Diving the Walls of Bunaken

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Daniels Homestay

Flag of Indonesia  , North Sulawesi,
Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Day : 145
Temperature : 35 degrees
Weather : Hot, hot, hot!

We spent 2 full days in Bunaken and left with mixed feelings. The reefs of Bunaken Marine Park are absolutely beautiful, filled soft and hard corals and teeming with small fish. The dives are called walled dives because the reef drops vertically into the blue like a cliff and with good visibility it can give you a feeling of vertigo. The diver will often drift along the wall at verious depths depending on any current. We dutifully paid our National Park fee and eagerly approached the dive shop keen to get our diving organised. Unfortunately we found the diving staff to be rather unenthusiastic and uninfirmative at Daniels. When we asked what we could see at the dive site, we were told "many things". When we asked what kind of things we were told "many small things". Not particularly useful. Despite us being ready to go diving ultra early, we were told to wait many times. By the time we waited for the crew to get their act together our first dive was at 10am....already too late by first dive standards, and there were umpteen snorkellers and dive boats already at the dive sites. Despite this, the dives were very pleasant, but apart from the beautiful reef we didn't really see anything bigger than an average sized parrotfish.

On a positive note, the snorkelling is fantastic and would be especially wonderful early in the morning when the sun illuminates the entire wall on the eastern side of the island. We say eagle ray, napoleon wrasse (one quite big), a large black tip reef shark and many schools of butterfly fish and all the small stuff just snorkelling. It is however dissappointing to see many spear fisherman trampling all over the coral reef at low tide. We also saw a rather large fishing boat casting a fairly big net half a dozen times in the space of an hour right over the reef. Our understanding is that Bunaken is suposed to be a marine park where fishing is prohibited, and we had all paid a rather large marine park fee to be here! 

On our last day we wanted to do a shore dive on the house reef and then leave for Manado in the afternoon, but the resort wanted to charge us over 20 euros for the half hour transfer to Manado...bear in mind that the ferry is 2 euros each and this is what we paid when we were brought to Bunaken. We explained that this was too expensive for us, but if they could give us a good price for the transfer then we would be able to dive in the morning.....good for us because we wanted to dive, and good for the hotel because they get a lot of money for our diving. They appeared to be disinterested, and we were rudely dismissed. So we left immediately the next morning on the public ferry paying 2 euros each, not willing to give the dive school or hotel any more of our money.

And with that we said goodbye to Eric and Ramona and the beautiful reefs of Bunaken and we headed back to Manado. First stop pizza hut for the salad bar and pizza. Next stop is Singapore and the Haagen Daz shop...yay!

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Holly on

Have a lovely time in Singapore - it will seem very expensive that's for sure! Happy ice-creams.
Holly, Tony, Charlie & Essie

Eileen on

How will the budget cope in Singapore !! :o)

Have a Haggen-Dazz on me ....lots of love ..take care xxx

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