Adventures in Indonesia 2014
Location: Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Overview: Simply amazing! Its a 20 minute boat ride across the channel to Bunaken Island for two spectacular morning wall dives. I came expecting to see beautiful reefs and amazing creatures and every dive delivered!
Fish Life: We saw lots of turtles off Bunaken island. Schooling butterfly fish and trigger fish. Damsel fish in black coral bushes and gorgonia fans. Lots of clown fish. Spade fish school. Antheas on the upper reefs edge. Lots of different species of butterfly fish. On the macro side you will see:various frogfish, scorpion fish, pipefish, mantis shrimps, jawfish, leaf fish, many octopus, porcelain crabs, devil fish, razorfish, crocodile fish and many types of anemones.
Reef Health: Wether the dives were Bunaken or Manado the reefs were all in pristine condition. Huge areas of various types of healthy hard corals. The soft corals of Bunaken Island were just amazing. Lots of large barrel sponges. Crinoids of all colours scattered all over.
Highlights: So hard to chose. But the hard coral gardens on top of the walls at Sachiko and Mandolin dive sites (probably the entire island’s reef edges) were incredible and only 10′ deep so perfect for snorkelling. Any dive off this island will deliver. Amazing gorgonia fans, huge sponges, turtles, schooling trigger fish and butterfly fish – COLOUR!
Dive Centre/Boat Service: Murex Dive Resort, Manado. Diving run by Pim and head dive guide was Basrah. All the dive team were excellent and well drilled. Everything was put on the boat for me. All l had to do was sign for my Nitrox bottles everyday. They wash all kit after the days diving. Boats very comfortable and well equipped. Sun shade, water on tap, fresh fruit after dives. Very well done.
First Time/Return: First time. But have dived in other parts of Indonesia many years ago and loved it.
Current/Vis: Vis varied from 80′ to 50′ depending on where we event. But most dives at Bunaken were excellent vis. Muck dives were worse vis. We sometimes experienced 1K currents out at Bunaken, but dives always followed current direction.
Favourite dive site: My favourite Manado dives were Tig Papaya for the critters such as:ghost pipefish, tiny frogfish, anemones and motorbikes! And Circus wonderful reef dive with so much to see: Jawfish, Mantis shrimps, black coral etc. Favorite Bunaken dives were Fukui, Mandolin (butterfly fish school) and Pangalasin (large gorgonia, hard corals and large clams).
Marine Park: Bunaken National Park. www.sulawesi-info.com/bunaken.php Divers entrance fee about US$6
Other: I stayed in the Murex Dive Resort Manado. Set in tropical gardens this resort is very well placed for all the dives. Comfy spacious rooms with A/C, shower, wifi, balcony. Food is served as a buffet and lunch is served on the boat after the 2nd dive. Very little in the way of alcohol and dismal wine. But the staff were all attentive and always new your name which is a nice touch. Hotel is a little rundown but l understand renovations are planned for 2015. firstname.lastname@example.org