Experience Bunaken with Bastianos Dive Resort!

Bunaken Travel Blog

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Widest television screen ever!
Scuba diving has changed my life. Since becoming OW certified in 2006, I spend my energy and focus on looking for awesome places to dive. Diving, much like traveling, opens up new worlds. It has brought me to places I previously never thought I would visit, it has shown me things, creatures and corals, of unbelievable beauty and scale, and it has given me a renewed purpose behind my travels other than aimlessly vagabonding or drunken party-searching.

Indonesia is a land of remarkable beauty, flying east from Jakarta to Manado is a visual testament to that. Cruising through plush doughy clouds over verdant tropical islands outlined by white sandy beaches with nearby coral reefs exposed through the clarity of turquoise/green ocean waters made me drool against the airplane's cabin window.
Bastianos beach bungalows


The destination was to be Raja Ampat in Papua, but we could not make timely lodging arrangements, so we made a last minute dash to Bunaken National Marine Park, off the coast of port city Manado. From the harbour, we embarked on a half-hour boatride to Bunaken Island, wedged in between a beautifully dramatic volcano called Manado Tua and a small flat idyllic tropical island called Siladen Island. We reached Bastianos Resort & Diving Center to spend 5 wonderful days of our lives.

We arranged some dives for the following day, 4 dives to be exact, then headed into the village to grub on some fresh barracuda and relax with some ice-cold Bintangs. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we met our divemaster Rando and completed 3 dives and a twilight dive.
Bintang, best served ice-cold!
We covered the Lekuan (Cove) reef walls, Muka Kampung (Front of Village), and a twilight dive to search for that elusively unique Mandarin fish. The reefs were vibrant and alive, hard and soft corals offering shelter to a variety of fish, crustaceans, worms, and slugs. Even witnessed a school of dolphins graciously waving through the waters.

The day was to be celebrated at night with ice-cold Bintang and a local distill called Chaptikoos (Rat Brand). Together with the awesome Bastianos staff and some of the other visitors we drank and sang deep into the night on guitar strings, sharing laughs and making new friends, taking pictures and memorializing moments.

The next day, 3 more dives, including to Fukui and Cela Cela. Fukui is home to 5 giant clams. Although 2 have died, the sheer sizes of these clams are amazing.
Off in the distance, underwater life!
Also at Fukui met a Crocodilefish who was great to take pictures with since it didn't seem to be bothered. Again, the day was to be celebrated at night over cold beers and the serenading voices of Rey and Sylvie. They said they've never sang together over the guitar since the first night although the pitch-perfect melodic harmony they produced may suggest otherwise. The 2nd night of singing brought out more of the usually reclusive guests, all sitting in a big circle, enjoying the laughs, again the night was purely magical.

Woke up on the last full day in sadness. Just when you build something special, it was time to go. Knocked off 2 more relaxing dives in the beautifully tranquil coral garden slopes of Bualo and Fukui. The dives were so visually relaxing and soothing that I maintain a powerful mental picture of the rich coral slopes that graced our last dives.
The fire burned brightly at our party!
It was so relaxing, not even the Garden Eels felt threatened by the proximity of our presence.

The night that followed was set up to be something special. The crew had requested the man in charge, Bapak, to hold a special BBQ/Bonfire to commemorate our stay, to which Bapak happily obliged. After the food, the fluid started flowing, the fire started burning, the party was alive and kicking. We made music on anything that made sound, we danced in a trance around the fire, we succumbed to the positive energy that encompassed the surrounding aura. We celebrated each other, new friends from around the world, new facebook contacts, new experiences, new places, and new memories.

We killed nothing but time, took nothing but pictures, left nothing but footprints.

BOLEH MOGOSOH!!!
bernard69 says:
it seems that u had good time there!
Posted on: May 27, 2009
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Widest television screen ever!
Widest television screen ever!
Bastianos beach bungalows
Bastianos beach bungalows
Bintang, best served ice-cold!
Bintang, best served ice-cold!
Off in the distance, underwater li…
Off in the distance, underwater l…
The fire burned brightly at our pa…
The fire burned brightly at our p…
Clouds greeting us to Manado
Clouds greeting us to Manado
Construction in Manado
Construction in Manado
Manado Harbor
Manado Harbor
Bastianos bungalows
Bastianos bungalows
Rain approaching Manado Tua
Rain approaching Manado Tua
BK pondering...
BK pondering...
Night looms behind Manado Tua
Night looms behind Manado Tua
Morning tide
Morning tide
Fish greeting us
Fish greeting us
Dolphins showing their grace
Dolphins showing their grace
All day diving
All day diving
Dive map and sites
Dive map and sites
Where coral wall meets open water
Where coral wall meets open water
Beaming sun, instant dark skin
Beaming sun, instant dark skin
Sunset Manado Tua
Sunset Manado Tua
Bapak in action
Bapak in action
Rando leading the way to Manado Tua
Rando leading the way to Manado Tua
The Italians, Mirko & Nadya
The Italians, Mirko & Nadya
Bapak & Nikton
Bapak & Nikton
The Pastaman
The Pastaman
Mario, BK, Rando
Mario, BK, Rando
Mario, Me, Rando
Mario, Me, Rando
100% Bapak
100% Bapak
Rey & Sylvie
Rey & Sylvie
The Pastaman
The Pastaman
BK & Sylvie
BK & Sylvie
Shawn, BK, Helen, Rey, Nikton
Shawn, BK, Helen, Rey, Nikton
Segaran Sari by the box
Segaran Sari by the box
group session
group session
Moray Eel
Moray Eel
Mad Moray
Mad Moray
Big Fish
Big Fish
Xmas tree worms
Xmas tree worms
Giant clams
Giant clams
Cabbage corals
Cabbage corals
More cabbage corals
More cabbage corals
Crocodile fish
Crocodile fish
Crocodile fish
Crocodile fish
Lion fish
Lion fish
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photo by: bernard69