Seapearl DC Dive Trip
Not many people knew about Gorontalo, a new province in North of Sulawesi. In the beginning of 2000’s some divers conducted dive surveys to find alternative dive sites outside Bunaken and Lembeh, and the result is Gorontalo’s underwater. Besides the fact that Gorontalo is the entry gate to Togian Island, another strong fact lies in Gorontalo is that this area is the only area in Indonesia where the bizarre pattern sponge (Petrosia lignosa), later named as Salvador Dali sponge, is exist.
It doesn’t take too long for Gorontalo to become a hot dive spot after the appearance of Salvador Dali sponge photograph in several diving magazines. It is not only becoming the alternative dive site but the main diving destination for its breathtaking underwater beauty. Sponges dominate Gorontalo’s underwater sphere, thus divers start calling Gorontalo as the sponge capital of the world.
Gorontalo offers wall diving, both short to 40m deep. Underwater photographers who love wide-angle photography would be absorbed by the exquisiteness of seascape covered with sponges. In this area, divers can also admire the beauty of white bluish sea fan that rarely seen in other places. Muck diving site, where you can encounter frogfish, leaffish, sea moth, various species of seahorse, and other exotic living things, is also available in the area.
Diving in Gorontalo is seasonal, it is quite challenging during May to October because the wind blows from the south establishes high waves, but in November to April the sea tends to relax and very pleasant. Usually during March till April, divers often encounter Whale Sharks.
Togean is a group of islands consists of 57 large and small islands inside Tomini Bay in Central Sulawesi. Three main islands of Togean are Batudaka, Togean, and Talatakoh. There are several routes to reach Togean: the economic route will be through Gorontalo city by ferry to Togean Island. Sea route journey via Ampana, the capital of Tojo Una-una District, and Luwuk-Bunta-Togian route. The faster journey to Togian can be accessed by direct flight from Makassar to Luwuk, continued with 2.5 hours drive to Bunta, and continue the journey with a 2 hours chartered speedboat ride to Kadidiri Island where the dive resorts are located.
Kadidiri Island is a tiny island next to Togean Island, a place to indulge the beauty of the beach meeting the sparkling crystal clear turquoise water. Dive sites are located nearby the island, only 10-30 minutes by boat. The seascape is a combination of drop off that not too deep with a steep slope towards the deeper part of the ocean, several submerge reefs in between, and spectacular verandah made from corals.
While descending, divers are accompanied by schools of fusilier, snappers, and butterfly fish. The colorful group of anthias hovering above the corals looks like performing a welcome dance. The plethora of colorful corals and fish nicely put within the pristine water with average visibility reaches more than 20m has made this diving area as one of the best wide angle photography location in Indonesia.
In the shallow water in front of the resort is an ideal place for night diving. Divers usually encounter nudibranch, pipefish, crocodilefish, and sometimes leaffish and frogfish in this site. Observe the sargassum floating in large amount on the surface; you may get a chance to see the rare sargassum frogfish in many colors.
Another attraction is the American fighter plane wreck from World War II. The B-24 bomber aircraft is till intact; make it possible for divers with wreck diving experience to go inside and documenting each of its part. If you wish to dive by the schooling barracudas, then don’t miss the dive in Una-una Island waters. Here the schooling barracudas sometimes accompanied by school of jackfish.