In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…
What is the name of your business?
What is your role within the business?
Dive Center Manager
How long has the business operated for?
The Resort and Dive Center critters@lembeh, started in 2002 as the first Dive resort on Lembeh Island.
How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
I have been diving since 1998 and became a Dive Instructor in 2002. Since then I am traveling as a Pro.
What is your favorite type of diving?
It’s definitely Muck Diving. But I love to dive in general, so it is more about the feeling underwater, the freedom and peace. I also like to dive in currents which brings many fish, and soft corals are open and there can be always surprises.
If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
Lembeh Strait is one of the best muck dive destinations in the world. Whilst Muck Diving you can see weird critters you might never have seen before. If you like Night diving, then you are in the right place. Night dives in the Strait are spectacular. Besides the Muck Diving, the Strait also has some beautiful walls and reefs with colourful corals.
What is your favorite dive in your location and why?
Sorry, I cannot say that I have only one favourite dive site, there would be many to name, the strait has over 40 dive sites. Many divers and Photo Pro’s are coming here to see the Hairy Frogfish, Mimic Octopus and other Cephalopods. The best dive site to find them is Rojos. I also like Nudifalls, which is a nice combination with a mini wall with corals and sandy slope.
What types of diving are available in your location?
The majority is Muck Diving but in the Strait and behind Lembeh Island we can dive beautiful reefs with a variety of corals. We also have a wreck from the 2nd World war, which is already covered in sea fans and corals. We also offer Blackwater/Bonfire dives and a Mandarin dive.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
When divers come back from their dive with a big smile and excitement when they finally found critters they have always wished to see.
What is your favorite underwater creature?
All kind of Nudibranchs and the Coconut Octopus – he is a curious and funny creature and always a joy to watch.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
There are many projects currently running here at critters. We are ramping up our Photo Center by initiating a cooperation of one of the world’s biggest UW photography equipment retailers. With this new development our Photo Center will be able to provide a one of a kind service to our guests.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Litter in the oceans. Though the resort is running better than ever before, we do face challenges, which concerns us deeply. The plastic pollution is prevalent in all of our oceans, we all need to work together to turn the tide on plastic pollution. But it is nice to see that Indonesia is slowly improving and local people are more aware and educated about this problem.
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
Our team started the Lembeh Foundation. We do regularly clean-ups at the beach and dive sites. The Lembeh Foundation is building a waste bank in the nearby village and manages three main programs to support and help local communities to live sustainably within their natural environment.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
I wish that training organizations and individual dive pros would show more responsibility when training new divers and make them more aware of environmental influence of diving and how important it is to protect the Oceans. Pro Divers should be role models.
What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
Lembeh Strait is known as the World’s best Muck Diving Destination. If you wish a day off from diving, you can do a tour to Tangkoko National Park and see black macaques, tarsier, hornbill to name a few, or visit a local market in the Highlands. There is plenty to explore besides diving. critters@lembeh has two in-house Marine Biologists and they are happy to share their knowledge with you. Onsite we also have a full-time Photo Pro who can assist with photo related issues.
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?