• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Yearly Archives: 2016

Mannequin Challenge by Miguel’s Diving Crew

Mannequin challenge! That’s what Miguel’s Diving staff did one day after work.

Happy Crew, Happy Divers

Guests of Miguel’s Diving notice that our crew love diving and hanging around each other. One of our secrets to have happy divers is to have a happy crew. After work, they like to watch funny videos together on their phones. Or maybe they will play a game of chess on the dock. All these activities require lots of laughter. On the spur of the moment, they decided to do a mannequin challenge. Since most such videos have hip hop music playing, we decided to keep with the trend.

Mannequin Challenge: What Is It?

doyens Yuli & Feby of mannequin challenge
Another mannequin challenge

A mannequin challenge is a viral Internet video trend. Participants freeze in a group pose. A friend travels through the group with a video camera. Consider this challenge a modern form of still life portraiture. For popular social media forums like Instagram or Twitter, the hashtag #MannequinChallenge is popular.

This social phenomenon started by students in Jacksonville, Florida on 12 October 2016. At least that is what Wikipedia says. Who are we to argue with that? Others who have participated in a mannequin challenge include sports teams. Some are very complicated.
Perhaps you and your friends would like to try a mannequin challenge here. Our staff are ready to help and laugh along with you. Please contact with us for a dive package booking.

Seahorses Rocking and Rolling in the Deep

Seahorses are favorites of many divers. Gorontalo waters host several different species. Pygmy seahorses are so cute, but many divers love ones that are big enough to see.

The Common Hippocampus kuda

Hippocampus kuda is the most predictable seahorse for divers to see. Its English name varies considerably. Some call it the Common seahorse. Others call it Estuary seahorse. It lives in shallow waters of mangrove swamps, estuaries and bays. Colors are generally dull, mainly blacks and browns. A yellow colored Common seahorse will be female.

female seahorse
A female seahorse lies quietly on the sea floor

Their dull pattern makes them look like debris lying on the ocean floor. This way they wait for small crabs or shrimp to come by. These seahorses suck in their prey whole through their long mouth. They do not have any teeth.

Rocking and Rolling

The Common seahorse is usually solitary. Sometimes, two of them will be lying still on the sand bottom near to one another. One day we saw several of them rocking and rolling in the deep. Watch Sami Lindross’s great video.

Pregnant Males

seahorse video
Watch the video!

Seahorses are most famous for their unusual biology. Males are the ones to give birth not the females. A mature male will develop a brood pouch on his belly. The female inserts her eggs into this pouch for the male to fertilize. The male’s pouch has placental fluid which surrounds the embedded eggs. This fluid provides oxygen, nutrients and waste disposal for the developing eggs. Moreover, the fluid becomes saltier. That way the babies are already adapted to salt water when they hatch. Pregnancy lasts 20 to 28 days. Then the male goes into labor, releasing the baby seahorses from his pouch.

Seahorses in Gorontalo

The Common seahorse is found at several dive sites in Gorontalo. However, finding them will often require a skilled dive guide. Even after they are found, they can easily drift away. For poor swimmers, seahorses can disappear quickly when they feel disturbed or threatened. For your chance to sight a seahorse in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine Features Gorontalo Whale Sharks

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine recently featured the whale sharks of Gorontalo.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine Featured Destination

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine photo spread
Double page magazine photo spread

Gorontalo’s new whale shark reserve at Botubarani Village became a featured destination in Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine. “Gorontalo Botubarani” encompasses four pages. This includes a dramatic double page photo of a whale shark swimming above a diver. In the foreground of that photo lies some of Gorontalo’s beautiful coral. Noteably, Mr. Arief Yudo Wibowo took this and other photos for the feature. He is the managing editor of Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine.

