Scuba diving trip to Indonesia where we fell in love with nudibranchs
Ask most people what a nudibranch is and you’ll probably get a “nudi – what?” response. Ask a scuba diver and you’re more likely to see their fce light up and then you’ll be talking for the next hour about the stripy ones, the pink ones, the purple ones etc that they have seen. Well this trip to Minahasa in Sulawesi affectionally became know as our ‘nudibranch trip”.
We’d flown from London Heathrow to Singapore and then transferred to Manado in North Sulawesi before getting a cab along the northern coast to Minahasa where we stayed at the Minahasa Lagoon Dive Resort.
Indonesia introduced us to the concept of ‘muck diving’ which doesn’t sounds very pleasant but actually is. Unlike reef diving, muck diving gets its name from the sediment that lies on the bottom of a dive site (rather than rocks, coral or sand). An environment rich in nutrients created by the natural sediments and detritus from plants, creates a habitat that is teeming with rare marine life including nudibranchs, frogfish and seahorses.
As these dives are typically very shallow, air consumption is reduced so you can benefit from much longer dives. These shallow depths also allow more sunlight to penetrate the water which enables you to see the colours of these amazing marine creatures.
For a true scuba diving paradise, Bunaken Marine Reserve is located a few miles off the coast of Manado and is easily accessed by dive boat. The calm, clear waters offer a diverse range of corals and marine life. It truly felt like we were diving within an aquarium.
The day before flying back to Singapore when we couldn’t dive due to the need to allow the nitrogen that had built up whilst diving to dissipate from our bodies, we enjoyed a day rafting on a nearby river.
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