My guide Salim, looking for the little beasts stuck on the fall of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.
My guide Salim, looking for the little beasts stuck on the fall of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.

Bunaken: falling ... to fall!

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

These first two days in Bunaken have been going at full speed. The dives are up to my expectations: drop-offs covered with a variety of incredible coral. Side fauna, all the tropical panoply colorful is there.

A falling wall teeming with life

Fish-angels and butterflies, scorpion fish, nudibranchs, and the very sought-after leafy fishes are numerous ... I crossed few "big", if not some turtles and napoleons, as well as a pretty eagle ray ... A graceful black triangle seen at far in the blue - too far, alas - that seems to "fly" underwater.

My guide Salim, looking for the little beasts stuck on the fall of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.
My guide Salim, looking for the little beasts stuck on the fall of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.

The first day was hot and sunny. But that night, the rain came back in the wee hours of the night.

Gusts of wind creak coconut palms. The sound of the surf is impressive. There are real tides here. Which insulate my beach end when the sea is high. A gray, cottony sky has settled over the bay. That I look at leisure from the terrace of my overhanging bungalow.

The gray weather does not affect the quality of the dives. Grand luxury exploration outings, with a guide for me alone, Salim. He has the eye to spot the most tiny creatures. Suspended above the blue, we float in front of the falling, teeming with life.

A pretty pink leaf fish, photographed on the Bunaken hills. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.
A pretty pink leaf fish, photographed on the Bunaken hills. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.

Visibility is pretty good, if not very good. A vague sensation of vertigo and the strong feeling of being a tiny thing that makes bubbles, a few meters from the surface, while below the "wall" goes down to no end ...

I get used to the camera underwater immortalizing a green electric nudibranch. I had never seen one, like this one!

Very photogenic, this big nudibranch (sea slug), with its electric green pustules. Bunaken, Sulawesi, July 2007.
Very photogenic, this big nudibranch (sea slug), with its electric green pustules. Bunaken, Sulawesi, July 2007.

I share the first two days the boat with Bettina, a very nice German who travels alone, like me. She left today for Gangga island, another famous island for diving, two hours sailing north of Bunaken. She broke her piggy bank to afford Gangga. On this island, there seems to be only one dive resort for luxury stays. Bettina reveled in advance!

From tomorrow, I'll be on the same boat as Bert and Jeane, the Australians who do not like the stinking cheese I mentioned in the previous post ... Fifty, kind and courteous, but much less talkative than Bettina .

Peaceful atmosphere on Pantai Liang

On return, we "debrief" the dives with our guides, with identification books of the underwater fauna, devouring fresh cakes from the oven. As all the books are in English, the little game is for me to find the names of the critters in French

Dives occupy most of the day. Other than my end of the beach, I do not really have time to explore the rest of the island.

The children of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.
The children of Bunaken. Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007.

Everyone knows each other here, it's very small. The people are adorable, greet me the morning of a "Pagi" nonchalant, call me by my first name. Kids who play at the water's edge happily take the pose when I take out my camera.

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

  1. I am amazed ... in every way! Exciting your two stories, fascinating for me poor landed two-legged. I guess that for you all is only happiness and discovery, which I am delighted.
    Mil maritime and colorful, Lydie.

  2. Good ... This is the third comment I write ... And must believe that I'm not good, because for now I think that no one is past ... ZUT !!!!!!!
    So, I start to get upset, and I will end up writing something unpleasant so disgusted !! Ben, yeah ... understand me ... Here, it's raining cats and it's cold ... I have the piss, bad foot, tired, and am not on vacation for more than a month!
    That's it, I ventured !!! I'm better!!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for these moments that you make me share, it is a real pleasure after a day of work; I escape a little with you! Enjoy!!! Lots of love!!! See you soon!!!!!

  3. Great!!! The last comment worked !!! So I send you just a few lines, just to tell you again how much I enjoy reading you, and see your photos!
    Swiss Kisses !!!!

  4. I threw myself on your tag "nudibranches" because, like many divers, I'm addicted to these small colorful and fragile creatures!

    If I am not mistaken this green and black nudibranch is a "Nembrotha cristata", a variation of the Nembrotha kubaryana that I have often encountered in the Indian Ocean. I just found it in the famous book on nudibranchs, written and illustrated by Debelius, of course, a must if you like these little beasts.

    Your nudibranch can reach 12 cm, he says, and it is common from the Maldives to Western Australia, to Indonesia and the Southwest Pacific. The photographer who immortalized it in Debelius's book indicates that the photo was taken at ... Bunaken! 🙂

    See p. 177 in this book.

  5. Yes, I could definitely not abstain from the tag "nudibranchs"!
    😉

    For my part, I offered Neville Coleman's book "1001 nudibranchs" at the diving show, which gives the same identification for this pretty slug (p.43).

    The "mine" was of good size, not far from 10 cm, I think. I stayed long minutes to flash it all the way ...

  6. I will sail to Sulawesi around March 2014. Coming from the Philippines and going down to Lombocq - Bali ... I will have two blocks and the stuff that goes with it and a compressor. It's a guide like you I should ... Friends ... JB

    1. @ Jean-Baptiste: nice trip perspective ... I would not be ideal as a guide, too busy as I am by my camera under water ...
      Good bubbles !!!
      🙄

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