Our guests have been fortunate to spot blacktip reef sharks on nearly every dive this week. And as if that wasn’t enough, there have been plenty of eagle rays, too as well as our favourite sea turtles. A week for big stuff!
Blacktip reef sharks are among the regulars around the Bunaken Marine Park. They generally prefer living near reef ledges and over sandy bottoms. Around our walls and slopes we often see them hurry along in deeper waters, but some encounters have lasted longer and divers have been lucky enough to have the shark come back or stay below them for some time. Blacktips are known as the ‘scaredy-cats’ of the shark world. Timid and skittish, they mostly feed on small fishes, crustaceans, squid and have been known to hunt even sea snakes.
They also tend to stick to a particular area once they made their home there, often staying for years. Newborn sharks tend to stay shallower than their parents, and around Bunaken and Siladen we have a number of dive sites where we can almost guarantee a baby shark or two resting in a recess. You’re likely to see two to three hanging out on Siladen Wall and around the north of Bunaken, at Tanjung Parigi, a baby shark hiding in five meters makes for a great way to start a dive.
Of course, we don’t just see blacktips, but they are by far the most common shark around the islands. Whitetips come in a close second. For those of you after spotting large marine life, Bunaken will usually treat you to tuna encounters and groups of hunting trevallies as well as eagle rays.
Over the coming week, we’re looking forward to what might happen underwater during the total solar eclipse on 9 March. We’ll keep you posted.