Diving Laha: The Rich Wasteland

Submitted by mumunmumun on 6 November 2013   •  Destination

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“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This might be the appropriate saying for diving Laha port in Ambon, Maluku.

The scenery of Laha waters might not seem much on the surface. On any given day, the sights would be no less ordinary than locals gathering critters during low tide and fishermen smacking water during high tide to drive fish into his net.

LahaFishermen of Laha

 

However, it only shows just a glimpse of how rich the bay is of marine life. This quiet little port is the end of a rainbow for divers: a gleaming pot of gold! Put on the map by presence of one of the rarest frogfishes in the world, the Histiophryne psychedelica, Laha is home to other abundant weird looking creepy crawlies that can fascinate your wonders of what a ‘creature’ should look like.

Just a walk in from the navy accommodation that we used, our dive starts by a beach entry at the Laha Village. Although not spread like a carpet, the mucky floor presents itself with patches of lively coral swarming with fishes. It’s a rich sight and paying off the sweat and tears during the low tide beach entry of jagged rocks.

LahaTop: ghost pipe fish, pikachu.
Middle: frogfish.
Bottom: pipe fish, lion fish.

 

It takes just a little patience before diver can get excited. Some of the plenty life were the blue and black ribbon eel, lionfishes, scorpion fishes, shrimps, crabs and flounder fishes. The treasures, of course, were the odd looking folks. Yes, even stranger than the ribbon eel with its moustache. To name a few, we saw ghost pipe fish floating zombie-like through the water, frogfishes who thought they could camouflage themselves as a soft corals, the yellow moray eel, a mini cave full of shrimps and pipe fishes, leaf fish that was posing for a photo, and the oh-so-cute Thecacera Nudibranch, also known as Pikachu.

Laha#BarondaMaluku supporter Dayu Hatmanti & project leader Mad Alkatiri

 

There’s some good in Riyanni Djangkaru insisting the girls wearing fake eye lashes behind their masks. Though it was a hoo-ha load of preparation, it was worth it when we could express excitement by battering our lashes seeing the family of Mandarin Fishes. Our dive was official in the Maluku water! Oh Dragonets, how you’ve captured my heart!

Tips for diving in Laha:

–        Bring a handful of carbon pills, as you would want to clean your digestive system after tasting port water.

–        Bring your underwater flashlight. The night dive is not to be missed.

LahaFerry is at work, shooting a dragonet

 

Recommended dive center:

Pari Dive Center, Ambon. The contact person would be Mr. Muin at +62-81343092093. Diving package would be around IDR 1,300,000 per person, which includes 3 dives, one of them is a night dive. Equipment can be rented for IDR 350,000 per day per person. Do ask for the deal to stay at the accommodation at the entry point, which belongs to the navy.

For more read about diving Laha, head to Marischka Prudence’ blog with English text here.


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