Indonesian carrier Batavia Air has just opened a red-eye non-stop flight from Jakarta to Gorontalo. The flight departs from Jakarta at 0100 hrs and arrives in Gorontalo at 0500 hrs, then leaves Gorontalo at 0600 hrs, arriving back in Jakarta at 0730 hrs. There is a one-hour time difference between Jakarta and Gorontalo. The actual jet used arrives in Jakarta from an international flight from China. This schedule is anticipated until Gorontalo’s tarmack expansion is completed late in 2008 when night flights can resume.
Although this is not diving season in Gorontalo, Miguel’s Diving staff and several guests braved the swells and did a couple of dives in a protected area about 15 mintues travel time by speed boat. Visibility was between 5 and 12 meters, way down from what is typical during regular diving season, which begins in November. However, Gorontalo’s marine environment provided some exciting encounters, including sighting a large Hawksbill turtle and Nap.olean wrasse and swimming among all the various schools of fish. As the group was surveying a deeper flat before the lower wall, the divemaster heard dolphins. Then suddenly a school of Yellow-dash fusiliers blasted right through the group, obviously fleeing something. A bit later a school of about 20 Dogtooth tuna came in and circled the divers several times. On the second dive the divers watched in fascination as pairs of Green chromis laid eggs and spawned in a section of rubble. Meanwhile overhead, a baby four-meter long Whale shark played on the surface, the fourth whale shark sighting this year.