• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Juvenile Trevally Accompany Jellyfish

Juvenile trevally escorts jellyfish in Olele Bay, Gorontalo.

Travel Buddies

juvenile trevally pusing jellyfish
A juvenile Blue trevally pushes a jellyfish away from shore

Several times, Miguel’s Diving staff have observed juvenile trevally travelling with large jellyfish. Oftentimes, the young fish hide inside the bell of the jellyfish. They are safe there from predators and from the bushy, oral arms of the jellyfish. Usually, these large jellyfish travel the open oceans. Sometimes currents or winds will bring one of them close to Gorontalo’s reefs. The jellyfish will die if it gets caught on coral or drifts onto a beach. At those times, the fish seems to push the jellyfish away from danger and towards the open sea.

Thysanostoma species

We have only seen juvenile trevally accompanying large Thysanostoma jellies. Jellyfish of the Thysanostoma genus live in warm waters from the central Indo-Pacific to Japan. The Latin word thysanura means “bristle tails.” This name refers to the large, bushy oral arms that hang from the jellyfish’s central bell. They are active swimmers, using a pumping motion of the bell for propulsion.

Juvenile Trevally

Pilotfish (Naucrates ductor) are famous for accompanying large pelagic marine life. However, the juvenile trevally found in Gorontalo with Thysanostoma jellies are different. In 2009, we found a juvenile Blue trevally (Carangoides ferdau) darting in and out of a jellfish’s bell. The fish was so active that it is blurred in all its photographs. Its pattern, though, is disctinctive.

Longfin juvenile trevally
A sub adult Longfin trevally accompanies a jellyfish

Recently in 2017, we saw a fish grown too large to hide inside the bell of its travel buddy. This fish was not actually a juvenile trevally but a sub-adult. This stage of life for ocean swimming trevally species is rarely documented. Mr. Rudie Kuiter suggests that the one we observed was a young Longfin trevally (Carangoides armatus).

For your chance to see marine life interaction in Gorontalo, please contact with us for a dive package booking.

Schooling Bigeye Scad in Gorontalo

Bigeye scad can form large schools in quiet inshore areas of Gorontalo.

Thousands in Synchronized Motion

For several weeks in October 2016 a large school of Bigeye scad called Olele Bay home. Actually, this is a typical pattern for this fish. Since they hunt for food mostly at night, they gather in large schools during the day. During daylight hours they do not travel much. This was certainly true of the scad found in Olele.

With undetectable communication, the fish school moved and changed directions all at once. Their movements and direction showed astounding synchronization. Watch for yourself in the video below. At one point, they swam into the sunlight. Notice how the sunbeams danced around the school of fish.

Bigeye Scad

The scientific name of this oceanic fish is Selar crumenophthalmus. It is found in tropical regions worldwide, including equatorial Gorontalo. The local name of the fish in Gorontalo language is “oci.” It is a fast reproducing species and plays an important part in the local diet. One fish is the right size for one person. Other common names in English include Purse-eye or Goggle-eyed scad.

Bigeye scad schooling
Schooling Bigeye scad

The Bigeye scad is considered pelagic since it is associated with the open ocean rather than the reef. In Gorontalo, ocean depths plunge several kilometers just off the beach. That is why pelagic species including whale sharks swim right over the coral slopes of Gorontalo.

Inshore or Offshore

When they are swimming close to shore, Bigeye scad eat small shrimps, invertebrates and forams. When they are in open ocean conditions, these scad will eat zooplankton and fish larvae. Perhaps you notice them eating in the video. Clearly, they were plucking planktonic morsels from the water.
For your chance to see a school of Bigeye scad, please contact with us for a dive package booking.

BOOT 2017 Features Gorontalo

BOOT 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany, included a large delegation sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.

Destination Gorontalo

BOOT 2017 with Indonesia
Wonderful Indonesia delegation

The booth for the tourism ministry at BOOT 2017 proclaimed the theme “Wonderful Indonesia.” Marine tourism operators from all over the country accepted the invitation to promote their various destinations. Miguel’s Diving exposed visitors to Gorontalo, Indonesia’s hidden paradise. A large map of major dive destinations nationwide covered a third of the back wall. The biggest hit with visitors was the coffee shop, specializing in fine Indonesian coffees. Made with a flare by a professional Indonesian barista, all coffees and teas were free.

 

In addition to the ministry booth, three international underwater photographers displayed their photos from Gorontalo. Imran Ahmad promoted Gorontalo exclusively at two photo lectures at the Underwater World stage in Hall 4. Patrick Neumann included his stop in Gorontalo in his travelogue of several Indonesian dive destinations.

Finally, Dusseldorf resident Volker Lonz created a dramatic and beautiful short film. This film ran continuously at the Gorontalo table during BOOT 2017. For those who did not get a chance to see it, please access video below. The resolution is low because it is on Youtube.

