At the beginning of the year, we said goodbye to our dive centre management team, Lea and Leo. We would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication during the time they work for us. They did a wonderful job of running the dive centre, alongside Teddy, with professionalism and enthusiam. We will all miss them.
We are delighted to welcome our new dive centre managers, Celine Monfort & Niels Prinssen, who have taken over the running of our dive centre operation from Lea and Leo.
Celine hails from tropical Martinique in the French Caribbean, whilst Niels comes from the not so tropical Netherlands.
Niels started out with a career in international agriculture and Celine in Marketing management in Paris. After more than a decade they changed careers, following their passion for the ocean to become dive instructors and managers in different dive destinations. Celine started her diving career in Costa Rica and St. Martin, whilst Niels started in Mexico, continuing working with conservation projects and marine parks in the Seychelles and Dutch Lesser Antilles. Destiny brought them together in the Maldives and after a year they left to manage a busy dive center and liveaboard in Djibouti.
The coral triangle of south East Asia had long been on the list of places to work. The clear waters of The Bunaken Marine park offers some off the highest bio diversities in the world. Combined with the high level of services and facilities for photographers and videographers, made Siladen the perfect place for them. They are looking forward to helping with the underwater photography workshops held by professional photographers on a regular basis.
They equally enjoy teaching beginner divers and enjoy seeing new divers make their first bubbles underwater, as well as a number of PADI specialty courses, including underwater photography, emergency oxygen provider, deep diver, enriched air nitrox, wreck, drift diver, peak performance buoyancy and many more.
Between them, Celine and Niels speak and teach in French, Dutch, English, German and Spanish.
Since March 2020, they are happy to call Siladen their new home. Teddy, the local dive center manager, has been very helpful helping them to settle in and it will be great for them to work with him and gain from his extensive local knowledge of the people and the diving.
Starting their new jobs at beautiful Siladen Resort has been far from what they imagined it to be. Shortly after arriving , the COVID crisis hit and international travel stopped. Guests could no longer come to Indonesia and Siladen. The situation largely effects tourism, but luckily the staff here have be great, making renovations, growing vegetables, gardening and many other jobs to ensure the resort looks amazing once we can open up to guests again.
In the mean time Celine and Niels make the best of the situation and get the chance to enjoy this little paradise and its surrounding area of North Sulawesi.
They both love making underwater images. Whilst Niels is a talented photographer, Celine enjoys creating fun movies about marine life. This is a great time for them to improve and practice their skills.
Although the marine park is closed for diving, there are amazing reefs in front of the resort and at any time of the day and even at night Celine and Niels can be found snorkeling, exploring the reefs, and kayaking their way around the island.
During the day the reefs are healthy and full of life. In the early morning or late afternoon, the sun penetrating the shallow water gives the opportunity for some great shots. And at night it is a completely different world. Critters you never imagined crawl out of there hiding place searching for food or a mate. Different species of crabs, shrimps, octopus, nudibranchs, reef fish, and more. And all just in the shallow waters in front of the restaurant.
Recently they spent a few days away on the island and made a short trip to Tomohon. It is a beautiful green highland area not far from Manado. Siladen resort offers day trips here and they were keen to see what this area has to offer. Depending on your interest you can easily spend a few days here. Hiking is great among lush cool rainforests, waterfalls, and volcanoes with great views. If you are more into culture the markets, lakes, and farming areas are a great visit too. Their guide Herry, who is also the front office tour guide, did a great job introducing them to this vibrant and interesting part of Sulawesi. A day trip from Siladen is highly recommended to spice up your stay in Siladen.
They also had the chance to go diving around Bangka Island and are looking forward to organizing day trips for our guests there! Exploring these lively reefs covered with soft corals is a must everyone should experience during their stay in Siladen Resort and Spa.
It will be our mission to continue dive guide training, to offer the great service and diving experience that Siladen Resort is known for and makes divers from all over the world come back.
-Celine and Niels