I suppose the first point I should really make is that this is my first time in Indonesia; in fact I’ve never been this far east before at all, (my previous record being Nepal). So this is as much an evaluation of SE Asia as it is of Bunaken specifically, or of Two Fish. I started with only a vague idea of destination, a rough budget, tight timescale, and a goal of PADI Divemaster certification. It was Dani’s quick responses and helpful answers which made me choose Two Fish. Since getting here its all been a discovery; motorbikes, bustling shopping centres, and a surprising number of churches are my defining memories of driving through Manado on the first day.
After getting the boat to Bunaken, being introduced all at once to far more Two Fish staff than whose names I could hope to remember. The food, always local, always excellent, and to start with a bit of an experiment for the uninitiated in Asian cuisine.
The next day we went diving… What isn’t there to see in Bunaken?!?!?! – well actually now you mention it you won’t find many flat reefs, pretty much everything’s a wall, but that aside there’s a great deal to be looked at; this fish, that coral, one-hundred colours, and turtles, all set in 30m+ visibility; so many of each that you couldn’t possibly name them all (a theme later on). I dived a lot with Oke, Faldo, and Rolly, who will find you all sorts, from huge distances, and are never reluctant to tap on their tank to get your attention.
After several fun dives I was taken by Dion, one of the instructors, through what we’d be covering in the Divemaster syllabus, assessing what I would need to focus on, and beginning my ‘indoctrination’ to PADI.