Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bunakan, 2014

My blog posts seem to be getting further and further apart.  We've really settled into our lives in Jakarta, and most experiences that were once jaw dropping now feel completely normal.   For the first year we were constantly laughing, commenting, and taking pictures of the strange things around us - entire families on a single motorbike, people riding on top of the train outside our apartment, workers scaling 7 story high bamboo scaffolding, or goats crossing the road in the upscale business district area.  I do somewhat miss the days of being constantly entertained by the new culture, but its also nice to just feel at ease in our home city.  

Since Jeff and I aren't really sure how long we'll be living in Indonesia, we're trying to squeeze as much domestic travel in as our budget and schedule allow.  Last weekend was a holiday weekend and we've been longing for some snorkeling, so we caught a direct flight to Manado for a relaxing weekend at Bunakan.  We were a little nervous before the trip since a few people told us there would be a lot of garbage in the water.  We snorkeled at 6 sights total, and one of them had thick garbage (Alung Banua) that seemed to be drifting in from Manado.  The other 5 locations were very clean and had far fewer people as well.

Jeff has become an amazing underwater photographer and seems to get better every trip!  He manages to dive down and hold himself steady in the strong currents and capture some amazing shots.  Our first day we joined a dive trip from our hotel and had a great time observing all the coral and swimming with large schools of fish.  The one downside of the day was seeing so many people standing on the reef.  I managed to politely tell one guy while gritting my teeth that the coral dies if you stand on it, but then noticed about 25 more people doing the same thing.  Ehhh, I'm getting worked up again just thinking about it.

This eel was pretty well disguised
So many little fish!
For our second day of snorkeling, Jeff managed to coordinate joining another group who had chartered a boat!  We got to choose which sights we wanted to see and stayed out all day.  It turns out that our boat buddies, Tim and Brian, were also living in Jakarta so we became fast friends.  We failed to capture a group shot, so the underwater pics will have to suffice.  

Lion fish hiding between coral
These clown fish were so aggressive defending their coral 
Turtles are always a favorite!
Puffer fish
Our first ever nudibranch.  Can you believe this photography?!?
Can you spot the flounder buried in the sand?
These clown fish were so much fun to watch
This sea cucumber looks like he's wearing Nike Free's
These christmas tree coral can shut instantly when you get close
This trip made us both super excited for our upcoming adventure to Banda in May.  Its a bit difficult to get there, but the sea life is said to be some of the best in Indonesia.  Here's a link to all of the amazing shots Jeff took - picasa .  

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