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Lembeh - NAD Lembeh


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#1 Oceanshutter

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:21 PM

Just got back from diving Lembeh for a week. First of all, coming from Salt Lake City in the US. It was a long haul. 23 hours flight time. SLC>SEA>NRT>SIN>MDC. If I wanted to pay for my flight I probably could have eliminated one of the stops. But using Delta FF miles is a way for a cheaper vacation. The SIN airport is as good as everyone says it is. The transit hotel was fantastic, as it provided a much needed nap and shower. I was worried about my bags being transferred from Delta to Silk. Everything worked smoothly. Just make sure the airline you are flying into has an interline agreement with Silk and you will be fine. Once in SIN, we went to the transfer desk and gave Silk our baggage tags that Delta had checked all the way to MDC. They did what they needed to do, and all of the bags showed up.

My wife and I stayed at NAD Lembeh after reading good reviews here on Wetpixel. As for the resort itself, it was great. Not too much walking to where you need to go. The camera room was large, although might be a little cramped if a large photo group came. But I think that is the case with all camera rooms. The dining area was outside and covered. It had great views of the strait. They also have the heaviest chairs, I have ever lifted!! Pulling them out from the table was a workout! The food was typical for this part of the world. Always rice, meat and a vegetable and something fried. Being a little bit picky with food (i don't eat seafood), I found it too be good for the most part. However, I wish there was a little variety. I recommended this to the GM. Suggesting a burger, or something to break it up a bit. He agreed and said they were looking at changing up the menu a bit.

If you and the wife are going. I recommend the bungalow. We had Bungalow 1 and thought it was the best location on the resort. no major stairs to climb, and out of the general resort traffic. Plus great views of the strait. The bed actually had a mattress, which is a nice change from the foam pads that are typical of dive resorts/liveaboards. And the shower and bathroom were adequate. One warning for the resort in general. bring bug spray. there were a lot of mosquitoes out. Talking to Simon and Serge, it sounds like they are doing a lot of updating to the rooms.

As far as the diving was concerned. It too was great. We did have some miss dive sites, but for the most part everything was very good. Saw a lot of things we have never seen before. We did 4 dives a day while we were there. 2 in the morning. 1 afternoon, and then 1 night dive. 75 max dive time. Although we did have one that was over 90. They were strict on how much air you came up with though. 500 psi being the on the boat air pressure. We broke that on occasion, and heard about it. Tanks were all consistently full, between 2950 and 3150 psi. We did hire a private dive guide, which we liked a lot. If you have a camera, I would recommend this. As far as critters we saw, Lots of frogfish, seahorses, nudi's, octopus(mimic and wonderpus), Flamboyants, etc.... Still missing the Blue ring Octopus and Juvenile Batfish.....I guess we will just have to keep diving:)

As far as the people at NAD lembeh, they were fantastic. Serge the GM was always trying to make your stay nicer. In fact, I had a Sola 4000 break on me. He was willing to take it over to Lembeh Resort to have Backscatter (there were there at the same time as we were) look at it for me. turns out they had a Light and Motion rep with them as well. Unfortunately, they were unable to fix it. You don't ever have to lug your gear of camera around. Everyone was very helpful. Simon also was great, offering to let me borrow some of his lights since one of mine wasn't working. Serge offered his sola 600. All the boat crew and dive guides were nice and eager to please.

Overall, Lembeh is a great destination. NAD is a good lower cost resort. You should know what kind of diving you are going to be doing before hand. As diving in low vis and garbage, may not sit well with some. But there are great photo and video ops there. We would defiantly return at some point in the future.

Dustin

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#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

Great report Dustin, glad you had a great time. Where are the pictures?

Cheers,
Steve

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#3 Oceanshutter

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:56 PM

Great report Dustin, glad you had a great time. Where are the pictures?

Cheers,
Steve


Thanks Steve. My wife does the pictures. And she still hasn't finished our Anilao trip that was 14 months ago!!!!! My video footage will take me a while to go through and edit Based on my schedule, probably a month or 2.

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#4 Steve Douglas

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

It has been some time, too long a time, since I have been to Lembeh. Trying to get Steve Williams to take the long haul with me. A shame about your lights though.
To me, the most important thing about Lembeh, especially if you new to the place, is to have excellent spotters. How were they? Look forward to seeing your video once done. What were you using?
Steve
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#5 Oceanshutter

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:44 PM

It has been some time, too long a time, since I have been to Lembeh. Trying to get Steve Williams to take the long haul with me. A shame about your lights though.
To me, the most important thing about Lembeh, especially if you new to the place, is to have excellent spotters. How were they? Look forward to seeing your video once done. What were you using?
Steve


Steve,
We hired a private guide and he was excellent. He has dove lembeh for 20 years. It sounds like the other guides were good as well. For the most part my wife or I was shooting the whole dive.
I shot the canon 5d mark ii with the 100mm macro. Also used the xit404 with twist clamps. This was first time for me shooting macro video. So it was different. Manual focus was fun to learn. What looks in focus in the viewfinder doesn't always turn out that way on the laptop.
Dustin

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#6 serge

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Hi Dustin,

thanks for your review ... and nice to hear, that you enjoyed your stay. specially looking forward to the Hairy Frogfish footage with our loughter in the backgraound :D

As for the food: we are working on some more western dishes and have now spaghetti back on the menu and are testing pizzas and burgers at the moment (in fact i am right now eating a home made pizza ...).

Greetings from Lembeh and hope to see you again here soon,

Serge

PS ... we found a small pinnate & zebra batfish the week after you left

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#7 Oceanshutter

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

Hi Dustin,

thanks for your review ... and nice to hear, that you enjoyed your stay. specially looking forward to the Hairy Frogfish footage with our loughter in the backgraound :D

As for the food: we are working on some more western dishes and have now spaghetti back on the menu and are testing pizzas and burgers at the moment (in fact i am right now eating a home made pizza ...).

Greetings from Lembeh and hope to see you again here soon,

Serge

PS ... we found a small pinnate & zebra batfish the week after you left


Don't tell me that!!! Pinnate and spaghetti. Sounds magical. Lol. Next time we come back, we will be expecting some German pancakes. I know you have the reciepe. :(
I will try to get the hairy up on my vimeo account in a couple of weeks, I am traveling for work a lot, so I haven't had time. Dustin

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#8 Bombsight

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:24 PM

Overall, Lembeh is a great destination. NAD is a good lower cost resort. You should know what kind of diving you are going to be doing before hand. As diving in low vis and garbage, may not sit well with some.

Dustin


Could you elaborate a little more on this? Thanks

#9 Oceanshutter

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:53 PM

Could you elaborate a little more on this? Thanks


First off, lembeh is one of the top macro destination in the world. However, if you are looking for
Large animals, and lots of coral, you are going to the wrong place. A lot of the best sites are just black sand. You just search through sand for the critters. Some sites are cleaner than others, but you will see a lot of trash both on top of the water, and on the bottom. Trash bags will float by you. So if this bothers you, probably best to skip lembeh. I have a couple diver friends, that would probably get bored with the diving there, as they like the big corals scenes, and big animals better. However, they don't take pictures or video. I have found muck diving to be more enjoyable when you are interested in photography. But that is just my opinion.
It is hard to top it for the small weird critters despite these issues.

As for the resort, there are much nicer resorts than NAD, but you pay for it. So if you don't require top notch accommodations, and are just looking for a clean room, good food, and great diving. NAD is perfect. The guides are very good. So for me, the price was very good, and I would return.

Hope this helps.

Dustin

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#10 allan

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:53 AM

Dustin

I really enjoyed the two videos you posted and your choice of music was excellent

Allan