Twinkling Stars and Bright Green Phospherous

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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park
July 21st 2009
Published: September 2nd 2009
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Sailing to Bunaken at Midnight.Sailing to Bunaken at Midnight.Sailing to Bunaken at Midnight.

it was only the flash from the camera that gave us any light!
We have just spent the last 8 days on the island of Bunaken off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Our flight to Manado was delayed by two and a half hours meaning instead of arriving at 7.50 it was 9.30pm. By the time we’d bought our visa and cleared customs it was approaching 10.30pm.
We’d arranged to be picked up by Vasko, from Lorenzo’s, and taken to the port for the boat we’d charted to the island of Bunaken. We didn’t imagine he’d still be there waiting as we were so late but luckily he was. Malcolm and Sue, a couple from New Zealand, wanted to go to Bunaken but had no arrangements in place so Vasko phoned through to arrange a room for them and we all set off together.

By the time we got to the port, however, our boat had left without us. Vasko negotiated a lift for us on the only small boat left. As we sailed out of port the engine cut out, the boat had no lights whatsoever so the driver struggled to fix it in the total darkness but eventually we were off again. As we got into open sea I looked up at the sky, there was no moon so the stars were a fantastic sight twinkling in the inky black sky. I glanced over the side of the boat and was amazed at the bright green phosphorous that danced in the bow waves as the boat cut through the water. I’ve seen phosphorous at the water’s edge before but this was something else. Magical!

I was relieved when we got close to the island as I was not convinced the boat would last out, it was sounding dodgier by the minute and it had already cut out a second time in open sea. The boatman struggled to steer us through the mangroves which had to be negotiated before getting to Lorenzo’s Resort. I don’t think he was even sure we were at Lorenzo’s!

A light appeared and we were guided into shore. Hapna, who seemed to be in charge was surprised to see two couples and said there was no room. Despite us booking two months earlier, she had had to make a bed up in the Reception/ office/ library for Stan and Myself. Sue and Malcolm ended up in Ali’s bungalow ( Ali worked next door at the Dive Centre but slept at Lorenzo’s) and Ali was demoted to the hammock on the veranda!! Oh well, at least we all had a bed for the night! Many thanks to our friendly guide Vasko who sorted it all out and made sure no-one had to sleep on the beach! And thanks to Ali too!


24th March 2010

Lorenzo's Bungalows
Hi Vasko, lovely to hear from you, hope you didn't think I was complaining, we were actually very pleased and grateful that you'd waited for us at the airport even though our flight was very late arriving. The office/reception where we stayed was very nice, and Ali was very kind to give up his room for Malcomn and Sue, I know they were very grateful. We are all experienced travellers and don't worry about small problems like that. The important thing was that we all had a bed for the night. One thing that worries us though, is that Air Asia seem to have cancelled their flight from k.L. to Manado so now it will be much more difficult to get to Bunaken. Do you have any suggestions, we have recommended Bunaken to friends and family. Regards Stan and Sheila
24th June 2010

From Europe, you can flight to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and from Malaysia to Makassar, if you like you can extend several days with visit Tana Toraja and then take a plane from Makassar to Manado, it is cheaper then you take Europe - Jakarta - Manado. or you can do by Garuda from Amsterdam - Dubai - Jakarta - Manado. Also there is flights from London - Kuala lumpur - Makassar - Manado. And the reguler way is Europe - Singapore - Manado. Regards Vasko
24th June 2010

Hi Vasko, now I realise who you are! Thanks for the information on how to get to Bunaken. It was for my daughter. She is now on Flores and has a flight booked from Makassar to Manado in about 3 weeks time. Wish we were coming too but it's not possible this year sadly. Thanks for your trouble, and feel free to use some of our photos on your website. Regards Sheila
3rd October 2011
Hi there, We are happy on Bunaken, and every years Bunaken is Getting more cottages & dive center, but the dive Quality is still great. Now a days I decide to promote about Indonesia through my own website at, Please visit and browse information about the traveling In indonesia on that website. Regards Vasko
16th November 2016

Did you like the arrangements Vasko made for you? I ask because he gave me a quote on a tour and if he's a good tour agent I think I'll go with what he quoted me.
17th November 2016

Our flight arrived very late but despite this he was still waiting and managed to get us a boat over to Bunaken even though it was now midnight. The boat broke down and when we got there eventually there was no room waiting for us despite booking weeks ahead. However the boat wasn't Vaskos fault and they did find us a bed for the night so I guess for Indonesia it was as good as it gets!

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