Divers come to Bunaken to see the macro life, healthy and diverse coral walls and of course the resident turtles. The region is not so famous for its ‘bigger fish and rays’ especially not in the quantity and variety as other locations in Indonesia. That being said you might be surprised on the walls as we never know what might swim past. It is deep water next to the walls and you might be lucky. This week some of our guests have seen spotted eagle rays, which are such beautiful and graceful creatures. We can see these at many of our dive sites around Bunaken but not every day so it is a special treat when we do.
Spotted Eagle Rays (Aetobatus narinari) are found in tropical reefs worldwide. They are most commonly seen by themselves but can be seen swimming in groups. We usually see them gliding past Bunaken walls and can occasionally be seen jumping out of the water at the surface. Spotted Eagle Rays can be identified by the white spots or rings covering the darker dorsal surface, a white belly, a long tail, and a snout similar to a duck’s bill. They have many different common names such as spotted duck-billed ray and bonnet skate/ray. Mature spotted eagle rays can be up to 5m in length with a wingspan of 3m.
The spotted eagle rays feed on crabs, mollusks, crustaceans, shrimp, octopus and some small fish. They use the duck-like bill to crush shells and also for digging around in the sand. Their daily movements are affected by the tides and currents as they prefer water temperatures of 24-27 degrees. This is why we normally see them when we are deeper or when there is a cooler current coming through.
Beate and Waldemar from Canada decided to come to Two Fish Divers Bunaken after staying at our Lembeh resort for a week as they wanted some dives with crystal clear water and the chance to see some bigger fish and miles of coral walls. They were very happy to be back and glad to see spotted eagle rays on Sachiko and Muka 2, right in front of the resort. We hope to see you again on your next trip. Also returning this week is Sandra and Robert who come almost every year but missed last year, they are glad to be back in the beautiful marine park in Bunaken and here for another week, good to see them again and can’t wait to see some photo’s Bob! Celine, Mael, Noah and Luca have been with us on a family trip and loved diving with dive guide Tian for the week. Luca has been snorkeling while his brother and parents were underwater but our crew always takes care of the snorkelers if they are too young to dive. Next time maybe we can get Luca underwater too!
Vamsi and Iris from Jakarta did a short trip up to North Sulawesi and made use of the easy flights within Indonesia by flying direct to Manado. With our airport to resort transfers, it’s easy to come for a few days and still experience the best of diving Manado doing a day or 2 in Lembeh combined with a day or two of diving Bunaken. With a transfer between the resorts available you can be muck diving in Lembeh in the morning and night diving in Bunaken on the same day. Welcome back anytime Vamsi and Iris.
If, like our guests Nico, Anissa and Tim, you don’t get to dive as often as you would like then we will offer a refresher in our custom-built pool, to help you get comfortable again in the water and with the SCUBA equipment, and remind you of the basic safety procedures so you can relax and enjoy the amazing walls of Bunaken, without fear of going too deep, crashing into the reef or dealing with a flooded mask at 18m for example. After some theory and practice setting up the equipment, doing pre-dive safety checks, and skills in the pool, these 3 guests enjoyed a few days of problem free diving and were able to see more and enjoy the walls with more comfort and ease. Don’t leave it so long next time!
For spotted eagle rays, you still have to be lucky, but they are not a rare sight in Bunaken so if the diving itself isn’t a special treat, then maybe seeing one of these amazing creatures will be the icing on the cake. Happy diving!
If you’d like to join us for diving in Bunaken or muck diving inLembeh – or a combination of the two, fill in the form below and we will get right back to you!
We look forward to welcoming you to our North Sulawesi dive resorts soon!