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.
However at 9M the currents started to be felt; both ups and downs and we had to weave our way judiciously up the reef to our safety stop. There we opted for hanging on to the reef whilst the water boiled around us; there were three of us together holding on to a section of exposed rock and flapping like sheets in a gale. Everyone was still smiling though, watching the reeflife dealing with the tumult; all around us fish were spawning possibly triggered by the strong currents?
We had schools of surgeon fish chasing each other on the reef then in a synchronised dash from shelter, shooting up into the stream spawning collectively then darting back down for cover. This kept happening, whilst our regs were purging, masks flooding and it was all we could do to hold on to the reef. Closer to our hand holds a couple of boxfish got caught up in the amorous atmosphere and after a brief courtship shot between us for an even briefer coital fishy embrace. In fact it took less time for all this to happen than for the boxfish to make their way back to the reef afterwards.