Bunaken is a legend and its come-back is even more tantalizing. Conservation is underway and caring divers would love to reminiscence the old times underwater. Fukui still leaves you awesome memories and worth the plunge. Derawan, a few nautical miles to the west, is a conservation area for marine life. It consists of small islands, namely Kakaban, Sangalaki, Maratua, and Derawan itself. Adventurers will not be disappointed when visiting Derawan marine conservation area. The meandering wooden boat through a picturesque river in Berau jungle, or a speeding boat slicing waves of Borneo Sea is an adrenalin-pumping access to Derawan. The underwater scenery there doubles the doze of the thrills of getting there.
A tridacna, mollusk colossus locally known as ‘kima’, visually appeals any diver in the water of rehabilitated Fukui, around Bunaken. Past ravaging practices of fishing in the ‘90s left the area somewhat wearisome.
A strange snowflake development in a blunting dive spot of Fukui emerges as a promising future for Bunaken. Snowflakes are man-made ceramics planted to stimulate coral growth.
Bunaken is well known for its coral reef wall diving; a type of diving challenging enough for divers who already count with significant amount of expertise.
Face to face with detailed rock formations down in Bunaken dive spot requires special skills, namely vertical hovering. It’s a skill with colorful upshots for curious divers to see butterfly fish.
Near perfect camouflage of a ‘hawk fish’ down in the depth of 20 meters in Bunaken. The clear water down there is a natural endowment for every diver.
Attention to details can lead to acquaintance with the disguised. ‘Leaf fish’ is a surprise and can leave you a leafy feeling, just like a fall in the midst of tropical summer.
Fukui was once wrecked by rugged anchors unintentionally jettisoned by fishermen. As the rehabilitation continues, mooring buoy is provided to minimize such destructive practice.
A pontoh’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi) can be as small as a shirt button. This fragile sea critter has hundreds of friends and family members worth the efforts of marine rehabilitation.
A robust ‘ghost pipe fish’ moors amongst the leafy sea grasses. The visibility in Bunaken can reach up to 30 meters and an up-close is exceptionally crystal clear.
A shy inhabiting shrimp on a seemingly translucent bubble coral is a strike of luck. Only with careful divers, if not a sheer luck, can this little one be found.
Corals in Bunaken form a table of marine garden swarmed with stingless swimming bees; the various types of tropical fish.
Sightseeing down in the water of Bunaken is an up-close and personal meet-up with indescribable creatures.
In Maratua Island around Derawan a baby turtle soars to the open sea. The Derawan is a turtle paradise and divers will not see so many turtles anywhere else other than here.
Kakaban is a prehistoric lake in an island with the same name around Derawan Island. The murky water still has good visibility that provides excellent scenery like this split surface image.
Lake Kakaban covers 390 hectares with maximum depth of 17 meters. To get there, a 400-meter hike is a ‘warm-up’ before one cools off.
An archaic look on the smirking face of this Cardina fish is a valuable moment as a diver swims down the prehistoric lake.
Derawan is a 1.2 million-hectare marine conservation area, within which 5 out of 6 known species of turtle in the world live peacefully.
In Derawan, there are more turtles than divers. Very often, these turtles swim along among local children playing on the beach as they are used to interact with human.
Clown fish lurks before the camera as it frequently hides behind the swaying anemone, a safe housing for this little friend.
A wondrous giant clam or ‘kima’ at Sangalaki is a reason why divers plunge in Derawan marine conservation area. This one was sighted more than a decade ago and never ceases to amaze.
A hermit crab scoots bit by bit on a cloudy white sandy platform. Its stare looks very spiritual and hypnotizing.
Another ‘Leaf Fish’ is uncertainly floating upon a flaky coral formation and still recognizable by thrifty eyes.
A black nudibranch dotted with bright zits is crawling on its feeding ground. A nudibranch is a shell-less snail growing strapping ‘branches’ on its back.
The hawk-bill turtle hunts soft corrals and alike to keep growing and reproducing. Derawan is a heaven for turtles to continue their species survive.
Our friendly neighbor, the hawk-bill turtle, poses sedately in the most wanted photo session.
Although it bears the moniker of a ‘lobster’, a Squat Lobster is yet only an inch long, adorned with furry soft shell. Its bluish appearance is hard to miss.
Lake Kakaban offers a clear underwater view during an excellent day light. The stingless jellyfish rest upon a cozy bed of underwater ferns.
An upward shot under the surface of Lake Kakaban is striking when the jellyfish float around the ‘depth of field’ of the underwater camera.
A mysterious sea snake breezes away as a curious diver attempts to take a close-up encounter.
Photo taking in Derawan is an excellent choice as its superb visibility offers a good clearance or a framed picture like this.
The scene like this is more than what any diver wish for. Pose as many as you wish and they can all be your favorites.