After a quite noisy night due to a huge storm that blew over Lembeh Straits last night ( the thunder was so loud it rattled the bungalows!!) everyone got onto the dive boat looking a little bit sleepy this morning!! As we headed away from the resort, the sun started to peek out from behind the clouds and as we arrived at the dive site we were greeted with crystal clear water ( well very clear for Lembeh!!) so we kitted up quickly and back-rolled in!
As we descended down we came across a Gorgonian fan with 6 little pygmy seahorses on it! I was already pretty impressed with the dive! As we continued descending down to around 22m we met Peacock Mantis Shrimps, pipefish, beautiful nudibranchs and a pair of Robust Ghost Pipefish but as we were watching them Opo and Man ( our Two Guides for the morning) shook their rattles to get our attention and after a minute of staring at this tiny frogfish I realized the significance of the find!! We had come across a Randall’s Frogfish, one of the rarest critters we can find here on the Lembeh Strait!
Antennarius randalli are found on sandy or rubble bottoms and maybe hiding in a soft drinks can or beer bottle! They tend to be found alone and their color can vary immensely from white to yellow to brown or black in order to match their surroundings. It can be distinguished from other frogfish species by a series of small white spots on its body and pectoral fins as you can see from the picture on the right.
Thanks so much to Liz Ward for these great photos that really show off the spots and capturing one of the best and most special finds I’ve experienced!!
Another day of superb diving on Bunaken and luckily, Tina from Norway had brought her camera along. We asked her to pick out a few of her favourite shots from the hundreds that she’d taken. She chose this inquisitive mantis shrimp, a common lion fish, a rather camera – shy puffer fish and a glorious nudibranch.
The beauty of her choice is that all of these fish are commonly seen around Bunaken, which just goes to show that an average day’s diving here is always far from average!
Many thanks Tina for your brilliant photos.
We woke to what seemed a pretty OK kind of day – flat waters, a few clouds in the sky which were hiding the sun. Our boats set out on time and Lukisan headed to Nudi Retreat but when we got there, there was already another boat so we decided to move onto a different site and what a great decision it turned out to be!!
The first 10 minutes of the dive had us seeing a Common Seahorse, Long Armed Octopus and many orangutan and swimmer crabs ( hours of amusement watching those little fellas amble along!). Then the dive site erupted into life and we went on a rollercoaster ride of a dive – we saw Mimic Octopus, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, 4 White Ornate Ghost Pipefish, 2 Ambon Scorpionfish, a Clown Snake Eel out in the open before disappearing beneath the sand, many Spider crabs, a huge hermit crab, even more crabs than you can poke your pointer at and a very rare find of 2 Pygmy Pipehorses!!! Just have a look at some of the photos!!
On the way over to our second dive on Lukisan we were then greeted with the most beautiful sight of a pod of about 20 dolphins swimming along close to the boat! We continued to watch them but they never let us get too close which makes us think that they are calfing at the moment which is great – baby dolphins in the Lembeh Strait!!!
Second dive continued the tradition of a great mornings diving with 4 pygmy seahorses, a Pegasus Sea Moth, Ribbon eels, Cocunut Octopus and another Flamboyant Cuttlefish.
On Cirrus, one of our other dive boats, they encountered Yellow Pygmy Seahorses, Common and Thorny Seahorses, different types of scorpionfish and the piece de resistance – a lovely Wonderpus!
Lunchtime was a competition of who saw the best things! It definitely will be a morning of diving that will be remembered for a long time!!!
Thank you to Jochen, Tamara and Alex for letting us use their photos!!
Apart from being huge fans of the many Angel fish we have here, Felipe and Scott just couldn’t get over the sheer diversity of textures and shapes of all the stunning corals, sponges, sea squirts and sea stars – they didn’t know where to look and point next! Filling in the logbooks too a while…..
Well done on your courses guys, you were dream students….and thanks for reminding us how lucky we are on Bunaken to be surrounded by so much amazing aquatic life of every type!
Again a huge thanks to our volunteers of staff & guests that helped with our Clean-Up on Earth Day in April 2010. Project Aware also really appreciated your efforts and so decided to put us in the spotlight!!