I arrived at the other Two Fish Dive Centre at the Bunaken National Park on Sunday evening. I really didn’t want to leave my little ‘dive family’ at Lembeh (I threatened to hide in a cupboard when the transfer boat arrived) but it’s fab here in Bunaken too. The dive centre is set in idyllic surroundings.
The soil here is more fertile so there’s blossom and greenery all around and it’s a lovely place to hang out. The grub is also just as good here and I’m eating like a horse and sleeping like a log (apparently the process of getting rid of the nitrogen that builds up in your blood after scuba diving burns loads of calories and makes you tired). If I manage to stay awake til 10pm I’m doing well!
On my first morning here I was diving with my guide, Dion, on the reef and we made friends with the turtles! They are the nicest sea creatures to hang out with. I love their wise little smiles. I got to hang around with a couple right up close and was smiling right back at them (as much as is possible with a regulator in my mouth).
We had a talk about shark conservation on Sunday night, which was really very sad. They are such beautiful and misunderstood creatures and are being killed in frightening numbers for their fins. After the talk I couldn’t wait to spot my first shark in the water. I didn’t have to wait long, as this morning I saw three! They were relatively small black-tipped sharks, but I was still stupidly excited! The first one came up pretty close (close enough though!) so I got a good look at him.
It must have been a lucky morning because we also spotted a whole school of dolphins leaping out of the water and performing their acrobatic display for us on the dive boat. Fantastic!
The reefs here are stunningly beautiful. When we come up into the shallower water for our ‘safety stop’ before surfacing, I like swimming on my back watching the sunlight stream through the shoals of fish. It’s just a shame that us humans are determined to ruin the ocean. On my last day in Lembeh we did a volunteer clean-up dive, taking down big rice sacks to collect the rubbish that is being chucked in the sea by the nearby villagers. It was pretty disgusting. Our sack was heavy with all sorts of junk (old number plates, carrier bags full of nappies, shoes, netting, plastic food wrappers etc.). It took all our strength to haul it up to the boat.
Today I go for a ‘Mandarin Dive’ at dusk. This is a special dive where we go to observe the mating rituals of the beautiful Mandarin fish. Sounds interesting!! Will let you know if they do the deed….!
Last day diving here tomorrow before I’m off to Tomohon, but I’m going to get a bit more diving fix when I arrive in Thailand in early November. I’ve just booked a four day ‘liveaboard’ trip in the Similan Islands as a little present to myself (it leaves on my birthday). Not too kind on the wallet, but good for the soul!!
Will post again as soon as I manage to find some dodgy Asian internet connection! Apologies if you have left me comments and I haven’t responded… internet time is painfully brief and desperately slow. I’m really enjoying reading all the messages though.