Illustrious Indonesia (Jun ’19)

Back in March 2019 two club members, Chris and Steve, took a 3 week break to combine diving and exploring the wonders of West Papua, Lembeh Strait and North Sulawesi. Here in Chris’ own words (and photos) is a brief report of their adventures!

Papua Explorers Dive Resort

Oceanic Manta Flyby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home to more than ten times the number of hard coral species found in the Caribbean, West Papua province is legendary among experienced scuba divers as one of the top dive destinations in the entire world. Add to this some of the best muck diving in the Lembeh strait and this was going to be a trip to remember!

Seahorse – one of many!

Frogfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet, it was not all about diving. With trips to see birds of paradise and trekking into Tangkoko National Park to see Black Crested Macaques and Tarsiers amongst other amazing species.

Steve getting the perfect shot

Colours of the reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underwater highlights of the trip included being close enough to an Oceanic Manta that we had to duck, seeing some of the most weird and amazing critters and seeing an abundance of pristine corals!

Harlequin Pipefish

NAD, Lembeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On land the highlights included birds of paradise (Steve even trekking for 4 hours and leaving at 3am in the morning to see a bird of paradise – I went for the diving 🙂 ). Walking with Black Crested Macaques and watching the amazing leaps of Tarsiers, plus for those arachnophobes amongst you a large tree Tarantula that you had to turn your torch off to approach!

Spot the Pygmy Seahorses!

More colours of the reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only significant lowlight was watching liveaboard divers lying on the coral to take selfies, whilst their guides looked on. Steve intervened to yank one off a table coral – that woke the guides up! The number of liveaboards is increasing, so my advice is to go soon if this is on your must do list!

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