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Published: August 7th 2007
After months of waiting for my contract and visa, I finally moved to Papua New Guinea in January 2007. So far, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience (and I'll hopefully publish an entry on life here soon...). Nonetheless, after spending 4 months in Port Moresby, I was quite ready for a little break. The opportunity came when I met up with my parents and brother for a scuba-diving reunion in Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.
From Papua New Guinea, I flew to Singapore, where I met up with the family, before flying on to Manado. We were picked up at the airport by a driver from Celebes Divers, who drove us to our huts at the beautiful Mapia Resort, South of Manado.
Over the next 7 days we explored the many dive sites around the Bunaken National Marine Park, a short boat ride away from the Mapia Resort. Many of the dive sites, around the islands of Manado Tua, Siladen, and Bunaken, consist of steep walls with occasionally strong, rapidly changing currents. The corals were colourful and the macro- and micro-fauna amazing. Apart from a broad range of nudibranches, we saw black-tip reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, turtles, eagle rays, sea
snakes, and an immense variety of other underwater life.
One of the highlights was without a doubt a night dive with my brother where we spotted Spanish Dancer nudibranches, lots of crustaceans (lobsters/crabs/shrimps), cuttlefish, rays, and a banded snake eel.
I tried my hand at underwater photography for the first time, admittedly with mixed results. You can find some of the less bad pictures here in this entry...
As always when you're having an excellent time, our stay in Sulawesi finished too quickly, and I was back on my way to PNG, with a three-day stopover in Singapore, too soon. Elections are looming in PNG though, so the months ahead promise to be anything but dull!
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