Your first views of the waters of Lembeh Straits from the high, winding road from Manadu airport are surprising. Your preconceived images of how a great dive destination should look quickly fly out the window. There are no huge vistas of cobalt ocean stretching to the horizon or sweeping scenes of reef-filled, turquoise-hued waters. Instead, there is a narrow passage between mountainous islands, a passage of deep waters that practically screams of mystery and hidden discoveries to be made beneath the dark surface.
Once your diving begins, often so close to shore that your dive boat is tied to a tree at the waterís edge, the impression expands to unimaginable proportions. For here lives the most exquisite, exotic amalgamation of strangely beautiful sea creatures yet discovered by the diving world. On the shallow, dark sand, rubble and muck bottoms in the straits are frogfish, seahorses, nudibranchs (by the hundreds), rare species of scorpionfish, stargazers, leaf fish and Mimic Octopus, among many others.
A visit here is a photographerís dream come to life. Itís a biologistís fantasy in the flesh. Itís diving like nothing youíve ever experienced. Above all, itís something you will never forget.
ó Al Hornsby