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Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

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Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:11 pm

folks,

just got a new rig-Oly E-PL1-and can't wait to test drive the thing. so anybody going during this date? prob Sedona or La Rascasse..and do a day trip to Lembeh. (dive until lembek, is that how it got its name? lol....)
Last edited by decimal86 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....)

Post Number:#2  Postby ckchong » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:57 am

Congreat for your new rig.....ori housing ke. post some photo how it look like la friends. BTW Malaysia got direct flight meh?
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....)

Post Number:#3  Postby decimal86 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:57 pm

ckchong wrote:Congreat for your new rig.....ori housing ke. post some photo how it look like la friends. BTW Malaysia got direct flight meh?


ya PT-EPL01. will post when i am there if i go with La Rascasse, they have free wifi. if Sedona--no wifi. i am malaysian working in spore, will be going by Silkair.

this time i got 2 x INON UCL 165, i am ready for macro now.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#4  Postby decimal86 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:21 pm

LaRascasse(lionfish) Sept 1st to 6th 2010

we were flying in circles for half an hour due heavy rain over Manado airport, finally it cleared and we came in for a landing. journey to the resort took about 35 mins, slightly shorter than to Sedona resort. a smallish sort of resort with a mini zoo (beware of the simian who can leap past the barricade) and for tennis diehards, you are in luck!! a tower above the dining hall for a splendid view of the sunset..

a short walk to anywhere, dining, room or the dc. and you will not miss any world sporting events-- room comes with Astrovision, the satellite dish just outside your room. if you have kids already, no worries mate! if not maybe lead underwear!! just a thought.

we got room 203, can get internet from the dining hall! if not then its avail at the dining hall. room was small by any standard but there is a fridge but no water boiling facility. the varendah has plenty of drying space. the view from our room was scenic. air-cond. first resort i have been to that gave a toothbrush and paste!! full sized Lux soap haven't seen that in a while,wow...plenty of powerpoints to charge everything.

quickly set-up my camera--Olym pen--first time getting it wet! excitement beginning to mount. met our DM-Simeon. short brief then splash into the house reef. muck diving...at its best. so many nudis and candy crab. my smile is showing thru my mask. this is the Manado that i love.

water was clear surprising as it was after a heavy downpour. temp was pleasant. and we saw so many things in just 45 minutes. the boat men here at La Rascasse reverse park their boats due to space constraint. quite a treat in itself.

we were then treated to another surprise--dinner was delicious! grouper steamed to perfection, kailan stir-fried and tow foo so silky it slipped passed the tongue. an important note here...the cook has to be told if you want a halal meal way in advance. and oh the soursop drink is very shiok! and if you like chili like me but sweat a lot? beware the house concoction, it is nuclear in strength. at this time your lunch request is taken (and if you are going to Lembeh, b'fast order as well cuz the transport is at 0700 hrs).  

the day ended perfectly--whisper quiet air-cond, temp control worked and sleep followed immediately.

day 2 started at 0700 with breakfast, 2 eggs half boiled, oh i am so happy...toasts with pineapple jam completed the start to a good day. coffee is a 3-in-1 affair, Nescafe brand no less. coffee is avail on the boat as well.

the boat is spacious--i am very particular about an overcrowded boat--and a toilet is avail. the aftermath is errr well pumped  into the sea. you have been warned! we went to Batas Kota, where there was an abundance of shrimps and crabs. the calm sea made for an enjoyable dive,having braved the rough seas of Pulau Weh, this was easy peasy.lunch was good after 2 dives. hot coffee washed down our nutritious meal. hmm my wife and i made a comment that we have seen these lunch boxes before...dejavu! dinner was another delicious experience. and we awaited tomorrow--Lembeh Straits!

Day3--started with a stop at Saroja (what ever you forget, do not forget to ask them to pack lunch for you at Saroja)--a roadside restaurant in downtown Manado where the que was so long, they ahd a guy who stopped traffic so customers could cross the road--at a price! the journey took 2 hours, the road was narrow and the traffic was heavy. the boat was wating at a fishing boat jetty--can you smell it?--yes the pong was quite bad and it was only 1000 hrs. anchovies, mackerel and yellow fin tuna was hauled out of the bellies of these boats and left on white tiled floors for auctioning. no sharks though (phew, that was close). it was quite a balancing act getting into our boat, because the deck of the boat was 3 feet before the pier. the boat is way smaller than the one at the resort,low headroom. no pail to dip your camera. plenty of drinking water and hot water. if you have to go to the toilet, there are a few at the fish market, and they have water to wash before you board the transport back at the end of your boat ride. they brought everything including food from La Rascasse and if you forgot something it will be an unpleasant dive!! then the packed lunch from Saroja--if i told you i have eaten better nasi kuning, i would be lying. it was heavenly, eating this on a rocking boat under the shade of a tree--perfect! we did Nudis Retreat, Nudis Falls. this was a totally new dive experience where we dived in calm waters and with a small cave full of life and crytal clear waters. i like cardinals and t was a real treat for me to get up cloce to them and in clear waters as well. and banded pipefish. we also got to see the resorts at Lembeh and the price that they commanded. hmm another chance for a diving trip there? but very desolate. funny to see our boat moored to a tree above us! i think the unique thing about lembeh is the crytal clear waters at Nudis Falls and the caves carved by the waves in the sandstone, not even Bunaken has that. as said earlier, you can wash up a bit before the trip bask to La Rascasse at the fish market toilets. better than sitting in your salt watered attire. and believe me, its a loooooooooooong ride home.

had a very interesting and lively conversation with the owner of La Rascasse, the choice of lionfish--did you know they are edible? especially in south of france? we were practically neighbours during the 1980's in singapore but we did not know. anyways, if you stay here and he is in his villa, pop by and chit chat, very friendly guy. he will tell you the humble beginnings of La Rascasse. and its relationship with Minahasa Divers (Sedona Resort).  