Research from Indonesia Whale Shark Team

The accompanying article features research from the Indonesia Whale Shark Team. Its members lived in Botubarani village while conducting their study. They lived there from April 12 to April 30, 2016. As a result, they recorded a total of 17 individual whale sharks. All were males. Worldwide, females rarely appear. Furthermore, the lengths of Botubarani whale sharks measured three to seven meters. That means all of them are juveniles. Since whale sharks are migratory, the researches expect that total to rise.

Indonesian Minister of Marine Fisheries directive 16/2013 designated the whale shark as a protected species.

Ocean Characteristics of Botubarani Village

The Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine article on Gorontalo explains the characteristics of Botubarani Village. It sits on the edge of deep ocean waters. Near the shoreline there is a rocky shelf. This shelf is at most four meters deep. A steep slope falls to 15 meters. Then comes a deeper inlet about 30 meters deep. Consequently, this inlet provides direct access to deep ocean water.

No net or fence blocks access to deep water. As a result, whale sharks are free to come and go. The reason they frequent this particular underwater inlet is simple. A shrimp factory is located there. For years now, workers have thrown the unused shrimp heads and skins into the water. The whale shark like these snacks! These snacks do not provide enough nutrition. So, the whale sharks still must forage for plankton and minnows on their own.

Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Magazine advert
Become a happy diver with Miguel’s Diving

Miguel’s Diving placed a half page advertisement in Scuba Diver Ocean Planet magazine. We want responsible divers to know that we follow the procedures recommended by Indonesia Whale Shark Team. That includes keeping an appropriate distance. For your chance to dive with whale sharks in Gorontalo, please contact with us.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016

Karawo Fashion Show 2016 delighted an international audience recently in Gorontalo.

Traditional Meets International

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Ladies evening wear

Karawo is the name for Gorontalo’s traditional embroidery. Local demand for this cloth is very high. Orders mostly come for women’s matching suit and skirt outfits, for men’s shirts, and for tablecloths and napkins. Women’s fabrics detail vibrant floral patterns and colors. For men, geometric shield designs and pastels traditionally dominate for men.

That was until recently. Gorontalo’s provincial government seeks to develop local designers for the international market. Hence, that is the driving force behind Karawo Fashion Show 2016.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016 Design Competition

As part of the annual festival, Karawo Fashion Show 2016 included a design competition. Categories included casual wear, office wear, and evening wear. Also, women’s Muslim wear was another category.  This is in keeping with the culture of the area. Most designs were for women. A few were for men.

The Karawo Fashion Show 2016 featured models parading on the catwalk. Audience members came from all over the world. This included observers from Egypt to Norway.

Drawn Threadwork

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Traditional meets modern in menswear

In other areas of the world, the seamstress embroiders directly on a piece of cloth. However, karawo involves removing, tying off, and replacing certain threads to create traditional designs. The embroidery is actually inside the cloth. Designs for Karawo Fashion Show 2016 were spectacular.

The seamstress receives the design on paper with grid lines. It must show the position of each thread in the piece of cloth. The paper design shows which threads must be replaced. It also indicates what color the replacement threads will be. Based on the design, she will first begin by drawing out or removing the parts of the threads. This process is called drawn thread work.

In doing this, she creates a grid work. Any thread that is partially removed must be tied off at each end. Otherwise, the cloth will unravel. A pattern measuring two centimeters will typically require the removing of ten threads in each direction. Of course, that will depend on the thread count of the cloth.

Now Sew Colored Threads into the Grid to Make a Design

After creating the grid, she will embroider the design into the cloth. Colored threads can be solid or two-tone. Some designs call for metallic thread.

Karawo Fashion Show 2016
Designer with her creations

Not all the drawn thread is replaced by colored thread. Otherwise, the new pattern would simply be a box shape. Some places where the thread has been drawn still have the threads that form the grid for the design left exposed and loose. Each place where a horizontal and vertical thread meet must be tied together. That way the integrity of the fabric remains. This means that each empty box of the grid must by tied off at each of its four corners. How complicated!

After you book your dive trip with us, please remind us to point out karawo clothing worn by locals.

