Manado, the bustling capital city of North Sulawesi, is also know as ‘the city of churches’ – and they really are on every corner. For travellers though, it’s mainly used as a jumping off point for the beautiful nearby island of Bunaken.
We hopped onto the ferry over to Bunaken sailed by captain Lucas who would also be our host for the week. There are many dive resorts on the island but we opted for a homestay.
The island is half Christian and half Muslim. We were staying on the Christian side.
The island is still fairly rural. Dirt tracks are lined with palm trees and mangrove boardered paths lead you into the ocean.
Bunaken is one of the worlds top dive sights with supposedly more types of fish than the Great Barrier Reef so during our stay we spent the majority of our time diving and snorkelling.
Due to the current, you drift dive alongside the exuberant coral walls – it feels like a movie playing out in front of your eyes. The colours and textures are a creative playground and really inspired me to design. Bunaken is known for its turtles which you see in abundance. One of my favourites moments though was being able to touch a giant underwater clam (approx 1 metre long) which clamped shut almost mechanically when you touched it. I felt like Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
One day, in between dives, a pod of around 20 dolphins came to play. Watching them from the boat was incredible but being in the water with them was really something special. I never imagined I would swim with dolphins so it was the cherry on top of an amazing and very lucky week.
Good day Captain Claus.
Our dive boat captain practising for his upcoming vogue shoot.
We met a lovely scottish guy called Shash during one of our dive trips. He’s been travelling for three years now and has set up a really cool blog focused on documenting wildlife – undersea and on land. It’s definitely worth a look www.journeysalive.com