Bunaken Island, Mandolin Point
29th September 2001
Wall dive. Quite a few lobsters. Tiny crabs on the back of sea anemones with
clownfish. Black corals and practically every species of fan coral including
some really huge ones. At safety stop first a good sized turtle, a white tip
reef shark and then four black tips. Visibility hampered a bit by lots of
Tasik Ria, Circus Critter
3rd October 2001
One fin kick a minute. The fish didn’t seem scared at all but allowed us to
get really close. Came upon a cuttlefish and lay still for almost half an
hour watching colour changes and what looked like territorial strife (but
probably wasn’t). At first we watched a tiny cuttlefish being chased away by
a larger one who in turn was chased away by an even larger one until we had
five of them chasing each other. Excellent stuff.
Lembeh Strait, Hair Ball II
4th October 2001
Totally surreal dive. Flying gurnards, cockatoo wasps, pygmy seahorses,
frogfish, scorpionfish and a whole range of weird stuff I can’t find in any
of the books. Bad visibility (7-8 m) and black sandy bottom. Really, really
Bunaken-Manado is quite simply a stroke of genius for
divers and doesn’t come higher recommended. A non-diver amongst divers
should take heave – unless you consider doing your open water training there.
Tasik Ria is situated some 15 minutes from Manado proper, a city full of
contrast and not very many tourists, which is a plus in my book.
Mangroves and Black Sand
North Sulawesi doesn’t have wonderful, bounty-like beaches but rather
mangroves or rocky black lava sandy beaches. On the other hand you’ll find a
lush and plentiful nature, a smiling and helpful people… and memories to
last a lifetime.