Turn the Lembeh Strait Pink

Turn the Lembeh Strait Pink

Turn the Strait Pink – Event Round up.


Dive into The Pink with Allison Vitsky Sallmon and Andy Sallmon


Last week we had an incredible week with the participants and team from Dive into the Pink as they endeavoured to turn the Lembeh Strait Pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and Support. There was certainly a lot of pink involved from goody bags and guitars to pygmy seahorses and nudibranch! We are extremely proud to report that Lembeh Resort is donating 25% from the proceeds of the event to Dive into the Pink so a big thank you to everyone involved. The money raised will be shared between the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and the Guise Laboratory at Indiana University.  The YSC is an international organization dedicated to the critical issues of young women with breast cancer and the Guise Laboratory is part of the Department of Endocrinology at Indiana University.


Dive into the Pink Lembeh

Pink Goody Bags sponsored by Blue Azure, Xit404, ScubaDoRag, OSM and Fourth Element


Event organizer, professional underwater photographer, photo journalist and breast cancer survivor Allison reported that, “Our participants have raved about the resort and dive staff, the food, the rooms – but the most meaningful feedback I’ve had is around the event itself.  People have been so excited that they’re helping to raise money for cancer research and patient support just by participating in Turn the Strait Pink.  It’s incredibly gratifying to know that our guests have this in the back of their minds”.


Dive into the pink group Lembeh Resort

Turn the Strait Pink participants with hosts Allison and Andy


The workshop underwater photography presentations which have been hosted by both Allison and Andy have included; Underwater Lighting Techniques, Underwater Macro Photography and Photographic Composition. Our in-house Marine Biologist, Agus Peloa, also hosted a nudibranch presentation during the week which was a real hit with participants and guests.


Allison Vitsky Sallmon

Underwater Photography workshop with Allison and Andy


Critter Manipulation

During Allison’s Macro Underwater Photography presentation she mentioned the importance of shooting a critter “as you find it” and the negative effects of manipulating marine life for photography purposes. At Lembeh Resort we 100% agree – images of critters that have been manipulated into different environments, positions or behavioural displays are extremely easy to spot. Competitions and reputations have been lost and there is no benefit to the critter in any way. It was great to hear Allison’s feedback on this subject at the end of the week, “There has been a lot of chatter about manipulation of marine wildlife in Lembeh Strait for photographers in recent years.  This is a huge issue – if creatures are moved, poked, prodded, or otherwise abused for the sake of a photograph, it won’t be long before all of these amazing creatures disappear.  It is up to all of us as divers to make sure we behave with integrity.  Critters@ Lembeh Resort pride themselves on showing divers natural interactions, so you can feel truly good about the photos you go home with, knowing you’ve not unnecessarily stressed the local marine life.  Given the exceptional skill and experience of the guides, there is no way that even the most demanding photographer will go home unhappy!”


Wonderpus Lembeh Strait

Shooting critters “as you find them” creates better images than those involving manipulation


Final Dive Trip Report – What a day!!


The last day of Turn the Strait Pink was one of the best of the week as participants headed out in the morning to Aer Prang II and Bianca – two sites which are literally jumping with critters at the moment – here are some of the highlights of the morning:

Aer Prang II: This favorite muck dives and one of the most iconic dive sites in the Strait. It certainly didn’t disappoint on our penultimate dive of the week as the group spotted a white hairy frogfish, broadclub cuttlefish, several crinoid shrimps, a long arm octopus, flying gurnards, two cockatoo waspfish, an emperor shrimp hitching a ride on the back of a T-bar, ceratosoma nudibranch and a beautiful Shaun the Sheep nudi to complete the dive.


Private boat at Lembeh Resort

Turn the Strait Pink’s dedicated boat was a lot of fun in addition to epic dives


Bianca – This is an awesome combination site of muck, coral patches, slope and rubble. It’s in an unlikely spot, situated below the permanently moored, huge “Bianca” phinisi boat on the banks of the Strait. It’s a great site for seeing mandarin fish during the day and we saw several individuals weaving their way in and around the shallow staghorn coral patches. Other sightings included,  the exquisitely patterned pajama and Banggai cardinal fish, an orange painted frog fish, a huge black giant frogfish, juvenile sweetlips, juvenile barramundi cod, fingered dragonet, peacock mantis shrimp, numerous porcelain crabs, both a black and a blue ribbon eel, banded pipefish and a tiny messmate pipefish. What an awesome collection of critters!


