Nunukan - turtles everywhere and a jellyfish lake to swim in

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June 2nd 2018
Published: June 28th 2018
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Nunukan was one of the anchors of my trip, because it was essentially a deserted island with a huge house reef and lagoon, located near a top site for manta rays and a jelly fish lake (aka lake full of jellies that have been isolated from predators for so long that they don't sting any more). We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful. Perfect. Tropical paradise. And that afternoon was the last we saw of the paradise weather - thunderstorms, rain, more rain, clouds, wind, etc. set in for the rest of the week. It was still really pretty...but that first afternoon was so amazing!

The manta rays were no shows (although I can't complain at all after the bonanza at Komodo). The jellyfish were interesting - there were four different was hard to swim without kicking them...and kicking them made me feel super guilty. The lake was surprisingly big, on a really pretty island, full of jungle.

There's exactly one flight to/from Maratua (the bigger island near Nunukan) each week - and the flight the week I left was mysteriously cancelled the day before. The alternative was to take a boat about 3 hours, 1.5 across the rough ocean and 1.5 up a river in Borneo, to a town called Berau and catch a flight from there. The boat ride across the ocean was fairly miserable, although I really liked the river portion and seeing somewhat random villages in Borneo

Additional photos below
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Pier to Virgin CocoaPier to Virgin Cocoa
Pier to Virgin Cocoa

This pier became my favorite thing ever - it crossed the lagoon to a neighboring island (that I never actually went on), with all sorts of things passing beneath it at different tide levels. I think it was about a mile long and I walked it multiple times a day - it was like snorkeling without getting in the water, and not bad exercise when the weather and tides made it impossible to actually get in the water (unfortunately the case most of the week)

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