Lembeh Trip Report September 2022 - Bluewater Dive Travel
Lembeh Trip Report September 2022

Lembeh Trip Report September 2022



Words & Images by Erik Lukas

 Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap

Much has happened in the nearly three years since the world shut down due to Covid. Some good, some bad, but without a doubt things changed. Two consecutive photo workshops to Lembeh had been delayed, and there was ongoing concern that a third would fall victim to the closure of borders and international travel. Indonesia took a somewhat conservative approach to the reopening of travel, however by the late summer of 2022, the news came that borders were opening. The long overdue 2022 Bluewater Travel Lembeh photo workshop was happening. Fourteen enthusiastic photographers began arriving in Lembeh. For some it was their first visit to this mecca for macro photography, for others it was a long overdue return.


Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap 


Our base for the workshop was once again NAD Lembeh Resort, who had hosted us over the past several years, and as always, the resort looked incredible. The staff did a phenomenal job keeping the site in top shape over the two-plus years since our last workshop. The guests settled in, prepared gear and readied themselves for what was sure to be a great 10 day workshop.


Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap 


As expected, many of the guests arrived with a long list of special critters they had hoped to see and photograph. While many of the subjects may be considered common in Lembeh, there is a reason we repeat the words “100% no guarantee” at the conclusion of every dive briefing. The pressure was on…our guides had their marching orders and they got to work immediately. By the end of the first day of diving, the list of subjects that were seen was incredible, even by Lembeh standards. Flamboyant cuttlefish, hairy shrimp, frogfish, seahorses, and blue ring octopus. It was the best start to any of the prior workshops I had done, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit concerned that the group was reaching the peak too early in the workshop. Much to our delight, things only continued to get better. 

Throughout the course of the trip, we were treated to a perfect mix of sunny blue skies, and a few scattered clouds to keep the sun’s intensity in check. Water temperatures were a perfect 80-83F (26-28C) degrees…ideal to help stretch our dives to an average length of 70-75 minutes.


Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap


Several guests made their first attempts at more advanced skills, such as using diopters, snoots and creative lighting techniques, not to mention many first time blackwater dives. My goal is always to encourage workshop guests to push themselves early in a workshop; this group did not disappoint. Each morning at the image review sessions, the list of subjects continued to amaze. Combined with the application of newly learned techniques, the images being produced were getting better with each dive. By the end of the workshop, each and every one of the divers had many incredible images to bring home, which included checking off nearly every box on the critter wishlist.


Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap


If there was one thing that stood out this year, it was the reduced number of boats on the water. It is clear that the pandemic shutdown has had a lasting impact on the dive community in Lembeh. Some resorts had yet to reopen, others sadly, will not. Perhaps the smaller number of divers on the sites will have a positive impact…only time will tell. I look forward to future Lembeh workshops and cannot wait to get back and see what Lembeh has in store.

Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap  Lembeh 2022 Trip Recap



SEPTEMBER 13-21, 2023

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