Froggies Sept 2004
(Click on thumbs for larger image)
I was eventually harassed to leave the Scottish waters once more and head to warmer climes. Destination Froggies, Bunaken Island, Manado, Indonesia.
The journey there involved flying from Glasgow to Dubai, transferring to a flight to Singapore (via Colombo). We stayed a night in Singapore and had a great meal in the local Chinese market in Changi. Then the next day flew from Singapore to Manado, where we were met and taken by car to the local port. There we boarded one of the local boats which took us to Bunaken Island (appox 40 mins) where we were dropped of at the dive centre.
I wondered what we were getting into as we waded onshore with our baggage following us. We then met Christiane and chatted while we did the usual paperwork before being taken to our Hut.
Froggies Dive Centre
Path from Centre to Hut
Our Hut 'Frog Fish'
View from the balcony
Relaxing At Froggies
Boarding the Dive Boats
Local Fishing Boat
Local Village, Must have spent all the money
on the church!
So we had our tour of the place and the 'interesting' bathroom, there is no fresh water on the island and hence it has to be brought over from the mainland. Subsequently there is no running water. The toilet is flushed using a bucket of water from a bin of Salt water. The 'Shower' is the rectangular tub of fresh water and a couple of buckets. The only way to shower effectively was to start a water fight!
The following day we headed out diving, we had 3 divers (Myself, Hazel and Harold who was from Amsterdam) on our boat, two dive guides a deck hand and skipper, so there was plenty of room to kit up. The kit had magically appeared on the boat and was setup on the cylinders for us. Once in the 27 degree water there was lots to see and Nicolas our dive guide did a great job of hunting down things for us to see and photograph.
We hardly bumped into any other divers throughout our time at froggies, there was the odd group though. Other than diving there isn't much to do on the island, we went for a wander to a local village (approx 40 min walk) after one of the dives, we eventually got to the village just in time to take a quick photo and then head back to Froggies before it got dark.
Hazel after our long walk
Another Dive Group.
Glad I'm not on their boat
Great at keeping the Mossies in check
So what was the diving like? Around Froggies reminded me of the red sea with some spectacular drop offs. Here are some of the pictures I took :
On our fourth day we went on a liveaboard to the Lembeh Straits for three days. This involved a transfer to the boat which was already there, but which then traveled back to Froggies afterwards. Hence we got a chance to see bit Manado and the surrounding area. The boat 'CLOWN' can take six divers but there were only five of us and we were glad of the extra space. Gill and Paul who were on a round the world trip joined us.
Strange mix of slums and technology
This is one corner on the main road through
No Compressor on the liveaboard so we took 74 cylinders with us.
The Lembeh Straits reminds me of some of the Lochs around Scotland due to the sandy black slopes, however the critters are a wee bit different. The Flamboyant Cuttlefish was so bizarre I took a video clip . (WMV 424kb)
Once back Froggies we did a few more dives on the reefs :
Nicholas (Our Guide)
After spending 9 days in a beach hut/onboard a boat, we really looked forward to our stay in Singapore. Stayed a couple of nights at the Stanford 5 star hotel in the middle of the city. We spent the days Shopping and the nights eating. I've not walked through as many shopping malls, and I'm sure there are plenty more to explore. The first night we ate at the restaurant at the top of our hotel (70th floor) with a stonking view over singapore, after which we went to the other extreme and used the food courts/street traders in the evenings.
Just the flights back and the jet lag to go after that.