After spending 10 days diving in Malapascua over Christmas, I ventured back north for some macro. Because what is a dive trip in South-East Asia without some macro? It was ultimately affected by the presence of typhoon Nina smashing the region the day before I arrived, but as I always say “you can’t control the weather!“…
I have to be honest, this trip was entirely about “show me the sharks!”…Thresher sharks to be more precise. Visiting Malapascua has been near the top of my diving bucket list for a number of years, I just never actually got around to it, because if I was going to all the hassle of getting there, I wanted to make sure I made the most of it.
Just a day trip out to the Yongala…Friend visiting from overseas and wanted to see the wreck, so I thought I’d tag along.
This trip more or less eventuated because I bought some new toys – new BCD and regs (…there goes my 2016 tax return), as well as a new macro lens for my camera. Also, I was really really stressed out and just needed to go for a dive. It’s been a couple of years since my real last trip to Lembeh (because I was convinced I had to go see what all the fuss over Ambon was about), so I thought that it would be a good place to go test out my new gear.
Due to an atrocious exchange rate at the moment, I decided to make an effort to do a bit more local diving this year. I was hesitant about diving the Great Barrier Reef due to all the reports of coral bleaching and coral death, but at the end of the day, I just really needed to get out for a dive!
Rejoice! For I return to my favourite dive spot! This is the benchmark by which I judge all other diving. Some say that is cruel and unfair. I say that’s just reality. As divers, we all do it, it’s just that my benchmark happens to be, well…Milne Bay 🙂
After a number of trips to Lembeh (the last of which was admittedly a bit underwhelming), I thought it was time to switch it up a bit. On the advice of a couple of professional underwater photographers, it was suggested that I try Ambon. Their reasoning was that it’s “critters without crowds”, which it turns out is pretty much the marketing slogan of all the dive operations in Ambon. There are still only 3-4 dive operations in Ambon at the moment, unlike the 20-30 that are operating around Lembeh. I was reliably informed the diving was supposed to be “same-same, but different” in terms of the critters, but without the dive sites being overcrowded. In all honesty, I never really found overcrowding to be an issue in Lembeh anyway – except on the evening mandarin fish dives. Perhaps it just comes down to which resort you stay at and how well they plan out the dive schedule each day?