Lyd pops her Lembeh cherry

My stay in Lembeh will change how I look at a seabed and reef forever, and I only scratched the surface… take me back now!

  • As we hopped out of the 4x4 and strolled to the small jetty for the final leg of our outbound travels I was filled with excitement at what the following days would have in store for me. After arranging several successful photography workshops and sending countless guests I decided it was time to pop my own Lembeh cherry.

    As our luggage was loaded aboard our transfer boat, I jumped on deck and climbed up to the roof to take in the view, and wow what a view it was, an island of dense jungle and very few resorts were ahead of me.

    It was around 3.30pm, and within 10 minutes we turned into the bay where we would be spending the following 9 nights, NAD Lembeh Resort. We were greeted by resort manager Sonja as she handed us with cold towels and freshly made lemonade as we sat down for a quick resort briefing. We then headed to our room to unpack the essentials, freshen up, and be ready to join everyone for dinner at 7pm.

  • The Diving

    I have never muck dived before but have wanted to for some time now. Over the years I have found myself looking less into the blue for big surprises, and more into the corals and reefs for the little ones, and this dive trip certainly didn’t disappoint.

    My first dive will remain with me forever, the dive site was chosen for me by owner Zee as my introduction to muck and Lembeh, and wow what an intro!

    We descended to the sea bed, around 5m, and immediately something caught the attention of my guide Paulus. He beckoned me over and I couldn’t believe my eyes….. I’d been in the water barely 5 minutes and I was staring at a mimic octopus. Mr mimic was more than happy to display his signature fish for me, the flat fish, then went on to see if I liked his sea snake, which was wicked! He slowly and precisely tucked himself back into his hole, leaving just the top of his head and two tentacles on display, then changed his colour. I must admit I was impressed by the little fella.

    During this first dive I was blown away, pigmy squid, countless gobies, peacock mantis shrimps with eggs, seahorses, nudis and a massive hairy frog fish. As we were coming to the end we saw another mimic, this time trying to impress us with his lion fish! 78 minutes later I surfaced with the biggest smile, and all of that in just a max of 13m, I couldn’t wait to get on the next dive to find my bluering.

    I won’t recant every dive, but during the following days I saw some of the weirdest, most wonderful and colourful critters on this earth. Sexy shrimp became a firm favourite, along with the oh so colourful flamboyant cuttlefish. Behaviour wise I fell in love with the supper funny coconut octopus, we saw two during our stay and I could have watched them for hours. We were also blessed to see flamboyant cuttlefish hatching from their tiny little eggs and swimming free.

    Lembeh is renown for its muck diving, so I was very impressed when I saw the quality of the reefs too! A lot of our dives either began or ended on a shallow reef, all of which had plenty of life, and some very very healthy soft and hard corals, also with their fair share of critters. Diving isn’t limited to the Strait either, on the east side of the island there are some exceptional reef dives available, but this trip for me was all about the muck.

  • The Resort

    When not diving there was plenty of relaxing to be had at NAD. The beachfront rooms on the ground level overlooked the small dip pool and rather nice jacuzzi (of course this was tested thoroughly), and all the rooms had sea views. We stayed in one of the bungalows, these are slightly elevated and set back a little more at the edge of jungle. Sitting on our porch every evening we could hear the family of Tarsiers calling around us and although we never actually saw them they certainly let us know of their presence.

    NAD is very social too, dining table are arranged as two long tables, so you can eat as a group, share experiences, meet new people and talk about your day. It gives NAD a real family feel. The food at NAD was wonderful, all fresh and full of flavour. Simon and Zee (the owners) try and give you a full Indonesian experience when it comes to meal times and I was more than happy to partake! Once the chef realised I had a taste for the spicy I found small bowls of even more authentic flavours being bought out to sample alongside our normal meal, *warning* a fair few of these packed a real punch so if you get to try some I would suggest to approach each mouthful with caution!

    In a Nutshell

    Lembeh was an amazing diving experience, even for me a non-photographer. NAD was lovely, a friendly family resort with a 5* service, that I felt really go that extra mile. I will be returning, and trying the east side too!

    If you want to try something a little different give us a call on 01323 648924 or drop us a line for resort information please click here.

    Underwater images courtesy of Paul Brown

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