Today we had a very early wakeup call for a 7am flight from Denpasar (Bali) to Manado. Aside from waking up early, the trip was very easy – an hour-long flight and an hour and forty minute flight, with a plane change in Makassar (a nice, new airport).

We arrived at Murex Dive Resort in Manado in time for a great lunch and time to catch up with the Murex / Critters@Lembeh team. There is much history here, as the Murex resorts were founded by North Sulawesi diving & conservation pioneer, Dr. Batuna. Not only did Dr. Batuna help establish the region as a diving hotspot and play a major role in the creation of Bunaken National Park, but he and Mrs. Batuna grew Murex Manado from a home into a resort as divers began to visit the area while maintaining a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere.

We had an amazing sunset and great dinner. Stay tuned for photo & video from our dives tomorrow!

Since today is a travel day, we decided to share 3 tips to help make travel easier for underwater photographers on long dive trips.


Dive Travel Tips


Tip #1

1) Carry a multi-tool. I use my multi-tool all the time. From loosening the nut that got stuck on my sync cord to cutting plastic for a fin modification to tightening a tripod on my Aquatica A5DMk3 housing. There are many small travel sizes available. You’ll be happy you have one when you need it! Just remember to pack it in checked baggage (I had to leave one in Mexico last year because of the knife blade)!


Tip #2

2) Wear a safari or photographer’s vest. Yes, you may not win an award from the fashion police, but it will help lighten the load in your checked bag, saving you valuable overweight baggage funds. See my fashion photo below!

Arrival in Manado (MDC)








Tip #3

3) Bring zip ties. These are very easy to attach to the zipper on your checked bag. Some airlines do this for you, but if they don’t, it’s not a bad idea for a little added security for your checked items.


Bonus Tip

 Speak up! Our Garuda flights were not very full, but outside each plane an attendant tried to take my very small roller bag for gate check (with housing & ports – see the Packing Guide for Underwater Photographers). I simply said it’s camera gear with a smile and it was no problem to bring on board.


18 days in Manado / Lembeh


Brent and Quinn will be spending 18 days diving Manada, Bunaken, and Lembeh. We are really looking forward to seeing their topside and underwater photos and videos – and I hope they can make it to Barracuda point! – Scott



Barracuda from barracuda point, Manado