Gorontalo Airport Features New Terminal

Gorontalo airport has a new terminal building. For travelers both local and international, the facility upgrade will provide a pleasant experience.

Djalaluddin Airport’s New Terminal

gorontnalo airport sky bridge
View through blue-tinted glass

Opening in mid-2016, the new terminal at Gorontalo airport sports an attractive design. This design calls to mind the influence of the province’s deep blue oceans. Consequently, its external architecture features waves as well as glass tinted a deep blue.

The new Gorontalo airport terminal has numerous modern features. These include spacious baggage claim areas and corridors. Passengers arriving by large jet can now exit using sky bridges. Additionally, the airport is smoke-free. The new terminal provides a designated smoking area.

Gorontalo Airport in History

The Indonesian military originally developed the airport for its use in the 1950s. In 1974 the military initiated a name change. As a result, the original name of Tolotio Airport became Djalaluddin Airport. Djalaluddin is the name of a Gorontalo colonel pilot. He died in the Dwikora Operation in Malaysia in 1964. He was lost along with his Hercules aircraft. Consequently, the name change marked a decade after this tragedy.

The Gorontalo airport expanded after Gorontalo became its own province in 2000. Then Governor Fadel Muhammad extended the runways to accommodate jets. Additionally, he procured an airport instrument landing system, allowing planes to land at night.

Miguel’s Diving staff remember the quiet days at the airport in the late 1990s. Prospective passengers would drive to the airport. Then everyone would wait for the single flight from Manado. If the plane did not arrive, everyone would return home. They knew that the flight had been canceled because of too few passengers.

gorontalo airport baggage claim
New baggage claim area

Nowadays, major airlines provide daily flights. These airlines include Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik Air and Sriwijaya. Wings Air now flies at least once a day to Manado.

The IATA code for the Gorontalo airport is GTO.

Infrastructure Development

Gorontalo’s new terminal building represents one of the large projects of Indonesian central government to improve infrastructure in the vast archipelago. Terminal 3 at the main Jakarta airport is another example. That airport is Sukarno-Hatta in Banten. Airports that mark transit points for Gorontalo-bound travelers also have fairly new terminals. Those include Hasanuddin in Makassar, Ngurah Rai in Denpasar Bali and Sam Ratulangi in Manado.

Divers, who arrange diving packages with Miguel’s Diving, enjoy airport transfers. To book your dive trip,please contact with us.

Lady divers in Indonesia form new community

Lady divers recently formed Indonesian Women in Diving Community in Jakarta. Attending its official opening was Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

Positive Economic Impact

Mr. Yahya referenced data collected by the Ministry of Tourism. Diving contributes about 15% of total income generated from water sports in Indonesia. So, he would like for that to grow four times.

“Currently, income from water sports generates one million US dollars. I project growth of four times, making four million dollars. Malaysia itself already generates eight million dollars.”

Those attending the event included Miss Scuba Diver Indonesia. Attendees received a gift of a small mesh bag. Its purpose is to provide a place for lady divers to place rubbish found while diving. Trash collecting makes a great environmental action for this new community.

Growth in PADI dive certifications

Abi Carnadie is PADI Industry Consultant for Indonesia. PADI is Professional Association of Diving Instructors. It is the world’s largest dive certification association. Ms. Carnadie indicates that growth of dive certifications in Indonesia is significant. Furthermore, that is especially true among lady divers. During 2015 alone, PADI certified around 35,000 divers in Indonesia. 41% of those were women. This marks a very positive trend. Annual growth over the last couple of years has increased. Specifically, it has been between six to twelve per cent.

Lady Divers in Gorontalo

lady divers community
Lady divers form new community

Miguel’s Diving is an excellent choice for lady divers. We are the only dive operator in Gorontalo that provides changing facilities. We have a roomy toilet on board the large speed boat. In addition, we also have a large toilet and changing room at our dock.