BOOT 2017 – an International Marine Expo

BOOT is the famous boat show of Europe. Mega yachts and ships take up the largest hall. Also included in the expo are dive destinations. They were located in Hall 3. For BOOT 2017, a myriad of destinations world-wide packed into the large hall. The expo stands as the longest one in Europe. This year the dates were 20 to 29 January 2017. As usual, the location was MESSE in Dusseldorf, Germany. Exhibition floor space totaled 22,000 square meters.

BOOT 2017 marked the 48st year. The theme “Play Now!” could be seen throughout the halls. Sailing and motor yachts celebrated 70 world primeres. Exhibitors numbered over 1,800 and came from 70 countries. That included the great dive destinations found in Indonesia. In addition to scuba diving, fishing and holidays on the water plus trend sports enjoyed dedicated spaces in various halls.

Manado Gorontalo Flight on Garuda Indonesia

Manado Gorontalo is Garuda Indonesia’s newest destination This represents a regional expansion for Indonesia’s premier airline.

Manado Gorontalo Daily Flight

Garuda’s new Manado Gorontalo flight began on 6 January 2017. The flight leaves Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport at 1530 hrs. Then it arrives in Gorontalo at 1605 hrs. The return flight leaves Gorontalo’s Jalaluddin Airport at 1645 hrs. Then it arrives in Manado at 1735 hrs. Moreover, flights are daily.

The aircraft used is a Bombardier CRJ1000. This plane seats a maximum of 96 passengers. The flight provides economy seats only. As a result, there are no business class seats available.

Manado Gorontalo flight on Garuda
Garuda Indonesia’s office in Gorontalo

Garuda Indonesia has an office conveniently located in the business wing of Gorontalo Mall. Look for it on the south side of the mall.

In its promotion of the new Manado Gorontalo flight, Garuda Indonesia’s website says, “Enjoy the sensational comfort of a private jet from Gorontalo to Manado.”

Good News for Divers

Garuda Indonesia provides 20 kilos of free baggage on its new Manado Gorontalo flight. In addition, divers can ask for an another 23 kilos of free baggage for sports equipment. Divers should do this upon check-in at the Garuda counter at the airport.

Since the flight schedule is in the late afternoon, divers can enjoy three dives on the day prior to flying. The recommended dive-to-fly waiting period is 18 hours.

Mannequin Challenge by Miguel’s Diving Crew

Mannequin challenge! That’s what Miguel’s Diving staff did one day after work.

Happy Crew, Happy Divers

Guests of Miguel’s Diving notice that our crew love diving and hanging around each other. One of our secrets to have happy divers is to have a happy crew. After work, they like to watch funny videos together on their phones. Or maybe they will play a game of chess on the dock. All these activities require lots of laughter. On the spur of the moment, they decided to do a mannequin challenge. Since most such videos have hip hop music playing, we decided to keep with the trend.

Mannequin Challenge: What Is It?

doyens Yuli & Feby of mannequin challenge
Another mannequin challenge

A mannequin challenge is a viral Internet video trend. Participants freeze in a group pose. A friend travels through the group with a video camera. Consider this challenge a modern form of still life portraiture. For popular social media forums like Instagram or Twitter, the hashtag #MannequinChallenge is popular.

This social phenomenon started by students in Jacksonville, Florida on 12 October 2016. At least that is what Wikipedia says. Who are we to argue with that? Others who have participated in a mannequin challenge include sports teams. Some are very complicated.
Perhaps you and your friends would like to try a mannequin challenge here. Our staff are ready to help and laugh along with you. Please contact with us for a dive package booking.

Seahorses Rocking and Rolling in the Deep

Seahorses are favorites of many divers. Gorontalo waters host several different species. Pygmy seahorses are so cute, but many divers love ones that are big enough to see.

The Common Hippocampus kuda

Hippocampus kuda is the most predictable seahorse for divers to see. Its English name varies considerably. Some call it the Common seahorse. Others call it Estuary seahorse. It lives in shallow waters of mangrove swamps, estuaries and bays. Colors are generally dull, mainly blacks and browns. A yellow colored Common seahorse will be female.

female seahorse
A female seahorse lies quietly on the sea floor

Their dull pattern makes them look like debris lying on the ocean floor. This way they wait for small crabs or shrimp to come by. These seahorses suck in their prey whole through their long mouth. They do not have any teeth.

Rocking and Rolling

The Common seahorse is usually solitary. Sometimes, two of them will be lying still on the sand bottom near to one another. One day we saw several of them rocking and rolling in the deep. Watch Sami Lindross’s great video.

Pregnant Males

seahorse video
Watch the video!

