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.
I could be posting about the Hairy Octopus, billions of Blue Rings, Wonderpus, Bumblebee Shrimps, Harlequins, Ambon Scorpion Fish, Hairy & Green Shrimps etc, but im too busy to go out taking pictures and im so out of practice it will be embarrassing to compare them to Bent‘s Pictures.
In the mean time, Paulus and Joni were able to go out yesterday afternoon and try getting to grips with some different cameras. They were using a Canon 7D in a Nauticam, a Canon S95 in a Canon Housing, and a Canon 5Dmk3 in an Aquatica. We headed out on the housereef and within a few minutes they found a mantis with eggs in about 3 m. So after a while i signaled to them that i would go to the wreck and leave these two highly experienced guides to finish off with the Mantis and then meet up with me at the wrecks.
I happily started taking some snoot pictures at the wreck and got so engrossed I lost track of time, about 30 minutes passed and they still hadn’t arrived. It turns out the two muppets were playing around with the camera so much they had lost their reference points and swum in the wrong direction (about 200m away!). So for anyone that has got lost during a self guided housereef dive at NAD, you don’t need to feel bad, some of the best guides in Lembeh also get lost when distracted with taking pictures!
Eventually when we met up again, they made some attempts at Lembeh Sea Dragon Shots. Next time they are only going to be allowed to shoot some of the easier things, the hit rate of good shots was a little low.
One thing that I found interesting was that both of them only took about 30 pictures between them, if it wasn’t going to be a good shot they didn’t even bother to pull the trigger. Many people only shot like that when they had film in their camera. They also wanted to to the new ‘Shoot 5’ rule that we have been using for the last month, shoot 5 pictures nice and slowly then let someone else get 5 whilst you review. It makes your pictures a lot better in the end as you are forced to check and avoid silly errors, and stops too much unnecessary flashing of the critters.
Soon the other guides will be finished with their guests and it will be their turn to start the learning process!
We’ve got lots of Critters around the Lembeh strait at the moment, but Blue Rings are still present in good numbers, and to be honest they are one of my favourites. I went on and afternoon and night dive to try a new camera, and he also came back with some video too. Here you go:
During the dive I saw a few other things as well, but as a good lesson to all you photographers out there, keep your gear organised and take care of it after your last use! There were a few technical difficulties with my strobes so not so many photos 😉
I was diving with Johan, who is back with us again after we found him working in a textile shop of all places (shouldn’t have left to another operator at the start of the year, silly boy!). Stenley is private guiding, as is Paulus. and then Joni, Indra, Abner and Marnes are also busy. We have a new guy Steven, more on him later.
On the night dive i was struggling with my new setup so stayed out of the way on the Sand (ie i was pretty much lost). Johan found some harlequins that Joni had found earlier in the day and also a Bumblebee shrimp which im pretty upset to miss!
Hopefully i’ll be in the water again soon, until then!
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.