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craig nelson

Diving Bali & Lembongan - seeking reputable dive operators

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Hi everyone.

 

Looking for reputable dive operations in Bali and Lembongan that will tolerate a photographer who will not tolerate hand held reef excursions lol!

 

Operators and site guides for a good bit of macro and a day of wide angle would also be very welcome.

 

Thanks in advanced

Craig

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I've used Tauch Terminal at Tulamben a good few times. They're based almost on top of the Liberty wreck (wide-angle) with macro sites a 10-15 minutes u/w swim away from their steps.

 

I can recommend them, Craig. No fussing about.

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Have been returning on and again evary year to Bali for the past 6 years, (you can chekc my gallery here https://www.flickr.com/photos/luko/albums/72157627401970335

 

there are three areas I would recommend : Tulamben, Lembongan and Padang Bai.

First off I suggest you move from place to place, rather than staying at one place and having long car rides every day, taht said you can dive Lembongan/Nusa Penida from Padang Bai.

 

Tulamben is better when dived from Tulamben, some would advise staying in Amed, I don't because Amed dive centres and guides are clearly one or two steps below Tulamben's. Tulamben is mainly black sand macro and the Liberty wreck,

For staying I prefer Tauch Terminal, however I don't like diving with TT, I book my dives at Liberty dive centre they provide you with free nitrox and private guide included in your dive price. They pick me up each morning with their truck, I just schedule my preference with my private guide.

You can also stay at Liberty dive resort where the dive center is located.

 

Padang Bai, I'm using Gekodive for years, they have good guides as well for local dives. The jetty is not t be missed if you're on for rhinopias and lots of frogfish under a pier. they also rovide diving to Nusa Penida, without having to stay on Lembongan.

Best option for staying nearby : Puri Rai hotel.

 

Lembingan has evolved much to a cramped backpackers place these past years. I don't stay anymore on Lembongan.

Twofish used to be good, the bungalows are fine too but the recent management is not up to the past one, they have speedboats which is a good point. Worlddiving is also an option but their boats are often crowded and one is too big for serious diving.

 

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Thanks all.

 

Currently in touch with those suggested.

 

As this is a family trip, moving around is not possible, so it will be day dives only. Staying on Lembongan for 6 days then onto Nusa Dua for 6 days.

 

I'm not planning on doing too much on lembongan in all honesty just a couple of days diving, got a swanky villa so should be well priced out of backpackers lol.

 

I'll have to put up with the long journey by car. Was trying to find someone that boats it up to Tulamben from areas in Bali, but no luck

 

I'm happy to leave the itinerary to the dive centre as they know the sites better than me. But would you guys say do a couple of days in Tulamben , one day macro, one day wide ? 3 dives a day ? The Pier and I'm listening for anything else you think is a must they can be reached in a day lol.

 

Regards

Craig

Edited by craig nelson

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Hi Craig

 

For Tulamben I'd suggest two dives on the wreck of the Liberty (wide angle) and then, depending on the views of the dive guide on locations; two macro dives - one on Coral Garden and one on Seraya Secret. Juuuust about doable in a day. Two days would be better. 3 dives a day perfectly doable.

 

I'd recommend diving the Liberty early in the morning - the earlier, the better as the water gets stirred up by divers and viz drops.

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I use Aquamarine (http://www.aquamarinediving.com) for my Indonesian dive trips. They are located in Denpasar and run by English lady dive master.

I was introduced to them by a good dive buddy who has used them for many years. I have them pick me up in Denpasar and off we go diving. I hire a private dive guide from them and give him a list of critters I want to photograph. We dive as much as I want and as long as I want. It is VIP service.

 

Elmer

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Tulamben would be better if you had a dive guide from Tulamben not the ones the Sanur operators hire for diving everywhere.

Critters move and appear on a day to day basis, last year I hired the best free lance photo guide in Tulamben (Ajiex Dharma, never dives out of Tulamben area), we dived spots I never dived before in 6 years he knew exactly where and when to find the critters, told me when they had disappeared.

 

Tulamben is mostly worth for macro, you'll have yoru share of WA on Nusa Penida.

I'd suggest one or two dives on the Liberty (I am not a fan of early morning dives as the light is not really good, I think it's better from 8AM plus the Bumpheads are still there, only a little bit further away and the "early morning" divers have already left), the rest (possibly 4 othe dives) on macro places such as Melasti (one of the only place where you can find the donut doto nudibranch), Sidem, Batu NIti, etc. The slope near the wreck used to be a great place but it's not what it used to be except for night dives, Seraya may be a hit or miss dependng on the critters, last year was wasted time for instance, you need to have a guide with knowledge for that.

 

The must do site on Bali you'll really miss with your plan is the jetty on Padang Bai

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Hi Luko

 

Thanks for your assistance. The dive at PB jetty is on my list of to do's list for sure ! this has come from many sources now so I cannot miss it !

 

Would you recommend spending an entire day at this site ?

 

Regards

Craig

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Guys

 

Thinking out loud, 60mm with 1.4x or 105mm, for capturing Pygmy's , I'm sure I've used 60mm in the past with a diopter but my memory is failing.

 

Thinking that 1.4x will bring me in greater than1:1

 

Thanks

C

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Craig,

 

Jetty in PB : Gekodive usually provides 2 morning dives trip on the Jetty, PB facing south the open sea can be a bit rough in the afternoon with surge coming in, hence it's better to dive the jetty (a bit away) in the morning, sometimes you can't ride out of PB in the afternoon.,

 

Pygmies : 60mm usually don't support wetlens such as Aquako as they work by decreasing the focusing distance, 60mm is already close to the subject, so the longer lens you take the better it gets with a diopter. 1,4 multiplier is a pain in the neck for focusing, I'd rather suggest 105 and wetlens +10 or +15 (Subsee, CMC, Aquako, etc.) for pygmies.

Edited by Luko

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