• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Monthly Archives: May 2014

X-Ray Magazine Features Gorontalo

A diver hovers over Gorontalo’s unique blue deep sea fan
A diver hovers over Gorontalo’s unique blue deep sea fan

X-Ray Magazine On-Line

X-Ray Magazine is the world’s first global dive publication. It is published eight times a year. And it’s free! All you need to do is sign up. In an era when print media struggles, this on-line publication takes advantage of current technologies. It delivers an excellent dive publication directly in PDF format to interested divers via email. This saves printing and shipping costs. That is the advantage of an on-line magazine. It is also called X-Ray International Dive Magazine.

Gorontalo as Featured Destination

Take a look at the article “The Surreal Shores of Gorontalo” by Steve Jones. This page gives you a sneak preview of the seven-page feature spread. It can be downloaded from the link on that page. Steve gives his perspective on shooting underwater images in Gorontalo. These include many examples of Salvador Dali sponges. These surreal sponges are a morphology of Petrosia lignosa found only in Gorontalo. Can you find the quote from that famous Spanish painter? “When I paint, the oceans roar. Others merely paddle in their bath.” Photos by Steve include macro shots taken at both muck and coral rich dive sites.

Miguel’s Diving Professional Underwater Photo Shoots

Miguel’s Diving has been operating in Gorontalo for over a decade. We are often contacted to handle underwater photo shoots. We started learning from the pros years ago. We learned a lot while shooting for the book Gorontalo: Hidden Paradise. That means our diving guests get the benefit of our experience. Even divers with simple pocket cameras can go home with great memories – and some great photos. And your dive guide is ready with a torch to pose for you!
To enjoy our professional diving service, please make a dive booking with us at info@miguelsdiving.com

Black Manta Ray Sighting in Gorontalo

Not a fictional cartoon super villain, but a real Black Manta Ray caused quite a stir in Gorontalo.

A Curious Black Manta Ray Visits Divers

Divers were enjoying a day of brilliant visibility when the dive master turned around and pointed. Behind us came the distinct flying motion of a manta ray. But this was no ordinary one. It was a rare Black Manta Ray. Usually, mantas are dark on the top and white on the bottom. The underside also has various marking that are unique to the individual manta. However, a genetic morph known as the Black Manta Ray is black both on the top and the bottom. The one we saw was gliding off the wall at Traffic Circle dive site in the Olele Village Marine Park. It was quite curious about the divers. It came within a couple of meters of the enthralled humans. This Black Manta Ray circled and swayed for about fifteen minutes. The video does not last that long.

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Ridwan Monoarfa’s borrowed GoPro ran out of batteries! Diving in Gorontalo is notoriously draining on batteries. There is too much to shoot!

A Division of Species

Humans have known about mantas for millennia. However, the actual species name has undergone much revision. In fact, only in the current millennium has genetic science confirmed two separate species. The official studies were done by Kashiwagi et al (2008), Marshal et al (2009) along with Ito and Kashiwagi (2010). Researchers analyzed difference among numerous mantas. This included color, spines, the mantas’ tooth-like scales and teeth. As a result, there are now two recognized species. One is Manta birostris. This manta is the largest and grows to up to seven meters wide. It lives in many oceans worldwide and migrates. The other is Manta alfredi.

Black Manta Ray seen gliding
A Black Manta Ray glides along a wall in Gorontalo
It is named after Prince Alfred of England. This manta is smaller and grows to only 5.5 meters wide. It lives in Indo-Pacific waters and tropical areas of the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The Black Manta seen in Gorontalo is most probably M. alfredi. The separation of species has been confirmed by consistent morphological and genetic differences. Ironically, authorities have long debated about the rare Black Manta Ray. However, genetic research confirms that it is a morph. Both manta species can occasionally produce the Black Manta.

Pelagic Rays of Gorontalo

To see a Black Manta Ray is quite rare. The most common large ray seen is Gorontalo is the White-spotted eagle ray. Occasionally, numerous Mobula rays glide by divers. For your chance to see a pelagic ray, please make a dive booking with us at info@miguelsdiving.com

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