Lembeh Sequel

Author: Tom Fadjar Chandra
Trip report on Diving Manado 2003

 

Day 8

Who said a sequel can't be better than the first one? My sequel dive at Nudi Retreat - Lembeh Strait proofed it. In the spirit of male chauvinism - keeping both of my eyes on our beloved mermaids :-), I joined the Lembeh Trip again. In my first trip, my negligence gave me a painful empty hand because my camera was run out of power.

We departed from Tasik Ria Resort at 7:30 a.m. by a full 16 person bus and arrived at the small fisherman village in Bitung at exactly the next two hours. Our boat has already been ready for us to rock n roll and our rock n roll master was Noldy, one of diligent dive masters in terms of finding interesting under sea creature.

Our first dive site on that day was Hair Ball (We are still wondering until now, why was the strange name given to that particular place). We plunged to 20 meters and saw what is equal with desert on the land��sand�.. sand�.. and sand. The maximum visibility, I presumed, was 5 meters. However, Noldy managed to spot various under sea creature such as scorpion fishes, leaf scorpion fish, sea horse, banded sea horse, file fishes, longhorn cow fishes, puffer, ambonese scorpion fish, flounder, cleaner shrimp, and last but not least anemone with its dutiful guard the clown fishes. "Take our picture, take our picture!" they screamed. "Yeah�.yeah�.yeah" was my boredom answer

After a rather dreary lunch, we prepared ourselves for the second - last dive in Lembeh. Nudi retreat is the site, which I was waiting for. 260C, the water was a bit chilling for some of us. Descending to 7 meters, I was welcomed by a flounder that stayed still posing for me. Well, you bet I did not forgo the opportunity. Then the clanking begun, Noldy was giving us all signal that he spotted a pygmy seahorse that dwells on a sea fan. I started pedaling to his direction when the corner of my eyesight spotted something crawling on the seabed corals. Jumping Jupiter!! Jose Cuervo, I mean Jesus Christ!! I shrieked out, clanking my tank with all might, Blue Ring Octopus!!!!!! Flash from my camera was all over it. A fatal attraction, it was. A bite from a blue ring octopus was said to be horrifying lethal. The victim will be paralyzed. It includes lost of speech ability in matter of minutes because all of his muscles lost its contraction capabilities, thus no cry for help! The threat was conveyed to us (Yoni and I) through its pose, like a viper it curled its tentacles ready for a blitz leap and bite.

Then the dive was continued, pygmy seahorse, nudibranch here, nudibranch there, nudibranch here, nudibranch here, nudibranch there different sub species of course making nudibranches we saw before very very ordinary. Then Noldy clanked his tank again for one of the main attraction of the day pegasus seahorses. Perfectly camouflage, they crawled in pair. Dave said that they are always in pair, though he never knows whether they are monogamist or looks monogamist but change partner every now and then.

The wonder of Lembeh strait continued when Lala spotted a rather rare nudibranch, I think it was Flabellinidae sp. (of course after I look through one of the Divers' Bible). A very nice ending for an excellent dive, for me it was one of the best dives in Bunaken and the surroundings.

Feeling elated it was time for us to go back to Manado, and headed for a final gang bang party for the trip, real Jose Cuervo this time.

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