Doing underwater clean up dives keeps our dive sites clean, is great for the environment and fun too. The many nudibranchs we see here appreciate the clean up dives we carry out in Bunaken. We saw a few of the common species of nudibranch on our regular Dive Against Debris and managed to save a few along the way. Nudibranchs are fairly slow moving sea slugs and like to rest on the bottom, on coral, or anything else they can attach themselves too. Unfortunately this includes some of the trash that ends up in the ocean so we have to be careful to re-home them or even leave some forms of ocean debris behind if it has become a part of the reef and home to one critter or another. During our monthly survey of Muka Kampung, our adopted dive site, dive guide Tian found the tiniest nudis on a piece of wood, they were the size of half a grain of rice!
Thanks to our divemaster trainee Daniel, guides: Rian, Kres, Jecky, Tian and instructor Colin for diving and collecting up to 10kg of debris and documenting it after the dive and thanks to Melky, Rocky and Egen for driving and crewing the boat.
The biggest contributing item we found was plastic, diapers and fishing line, which is what we often see but we also collected some wood, rope, metal pieces and a phone charger! All the data collected on Dive Against Debris surveys goes onto the Project Aware database and is collated to help raise awareness of the problem our oceans are facing with regards to the amount of waste entering the seas and the data can be used to campaign for better legislature and waste management procedures but if we find no waste on our adopted dive site we are also happy. Can’t wait for the next Dive Against Debris.
During the week we also had some experienced divers coming to enjoy the beautiful sights we have here in Bunaken. Clara and team Portugal visited after a week in Raja Ampat, Doug from the USA brought the family to see the beautiful walls and turtles, and weren’t disappointed, Elena also from the USA had some time to kill on her extended vacation before heading to Europe so came to discover some Pacific “wish list” species she doesn’t normally get to see. All the way from Argentina Hernan and Barbara spent 4 nights here before heading to Two Fish Divers Lembeh, Kiki and Maple escaped the suit and ties and left the baby with Grandma in China for a “business meeting” with the fish over here, Tim and Kathy escaped the heat of the middle east for the slightly less hot Indonesia, welcome back Tim. Justin popped over from Australia to forget about phytoplankton for a while and see some other, slightly bigger species, and Britta and Jorg are here for a few weeks soaking up the sun and exploring the sea. Our guides love meeting people from all around the world and showing them the abundance of different species that you might not see anywhere else. From the tiniest isopods to the sharks and mammals, the guides can find the almost invisible, with one eye always on the blue water so as to not miss the passing pelagics.
Thanks to all our wonderful guests this week, we will miss those that have already left and look forward to the next week of amazing diving with those that remain.