• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Casualties of Time

Grace inside sponge (JK)Time has taken its toll on some of the largest attractions in Gorontalo. The dozens of Foxtail colonial tunicates, featured in our new book Gorontalo: Hidden Paradise, have been swept away during the half year of rough weather that hits our area during off-season. Most of these streamers were almost 1.5 meters long. New colonies are growing elsewhere.

Also hit was the largest sponge at Traffic Jam dive site. Its center cavity was over two meters long. It is pictured here in a photograph taken in March 2004. This gigantic sponge has fallen from the wall, as has a huge Salvador Dali sponge featured in our promotional ADEX and airport photos. This unusual morphology ofPetrosia lignosa is only found in Gorontalo, where it is quite common.

The most surprising transformation occurred to the 50-meter long Japanese cargo wreck. It has perched mostly intact since it sank in 1942. However, sometime during the month of December the lower portion of the hull detached from its side, sending the upper surface sliding down the rocky slope. Now the interior of the main section is open, albeit slightly below 40 meters depth. The sides and top deck (up-side-down) are still in place, as is the larger stern portion. This change actually makes the wreck more interesting.

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