Wow, it’s almost 2018 already! 2017 was quite a ride, and in this article we’re looking back on last year, with all its bumps, humps and hurdles.
As most of you loyal repeaters already know; we opened a new Thalassa Resort in Lembeh, a process achieved by jumping over a couple of very high hurdles early this year, but we did it and the result is a friendly, intimate place.
By doing this, we would do our many repeating friends a favor and give them the opportunity to experience the best of two diving worlds with their favorite resort.
If you haven’t yet, we hope you’ll take the plunge in 2018 and come have a look yourself. We opened with six bungalows and three single deluxe rooms, but we expect to have six additional bungalows finished by the end of May. Expect he same informal friendliness and personal service like in Manado — our managing couple Anika and Kees are ready to give you a warm welcome.
Now we’ve got two resorts to run, and a general manager who is not getting any younger, and we needed a fresh change and bold ideas to help facilitate all this.
Satoka Kubo came as a guest, and now she works as an instructor and dive co-ordinator. Besides that, she is also responsible for (Asian) guest relations, more specifically the Japanese and Korean.
Arjen Bokhoven came as a guest, and he was invited to work as our marketing designer, writing our copy, running our Facebook page, designing the website, as well as brochures and a lot more, all to help us get you back here with us.
The aforementioned couple Anika and Kees both earned their stripes as PADI Instructors in the waters of Koh-Tao in Thailand, and they are running our new Lembeh resort with a kind of enthousiasm and energy that’s second to none.
Kees came up with the brilliant idea to start our own veggie and herbal garden in Manado, so with shovel in hand he got to work. We’re planting tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, lemon grass, beans, pineapple, bananas, avocado, rambutan, starfruit, jackfruit, pumpkin, basil and loads of other greens to make our food even more delicious!
Besides veggies, we also serve home-grown Tilapia fish, which you can catch yourself from our pond.
Rinie Luijkx, an award-winning and super talented underwater photographer from the Netherlands, lead a small group of our friends to multiple photo ops underwater. All of the members were happy to take Rinie’s expertise on board and see their shots improve from day to day. It was a great success, and we definitely plan to do more of these workshops in 2018!
This shot of a flamboyant cuttlefish is from one of our guests. What a beaut eh? See a selection of Rinie’s beautiful work here: https://www.mes-bvba.be/rinie-luykx/
Thalassa Dive Resorts is the main sponsor of the school we built in 2007. Its tenth anniversary was celebrated with a small (but loud!) party for the students, teachers and all allumni that were able to get a day off from their job.
It made me proud to see these dedicated teachers who work very hard to not only teach the students their knowledge, but also work on their future careers.
Using money collected last year, during the Duikvaker dive show in the Netherlands and from guests’ donations at the resorts, we were able to do long-overdue renovations to the school building, buy some new furniture and build a ‘hotel lab’ for the students.
We plan to do more, but of course, this needs money. If you are interested in helping out, there will be another lottery and auction on the next Duikvaker dive show on the 3rd and 4th of February.
Most of “my” dive guide students are now working all over Indonesia. They have a steady job to support a family of their own and help their younger brothers and sisters go to school. With many of them having children of their own already this makes me… a dive granny I guess! My new first grade is huge: 28 students and 1 teacher. It’s fun, and involves a lot of swimming.
We will be in Europe this winter and you can find us at:
As usual we will have interesting show offers and love to see you there to say hello, get a free hug or maybe even make a booking!
We are looking forward to a strong and interesting 2018. And remember: it’s never a dull day!
Simone & Team