Bunaken, snorkeling and diving

A lot of cool stuff happened at this time 7 years ago in Norway: I had left the army to start studying at a business school, I tried surfing for the first time, and I got my PADI open water diving license. Both the studying and the surfing has paid off. I wouldn’t be working in Jakarta right now if I didn’t get my degree, and surfing pays off every time I catch a wave. Diving on the other hand always made me feel sick. I threw up in the mask once while I was still under water. I saw some cool stuff while diving, but the struggle with all the equipment was never really worth it. Not until last week, when I did a wall dive at Bunaken National Park…


Garuda Indonesia has an early morning flight from Jakarta to Manado, and from there we went by speedboat out to one of the islands in Bunaken National Park. We arrived before lunch at Bunaken Beach Resort, our home for the next four nights. The staff was super friendly, and the location was beautiful. They served breakfast, and delicious lunch and dinner, and they had a fridge full of cold beer. We could rent all the equipment we needed for snorkeling and diving, and they had a boat and crew that took us out to some of the good spots every day. Their main dive master knew most of the underwater creatures by their first name, and he was happy to introduce us to them.

The snorkling and beer was good and the diving was amazing. We jumped off the boat and dropped down to 18 meters depth, from there we could still not see the bottom of the wall. The current did all the work, all we had to do was breathe and watch the show. And what a show it was. My Gopro 4 session is only waterproof down to 10 meters, so I left it in the boat. But trust me, it was good! It saved my diving career. If you like diving you should definitely put Bunaken on your list. I put some more Indonesian dive spots on my list. Stay tuned…

Bunaken Beach Resort
I got tired of my brother beating me in table tennis, so I rented a scooter and drove off to explore a bit. I ended up getting lost on some path on the other side of the island, the path on the picture was like a highway compared to where I ended up. I almost crashed with a palm tree before I decided to turn around and go home. On the way back I ran out of fuel and had to start pushing the scooter. After 200 meters I came to a house full of locals. The family living there was super cool, they sent someone to pick up some fuel, another one to get me a chair, and they helped me kick some life back into my rental scooter. Then one of them got on their own scooter and showed me the way back to my hotel. Not that I needed any help, of course…
Turns out the Gopro 4 Session isn’t really that good for underwater photography. But at least you get some idea… Whoever said “there are plenty of fish in the sea” might have spent some time in Bunaken.  We also saw too many turtles to count.
This is my brother enjoying his first trip to Asia. Your first trip to Indonesia doesn’t have to be to Bali, there are plenty of other options. Or at least combine your trip to Bali with somewhere else in Indonesia. Like my brother, you won’t regret it!
Took my drone for a sunrise flight. It was beautiful.
So was the sunset. Manado Tua in the background.
On our way back to the mainland we were escorted by some decent swimmers. Thank you, Bunaken!

Leaving this place sucked, but we had to keep exploring. Next stop: The Spice Islands.



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