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shore diving bunaken/lembeh


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#1 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:27 AM

I posted earlier on the existing "where to from Singapore" thread but the obscure title may have led to no replies while I know there are members with first-hand experience on both destinations.

 

I am always looking for affordable places where you can complement boat dives with (unlimited) shore diving on a house reef. Both Bunaken and Lembeh look promising but I've had a hard time finding specific info.

 

Bunaken

Bunaken divers/Seabreeze resort list unguided house reef dives for 5euro/dive in their price list. Other resorts mention good snorkling from their beach but no mention of shore diving. I also read that a boat is needed because there are strong and unpredictable currents.

 

Has anyone been shore diving on Bunaken or in that general region. I have no problem staying away from the wall if currents are a problem and am perfectly happy to play around in 1+ meters depth looking for small stuff and juveniles near shore. What places are best for shore diving: east, north or south/west part of the island?

 

Lembeh

Many resorts here have shore diving, what was harder to find out is if there are places that have at least some reef/corals to supplement the muck experience. I've looked specifically at Divers Lodge Lembeh. From Google Earth it appears their site faces both Lembeh Straight as well as a protected bay at the back. Can you dive both from shore and what does it look like. Tips for other places in Lembeh that are affordable with some corals and their associated fishy denizens are welcome too.

 

I hope to tap into the collective wisdom here and look forward to hearing about personal experiences on the shore diving in particular. The boat diving seems to be great all around.

 

Bart


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#2 JimG

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:18 AM

Hi Bart

 

Been to Diver's Lodge last year. Shore diving in front of the resort is pretty naff by all accounts; the house reef is a bit to one side and not special and is easier done via boat if I recall right. We did it like that and were not impressed compared with all the other options available in Lembeh by boat. We were not allowed to dive the bay at the back due to it apparently having a good population of some highly noxious jellyfish/ctenophore type thing. I seem to remember being told that due to the prevailing current, they get trapped in there. Whether this is seasonal or not, I don't know, Not sure there is good access to the bay anyway from Diver's Lodge - due to the prohibition I never explored it. In other respects we enjoyed Diver's Lodge very much - basic, clean accomm, and basic but adequate food - all commensurate with the price which is excellent. Boats are OK and the service, willingness to please, taking you where you ask etc was absolutely A1

 

We are off to Black Sand Retreat, Lembeh in May which seems like it has a good house reef.


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#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:51 AM

NAD has a mix of healthy hard corals and black sand along with a few purpose sunk wrecks on their house reef


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#4 howeikwok

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:26 PM

NAD house reef has some interesting critters. Black sand in located at one of the more famous dive sites at lembeh so you get that as your house reef.

 

But i found that the option to do longer dives in lembeh usually means a house reef dive is quite unnecessary. I can do 3 boat dives of 70-90 min each and be quite happy with that without doing extra house reef dives cos it's that good. Also if you want to do extra dives, a night dive in lembeh is a must do. Or you could do the dusk mandarinfish dive and extend the time a bit to a short night dive. 


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#5 tdpriest

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:34 AM

The house reef at Lembeh Resort/Criiters@Lembeh had thorny seahorses, photosynthetic nudibranchs, pipefish, juvenile batfish and a Rhinopias in October. Lembeh is mucky, though, and the small coral patches really only accessible by boat (Nudi Retreat and Pantu Parigi, for instance).



#6 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the feedback. NAD looks particularly attractive with regards to shore diving (black sand, algae, sea grass, wrecks and some coral) and is also quite reasonably priced. I also found 2fish divers, close to NAD, which based on descriptions also has worthwhile shore diving but probably not as diverse as NAD.

 

I appreciate that for many divers 3 long dives a day is plenty and certainly a better way to relax during your vacation. But for me after 12 months of arm-chair diving and studying up on all the fish live at the next dive destination the only thing that keeps me out of the water is Henry's law (physics of dissolved gasses). In addition, I find it very liberating to dive alone or with a like-minded buddy and really get intimate with all the nooks and crannies of the house reef by diving it at least once a day. I also enjoy really shallow dives, which you normally don't get to do on guided dives.

 

So far no feedback at all about Bunaken. Should I not even bother and just hope I can convince them to make trips to California Dreaming and some of the other Northern and East-side reefs?

 

Bart


Edited by Glasseye Snapper, 26 November 2013 - 07:34 PM.

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#7 Seriola

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:19 PM

Hi Bart

 

Been to Diver's Lodge last year. Shore diving in front of the resort is pretty naff by all accounts; the house reef is a bit to one side and not special and is easier done via boat if I recall right. We did it like that and were not impressed compared with all the other options available in Lembeh by boat. We were not allowed to dive the bay at the back due to it apparently having a good population of some highly noxious jellyfish/ctenophore type thing. I seem to remember being told that due to the prevailing current, they get trapped in there. Whether this is seasonal or not, I don't know, Not sure there is good access to the bay anyway from Diver's Lodge - due to the prohibition I never explored it. In other respects we enjoyed Diver's Lodge very much - basic, clean accomm, and basic but adequate food - all commensurate with the price which is excellent. Boats are OK and the service, willingness to please, taking you where you ask etc was absolutely A1

 

We are off to Black Sand Retreat, Lembeh in May which seems like it has a good house reef.

 

Jim, will you post that jelly sighting on www.jellywatch.org with the approx. location/info? Always good to know areas that are trapping jellies...

Thank you!
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