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Because of its coral walls and deep oceans, North Sulawesi and the Togian (Togean) Islands are not known for wreck diving. This is even truer of Gorontalo?s southern coastline where depths fall almost immediately to several hundred meters. However, we found an excellent wreck while diving this morning.
On December 26, 1993 a dredging barge was towed to the entrance of the ferry port, so the small harbor area could be cleared of silt. However, rains and massive night waves sunk the barge. Workers tried to use 3,000 barrels to re-float it, to no avail. It currently rests firmly on the steep slope at the ferry port entrance almost up side down, still trailing cables and numerous barrels now enveloped in marine life. The wreck peaks at 4 meters and bottoms out at 25 meters. The barge?s bottom is only sparsely encrusted. But everything that hangs below is a maze of sponges and encrusting corals.Some large soft corals grow on the ends of hanging cable. As expected, the wreck has attracted much fish life in its ten years below, including lionfish, large sweetlips, various angelfishes, and batfish. The barge also hosts an unusually large number of Raccoon butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula), a pair of large Mappa puffer (Arpthoron mappa), and mature Painted lobsters (Panulirus versicolor). Various thorny and cock?s comb oysters grown on its surface. There is even a Giant giant clam (Tridnacna gigas)! The uncommon Twinspot chromis (Chromis elerae) thrives in its underbelly, as do many cardinalfish species.
Miguel?s Diving can now offer this wreck dive an alternative to the spectacular wall diving typical of Gorontalo.