Seahorses are most famous for their unusual biology. Males are the ones to give birth not the females. A mature male will develop a brood pouch on his belly. The female inserts her eggs into this pouch for the male to fertilize. The male’s pouch has placental fluid which surrounds the embedded eggs. This fluid provides oxygen, nutrients and waste disposal for the developing eggs. Moreover, the fluid becomes saltier. That way the babies are already adapted to salt water when they hatch. Pregnancy lasts 20 to 28 days. Then the male goes into labor, releasing the baby seahorses from his pouch.

Seahorses in Gorontalo

The Common seahorse is found at several dive sites in Gorontalo. However, finding them will often require a skilled dive guide. Even after they are found, they can easily drift away. For poor swimmers, seahorses can disappear quickly when they feel disturbed or threatened. For your chance to sight a seahorse in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine Features Gorontalo Whale Sharks

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine recently featured the whale sharks of Gorontalo.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine Featured Destination

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine photo spread
Double page magazine photo spread

Gorontalo’s new whale shark reserve at Botubarani Village became a featured destination in Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine. “Gorontalo Botubarani” encompasses four pages. This includes a dramatic double page photo of a whale shark swimming above a diver. In the foreground of that photo lies some of Gorontalo’s beautiful coral. Noteably, Mr. Arief Yudo Wibowo took this and other photos for the feature. He is the managing editor of Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine.

Research from Indonesia Whale Shark Team

The accompanying article features research from the Indonesia Whale Shark Team. Its members lived in Botubarani village while conducting their study. They lived there from April 12 to April 30, 2016. As a result, they recorded a total of 17 individual whale sharks. All were males. Worldwide, females rarely appear. Furthermore, the lengths of Botubarani whale sharks measured three to seven meters. That means all of them are juveniles. Since whale sharks are migratory, the researches expect that total to rise.

Indonesian Minister of Marine Fisheries directive 16/2013 designated the whale shark as a protected species.

Ocean Characteristics of Botubarani Village

The Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine article on Gorontalo explains the characteristics of Botubarani Village. It sits on the edge of deep ocean waters. Near the shoreline there is a rocky shelf. This shelf is at most four meters deep. A steep slope falls to 15 meters. Then comes a deeper inlet about 30 meters deep. Consequently, this inlet provides direct access to deep ocean water.

No net or fence blocks access to deep water. As a result, whale sharks are free to come and go. The reason they frequent this particular underwater inlet is simple. A shrimp factory is located there. For years now, workers have thrown the unused shrimp heads and skins into the water. The whale shark like these snacks! These snacks do not provide enough nutrition. So, the whale sharks still must forage for plankton and minnows on their own.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine advert
Become a happy diver with Miguel’s Diving

Miguel’s Diving placed a half page advertisement in Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine. We want responsible divers to know that we follow the procedures recommended by Indonesia Whale Shark Team. That includes keeping an appropriate distance. For your chance to dive with whale sharks in Gorontalo, please contact with us.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016

Karawo Fashion Show 2016 delighted an international audience recently in Gorontalo.

Traditional Meets International

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Ladies evening wear

Karawo is the name for Gorontalo’s traditional embroidery. Local demand for this cloth is very high. Orders mostly come for women’s matching suit and skirt outfits, for men’s shirts, and for tablecloths and napkins. Women’s fabrics detail vibrant floral patterns and colors. For men, geometric shield designs and pastels traditionally dominate for men.

That was until recently. Gorontalo’s provincial government seeks to develop local designers for the international market. Hence, that is the driving force behind Karawo Fashion Show 2016.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016 Design Competition

As part of the annual festival, Karawo Fashion Show 2016 included a design competition. Categories included casual wear, office wear, and evening wear. Also, women’s Muslim wear was another category.  This is in keeping with the culture of the area. Most designs were for women. A few were for men.

The Karawo Fashion Show 2016 featured models parading on the catwalk. Audience members came from all over the world. This included observers from Egypt to Norway.

Drawn Threadwork

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Traditional meets modern in menswear

In other areas of the world, the seamstress embroiders directly on a piece of cloth. However, karawo involves removing, tying off, and replacing certain threads to create traditional designs. The embroidery is actually inside the cloth. Designs for Karawo Fashion Show 2016 were spectacular.

The seamstress receives the design on paper with grid lines. It must show the position of each thread in the piece of cloth. The paper design shows which threads must be replaced. It also indicates what color the replacement threads will be. Based on the design, she will first begin by drawing out or removing the parts of the threads. This process is called drawn thread work.

In doing this, she creates a grid work. Any thread that is partially removed must be tied off at each end. Otherwise, the cloth will unravel. A pattern measuring two centimeters will typically require the removing of ten threads in each direction. Of course, that will depend on the thread count of the cloth.

