So there will be no more posts about visibility here at Bunaken. After last week bragging of 50+M viz, that cold upwelling must have brought with it a lot of nutrients as we have had a plankton bloom and the viz has dropped to 10-15M in places! That may not sound too bad for a lot of you but its pretty much unheard of here.
50M+ Visibility at Bunaken! Sounds too good to be true? Well it came with a cost; the visibility was easily better than 50m- you could see forever but it was due to almost a 10C thermocline!
Water temp at the surface was a nice 28-29C which dropped a little on the way down but the upwelling dropped temps to 20C! This of course brought with it a heap of fish activity; we had sharks, a monster Napoleon wrasse, loads of dogtooth tuna, jacks and emperors. All in all it was an awesome dive, and as we left bottom back into the warmth we thought we had experienced the eventful part of the dive.
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.