Blue Ribbon Eel Lembeh

Blue Ribbon eel at Bianca, Lembeh Strait


Throughout the week the Turn the Strait Pink participants have been diving with Dive Guides Abner, Nolfi and Opo Kecil (“K”). Abner commented that, “It has been a great week of diving. We had a dedicated workshop boat for so we were able to go to exactly which sites the group wanted or the sites we knew had the critters they wanted to see in the Strait. We also made a trip to the north end of the Strait to dive reef and wide-angle sites including Angel’s Window and California Dreaming which are not like our muck sites at all – beautiful reefs, colorful corals and lots of fish – and critters too!”

Allison also confirmed that, “Lembeh really turned it on for us.  Everyone showed up with a wish list, and I think we saw nearly every creature we’d hoped to see”.


Dive into the Pink


Have you been inspired by this week’s workshop and the commitment of Dive into the Pink to diving for a worthwhile cause? If you’d like to support, or make a donation to Dive into the Pink there is a donation link on their website, or if you’d like to show your support through joining a Dive into the Pink expedition and would like to dive with sharks, join their Great White Expedition this August.


Great White Expedition

Dive into the Pink Great White Shark Expedition


Are you ready to dive into the Lembeh Strait and see some of the rarest and most unique marine life on the planet with us? Our team of Dive Guides are trained by our in-house Marine Biologists and Photo Pro to ensure you have the best Lembeh Strait diving experience possible.

Our beautiful Indonesian resort is located on the banks of Lembeh Island so you couldn’t get any closer to Lembeh’s phenomenal dive sites. Our comfortable accommodation, exquisite dining and exclusive service provide for unparalleled luxury in North Sulawesi.


Luxury Lembeh Resort Indonesia

Lembeh Resort is ideally positioned on Lembeh Island on the banks of the Lembeh Strait, Indonesia


For more information or to make a booking contact us on: reservations@LembehResort

We look forward to welcoming you to Lembeh soon.


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Nudibranch Lembeh Resort


Turn the Strait Pink Part III:  Nudibranch 


Yesterday was another awesome day here in Lembeh with our Turn the Strait Pink participants and Photo journalists Allison Vitsky Sallmon and Andy Sallmon who are hosting this week’s workshop for Dive into the Pink (Breast cancer awareness and support).

Here in Lembeh we have literally hundreds of species of nudibranch but how much do you know about these photogenic, colorful critters? Lucky for us, our in-house marine biologist Agustian Peloa is a nudibranch aficionado and last night we were treated to his nudibranch presentation before dinner.


Agus’s Fascinating Facts about Nudibranch


Presentation Highlights



Marine Bio Lembeh Resort

Marine Biologist Agus Peloa studies nudibranch here in Lembeh


Agus’s fascinating facts taught us all something new – here are some of the highlights – how many of these interesting facts did you already know?

1. Nudibranch are the largest group of critters in the sea slug category which includes; dorid, aeolid, dendronotid and arminid nudibranch.

2. Nudibranch do not have “horns”. The two appendages on their heads are known as rhinophores and they are actually the nudi’s smell receptors. For underwater photographers it is extremely important to keep these in focus.


Nudibranch photography

Nudibranch have smell receptors called rhinophores which resemble horns

3. Just like fish, nudibranch of gills which they use for breathing. A nudibranch’s gills are the flower-like arrangements on their backs.

4. All nudibranch are simultaneous hermaphrodites which means that they have both male and female sex organs. Nudibranch cannot self-fertilize and always require a mate.

5. When nudibranch mate they exchange sperm packets and both partners will then lay eggs.


Nudibranch mating

Nudibranch are simultaneous hermaphrodites and exchange sperm packets when mating

6. Nudibranch move by crawling and they are capable of burrowing. Only very few nudibranch can swim in open water, the most famous swimming nudibranch being the Spanish Dancer.

7. Nudibranch lay eggs in ring and spiral shaped formations. Did you know that the spiral will always be in an anti-clockwise orientation?


 Workshop Lembeh Resort

Nudibranch lay their eggs in a spiral or circular orientation


8. Did you know that some nudibranch can store the algae from the corals they eat and photosynthesis – the Phyllodensium family of nudibranch really are solar powered! Read more about solar powered nudibranch here.

9. Nudibranch are carnivores and feed mainly on sponges, hard and soft corals, anemones, hydroids, jellyfish, tunicates and even other nudibranch!


Nudibranch Feeding

Nudibranch feed on soft and hard corals, sponges and even other nudibranch!

10. Nudibranch have few predators. Their biggest threats come from nertean worms, spider crabs and other nudibranch such as the gymnodoris nudibranch.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Agus’s top ten pacts as much as we did!

