Our corner of the world is a well known haven for the weird and wonderful underwater; but usually most of the attention goes to our sister location of Lembeh Straits. Lembeh is of course an amazing destination, but it isn’t that far away and so it is of no great surprise when even our guides get their minds blown by something amazing.
Congratulations go out to Paula & Oriol and Laurent & Frederic as well as Celine for completing their Open Water course in Bunaken and to Tatsuya for earning his Nitrox certification. This week has seen a return to some pretty unusual currents here at Bunaken; ups, downs and merry go rounds- but the visibility has been great and for those venturing out we have had sightings to suit all tastes. The past couple of days has seen groups of up to 6 eagle rays at a time playing in the currents; coming really close to the divers, they always seem much more relaxed in a current than in calm water. There has been plenty of shark action too, with a bit of a thermocline down deep getting the blacktips on the go!
On the other end of the scale we are finding ghost pipefish all over the place; ornates in the shallows, the elusive Halimeda has been spotted on a couple of sites and the guides have recently started spotting some slender ghost pipefish. Oke, one of our guides has even been turning up some juvenile frogfish; quite a feat when there is so much life on the reef for them to blend into. I really need to start following the guides more.
This week diving in Bunaken… A nice school of barracudas was seen during a day trip to Mantehage island. Unfortunately only one group of divers saw them which proves again that you just need to be at the right place at the right time. However, luckily there were plenty of large game fish such as tunas and trevallies, as well as quite a few sharks to keep all the divers happy.
This week in Bunaken… Dive guide Rolly really made the day for his divers, Magnus and Jonas from Denmark, when he found this stunning pair of halimeda ghost pipefish on the dive site Alung Banua. Halimeda ghost pipefish are very rare and sought after by many macro enthusiasts so we are super excited to have them here. Seeing that this is a pair we are hoping that they are going to hang around for a while! (Thank you Jonas for the photo!)
This week in Bunaken… PADI Open Water students Katharina and Johannes from Germany got an exceptional treat during their open water dive 3 when a large thresher shark came cruising up from the depths to have a closer look at them! Thresher sharks are deep water sharks that sometimes come up to shallow cleaning stations to get parasites and dead skin removed by cleaner fish.