With no macro photographers in sight, Miguel’s Diving concentrated by request on larger marine life and current diving over the last several days. From the first dive’s glimpse of a Scalloped hammerhead to today’s jumping marlin, Gorontalo delivered big time. We stopped counting Nap.olean wrasse and couldn’t count the hundreds of Bigeye trevally spirally up the water column. Divers saw Green turtles every day, a Blacktip reef shark, a school of Queenfish, then a school of Chevron barracuda, then spooky Great barracuda, and a Spanish mackerel so big that our dive master first thought it was a tuna. Amongst the frenzied schools of plankton eaters, divers saw schools of mature batfish. We had a face-on encounter with a Giant trevally and a slow pass by a Short-finned devilray, also called pygmy manta or mobula. In the mix were sunny skies, flat blue seas, warm water, and vis approaching 30 meters.
Diving in Gorontalo brings surprises every day. On the way to the second dive site this morning, we encountered several pods of Risso’s dolphins, basking on the surface and shallow diving. One was even a baby! Risso’s lack a protruding nose and become whiter in color with age. Distinctive scarring occurs when attacking deep-sea squid and when fighting with each other. Risso’s are found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide but usually sighted only in deep waters near the continental shelf edge. That edge comes within a few meters of land in Gorontalo, which has resident pods of these shy cetaceans.
In addition to dozens of dolphins, by special request we went in search of boxer crabs and stopped counting after finding eleven.
Last April two Malaysian divers won the Lucky Draw at Asian Dive Exhibition for a diving adventure in Gorontalo. Bok and Bee just wrapped up five days of diving here. This is what they say:
We had a wonderful time. The underwater haven in Gorontalo is almost untouched. Everything is in its original state (you know what I mean?). We saw so many stuffs, some of which we saw for the first time. The cute Orangutan crabs, the pretty Coleman’s coral shrimps, Salvador Dali’s sponges, the many species of fishes, etc etc… Gorontalo has it all. We enjoyed the Muck diving at Olele Village too. Missing the speedboat rides to the sites already… simply love being accompanied by the pods and pods of dolphins. Marine life is in abundance. We felt so welcome by the friendly Gorontalo people. Last but not least, the professional services rendered by Rantje and his staff at Miguel’s Diving. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much, Rantje. We hope to return to Gorontalo soon.
Yesterday’s diving in Gorontalo included encounters with Green sea turtles. On the way to our first dive site,Miguel’s Diving crew spotted some unusual flapping on the still blue ocean surface: a pair of turtles mating. We proceeded past the happy couple then stopped in order to watch them from a discreet distance and so not to disturb them. On the second dive at the spur-and-groove coral formations of Alleyways, we saw another couple of turtles on a deep coral point. One quickly disappeared over the wall, perhaps the jittery suitor. The other one stayed perfectly still as we made a wide arc past their location below. Miguel’s Diving asks guests to swim past sea turtles, rather than straight at them, and view them from the side, so as not to frighten these gentle creatures. Turtles in Gorontalo are not accustomed to humans, although a total of six saw us yesterday.