Yesterday (08/03/10) Two Fish Lembeh sent Gizmo (our resort manager), Danny (one of our excellent dive guides) along with Andy & Les (two guests who have come to dive Lembeh many times with Two Fish Divers) off to check out some new dive sites. We had heard that at the south of Lembeh Island, there was some areas of spectacular wall diving and so we went to see if the rumours were true! When the boat returned I was very glad to be greeted by 4 happy smiling faces, the morning dives had obviously been a success! White Tip Reef Sharks, Tuna, Giant Trevally joined thousands upon thousands of Half-Moon Triggers, Pyramid Butterflyfish and other reef fish surrounded our divers. Not only all that action but the divers enjoyed at least 20-30m viz! For all you Macro fans, there is still plenty of small things to be found – Orangutan Crabs, Scorpion Fish and Nudi’s to name just a few. We are going to look into running these trips on a regular basis so keep your eyes peeled for an update! Photos to come as well, I just need to get them off Andy & Les’s cameras!!
After feeling disappointed that we were going to be unable to dive Tandu Rusa and visit the resident Hairy Frogfish, we decided on Nudi Falls for the second dive of the morning (01/03/10). The visibility was looking good; there was no current – perfect conditions!! It was going to be a good dive, I could tell!
We set off, closely inspecting the Gorgonian Fans for Pygmy Seahorses but after 10mins and 3 fans we were unable to locate any. Nudi Falls was delivering a great dive – plenty of Nudis, Morays, Banded and Long Nosed Pipefish and much, much more.
I was just about to go up to do my safety stop, when Opo (our Head Dive Guide) came rushing over to me, with a look of pure excitement on his face. I decided that it was worth following Opo, especially after he started to write SEA DRAGON into the sand! My heart was racing, he couldn’t have possibly found a critter that was only discovered in recent years (2006) but is hardly seen? Or could he?? After a quick swim back to an algae covered part of the wall, he started a thorough search and within seconds, he was pointing to what looked like a tiny strand of hair floating in the water but this was to be my first look at the extremely rare Lembeh Sea Dragon ( Kyonemichthys rumengani).
This rarely sighted critter tends to hang around in the shallows with its tail wrapped onto some algae. They have the face of a Pygmy Seahorse but the body of a very thin pipefish.
I was still shaking with disbelief and joy when we surfaced and was smiling all the way back to the resort. We are hoping to get some pictures this afternoon if he is still there – so keeping checking the blog!
We just received this great pic of a baby cuttlefish from Zoe who stayed with us for 1 month in Dec 2009. This egg hatched in an hour and the baby immediately swam off – too fast for another photo!
Our guests do not need to do anything – we’ll buy the ticket for the fee from the Bitung Tourism Office (Bitung is the city where Lembeh Strait is situated), and then add this amount to the invoice.
We are currently working with the other dive operators in the area to make sure that the fee system is transparent, and we hope that some of the funds will be used for environmental projects.
The competition is now clsoed. Judging will take place in Feb and we will annouce the winners by 28 feb 2010. Good luck to everyone!