Indonesia is a scuba divers paradise

In the early 90’s I spent a lot of time at Murex Dive Center in North Sulawesi Indonesia,  working as a dive instructor and dive guide.  I really enjoyed the people, food, culture, and diving which was world class.

Indonesia lies in the center  the Wallace demarkation line of flora and fauna. This is a reference to when the earths land mass broke up and shifted to make the continents known today.  The closer to this line the more species, the further from this line the fewer the species.

I will be going there in the summer of 2012, to celebrate turning 50 in September.  Having three weeks to immerse myself in underwater photography is the best present I could ever ask for.

So, I will fly into North Sulawesi Indonesia and spend a few days at Murex.  I will visit with the Batuna family and visit the old house reef.  I will also  make sure to eat at “Ayam Kalesan” and then later have some “nasi Cuning” or yellow rice.  It’s really a tasty dish with fresh tumeric as the main spice.

After some good food and a nice visit, I fly to Sorong to meet the Damai I, a boutique  liveaboard dive boat on an 11 day adventure to Raja Ampat, Manakwari, and Chandrawasih Bay in Indonesia.  I have been told by several divers I respect that the program on the Damai I, is hard to beat.  The food and service are said to be fantastic.   The Cruise director is Mike Veitch, and I have heard good things about him, so it will be nice to meet in person.

After the liveaboard  I will fly back to Manado then drive to  Bitung. My final destination is the Lembeh Strait. I am really looking forward to diving with Critters Lembeh!  The macro diving is simply world class.  The first time I was there was in 1993, before the first resort was open.  KBR, was under construction.  I remember after the first dive what happened to the stunning topography, vertical walls, schools of fish, and great visibility.  The second dive I concentrated on looking for marine life along the black sand bottom.  Half way through the dive I realized there was a lot to see.

This kind of diving earned the term muck diving and  has become world famous.  Now there are several resorts, and liveaboards in the area.  Back in 2004, I stayed at the Lembeh Resort. I remember it  having incredible views and wonderful food.  I also remember hiking a trail and finding a small village.

I took photos of the kids and had them printed.  Now I can go back and do it again.


While being a dad, husband and running a business is my life, its nice to have time to do things the I am passionate about. I am truly blessed  to live my dream.


About Doug Hoffman

Portrait and underwater fine art photographer.
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