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Miguel’s Diving has been drafted into the Indonesia Oceanic Cetacean Program. Program Director and cetacean expert Benjamin Kahn notes that Indonesia is located uniquely in the Indian/Pacific Ocean access for migratory whales. The program is run by APEX Environmental with its main goal to fill in the gaps in knowledge of Indonesia’s whales and assist with marine mammal conservation. APEX is especially active in eastern Indonesia with projects from Komodo to Alor to Sangihe-Talaud. Dr. Kahn is particularly interested in baleen, sperm, beaked and killer whales (Orcas), since very little is known about them from Indonesian waters.
The Sulawesi diving locations that Miguel’s Diving offers in the equatorial waters of Tomini Bay provide opportunities for cetacean sightings. We see whales annually and dolphins regularly, often during surface interval or on the trip back to town. Miguel’s Diving intends to follow the responsible code of conduct that APEX promotes, so that wild whales and dolphins are watched with minimal disturbance.
Our first report on the standard data sheet provided by APEX is about the sighting of two pods of Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus) just a few meters from the wall where we dive. Over 25 dolphins in all were playing on the surface of the water one morning a few days ago. Some were even doing the ‘head-stand’ characteristic of this species.
It’s no wonder that Gorontalo is a prime location for diving in Sulawesi.