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To Lembeh or Not To Lembeh?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by BikerManiac, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. BikerManiac

    BikerManiac Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NEW YAWK, USA
    352
    25
    28
    I am going to Raja Ampat for 11 days in December. Trying to decide whether I should go to Lembeh Strait and do more diving. My time is short and If I really want to make it; I would have to squeeze a few days here and there. At most I could go there for only 2 or 3 days.

    1) Is muck diving that much different/better in Lembeh than what I could experience on the liveaboard?
    2) To the divers who have done both of the trips. What do you recommend?
    3) Mermaid I arrives back in Sorong in the morning. How many flights are there to Manado? Is overnight required in Sorong or Manado?

    If I had time, I would definitely do it. But need to weight the rewards vs punishments.
    I assume I will be exhausted after the liveaboard if I do 4-5 dives days/10 days.
     
  2. WetPup

    WetPup Weedy Sea Dragon

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kiwiland
    1,106
    660
    113
    The direct flights from Sorong to Manado are not daily. So it will entirely depend on what day of the week you get back to Sorong, and whether there's a direct flight that day. Alternatively, you could fly out from Sorong to Makassar and get a connecting flight to Manado the same day. It'd be tight trying to get much diving in, but I guess it could be done.

    And yes, the muck diving in Lembeh is significantly different to what you will see in Raja Ampat. More weird and wacky critters than what you will see on your liveaboard.

    I can't recommend one over the other - they are both entirely different styles of diving. If you can afford both, do both.
     
    BikerManiac likes this.
  3. Freewillow

    Freewillow Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brussels
    1,664
    417
    83
    YOU WILL LOVE IT IN RANJA ON YOUR LIVEBOARD; nEVER BEEN IN lEMBEH? ALTHOUGH IT IS ON MY SHORT LIST; Sorry Captital lock on when I typed the beginning :(;
     
  4. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,459
    6,096
    113
    I haven't been to RA, so I can't compare with Lembeh, but I have seen others ask how to split their time between Lembeh and Bunaken, which is also in North Sulawesi. Most people who ask this question are not die-hard muck divers and so are thinking they want to spend more days in Bunaken to see the bigger stuff and then tack on a couple of days in Lembeh just to see what all the fuss is about. A common reply to this question by people who have been to both is to consider reversing it, and spend more time in Lembeh than Bunaken. Lembeh is truly other-worldly. I have never read a report from anyone saying he wished he'd spent less time in Lembeh and more time somewhere else. Of course, RA is one of those bucket-list destinations as well--one I am still dreaming of doing. Tough decision.
     
  5. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,118
    781
    113
    Are you a photographer? If so go. Do you like great visibiliy, pretty coral reefs, and big animals? Yah I know who doesn't , watch some videos on YouTube and see what it's all about. It's not everyone's cup of tea, some come, love it and return for more ( I'm here for the 4th time) others find muck isn't for them. Going to Indonesia takes quite a bit of time effort and money, I spend as much time and money as I can afford on my trips there and maximize my experience for the effort.
     
    BikerManiac likes this.
  6. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,511
    1,780
    113
    Considering that you will have a totally different style of diving on your LOB in RA, and you are in the neighbourhood so to speak, if you can jag a flight schedule that fits nicely then why would you not do it :wink:
    Theres nothing you are going to see in Bunaken (ok, theres a bigger turtle in Bunaken than any ive seen at RA) that you wont see (given the ocean is playing nice) in RA so it kinda makes sense to do Lembeh over Bunaken. Weird critters for two or three days seems a perfectly nice way to end your trip - or you could take another weeks leave and do Bangka as well.
     
  7. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
    1,039
    145
    63
    If it works out then do it for sure!!! The muck diving is fantastic in Lembeh! We have been several times and still want to go back! Try and squeeze it in if you can!
     
  8. billt4sf

    billt4sf Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fayetteville GA, Wash DC, NY, Toronto, SF
    2,547
    1,124
    113
    OK, so I was on the Mermaid in RA in November. One perspective is that many of us felt that 10 days was a little long. Before everyone jumps in and says how crazy I am, I am simply observing that at least a third of the boat felt that way. People were anxious to get back to their lives.

    The Mermaid people treated us *very* well, it's not because we didn't like the boat. Ten days of 3 or 4 dives per day is plenty for some of us.

    - Bill
     
    BikerManiac and SharksAreFriends like this.
  9. BikerManiac

    BikerManiac Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NEW YAWK, USA
    352
    25
    28
    Thanks. Great info. I did some research and I won't have direct flights to Manado. :-( I will have to go through Makassar first and then to Manado. (I think total travel time will be 6+ hours). Basically wasting one day to get there.

    Amazing videos on Youtube.

    Don't think you are crazy at all. I have felt the same way sometimes. December holidays (x-mas and new years) makes it harder.
     
  10. scorpiofish

    scorpiofish Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dallas
    400
    68
    28
    1) Is muck diving that much different/better in Lembeh than what I could experience on the liveaboard?

    Yes, it is better. RA liveaboards don't hit too many muck sites on their normal itineraries.

    2) To the divers who have done both of the trips. What do you recommend?

    First, if this is your one and only trip or one of two trips ever to Indonesia, AND you can get at least two days of diving in, then do it. It will make your trip a bit more hectic, but better to be a little frazzled and dive Lembeh than to have never dived it at all.

    3) Mermaid I arrives back in Sorong in the morning. How many flights are there to Manado? Is overnight required in Sorong or Manado?

    Answered by someone else. This is where it can get hectic.
     

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