Lembeh Strait Diving with NAD-Lembeh in Trip Reports and Travel Posted March 31, 2009 As part of a 5 week expedition to Indoensia, I spent 5 days in Lembeh at NAD-Lembeh and had a blast in Macro Heaven. You can read my entire trip report with photos about Lembeh and the NAD-Lembeh Resort on my website at Lembeh_2009 - SCUBAREWS_TRIP_REPORT Here is a brief summary of that report: After the pre-dive jitters that accompany the first dive of the big trip after a few months out of the water, I splashed down into murky warm 81 degree water and was handed my camera which was outfitted for macro. While nervously looking for any leaks in the rig, my attention was drawn to a tubular shaped jellyfish with a narrow tip at one end that I thought might be a new species. On second glance I concluded it must be an empty squid egg sack. As my eyes focused on this newly discovered drifting creature it became apparent it wasn’t a jellyfish or any other rare sea creature, but an old condom in the current of discarded waste. WELCOME to the most famous muck diving in the world, Lembeh Strait! Don’t let the rubbish, sometimes low visibility and remoteness of this diving destination scare you away. If you are an underwater photographer or just a diver that likes seeing the strangest and rarest creatures in the underwater world, then Lembeh is a must dive location. You will see more new types of marine life on your first dive than many will see in years of diving. It is referred to as muck diving because of the often poor visibility and garbage in the water that primarily comes from the major port city of Bitung. But the many species of frog fish, seahorses, scorpionfish, leaf fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, nudibrachs and pipefish have adapted in very unique ways to this environment and use it as an advantage. The most important key to a successful Lembeh diving trip is to have an experienced dive guide with a very keen eye because camouflage is the method of choice for most of the marine life. All of the resorts on the Lembeh Strait are within 10-20 minute boat rides of the good dive sites, so when I chose my home base for diving my main criteria was reasonable price, photo facilities, and good dive guides. The budget friendly eco-resort NAD-Lembeh satisfied my top criteria and exceeded expectations in many other areas including the food. Seasoned underwater photography and video veterans Mike Veitch and Simon Buxton recently took over co-management of the resort. If you frequent wetpixel.com forums you probably know these two characters or have at least read their informative and sometimes entertaining posts. Their combined experience and personalities make them great hosts for any diver, but especially serious photographers. In 4 short days of diving I logged 12 dives and over 13 hours in this immaculate muck. While here I left my camera set up for macro the entire time with my 105mm lens on my Nikon D300 in a Sea&Sea housing with dual YS120 strobes and fisheye focus light. A 60mm lens would have been great on some of the dives because the octopus and some of the fish are a little too large for the 105mm. But I was able to get nearly everything on my macro muck list including several types of pygmy seahorses, Pegasus sea moths, Ambon scorpionfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, Banggai cardinalfish, mandarinfish, snake eels, dragonets, lionfish, octopus, giant frogfish, pipefish, mantis shrimp, waspfish, lionfish, and a plethora of colorful nudibranchs. This was my second trip to Lembeh and the muck diving was even better than I remembered and my stay at NAD-Lembeh a pleasant surprise.