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Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

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Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:38 pm

TRIP REPORT BASTIANOS-LEMBEH STRAITS 08/02/12 5D4N


there is a short-cut from Manado International that cuts the travel time to Bitung harbour significantly. it may not be known to all taxi drivers...ours took the old way to airport. it passes by quaint kampung houses with fish-farms and orchards of rambutans, duku, chempedak and papaya. heavy traffic though.

there are megamarts along the way,eCitimart, is one where you can buy toiletries (global brands available) and tid-bits for the boatman and DM whilst off-gassing...(surface interval)a new term i learned from our German divers. and rubber up...(gear up)...from our American friends. both left me in tears when i went back to my room. so funny...i thot porno movie or what

oh whilst on the subject, the kerapok udang (unfried one) here in Manado is way too expensive compared to JKT or BLI. i paid 62000 thinking it was going to be 3 times better than BLI but thoroughly disappointing.

we met the Bastianos boat and crew at a very busy fish market-wharfside-the life, smell and commerce that was going on would make a hollywood movie fade into the background. genuine asian sounds and smell--i love it!! wah, this boat must have quietly sneaked-off whilst the guests were having lunch and picked us. it had all the guests dive-gear on board. and you know you are in macro heaven when all the DSLR are fitted with macro-lenses.

took about 15 mins to get to Bastianos. the frontage is familiar (we stayed next door twice before) and they have a jetty so disembarking need not be so tricky. the usual formalities of signing indemnity forms and certification checks. no check-out dives though...hmm. ok, the Wi-Fi? i am impressed..the mana-mana juga boleh dapat. reception, camera room, stowage room for your dive-bag and compressor room are all spick and span. Nitrox is available.

your dive gear will be rinsed at the end of each day. but i saw some fussy divers doing their own. ok this one i think should improve--their camera rinsing pool is too deep and there is not enough water. i am 5'7" and i find it hard to lower my camera without dropping into the pooling. they seem not to want ppl to fill up this important feature after diving. why?

do you have knee pains? not athletic? then Bastianos Lembeh is not for you. the chalets can be accessed by 2 ways via the lobby or by the workers quarters. both involve a steep climb. a very steep climb...you will be climbing after 2 morning dives..after the afternoon dive then if you go for a night dive (which is the crown jewel of Lembeh), so thats 3 steep climbs. you have been warned!!

the rooms are absolutely a honeymooners dream! wooden built, air-cond, balinese shower, hot-water, four-poster bed, plenty of powerpoints, very dim lights, mosquito-netting over the bed (i brought my electric mosquito coil) and a balcony that over-looked the recption and further out--a calm sea. it costs a lot more than our previous accoms but it is beginning to make a positive impression on me. we stayed at chalet #5, Wi-Fi signal very strong. no fridge.

we made our way to the dining hall, ok this is where it got weird, you are not allowed to sit anywhere you like. they lay out your palce mats and you are designated that table for all your meals...hard to socialise. beer is affordable. if you have been reading my reports, you will know that besides diving, FOOD is the next thing i look for. and Bastianos did not disappoint. most meals were good and catered to caucasian tastes as well. but there was one afternoon where the cook made this deliciously deep-fired khong guan cream crackers with some filling inside that blew my taste-buds away! sedap nya....for B fast they made soft boiled eggs for us...on the rocks!! so we will not burn our fingers cracking them...how thoughful was that!!! they even have cinnamon stirrers..for your java!!

we were in luck, mangoes were in season and they served mangoes with each meal. sweet but fibruos. lucky got floss.

there is a swimming pool for guests who do not dive or maybe you want to adjust your camera settings...i don't know...and its kept very clean. plenty of deckchairs to laze and guess what? strong WiFi signal!!!

the scenery from here is very holiday brochure-like and as a result, there is a constant breeze. infact in the afternoons, if you open both balcomy doors and your entrance door, you will not need the fan. such is the breeze.

their morning dive schedule is 0800-1100 2 dives and 1430-1500 1 dive. night dives are extra. house reef dives are chargeable. the boat is spacious and has sufficient drinking water, coffee and tea. snacks were also provided during surface interval or off-gassing.

