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Lembeh - are we doing it wrong?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by diveUAE, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. diveUAE

    diveUAE Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    Hi everyone

    We’re currently in Lembeh and struggling a bit to see the draw??

    I LOVE muck diving and have done it several places, so I was really, really looking forward to Lembeh- maybe our expectations were too high?

    Up till now we have done 6 dives - first 4 the dive guide was spending more time taking pictures with his own camera, than finding stuff (ok, not true, but almost)

    I asked him nicely to ditch the camera and the last 2 dives we’ve seen a LOT of nudies:-/

    To give you an idea of what we’ve seen in our 6 dives: Nudies (big and small very pretty- I’m getting good at finding even the small ones), scorpion fish, 1 painted frog fish, pipe fishes, 1 dragon sea mod, 1 Pygmy seahorse, 1 Wunderpus, 4-5 “long arms” octopus, 2 ghost pipefish, 3 moray eels, 2 ribbon eels, 2 juvenile bat fish.

    It seems like “good” sights are far between- not like Mafia Island, where we saw great things every 2-3 m.

    I was hoping for a lot more frog fishes and ghost pipefish as well as seahorses.

    So what do we do now? Any recommendations for great dive spots? Try asking for another dive master (bonus, if that one would stop blinding me with his torch) Are my expectations too high?
  2. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    Dive guide should not have a camera, in my opinion. What resort are you diving with?

    And I think your expectations may be high.
  3. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    Tell the dive guide what you want to see. We were at Lembeh Resort and every dive was designed to find what we wanted to see. It was spectacular. None of our guides had any cameras.
  4. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    1- dive with reputable dive resorts such as NAD, TwoFish or Black Sand DR, forget the new opening centers, forget the ones that have become too big or too expensive only caring for specific customers (thinking about Lembeh resort).
    2- As said no camera for the dive guide : report to the dive centre manager, especially if he decided to assign this guide for you. More importantly ask for a LOCAL dive guide, not a gringo.
    3- Do your homework : write down a bucketlist and hand it to your guide.
    4- Some of the critters you were expecting to be shown are maybe too common to be looked for by many customers (thinking about GPF) , hence your guide won't even care, some are also seasonal. Most people come to Lembeh for rare nudis, mimic octopii or wunderpus, not so much for froggies or GPF (I've seen better places for that like Dauin for instance, a dozen frogfish per dive, lumps of 4 or 5 GPF around a coral). I don't rate Lembeh high on seahorses, Bangka is a better bet.
    5- I dived Tanzania and northern Mozambique, North Sulawesi smokes any of those spots, really... hands down.
  5. Hoyden

    Hoyden Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Rockville, MD
    Get a better guide. There are amazing critters everywhere there in the muck.
    Allison Finch likes this.
  6. diveUAE

    diveUAE Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    Thank you guys. We are staying with a reputable dive operator (not Lembeh resort, NAD or 2 fish - both the latter were full) Long story short: we left our LOB midway through the cruise, will write a trip report later.

    I did give my “wish list” including GPF and frog fishes - and wonder/mimic octopus. Did see “pikachu” and “Shaun the sheep” nudies (except I couldn’t see Shaun)

    Just had a talk with the 2 other divers in our group and they’re frustrated too. Will speak with the manager tomorrow- hate this, but husband is saying we’ll never come back.

    And by the way: the dive guide seemed pleased with himself for showing us a banded cleaner shrimp (granted it was very big, but still...) so doubt he saw any gpf he did not show....

    We do love everything else about the resort: especially our room on stills in the water:)
  7. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    Well in my book such guiding practice don't come from a reputable dive operator. I understand you are also saying that you are diving in a group of 4 and moreover the guide is taking pictures !!!! This is something I would never accept when diving for macro, some reputable dive operations in Lembeh will try to arrange a 2 divers per guide ratio unless you are a group and you won't be led by some dummy with a camera.
    That is why the names of reputable dive operators you read did not encompass this one. I guess then you will speak with Froggies' dive manager.
    When a Lembeh diveguide shows contentment pointing at a banded cleaner shrimp, there is a big problem somewhere.
    Having stilts below your room won't do anything to improve your dive conditions, so better take action with the dive management because everybody on this board will tell you your report doesn't describe the Lembeh we know.
  8. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Wow, you were patient to last six dives. If having travelled half way around the world and having spent sheds loads of cash to do so, a guide had a camera and didn’t show me very much, I doubt I would last one dive. Four is a large group for macro. At a certain much loved and recommended Resort in Lembeh I have dived as part of a group of three, but there was almost always a second guide and sometimes the owner. All were amazing spotters.

    Sorry to hear too that your LOB did not work out, s***happens something’s and there’s always the next trip !
    chillyinCanada and Luko like this.
  9. bintang_shrimp

    bintang_shrimp Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Texas, USA
    Uh oh! Froggies? That's not good to hear as I just paid them deposit for diving a few weeks from now. At least I'll know to bring up this issue on arrival and make sure it doesn't happen.

    Btw, it appears Two Fish has gotten way overpriced for what they are, so I skipped them. NAD is too rich for my blood, as I'm self sufficient as a muck diver. I don't really need help spotting, I need a guide who remembers where they've seen what recently and we go there directly to look for it.
  10. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    Ouch. Big red flag if your guide had a camera. A group of 4 for Lembeh is a no go as well. It’s too large and cumbersome for Lembeh. When I dived with NAD it was 2 to 1. In any case, I hope your diving gets better. Be an advocate for yourself with the dive manager.

    I’m also super curious what happened on the liveaboard! Who was it with and what itinerary?
    billt4sf, Luko and Lorenzoid like this.

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