***I had to make this photos very small to get them uploaded, which is unfortunate because they have lost a lot of quality in the process and I had to remove many of ones containing expertly hidden fish. Take a moment to look closely at them as there may be hidden treasures you don’t notice at first. When I can I will try to load the full quality versions.***
Val and I spent nine wonderful days on Pulau Bunaken. It’s a small place where everybody pretty much knows everybody and life moves at the same pace the palm trees grow. There are fancy resorts but also homestays where locals open a couple of their spare rooms to travelers. Our weary bones rested at the home of a lovely woman named Novita’s. She fed fed us three delicious meals a day, and even occasionally performed music over dinner. Though the island has some great beaches and plenty of comfortable and tempting chairs, we came here for one reason, diving, and we wasted no time getting in the water.
It was immediately evident we were in for a treat. For one thing the visibility was at least 150 ft, but even better was the silky feeling of the 85 degree water, something neither of us have experienced anywhere else. We met a great local Divemaster named Jimmy who took on on 13 wonderful dives. The only downside? We had to suffer through sharing Jimmy on 2 of those dives – with a whopping one other diver! Damn you slow season 🙂
The diving is mostly walls that are utterly encrusted with coral, everywhere you look. If they made gardens like this on land then it would be illegal to build roads next to them because people would crash their cars. Tropical fish came by the thousands, and sometimes were so thick they blocked our vision. We saw sharks, rays, turtles, all manner of critters, and even a cuttlefish who allowed us to witness her placing her eggs in the coral with a precision only an intelligent and caring animal could offer. The only thing we didn’t see were other divers. We never spent less than 70 minutes in the water, and we’ll never forget what we saw. Just Jimmy, Val, and Scotty diving in paradise. Enjoy the photos.