i like their ladder as it extends well below the surface of the water. the first rung is so convenient. there are 3 plastic tubs for the cameras, not nearly enough as everybody has a camera. there were 6 of us?

the bed was soft, too soft but we were so tired....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

woke up to a great day of diving, sunshine and calm waters. i will not go into what we saw and where because it may not be there when you get to Lembeh. the dive sites are so closely packed, it really is so hard to tell them apart. all the sites we visited had calm waters except angel's window.

this is primarily to describe the dive center. why is it that dive centers assign the same DM with you over 3-4 days? not that we got into an argument but would it be wrong to assign different DM everyday? what do you think? i notice that if we repeated the dive sites we go to the same spots and shot the same things.

we never got to visit an old haunt of us...nudis retreat...we saw that electric clam since it was an inch tall!! but this trip we never had the chance cuz it was crowded and as luck would have it, the other divers has been there. oh well

but we did Jahir again twice this time, and i am grateful that it is still muck and proud of it!! we did an afternoon dive and it was a whole different character. we did 2 night dives--ayer prang (saw my first sighting of a Bobbit worm) and nudis falls. ayer prang needs a bit of detail--if you are squeamish about worms swimming all around you ??? by the millions? maybe you should give it a miss. but bear in mind though that these nuisance are a rich source of food to the other marine creatures. you have been warned! there were some at Jahir but bearable. Nudis Falls had a lot of shrimps and of course Nudis. becaause we were there after a full moon, there was a bit of current.

we never really do a night-dive do we? i mean we go out at 1745 hrs or 1830 hrs and return just in time for dinner? that was what one of the divers commented. i wonder if there are more to see after 2000 hrs ???? i mean forget the dinner and dive a proper night dive. or maybe bungkus nasi with lauk and sayur to eat later?

they also organise a mandarin fish night dive. but that involved waiting forever for the male to get his act together before he performs...

so we opted out of that one.

the dive sites are prominently displayed on the wall and i must say i covered more places than i did the last 2 times i was in Lembeh. i would recomm every site as this is LEMBEH!!! to be sure, coming here ? air-fare alone is prohibitive for some. let alone the dive package. but, BUT its like eating durian? sometimes its better to save money and eat a really good durian rather than 3 average durian (those for making penggat?) Lembeh is that kind of experience.

there is also a National Park tour where the star attraction is the Tarsier-smallest primate known to man. its one hour by boat and some of the guests went after their afternoon dive. i will try that next time.

in closing, i would say i will stay here when i next dive Lembeh as long as my knees can handle the climb up those steps!! the food was good, the view is excellent, the breeze reminded me of a time when Penang was cool and a sweater was required at Penang Hill. it costs more than the other resort i stayed but my wife and i feel it is worth the money. we paid for our stay.
Last edited by decimal86 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#2  Postby run » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:15 pm

decimal86 wrote:do you have knee pains? not athletic? then Bastianos Lembeh is not for you. the chalets can be accessed by 2 ways via the lobby or by the workers quarters. both involve a steep climb. a very steep climb...you will be climbing after 2 morning dives..after the afternoon dive then if you go for a night dive (which is the crown jewel of Lembeh), so thats 3 steep climbs. you have been warned!!


die lar if i ever stay in this resort.

decimal86 wrote:this is primarily to describe the dive center. why is it that dive centers assign the same DM with you over 3-4 days? not that we got into an argument but would it be wrong to assign different DM everyday? what do you think? i notice that if we repeated the dive sites we go to the same spots and shot the same things


Do you have to follow the DM? Yes i understand DM should now the place better and know how to spot things but rather than follow them around maybe you could wonder a few metres or so? Or perhaps for safety reason you
guys couldn't wonder without a guide nearby?
run
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#3  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:35 pm

knees bear all the weight when climbing brudder...

i will admit that my 'spotter' skills suck. everything look like a critter down there. so we were wondering if we could swop so that some others could catch a sight of hairy frogfish, blue-ring or lembeh sea dragon. sometimes you come up and when comparing shots, you will see that some shot nothing?
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#4  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:45 pm

[img height=450 width=600]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2116336.jpg[/img]

we were lucky to see this cuttlefish catch a shrimp...no we did not feed...
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#5  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:48 pm

