This week in Bunaken… “I saw parrot fish!” This might not be the first thing we mention when we come up from a dive as it is easy to get spoiled with always seeing these pretty and very colourful fish. But it is for sure something special to see a school of bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) descend on the reef to feed.
Divers during last week got treated to several sightings of the quite rare and sometimes shy bumphead parrotfish, who is the largest in the family of parrotfish (can grow over 1 m in length). Parrotfish has their teeth fused together like a parrot-like beak and use that ‘beak’ to bite off chunks of coral. The corals are then crushed and chewed in to small pieces that the fish swallows. The digestive system takes up all the nutrions from the corals and actually the only thing coming out the other end is fine sand! The parrotfishes are among the largest producers of sand on the reef! And if you have seen a school of bumphead parrotfish descend on a patch of coral, biting off large chunks, you almost want to tell them off for breaking the reef!
Other great sightings during the week has been napoleon wrasse, dogtooth tunas, eagle rays, reef sharks, candy crabs, orangutang crabs, ornate ghost pipe fish and of course plenty of turtles.
Even though there was a slight lull before the busy holiday season we had some courses going with Shantala from Germany saving people right left and centre during her PADI Rescue course as well as Yifan and Zhenxin from China who went from snorkeling for the first time in their lives to completing their PADI Open Water course with flying colours. Well done, guys!
In a few days it’s Christmas and everybody here are getting in to the Christmas spirit. Where ever you are in the world we wish you a very, merry Christmas filled with great company, amazing food and lots of laughter.