PDA

View Full Version : Indonesia Trip Report



Shenanigan
02-16-2009, 21:11
Raja Ampat / Lembeh, Indonesia


Before embarking on my adventure, I spent a few days in California with my family. Since I'd be gone for my birthday and given my upcoming dive trip, they made me a b-day cake with a nice dive sceen of Playmobile figures. I decided the Scuba Girl from the cake needed to come on the trip with me! I left for Indonesia at 12am on January 3, 2009. It takes a bit travel and patience to get to these parts. We had a few hours in the transit hotel in Seoul, an overnight at the Sheraton in Jakarta (with a scorpion in the room!), then a transfer to Manado and finally arrived in Sorong (otherwise known as SoWrong for good reason!) on January 5, 2009 around noon. The crew from the Archipelago Adventurer II met us at the airport and collected our bags. We took a quick taxi ride to the dock and boarded the tenders to get to the live aboard. The boat can accommodate 16 guests, but we only had 11, so many of us had a room to ourselves, which was very nice.


Upon boarding we handed over our shoes, never to be seen again until we disembarked. We had coconut beverages and fried bananas, drizzled with blueberry sauce, while the crew gave us our cabin assignments and a housekeeping briefing. After another light snack we were given our agenda for the next 6 days ... really for the rest of the trip as Kasawari, Lembeh was very similar.


First Breakfast – continental style
Dive
Second Breakfast – hot / made to order
Dive
Lunch – buffet style
Dive
Snack
Dive
Dinner – sit down
Bed


The following morning I was greeted by the cruise director, James, on my way to first breakfast with a big Happy Birthday! I can't think of a better way to celebrate! We dove off / around Sorong Monument. The first dive of the day, I saw my first wobbegong sharks! Interesting creatures. Very docile. We would see many more throughout the trip. We would visit Kri, Mioskoon, Kerupiar, Mansuar, Yanggelo and West Gam during our stay on the Adventurer II. On one dive we planned to go to a known manta cleaning station where we were just going to hang out and wait. I thought this would be a good dive for Scuba Girl. We didn't see any mantas, but the DM got a big kick out of Scuba Girl when he caught me taking pics of her in the coral. After seven quick days aboard the boat and many amazing dives, we disembarked and went to Kasawari Resort in Lembeh. Kasawari is located at the end of a small, remote town near Bitung. The resort is very nice and the photo room is the nicest I've seen. We only had two full days of diving there, but the critters you see in the “muck” are awesome.


Creature highlights of the trip included blue spotted rays, scorpion fish, lots of friendly lion fish (not shy around the camera!!), devilfish, pipe fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, tons of nudibranchs, octopus, bump head parrot fish, porcelain crabs, sweetlips, trigger fish, moray eels, ribbon eels, box fish, puffers,leaf fish, frog fish, lobster, pygmy sea horses, sea horses, to name a few. The numerous schools of fish were amazing. Some firsts for me were wobbegong sharks, wonderpus, flamboyant cuttlefish, electric clam, juvenile ornate pipefish, juvenile lion fish, juvenile barramundi, banggai cardinal fish, pinnate spade fish, stargazer snake eel, sea moths.

Need I list more?!?!? It was amazing!

My BIG disappointment was the morning I decided to forgo an impromptu (decided the night before) sunrise dive at 5:30AM - BEFORE first breakfast. The only blue ringed octopus of the trip was seen on this dive. But I saw so many fabulous critters, I just see this as an excuse to return to Indo in search of the elusive blue ringed octopus!


A highly recommended trip if ever afforded the opportunity!!

Shenanigan
02-16-2009, 21:45
I'll add pics if someone tells me how. :smiley9:

chinacat46
02-17-2009, 07:36
Hey thanks for the report. Were Ali and Made the DMs on the LOB? You need to spend a week diving Lembeh to really see how crazy it is.

Travelnsj
02-17-2009, 12:34
That early morning dive is amazing....I did it my first time in October. Too bad you did not see any Mantas, did you dive Manta point Slop or Sandy?

Good report.....I have months before I'll be back in those waters:smiley13:

Shenanigan
02-17-2009, 18:34
Yes, Ali and Made were our DMs. They are great! The whole crew was great. They shared some funny stories!

We went to Manta Sandy, but no Mantas. :smiley13:

I'll definately have to go back, get over my fear of mornings to do the sunrise dive, see a blue ring and a manta.

Travelnsj
02-17-2009, 21:10
They should of taken you over to Manta slop not far from Sandy. At times the current can be wicked to swim thru at the Slop...but if the Mantas are not at Sandy they are at the Slop....guess you just have to go back!

Shenanigan
02-18-2009, 19:52
They should of taken you over to Manta slop not far from Sandy. At times the current can be wicked to swim thru at the Slop...but if the Mantas are not at Sandy they are at the Slop....guess you just have to go back!

I'll have to put that in my notes for next time! :ferie:

Shenanigan
02-21-2009, 08:28
Attempting to post a few photos ...

4211

4212

4213

Desert_Diver
02-21-2009, 08:48
Thanks for the excellant trip report and the pics. Indonesia is on my list of Wanna Dive.

Travelnsj
02-21-2009, 10:14
Great photos....I still have not seen that flamboyant cuttlefish....maybe this November!

Shenanigan
02-21-2009, 12:22
Here are a few more ...

4215

4216

4217

Shenanigan
02-21-2009, 12:29
And a few more ...

4218

4219

4220

4221

Shenanigan
02-21-2009, 12:31
Great photos....I still have not seen that flamboyant cuttlefish....maybe this November!

This was the first time I'd seen one ... well actually two on this trip. And I actually spotted the first one! :smiley20:

chinacat46
02-21-2009, 13:17
Thanks for the nice pics brings back some memories. Did you get to see the archer fish shoot any bugs?.

I hate to say it but the first time I went to Lembeh at the end of Feb 2007 I saw so many flamboyant cuttlefish that we almost started to ignore them. I didn't see any when I was there in Nov of 2008 though I did see many when I was in the Philippines in Sept of 2008. Like many creatures they are somewhat seasonal so you won't see everything everytime you go. I didn't see any harlquin shrimp all last year and those are some of my all time favs.

Shenanigan
02-21-2009, 13:20
Thanks for the nice pics brings back some memories. Did you get to see the archer fish shoot any bugs?

No, they were trying get us back to the boat, so I didn't get to hang out with him for very long.