Over the last 6 months we have been making some huge improvements to our resort in Bunaken. Last year it was Lembeh’s turn, now its Bunaken’s turn, and as you can see June was a really busy month for these improvements.
Whats next? For now, we want to do some more landsdcaping and update our cafe to offer extra services by end-Aug 2010, and then get on with some diving!
We have finally managed to put hot water in all the cottages & rooms! Its taken alot of effort – new generator shipped up from Jakarta, new water system and new electrical system! – but finally guests can take a warm shower after a night dive.
The summers have been getting more hot over the last few years, and since our new generator was installed in May we have been able to add some cooling fans in our restaurant. Its great that we have finally been able to buy the fans in Manado as well!
We finished two new standard cottages in June. We had some delays due to rain and shortage of wood in Manado, but they are finally finished. We are not getting bigger though – we have closed our 2 x standard rooms, one has become a classroom and the other is home to Abraham & Ella.
We bought some furnishings from Bali (you can;t get these here) and have put them in the cottages. These include mirrors, wall hangings, cushions, bed lights and wall lights.
They make our cottages even more comfortable!
Our new sun-beds finally arrived with comfortable cushions and they are an instant hit in our relaxing area.
They took 3 months from order to delivery, but thats another story!
We have reached our power limit and have been on the look-out for a new generator, but since they are now more than US$20,000 we have been looking for 2nd-hand one. We had no luck buying one in the Manado area so we found one in Jakarta and had it shipped to Manado, and it finally arrived in May. As you can see, we had some scary moments unloading it from the boat in Bunaken! Look out for more services like hot water and a/c!
Our beach wall is something we have been planning for a while, and we finally managed to get it done. Its taken over 50 boat-trips to bring over the stones, sand & cement from Manado, but it was worth it!
Josh and Nikki washed up on our shores after a stay with Two Fish Divers Bunaken and were ready to find out what this Muck Diving lark was about. We believe in the end they really loved it as they stayed with us for 5 days and then headed off to Flores and Bali and within 3 weeks were back for a second stint for another 4 days!! We think we have created to 2 new Muck Diving junkies!!
Josh and Nikki took many photos during their stay and you would often sitting in the lounge till the early hours cataloguing all their photos!! Two of our personal favourites are shown here.
Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus), usually live in burrows made from small rubble. This one pcitured here will be a male due to his strong bright colouring, females tend to be more olive in colour. We could spend hours watching these guys, preen their homes and it sometimes seems like they are just as interested in you as you are in them!!
Ribbon Eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) are another species that many people have on their Lembeh wish list and it is easy to see them at many of our sites. They are solitary creatures, who live in long sandy burrows. You normally see them with just their head sticking out but if you are really lucky you will see them free-swimming, which is a truly amazing sight. Ribbon eels are one of the wonders of the world as they start life as males ( as pictured here) and they can then later change sex. Adult males are bright blue and females bright yellow.
Thank you Josh and Nikki for sending these through to us and we hope to see in Lembeh again some time in the near future!
We regularly patrol our beach to keep it clean from rubbish, and the other day we had a group effort with some of our guests helping out! And it really is surprising what you can find hanging around in the rubbish!
Firstly, hiding amongst some sweet wrappers we found 5 or so Sargassum frogfish (Histrio histrio). This isn’t the first time we have found them right on our doorstep – two days ago we watched a large one eat a baby one!! Follow this link to find out more about these unusual frogfish – http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/sargassumfish/sargassumfish.html.
The next day as we were picking a stray plastic bottle or two, we came across this big guy!! We have been informed that he is a Dollabella Auricularia, which is a species of sea hare and grow up to 1.5 metres in length – HUGE!! The ‘hole’ you can see in the middle it is inhalant siphon which draws water into the enclosed mantle cavity. They tend to vary a lot in colour but are mainly see in mottled shades of brown/green, therefore allowing itself to be quite camouflaged,
It is normally found in sheltered bays on sand or mud but we found it sitting on the beach and so quickly took a photo before returning back to the water. I can assume he was not harmed to get this photo!
It was a real group effort cleaning up with Jacob & Kristen from Denmark, Phil & Liz from the UK and Silke & Peter from Austria all giving us a hand! Thank you so much it was really appreciated!
Back in February 2010, we had a group of Scandinavian divers who informed us of the existence of the ‘Tongue Eating Isopod’ – you may remember Anna’s photograph from the our ‘ Did You Know’ blog ( http://divinglembeh.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/did-you-know-2/) . One of the group was Bent Christensen, an Aquatic Ecologist and avid (and very talented) underwater and land photographer who has recently informed that he will be coming back to “to document the parasites further” . Even though he plans to spend a lot of time sitting at anemones, staring into the mouths of anemone fish as they try and bite him ( they are just protecting their anemone!) we are sure that he will spend some time enjoying some of the other critters that we have here in Lembeh and also to see if any of the other fish have a tongue-eating parasite living in their mouth!!
If you would like to check out some more of Bent’s photos from his stay here at Two Fish Lembeh and also at Two Fish Bunaken then follow the link to http://www.pbase.com/borneobent/sulawesi_2010 .
Two Fish Divers Lembeh would like to congratulate Maitri Fischer on completing his Enriched Air, Digital Underwater Photography and Deep Diver specialties during his stay with us! A perfect student, knowledge reviews where completed on time and he even scored 96% in his Enriched Air exam!! We did allow him some time off to enjoy some normal fun dives where he could continue to work on his camera skills!!
Here are some of the pictures that he took during his time with us.
You would think that maybe he has had enough learning for one holiday but he is off to our Bunaken resort to complete his Rescue Diver and Emergency First Response course over there!!
It has been great having Maitri to stay, a really fun student who is eager and willing to learn! We hope you come back soon!!