After learning more about nudibranch from Agus and tips and techniques for underwater photography from Allison and Andy our Dive into the Pink participants are heading out for a double dive trip this morning and more muck dives this afternoon!




Coconut Octopus Lembeh

Dive Guides Abner, Opo K and Nolfi spotted a coconut octopus at Aer Bajo II



Yesterday Dive into the Pink participants headed out muck diving on the dedicated workshop boat to Goby A Crab, Pulau Abadi and Aer Bajo II dive sites in the Strait where they were treated to a plethora of critters including two bargibanti pygmy seahorses sharing a fan, an emperor shrimp hitching a ride on a ceratosoma nudibranch, stick and banded pipefish, two species of mantis shrimps, coconut octopus, Ambon scorpionfish, estaurine stonefish, painted and giant frogfish, tozeuma shrimps, big fin reef squids, both black and blue ribbon eels and much more! Dive Guides Abner, Opo and Nolfi were definitely on form!


Dive into the Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and Support


Turn the Straight Pink Lembeh

Dive into the Pink for breast cancer support and awareness


We are extremely proud to be supporting such a worthwhile cause which touches the lives of so many. Lembeh Resort is donating a proportion of all revenue raised to Dive into the Pink and proceeds will be split between the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and the Guise Laboratory at Indiana University.  The YSC is an international organization dedicated to the critical issues of young women with breast cancer and the Guise Laboratory is part of the Department of Endocrinology at Indiana University. To find out more about Dive into the Pink, to make a donation and to check out their great white shark expedition in August, check out their web page here.


Lembeh Resort Passport to Paradise

Lembeh Resorts newly renovated stunning Traditional Cottages


Are you planning your next trip to Lembeh? Check out our newly renovated Traditional Cottages, not only do they offer an exclusive tropical living experience with phenomenal views, they are constructed to function with minimal effect on the environment and provide maximum comfort and space during your stay.

For more information about diving the world’s best muck and staying in our beautiful Indonesian resort contact us: reservations@LembehResort.com

We look forward to welcoming you to North Sulawesi soon.


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Macro Photography Lembeh

Turn the Strait Pink Part II:  Shooting Macro 


It’s been a busy couple of days here in Lembeh Resort as we continue to “Turn the Strait Pink” with Allison Vitsky Sallmon, Andy Sallmon and Dive into the Pink.

This morning started early with a joint Macro Photography presentation by Allison and Andy. Here’s some of the highlights:


Presentation Report: Macro Basics with Allison and Andy


Macro Photography Workshop

Andy and Allison presenting Macro Photography


What is Macro?:

Shooting images at a greater size than real life. A “real life” sized representation can be expressed as 1:1, when shooting macro we make the image literally larger than life. Shooting at 2:1 means it is twice its actual size.

Macro Gear:

There is a huge range of macro gear and accessories available from lenses, diopters, teleconverters, snoots, ports and much more but the basic essential gear is just a housed camera, strobe(s) and a macro lens.

Eye Contact:

Always try and take a picture so that your subject is making eye contact with the viewer. This allows the viewer to connect better with the image. One eye is good but getting both eyes in sharp focus is even better!


Wonderpus Lembeh Strait

This wonderpus octopus has been shot with excellent eye contact



Bright colors are very attractive, especially when in contrast to either neutral shades or contrasting colors. That vivid flabelina nudibranch will really “pop” against a dark background.


Finding Your Subjects:

Do your research! Find out the natural habitat of your intended subject and what it eats so you know where you are likely to find it. If you are not a strong “spotter”, you don’t need to worry when you have the Lembeh Resort Dive Guides close at hand.


Behavioral shots tell a story and create a bigger picture. Interesting behavior includes mating, feeding, hunting, courtship (such as that demonstrated by mandarin fish) and anything unusual or out of character – for example a frogfish swimming. Interesting unusual behavior does not include behavior which stems from the critter being deliberately threatened or agitated to take a shot.


Capturing images of species that carry their eggs can be very powerful. Aim to get both the eggs and the parent’s eyes in focus. If you find nudibranch eggs on the reef, look around for the nudibranch which laid them to capture the full story.


Negative Space:

Think about your background and the space around the subject. If your background is too “busy” it will distract the viewer from the subject. If it is the same color as your subject then the subject can get “lost” in the image. Try to look for interesting and contrasting backgrounds which help the subject to shine. If your background is poor, try to shoot from low down and use the water column as the background.