Oh yes, beer is sold outside and the best time to buy is when you arrive from the airport or back from Lembeh cuz there is a fridge in the room? Pocari is especially cheap here..S$1/-. i was very tempted by the fish BBQ stalls outside and the crowds that came to buy them, so i bought one mackerel at 15,000 Rp but was thoroughly disappointed, very dry and the coconut husk and shell used to barbeque them was overpowering in the flesh of the fish. but something to try if so inclined. the are 3 big restaurants by the roadside within 5 mins walk, but i did not try. looks well patronised at night.

TO BE CONTD
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#5  Postby decimal86 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:22 pm

CONTD FROM ABOVE

Day4 i had the pleasure of meeting Indonesia's renown photographer--Pak Hendra Tan who suggested that we tag along as he was looking for hippocampus...what? oh seahorse.sorry. well we need not be asked twice since i have seen his works everywhere here at La Rascasse. he had a dm all to himself and 2 DSLRs'. if only i could manage half the quality of his shots i would be a happy man. we went to Mandolang, Tambala, House reef III where we were not disappointed with all the critters but no seahorse..so sad. saw a huge octopus though. and wait for it.....the poisonous blue ringed octopus !! man it was weird why something so gorgeous is so deadly. and tiger prawn. remember when i said the waters were clear even after the rain? well i retract that, it was silt all over the ocean floor, the slightest flick of your fins and it was all over the place...so we steered clear of the professional photographer. and some species of nudis that i have not seen, most of which were juvenile. i remember this place was packed with nudis in May of this year. but still, they looked healthy and multiplying with all the juvenile that we saw.

then there was a shout to starboard, "DUGONG DUGONG" and we saw at least 2 of them breeching just 150 m away and keeping their distance from our boat. they told us contrary to documentaries, they swim very fast and snorkelling would be a waste of time. we kept seeing them for the next 10 mins till our surface interval went by and we suited up for the next dive. the boatman said, they were a regular feature here some 10-5 years ago. we hope that they will make a triumphant return...

this trip was also a chance for my wife and i to improve our bahasa indonesia with Pak Hendra and Anthony-a businessman from Jakarta that we just met. an avid photographer, we plied him with 'poison' and we are sure he will be buying his first underwater casing soon. sinful!

when we returned there was a group of singaporeans who just arrived. and the dining hall was much livelier. they would be doing Lembeh tomo. oh did i mention that there was a billiard table?

Day5 sadly, we have to work out our dive tables to accomodate our flights tomorrow. we did Buloh II and Tj Buloh where the diving was great and terrain sandy all the way except Tj Buloh where healthy corals abound. mantis shrimp and porcelain crab were easy to find and so was the commensal shrimp. and plenty of juvenile nudis. very good visibility and slight current made for a great time shooting and experimenting with my new toy. the strobe set-up was just nice and i was at peace with the world, alas my tank pressure told me that it was time to get my behind into the boat..reluctantly i said adieu to these waters once again.

in conclusion, i have dived here before, though there were less matured nudis, there were still plenty of kodak moments. critters per minute count is still very high. the weather was good and the water conditions were calm and vis was good. only difference this time was accomodations and food. i can say for certain that the meals at La Rascasse is better. the was ample opportunity for you to change your meal orders. fresh fruits were ordered to your fancy (arrr no durian ar! if you were thinking in that direction). only suggestion i have for them was to make avail more soaking space for our cameras on board the boats and on land at the dc. i like to wash my gear myself after each dive but were unable to here. and also not enough shower heads at the dc to hose down yourselves and your booties before you enter your rooms. my wife also tested her new accessory-air filter/moisturiser--on her second stage, she is now a happy diver, thks to moist air she breathes and filtered as well. very easy to attach and easy to refill. hmm i must get one for myself.

the Olympus E-PL1 worked as advertised, ultra fast auto-focus especially when we were shooting Mandarin Fish. i am very very happy with the pictures that it came up with. yes it is a lot more than a compact in a underwater case, but the near DSLR quality that i got made it all worthwhile. the TTL feature worked very well with my INON Z240 type 4. i also found that on a fresh set of eneloops, i could use the focus light as a torch and still fire off 30 over shots at night. i guess i will keep my UK light...are you a fan of the A team series? where Hannibal says,"i love it when a plan comes together.'? this was it. the place, the weather, the critters and a new camera working together. 
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#6  Postby ckchong » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:57 pm

where is your pic????? [-( [-( [-(
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#7  Postby decimal86 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:55 pm

ckchong wrote:where is your pic????? [-( [-( [-(


here we go...

http://s991.photobucket.com/albums/af32 ... 0Rascasse/
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#8  Postby decimal86 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:01 pm

oops that didn't work
Last edited by decimal86 on Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#9  Postby Ketam » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Hehehe bro, try again for the others to enjoy your pics.... hehehehe
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#10  Postby decimal86 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:59 pm

ok i try to keep things neat, its in the underwater photography section.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#11  Postby nglg212 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:13 am

nice pics....have to learn from you to take nicer pics while underwater.....
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#12  Postby decimal86 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:28 am

nglg212 wrote:nice pics....have to learn from you to take nicer pics while underwater.....


bro' all i know, i learned from ketam...he's the man!
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Manado 1st sept 2010 thru 6th ( macro again....) & Lembeh day trip

Post Number:#13  Postby nglg212 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:36 am

sharing is learning, learning is sharing..thx....
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