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Diving the Sulawesi Sea
During off-season this year when contrary winds make diving impractical along Gorontalo’s southern coastline, Miguel’s Diving has been assisting the provincial government in surveying various islands along Gorontalo’s north coast. These are found in the Sulawesi Sea, which stretches from Borneo to the Philippines. Diving here has been quite different from that in Tomini Bay where we usually dive. Gone are the new and endemic species we have found at our southern dive sites. Shallow sandy bottoms predominate with numerous sea fans only rarely sited in the south. Because of the more open substrate, nudibranchs have been easy to find and in great variety. Among the rocks of Raja Island Miguel’s Diving staff saw something we had never seen before: a Twinspot blenny (Escenius bimaculatus). And for good reason: it is not found in Tomini Bay but makes its home almost exclusively in the Sulawesi Sea. Diving in Gorontalo’s northern islands will not be available any time soon because of infrastructure and distance. Raja Island, a jungle nature reserve and turtle nesting ground, takes over two hours by land and another hour by outrigger canoe to reach.
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