ScubaJess, StphnMartin, VJW, Zack (lurker), ScubieDoo and I just came back from a great trip to the east side of Sulawesi, Indonesia
We stayed at Tompotika Dive Lodge, a beautiful dive resort that holds up to about 10 divers, running off 3 small boats.
It took 4 plane rides and a 3 hour van ride to get to the destination. Two of the flights were cancelled, so it ended up taking us a grueling 52 hours to get there! Yikes! The 3 hour drive took us out thru partially paved roads into rural Indonesia. Near the airport there were hordes of motorbikes on the road, as well as some trucks and vans. Most of the scooter riders weren't wearing helmets, many were just wearing sandals. To what we're accustomed to, there was a lot of close and aggressive passing of cars/scooters. We saw up to 4 people on one scooter. Quite the ride! Shacks lined the road.
The resort at our destination was beautiful. Beautiful grounds, modern private rooms, and a great common area -- right in front of the beach. We would soon find out that the resort was somewhat at the mercy of the unreliable power in the area. But luckily the resort had a backup generator they could kick on most of the time. It made for some challenge charging some times.
As for the diving... We got to see amazing creatures like cuttlefish, frogfish, blacktip sharks, rays, walking sharks, mantis shrimp, sea horses, clown shrimp, flying fish, blue ring octopus, intricate corals, puffer fish, clownfish, and fantastically colored nudibranchs. So much good stuff!
The diving here was surprisingly very challenging. There was a lot of waves, surge, currents. The boats were small and often rocked in the waves making gear prep tricky. But the diving was worth it!
The night dives were really cool. I'm sure some of the more experience tropical divers will provide some great detail of the creatures found there.
Here were some of the snaps:
The scenery topside was equally beautiful with sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and green jungle.
The reefs were looking healthy, except an occasional bare spot from dynamite fishing. There was also some plastic floating around, but not as bad as other place in Indonesia, from what I hear.
After each dive, we were treated to a delicious juice or tea. These were great. One of the juices was even made from some special fruits found in the local jungle.
Meals were served between dives, and were quite good. We were fed lot of rice, eggs, soy, chicken, crepes, and fried foods. Lemon grass was a common flavor element.
It was my first trip to the south pacific, so it was quite the treat!
Thank you to StphnMartin for planning this whole trip and giving great guidance for us more inexperienced tropical divers! And thanks to other board members like lologrande, vjw, tallmike and derekcs who gave us some loaners!
Many great memories were made along the way. This report only covers a fraction of the good times had. I'm sure we'll be talking about this trip for years to come.
Last edited by YellowEye
on Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.