After a very last minute decision and booking, it was time to finally visit one of the worlds biggest and most diverse macro areas, Lembeh in Northern Sulawesi. The coral triangle is the goldilocks zone of reefs with the rich waters and the volcanic ash making the conditions just right for a plethora of macro life.
Unfortunately, the first thing that stood out was the rubbish that was found around the reefs here. Although this wasn’t the case on every dive luckily, it did make for some interesting photos such as the two ghost pipe fish that I found in a black and white feather star, right beside a bucket of starter plugs and a car battery!
Despite the rubbish, there is so much diversity here that you wouldn’t know where to point your camera half of the time. From seahorse to squid, pygmy and flamboyant cuttlefish to blue ring or mimic wonderpuss, the list is never ending.
The top sites that I was lucky enough to visit were Nudi Falls and Nudi Hi. Nudi Falls is a drop to 22meters with a beautiful sandy bottom and after 20 minutes here we headed up to the wall of corals. In both parts of the dive, there were creatures everywhere and even markers every few meters from when the BBC came to film just a few months
ago. The other Nudi was Nudi Hi and after taking so many pictures that my finger was in pain, I was very glad to head back a second time to take advantage of the Lembeh ghost pipefish that we found. This amazing creature is closely related to the leafy seahorses from South Australia, has hair like fine coarse thread and you need a magnifying glass to see it properly! This little pipefish is so small that capturing the perfect picture was a challenge and I was lucky enough to spend 35minutes just trying and hopefully succeeding.
Over my time here I did 26 dives both in and around the Lembeh Straits with the Canon r5, a Canon rf100 macro, an extra 10x lens, the new Ikelite 232 strobes, a snoot, and a small light. If you come here with a wide angle lens in mind, forget it! I would like to thank everyone from the resort for their help. I ended up with between 200 to 300 pictures from every dive and my finger has checked itself into rehab for a few weeks to recover! This truly is one of the top macro places in the world and lets hope they look after it in the long run.
Until next time, have fun diving wherever you are.