Now Sew Colored Threads into the Grid to Make a Design

After creating the grid, she will embroider the design into the cloth. Colored threads can be solid or two-tone. Some designs call for metallic thread.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Designer with her creations

Not all the drawn thread is replaced by colored thread. Otherwise, the new pattern would simply be a box shape. Some places where the thread has been drawn still have the threads that form the grid for the design left exposed and loose. Each place where a horizontal and vertical thread meet must be tied together. That way the integrity of the fabric remains. This means that each empty box of the grid must by tied off at each of its four corners. How complicated!

After you book your dive trip with us, please remind us to point out karawo clothing worn by locals.

Gorontalo Airport Features New Terminal

Gorontalo airport has a new terminal building. For travelers both local and international, the facility upgrade will provide a pleasant experience.

Djalaluddin Airport’s New Terminal

gorontnalo airport sky bridge
View through blue-tinted glass

Opening in mid-2016, the new terminal at Gorontalo airport sports an attractive design. This design calls to mind the influence of the province’s deep blue oceans. Consequently, its external architecture features waves as well as glass tinted a deep blue.

The new Gorontalo airport terminal has numerous modern features. These include spacious baggage claim areas and corridors. Passengers arriving by large jet can now exit using sky bridges. Additionally, the airport is smoke-free. The new terminal provides a designated smoking area.

Gorontalo Airport in History

The Indonesian military originally developed the airport for its use in the 1950s. In 1974 the military initiated a name change. As a result, the original name of Tolotio Airport became Djalaluddin Airport. Djalaluddin is the name of a Gorontalo colonel pilot. He died in the Dwikora Operation in Malaysia in 1964. He was lost along with his Hercules aircraft. Consequently, the name change marked a decade after this tragedy.

The Gorontalo airport expanded after Gorontalo became its own province in 2000. Then Governor Fadel Muhammad extended the runways to accommodate jets. Additionally, he procured an airport instrument landing system, allowing planes to land at night.

Miguel’s Diving staff remember the quiet days at the airport in the late 1990s. Prospective passengers would drive to the airport. Then everyone would wait for the single flight from Manado. If the plane did not arrive, everyone would return home. They knew that the flight had been canceled because of too few passengers.

gorontalo airport baggage claim
New baggage claim area

Nowadays, major airlines provide daily flights. These airlines include Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik Air and Sriwijaya. Wings Air now flies at least once a day to Manado.

The IATA code for the Gorontalo airport is GTO.

Infrastructure Development

Gorontalo’s new terminal building represents one of the large projects of Indonesian central government to improve infrastructure in the vast archipelago. Terminal 3 at the main Jakarta airport is another example. That airport is Sukarno-Hatta in Banten. Airports that mark transit points for Gorontalo-bound travelers also have fairly new terminals. Those include Hasanuddin in Makassar, Ngurah Rai in Denpasar Bali and Sam Ratulangi in Manado.

Divers, who arrange diving packages with Miguel’s Diving, enjoy airport transfers. To book your dive trip,please contact with us.

Lady divers in Indonesia form new community

Lady divers recently formed Indonesian Women in Diving Community in Jakarta. Attending its official opening was Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

Positive Economic Impact

Mr. Yahya referenced data collected by the Ministry of Tourism. Diving contributes about 15% of total income generated from water sports in Indonesia. So, he would like for that to grow four times.

“Currently, income from water sports generates one million US dollars. I project growth of four times, making four million dollars. Malaysia itself already generates eight million dollars.”

Those attending the event included Miss Scuba Diver Indonesia. Attendees received a gift of a small mesh bag. Its purpose is to provide a place for lady divers to place rubbish found while diving. Trash collecting makes a great environmental action for this new community.

Growth in PADI dive certifications

Abi Carnadie is PADI Industry Consultant for Indonesia. PADI is Professional Association of Diving Instructors. It is the world’s largest dive certification association. Ms. Carnadie indicates that growth of dive certifications in Indonesia is significant. Furthermore, that is especially true among lady divers. During 2015 alone, PADI certified around 35,000 divers in Indonesia. 41% of those were women. This marks a very positive trend. Annual growth over the last couple of years has increased. Specifically, it has been between six to twelve per cent.

Lady Divers in Gorontalo

lady divers community
Lady divers form new community

Miguel’s Diving is an excellent choice for lady divers. We are the only dive operator in Gorontalo that provides changing facilities. We have a roomy toilet on board the large speed boat. In addition, we also have a large toilet and changing room at our dock.

Many women divers are return guests. Included is PADI Dive Instructor Lily Wasitova. She appears in the photograph here. Mrs. Wasitova attended the opening of the new Indonesian Women in Diving Community. Look for her dressed in white. At Miguel’s Diving, lady divers have a great time and are treated with respect. So, ladies, for a great dive experience, please book your dive trip with us.

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