Underwater Photography negative space

The neutral colored negative space in this image helps to make the subject “pop”


Black or Blue Backgrounds:

To obtain a black background you need to limit the amount of light coming in to the shot so aim for a high shutter speed (such as 1/250) and a low aperture (F8), a blue background allows more light in by using a slightly slower shutter speed such as 1/60. Shooting up will also create a blue background as you capture the surface light, shooting down will more likely create a black background.

Lighting Techniques:

Play around and experiment with different lighting techniques to create different effects. Snoots, spotlights, one sided illumination, back lighting or even colored lighting all add something different to an image.

One is Good, Two is Better:

Pairs create a feeling of togetherness within an image. If they are similarly sized they also allow for great symmetry but even odd sized pairs can create interesting asymmetry. Fitting both subjects in the frame can be tricky – always move yourself to get the best angle. Never move a critter!


Underwater Photography presentation Lembeh Resort

Participants started with a breakfast presentation prior to heading out for two dives


A Note on Manipulation:

Critter manipulation (ie moving a critter or forcing it into an unnatural habitat or behaviour) is NEVER acceptable. Photography competitions and reputations have been lost and prizes taken away in instances where manipulation is suspected. Manipulated compositions are easy to spot and photographers who employ these techniques are very quickly discredited. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose for both you and the critter!!


Turn the Strait Pink: Dive Trip Report


Yesterday our participants ventured out to two of our favorite wide-angle sites at the north end of the Strait (California Dreaming and Angel’s Window) in the morning followed by getting back into the muck sites of the Strait in the afternoon.

Angel’s Window and California Dreaming did not disappoint with stunning topography, wide angle opportunities, broadclub cuttlefish, giant frogfish, reef octopus, tiger cowries, nudibranch, rock lobsters, schooling snappers and fields of beautiful soft corals.


Dedicated workshop boat

Participants headed to the north end of the Strait on their dedicated workshop boat


Today the dedicated Turn the Strait Pink boat is heading out into the Strait in search of the best muck and most unique critters of Lembeh. Stay tuned this week to find out which sites and which critters we spotted along the way along with more presentation highlights and incredible underwater images.


To book your place at Lembeh Resort and dive the most famous muck on the planet, contact us on: reservations@LembehResort. We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful North Sulawesi soon!


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Dive into the Pink Lembeh


Dive into the Pink 2018 with Allison Vitsky Sallmon and Andy Sallmon

This week is our inaugural “Turn the Strait Pink” trip as we join forces with “Dive into the Pink” and photography and photojournalism Pros Andy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon. This week-long event will help raise money for cancer research and cancer patient support as well as promising to be an excellent week of phenomenal dives and daily presentations.

The 8 participants of Turn the Strait Pink comprise a mix of divers and underwater photographers from beginner shooters to professionals. Participants will make three dives a day from their own private boat (Andrea Boat) with Dive Guides Abner, Opo Kecil and Nolfi – who will undoubtedly be searching for the best pink critters in the Strait as well as all of our other favorites.



So what is planned for the exciting week ahead? Our participants will be making double dive morning trips and single afternoon dives in the Lembeh Strait as well as squeezing in time for a three dive Outside Lembeh adventure to Lembeh Island’s east coast to dive epic sites such Fireball, Pulau Dua and Pante Jiko.




In addition to exploring the east side of Lembeh they’ll also be enjoying a wide-angle, double dive morning trip to the north end of the Lembeh Strait.  The north end of the straight is home to Dante’s Wall, Angel’s Window, California Dreaming and Batu Kapal which offer incredible topography and passing pelagics.

We’ll be keeping you updated with trip reports, presentation posts and much more as the week progresses – so stay tuned!

We are extremely proud to be supporting such a worthwhile cause which touches the lives of so many. Lembeh Resort is donating a proportion of all revenue raised to Dive into the Pink and proceeds will be split between the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and the Guise Laboratory at Indiana University.  The YSC is an international organization dedicated to the critical issues of young women with breast cancer and the Guise Laboratory is part of the Department of Endocrinology at Indiana University.



Andy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon (founder of Dive into the Pink and breast cancer survivor) are a photojournalism/photography team who have been working together since 2010. Individually, their work has been recognized in international underwater and nature photography competitions, featured on the walls of aquariums and museums, and published in books and magazines on diving, nature, and photography. Their images and articles are among the most published in North American diving media today. The two combined have over 54 years of recreational and technical diving experience.

Are you planning your own personal adventure to Lembeh? Whether you enjoy muck diving and shooting macro or you want to explore coral reefs and stunning seascapes the Lembeh Strait has it all. To make an enquiry or reservation contact us on: reservations@LembehResort.com

We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful Indonesian dive resort and the world’s best muck diving soon.