20 – 24 October 2009
N1 35.560 E124 46.199 – Bunaken Island
N1 34.532 E124 48.592 – Thalassa Dive Center
Off we went with the tireless Simone Gerritsen of Thalassa Dive Center in Manado to explore Bunaken and the surrounding islands as well as the under-appreciated mainland Manado. We knew to expect the steep wall dives of Bunaken National Park and the beautiful coral cover of Bunaken’s shallow reefs. Manado Tua beside Bunaken was equally grand.
What we didn’t expect was how incredible the muck diving was in mainland Manado. A dive site called Popoo made us forget time again and wished we had more air. Two dives here were just not enough! It was too good! But the best part was, we didn’t expect it to be like Lembeh, or even be jokingly called “Bethlehem” – Better Than Lembeh!
Our guide Bob was going berserk in our second Popoo dive when he found a mimic octopus. We spent quality time with the octopus, and when it was swimming away from us in flounder position, the unthinkable happened! Another mimic octopus came out of its hole and grabbed what we now think was the female. She tried to get away but the new ardent lover wouldn’t have any of that, and stayed on top of her for a good 10 minutes or more. It was UNBELIEVABLE!