a tiny Cryptic Phyllodensium nudibranch on a little ascidian. We will go back there soon and we are also already thinking about a name.
Today our guest Michael from Hong Kong has finished his Open Water Course with Serge and is now a proud and newly certified diver. And he is a very lucky Open Water Diver as well: On his last dive today Serge found him an extremely rare “Hairy Octopus”. Serge was very excited and started to call everyone over – so Michael kind of realized that this must be something special. But he also liked the Frogfish, Crocodilefishes, Scorpionfishes … basicly any fish. The only thing he did not really get friend with were the Pygmy Seahorses – he could not make out what Serge was pointing at 😉
Since the beginning of October 2011 Serge is the new Manager at NAD Lembeh. He is here to support Simon in the resort and responsible for the Diving Operation. He has been in Lembeh already for a while and is also a UW Photographer with a passion for Critters. He is actively joining the dives and making sure everyone is having a good time on NAD dive boats … or maybe he just joins the dives for the nice cakes we have during surface intervals. Check here for more info.