One of the main tourist attractions on Sulawesi is snorkling and diving near one of the many beautiful beaches. On Saturday, the 13th of May, it was finally time for us to try it out. Goal of the day: spot turtles and Nemo’s. We rented a private boat for the day, including snorkling equipment and a captain. This meant that we could go snorkling wherever we wanted throughout the day. The closest island to where we were staying in Bira is named Pulau Liukang and we had heard about its stunning coral reefs and even the possibility to swim with turtles. The decision to go there was therefore easily made.

On the boat everyone put on sunscreen and as soon as we got close to the island, we started snorkling. Some had experience with snorkling, for others it was the first time. The ocean was filled with all kinds of beautiful fish and some sea horses. My favourite? a lovely rainbow coloured fish! After enjoying ourselves in the water we decided to have lunch on the island, where we got to drink coconut milk straight from freshly cut coconuts. When we walked back to the beach, we noticed the consequences of floating on the surface that morning: everyone’s backside was sunburnt… and not just a little. Sitting had become pretty painful! We continued snorkling anyway, accepting our fate for the coming days. Perhaps I should mention that this fate included a 7-hour drive in a too small car along bumpy roads to Makassar. It was not that pleasant.

No regrets, however. Everyone enjoyed the snorkling above the huge corals and between the groups of brightly coloured fishes. And, best of all, we saw Nemo!

Written by: Joëlle de Raaff