[img height=450 width=600]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2116286.jpg[/img]

tiger shrimp?
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:49 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2116266.jpg[/img]

frogfish
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#7  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:50 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2116228.jpg[/img]

just came back from the hair salon? overdone i think...
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#8  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:54 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2106051.jpg[/img]

blue-ring in the wild !!!
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#9  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:56 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2095832.jpg[/img]

this guy was big...
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#10  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:58 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2095784.jpg[/img]

the DM told me this is a sea pen. i believe him
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#11  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:59 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2095756.jpg[/img]

one hairy guy
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#12  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:02 pm

[img width=600 height=450]http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af32/decimal86/Bastianos%20Lembeh%20080212/P2106077.jpg[/img]

this is absolutely my best memory of this Lembeh dive...horrifying!! imagine lying down and taking a shot with this Bobbit worm at your groin area !!!! never again....
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#13  Postby decimal86 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:08 pm

alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#14  Postby run » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:37 pm

:D so thats why u stick behind DM's butt (no offense ya)
Last edited by run on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#15  Postby decimal86 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:09 am

scary sial...it whacked the fish and dragged it underneath the sand...a chill went down my spine bro!! my didi also scared...
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#16  Postby run » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:13 pm

hahaha u really believe the DM when he told you about the sea pen? Oh man u are perfect victim for a fren of mine :D

Awesome to see different marine life in different countries. I just dont know why up till now i still havent save up some money to buy myself a camera. I guess when you travel with buddies who owns camera, u'll get lazy to spend for it.
Hoping they in good terms will share some of the pictures over in FB.
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#17  Postby decimal86 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:29 pm

hahaha what else can it be...???

i tell you something funny....i already owned an underwater camera (Olym 8000-waterresistant to 10M)before my OWC. i was snorkelling/ free diving before i finally spent on another sport--scuba. then on my first leisure dive, i put in a casing and went to 26M.

but man i should started earlier. scuba i mean... highly addictive! i dont really want to spend any more on cameras, it will never end. and it is so heavy to lug around airports?? one whole backpack all filled with cameras, casings, strobes, arms, rechargeable batteries and chargers. after get hernia?

but yeah, sooner or later friends will post on FB. my wife has her own underwater camera and she is fiddling around on her own, we are lucky. our kids are all in their 20's so we have all the time to our selves.

Lembeh holds a special place in our hearts because it never fails to amaze us whenever we go...especially that electric clam. we saw it grow from a small 20 cent coin to what is it to day. just grateful to see nature winning some of the times...
Last edited by decimal86 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#18  Postby run » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:47 pm

decimal86 wrote:Lembeh holds a special place in our hearts because it never fails to amaze us whenever we go...especially that electric clam. we saw it grow from a small 20 cent coin to what is it to day. just grateful to see nature winning some of the times...


Wow! Lucky u to spot the difference. That must have been a very lazy electric clam. Sticking to its place not goin anywhere.

Yeap really grateful to have the chance and see with my own eyes the living life of the underwater world. Scuba have always been one of my childhood dream. Who knows
how long can these things survive with the chaos goin on around us.
Thanx for sharing ur pix
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#19  Postby decimal86 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:06 am

run wrote:
decimal86 wrote:Lembeh holds a special place in our hearts because it never fails to amaze us whenever we go...especially that electric clam. we saw it grow from a small 20 cent coin to what is it to day. just grateful to see nature winning some of the times...


Wow! Lucky u to spot the difference. That must have been a very lazy electric clam. Sticking to its place not goin anywhere.

Yeap really grateful to have the chance and see with my own eyes the living life of the underwater world. Scuba have always been one of my childhood dream. Who knows
how long can these things survive with the chaos goin on around us.
Thanx for sharing ur pix


i totally agree, natural wonders blow my mind everytime. man made will come and go...
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#20  Postby Nitrogen addict » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:45 pm

Miss Lembeh... I like Bastianos or some time we stayed at NAD.
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Re: Bastianos--Lembeh 08/02/2012---13/02/2012

Post Number:#21  Postby decimal86 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 pm

is there somewhere else divers can stay? in Bitung perhaps?
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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