Miguels Diving Center Sulawesi, Indonesia
Indonesia, the world's longest archipelago, runs almost 5,000 kilometers along the equator. As the world's largest reef nation, it contains over 50,000 square kilometers of coral reef. In the middle is the orchid-shaped Sulawesi Island. Northern Sulawesi Island boasts the highest marine biodiversity on the planet. This area includes North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, and the Togian (Togean) Islands.
Sulawesi's northern and eastern arms form the huge Tomini Bay. It contains well over 500 species of hard corals - over ten times the number found in the entire Caribbean basin. In fact, there are an estimated 77 species of Acropora coral here, three of which are endemic. Other endemic species include a little white mantis shrimp and the beautiful Orange-back wrasse (Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis), which was only named in 1999. The newly discovered Togean dottyback (Pseudochromis sp.) is also endemic to Gorontalo and the Togean islands. Many other fishes are common here but less abundant elsewhere and are often missing from fish guidebooks. These include:
- the Yellow-spot slingjaw wrasse (Epibulus sp., soon to be officially named)
- the secretive Gold-cap dottyback (Pseudochromis elongatus)
- the Longfin dottyback (Pseudochromis polynemus)
- the spectacular Harlequin rockcod (Cephalopholis polleni)
- the Pinkeye goby (Bryaninops natans)
- clouds of frenetic Fusilier damsels (Lepidozygus tapeinosoma)
- the nearly transparent Signalfin goby (Fusigobius signipinnis)
Since Miguel's Diving sent a few samples to the researcher, Gorontalo is also an official home for the new Coleman's coral shrimp (Vir colemani), named in December 2003. This beautiful purple-jointed creature is common here.
Because of the extreme depth right off the coastline, locals, using only a hand line from tiny wooden outrigger canoes, can catch tuna that outweigh the fisherman. The shell of the Chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) occasionally washes up from the deep. Cetaceans are also sighted passing just off the wall.
Miguel's Diving staff has seen:
- the huge Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni)
- the Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra)
- the False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
- the Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata)
- the Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
- the evil-looking Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris)
- the Pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata)
- the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
- the Rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
- the ghostly Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)
- the spectacular Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
Named Indonesia's best kept secret by prestigious Asian Diver magazine, Gorontalo's equatorial waters provide a new dive destination on Sulawesi Island. Recently separated from North Sulawesi Province, Gorontalo Province lies along the northern coastline of the huge Tomini Bay. In much of eastern Gorontalo, towering limestone cliffs plunge directly into the sea. These cliffs were once ancient reefs and patterns of coral growth are clearly evident in the rock. A narrow, shallow coral shelf rims the coastline. Often this shelf is only a few meters wide and bottoms out within a few meters of the surface where the wall begins. The coral walls of Gorontalo provide diving at par with other locations in North Sulawesi.
Because of its limestone base, the wall is highly eroded by natural forces. This makes for some of the most complex underwater rock formations found anywhere. Clusters of dramatic buttresses flanked by deep chutes are common here. The wall itself is chocked full of holes, crevasses, fissures, and caverns. The first wall bottoms out in the 30 to 40 meter range. Often below this is a short slope or shelf before another vertical drop. The waters then fall to 120 meters before plunging again. While traveling to a dive site, divers pass over seas between 500 and 1,000 meters deep.
Tomini Bay itself is over 4,000 meters deep. Because of the extreme depth right off Gorontalo's coastline, cetaceans pass just off the wall, including whale sharks, whales, and pods of ghostly Risso's dolphin.
Even well-traveled divers love diving the walls of Gorontalo for their amazing and diverse sponges. Divers are sure to marvel at the tangled tapestry of hanging blue rope sponges at several sites. Near the bottom of the first wall, vase, barrel and trumpet sponges easily outsize the diver. But the clear favorite is what we at Miguel's Diving call the Salvador Dali sponge (Petrosia lignosa) for its surrealistically carved surface. Although this sponge is only known from vertical walls in Indonesia, including those in North Sulawesi, the intricately swirled surface is only found in Gorontalo, where it is quite common and grows to incredible size. That means that divers wanting to see its weird beauty first hand should come to Gorontalo and dive with Miguel's.
Dive sites pioneered by Miguel's Diving in Gorontalo offer muck diving, wall diving, wreck diving, and multiple pinnacle diving. Numerous caverns and towering overhangs give divers an eerie but safe alternative. Dive sites often used during the 2009-2010 season are listed below. We have been too busy diving to add all of these to the web site.
- Cavern / Overhangs: Jinn Caves, Sand Channels, Sponge Wall, Shadowlands
- Muck Diving: Mystic Point, Sand Castle
- Pinnacles: Mirabella, Sentinels, Sunken Island
- Submerged Points: Buffalo Head Point, Honeycomb, Swirling Steps, White Point
- Wall Diving: Cliffs, Fallen Rock, Kurenai Beach, Three Corners, Traffic Circle, Traffic Jam, Silvertip Loop, West Point
- Wreck Diving: Japanese Cargo Wreck, Tjenderawashi Barge Wreck
Divers looking for dramatic diving in a brand new location will be pleased with the diving now available in Gorontalo. Because of local ocean conditions, dive season for Miguel's Diving in Gorontalo runs from November to April.
Let's go archipelago
The name Indonesia has its roots in two Greek words: "Indos" meaning Indian and "Nesos" which means islands. It is an appropriate description of the archipelago as there are estimated to be a total of 17,508
islands, of which only about 6,000 are inhabited, stretching for 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian
continental mainlands and dividing the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the Equator.
Five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagoes are home to the majority of the population. The main i
slands are Sumatra (473,6O6 sq.km), Kalimantan 1539,400 sq.km), Sulawesi l 189,216 sq. km), Irian Jaya (421,981 sq. km), and last but not leastJava (132,187 sq.km), home to 70 percent of the country's population. Indonesia shares Irian Jaya with Papua New Guinea and two thirds of the island of Kalimantan with Malaysia and Borneo.
Map of Indonesia plots all 33 provinces, include : Bali , Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, Molucca & Papua, Lombok, Bintan and more. It has much to offer to travelers and tourists. It is a land of hills, rivers, plateaus, plains, beaches, deltas and deserts. It also houses many luxurious hotels and resorts to cater to its booming travel and tourism industry.
Indonesia-Tourism.com provides a wide collection of map for its audience. Indonesia Tourism Maps provide details of every single province of this country. Here you can look at maps of each province and detail village / regency. Here is the complete maps of Indonesia provinces that present for all visitors who want to know more about Indonesia region.
© Indonesia Tourism
© Werner Lau