On the outskirts of Manado there is a fish restaurant called City Extra, the dive site that takes it’s name from this restaurant is one of the best muck diving sites in the Manado area!
This site is usually dived on the way back to Tasik Ria after doing two dives on the bright colourful walls of the Bunaken National Park, so when you enter the water, after diving the stunning reefs, the reduced vis & black sand can look dark & gloomy, but if you like the unusual you’ll love this site!
The dive usually starts on the black sand slope where the maximum depth you reach is about 15 to 20M. This slope is the place to look out for frogfish, including the hairy variety, flying gurnard, blue spot ray and if you’re lucky mimic octopus & the fantastically colourful flamboyant cuttlefish!
After about 20 to 30 minutes you get to the top of the slope. The water is only about 4 to 6M deep & there is enough light to allow seagrass to grow. On this seagrass bed can be found an amazing number of “critters”, seahorse, some of which disappear in the algi, almost a rainbow of differently coloured juvenile frogfish, long arm & coconut octopus, partner blennys guarding their holes with their snapping shrimp “partners” constantly excavating.
You can also find Ambon Scopionfish.
On a dive here last May along with my friend Jennifer, I watched a group of about 30 mating squid, amazing!
All Pictures © Nick Rawson