Pinnacle diving in Sulawesi will jump another notch in November when Miguel?s Diving opens Mini Mount dive site. In March we discovered its existence after hearing reports from local fishermen. Adjacent to our popular Alleyways dive site, this large pinnacle rises from deep water and is separated from the main wall by a sand channel. Barracuda, unicornfish, and Spanish mackerelare easily seen here. Blue ribbon eels like its shallow slopes. The pinnacle?s ocean side drops vertically below safe diving limits. Dense schools of Ambon chromis (Chromis amboninensis) swarm the fields of branching Acropora that edge the mount?s channel side. The coral is in good condition and includes some huge cabbage coral colonies also found in Sulawesi?s Togian (Togean) Islands.
Miguel?s Diving staff has taken a few guests diving here recently since this pinnacle can be accessed from the beach some mornings before the winds begin to blow. Earlier this week Rich from Saigon toured the mount and was impressed by the numbers of fish. So was the dive master who suddenly found himself enveloped in a school of Spanish mackerel! Unique in Sulawesi diving is our multiple pinnacle dive site, Sentinels, also available when diving season reopens in November.
One of Gorontalo?s cuter residents is the Signalfin goby. Growing up to three centimeters in length, this translucent fish has tiny dark spots sprinkled over its body. Its iris is red-brown and a green light shines from its pupil. Its first dorsal fin has matching red-brown markings. Although it sits motionless on the sand near clumps of coral, it is easily noticed because it flicks its dorsal fin up and down. Found in the Western Pacific from Indonesia to Australia, it is quite common on the sandy slopes of our Sentinels dive site where this picture was taken. The Signalfin goby is only profiled in one fish book, the new Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific (Allen, Steene, Humann, Deloach). Although only named in 1988, the scientific community seems split as whether it should be called Coryphopterus signipinnis or Fusigobius signipinnis.
Advanced divers who come to Sulawesi for wreck diving can enjoy a Japanese cargo vessel that sank in Gorontalo in 1942. Miguel�s Diving staff discovered this wreck at the beginning of last diving season. This new wreck dive has become a favorite of many, including Gorontalo�s diving governor. Check out our newJapanese Cargo Wreck dive site page where you can see the drawn-to-scale map of the wreck plus underwater photographs taken on site. This is the first of three new dive sites added this past season. Sulawesi diving keeps getting better!