Indonesia Trip Report

Wow. Let’s start with that, shall we?

We’ve just returned home from a fantastic 10-day dive trip to Indonesia. This is our story!

We  began by all meeting up in Singapore; there were 8 of us in total, and we began our collective journey with a wonderful, authentic Chinese “hot pot” dinner. Two types of broth (one spicy, one not so spicy) boiled in a vat in the center of the table, while different plates of thinly sliced meats and veggies were dumped into each broth. A few minutes later, voila; ready to eat. Scrumptious!

hot pot in Singapore

Hot Pot Dinner!

The next morning, we hit the airport for our flight to Manado, where the folks from Murex Bangka would meet us and transport us to our first destination. Bangka Island was a late change to our itinerary, but it proved a positive addition to our trip! It’s a very small, quaint spot, with beachfront cabins all with a view of an active volcano, a single room for dining and entertainment, and a wonderfully friendly and accommodating staff. We all put our shoes aside for the three days we were here; who needs shoes!

Murex Bangka, Indonesia

Cottage at Murex Bangka

This was our first taste of Indonesian diving, and it did not disappoint! The reefs here are colourful with tons of soft corals, loads of fish life and loads and LOADS of critters. We did a checkout dive on the house reef when we arrived, to ensure we all had our weighting dialed in, and then did two days of boat diving, three dives each day.

bangka island indonesia

Leaf Scorpionfish – one of Bangka’s early treasures!

Saturday was our transfer day. We had our luggage ready bright and early, and then got our dive gear on and boarded the boat. While our stuff was moved over land to Lembeh Resort, we enjoyed two dives along the way. A quick lunch and check in at Lembeh, and we were ready for the third dive of the day.

Lembeh Resort

Lembeh Resort

Lembeh Resort was beautiful. Less rustic than Murex Bangka, it’s built into the side of a huge hill. The wonderfully appointed cabins had great views of the strait, and of the “mainland” (the island of Sulawesi) across. Food was good and quite varied with a mix of buffet dinners and a la carte. Lunch and breakfast were buffet style, along with a “how you like them” egg station at breakfast. Between dive snacks were available, provided by a smiling staff member as we stepped off the boat, along with coffee, tea and drinks poolside.

Lembeh Resort dive staff with Atkins Scuba group

Fantastic group with our Lembeh dive staff!

Here we are with our boat, Larnia, in the background, and our awesome dive staff! (Thanks to Stephanie for the photo!)

Dive service was valet style – thrown off slightly by the sidemount rigs that Matthew and I brought with us – so our gear was brought to the boat each morning and set up, ready to go. Boat rides to the dive sites were generally short, dive guides were knowledgeable, and a mix of muck diving and coral reef sites provided plenty of opportunity to see TONS of stuff! Thanks so much to Fandy and Ramly (our guides) along with Yanti, our boat staff, all the hotel staff, Miguel and Ana at the Lembeh Resort, Kristine, Lauren and Dimpy at critters@lembeh – we had a great time!

We also had some achievements to celebrate: Celia had a birthday, and then did her 100th dive, as did her husband Larry (the 100th dive, not the birthday). Nicole completed her Divemaster program, along with her Peak Performance Buoyancy course and her Deep course, and she also completed – along with Stephanie and Debbie – her Digital Underwater Photography program. And Steph also finished up her Enriched Air Diver program! Lots of moving forward, and we are very glad to have been a part of all of it – way to go, divers!

Dragon Nudibranch Lembeh Strait Indonesia

Dragon Nudibranch, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

You can check out a few of Kari’s underwater photos here, or here on the AtkinsScuba Facebook page. One of our participants, Riley Tanner, took some wonderful photos, which he has shared on PhotoBucket, here. Thanks, Riley!

And if this whets your appetite for diving, check out our trips to Cozumel in 2015, and join us!

sunset bangka island indonesia

The sun sets on another awesome dive trip!

Spring news!

Hi!

Are you on our newsletter list? Send us an email and we’ll add you. In the meantime, here is a a link to our Spring News! (you can scan the QR code, or just click here.)

Best Fishes,
Kari and Matthew

QR atkins scuba spring news

Atkins Scuba is on the move!

Or more specifically, we’ve moved. After spending two and a half years in sunny Cozumel, Mexico, we’re back in Canada! You can read about our journey home here; we are now (mostly) settled in Victoria, BC.

ogden point breakwater

View from the Ogden Point Breakwater entry point.

Matthew has accepted a new opportunity and is now the manager of the Ogden Point Dive Centre (go ahead and “like” the facebook page!). It’s in a wonderful location right on the breakwater, just a short distance from the inner harbour and all the awesomeness that downtown Victoria has to offer. Shore diving just steps away, weekly charters, training, and a venue for some scuba trips!

We’re still teaching (just finished an Emergency Oxygen Provider course and are in the middle of a Rescue Diver program, starting some Divemasters next week) and are ready to see all of you, our friends, here on Vancouver Island! There is wonderful diving here (as you already know, I’m sure) and we’re embracing it!

Getting closer!

…to the trip of a lifetime.

muck diving indonesia

Discover your Muck Diving World!

You want critters? We’ve got critters. Nudis, frogfish, octopi, crabs, shrimp, you name it, it’s there, it’s colourful and it’s amazing. This trip will be a photographer’s dream. Not a photographer yet? What a great place to learn and practice! Here is a great link to learn about “muck diving.”

Check out critters@lembeh on facebook for their own photos and videos of the diving! And then all you have to do is sign up, and show up.

Full trip details are just a click away.

Exciting addition to Indonesia trip!

We got some very exciting news yesterday; during our stay at the Lembeh Resort this July, two of the region’s most experienced underwater naturalists will be there also. It’s Fish Geek Week, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that! Gerald Allen and Mark Erdmann will be there from July 18 to 26, 2014 and will be conducting a number of presentations, as well as being available for questions, dives, and general hanging out.

This wonderful opportunity comes at no cost to us, so take advantage!

For full details of the trip, click here. Come and get your Geek on!

Lembeh Resort

All that is missing from this photo is you.

Emergency First Response Instructor in the house!

One of the best things about being a scuba diver is that there is always more to learn. At Atkins Scuba, we are firm believers in continuing education, and that includes for ourselves! At the DEMA show in November, Kari took some next steps and became an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer. This means that in addition to being able to teach you the provider course and work on your EFR skills, she can now make you an instructor, ready to teach your own students! It was a fantastic experience, and it feels GOOD to keep learning!

CPR edmonton

CPR is for everyone

AED with CPR edmonton

Learn how to use AED

 

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays! We spent our day diving with some wonderful friends. And met these guys!

All the best to you and yours,

Kari and Matthew
Atkins Scuba