Many women divers are return guests. Included is PADI Dive Instructor Lily Wasitova. She appears in the photograph here. Mrs. Wasitova attended the opening of the new Indonesian Women in Diving Community. Look for her dressed in white. At Miguel’s Diving, lady divers have a great time and are treated with respect. So, ladies, for a great dive experience, please book your dive trip with us.

Certificate of Excellence 2016 from TripAdvisor

Certificate of Excellence 2016 for Miguel’s Diving Gorontalo was just announced by TripAdvisor®.

Certificate of Excellence 2016

Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence 2016 recipients are not only dive centers. They include accommodations, eateries and attractions. Locations are l all over the world. Recipients must continually deliver quality customer experience.

certificate of excellence 2016
Award for Miguel’s Diving

“We are delighted to receive this recognition from TripAdvisor,” says Rantje Allen. He is marketing consultant for Miguel’s Diving. “This makes our second year in a row!” In 2015 Miguel’s Diving also received a certificate of excellence.

High Service Standards

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Certificate of Excellence 2016 accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews. These are submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, there are several measurements. A business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five. It must have a minimum number of reviews. It also must be listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site. This is according to comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016. It enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers. It has a wide variety of travel choices and planning features. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world. Its sites reach 340 million unique monthly visitors. This is according to TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016. It has 350 million reviews and opinions. These cover 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.

For your chance to enjoy excellent service, please book your dive trip with Miguel’s Diving.

Thai Dive Expo 2016

Thai Dive Expo 2016 marks its 11th anniversary this year. Also PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) marks its 50th anniversary. Miguel’s Diving will be in Bangkok to help celebrate! We have been operating for over 13 years now.

Indonesia Pavilion

TDEX dancers
A Dayak dance from Indonesia
Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has an entire pavilion. It is located next to the Speakers’ Stage. The Ministry of Tourism has invited Miguel’s Diving to represent Gorontalo. Other dive operators and resorts come from across Indonesia. This year’s theme is “Wonderful Indonesia.” For Thai Dive Expo 2016 a troupe of dancers will attend. They will perform various traditional dances from across Indonesia. The schedule is available at the pavilion. Performances are four times daily.

Thai Dive Expo 2016

Thai Dive Expo 2016 delegation
Indonesian delegation at TDEX
As in many previous years, Thai Dive Expo 2016 will be held at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It is located in Bangkok, Thailand. The dates are 12 to 15 May. This dive expo coincides with Thai Golf Exhibition, as well as Wonderful Thailand Travel Fair. At Thai Dive Expo 2016, we are offering discount dive packages. Drop by to see us!

Love of the Sea

The theme for Thai Dive Expo 2016 is “Love of the Sea.” An underwater photo competition seeks to illustrate this theme. An underwater photo from Gorontalo won First Runner Up prize in the compact plus category. The many photo entries are available for viewing. They are displayed outside the exhibition hall.

Thai Dive Expo 2016 also has a series of speakers. They include Imran Ahmad. He is a well-known underwater photographer from Singapore. He will speak twice. Recently, he spent a week in Gorontalo for a magazine photo shoot. His photo of twin Salvador Dali sponges will be on display.

Miguel’s Diving wishes to express its thanks to the team of Indonesian’s Ministry of Tourism for this opportunity to participate at Thai Dive Expo 2016.

If you are unable to attend this expo, please book your dive trip on-line.

Whale Shark Encounters in Gorontalo

Whale shark sightings have always been common in Gorontalo. But this month we are encountering these giants daily.

Sightings in Gorontalo

Since beginning operations in 2003, whale shark sightings with crew and guests have been numerous. On average, we encounter these giants twice per month. Any month will do. In other places in the world, whale sharks are seen on the surface. That is true in Gorontalo, also. However, we also see them while scuba diving. Oceans depths off dive sights here plunge to over four kilometers. No wonder divers encounter whale sharks in Gorontalo!

New Site for Whale Shark Encounters

young whale shark
A young whale shark visits our dive boat

In April 2016 a video from Gorontalo was uploaded onto social media. It was an instant hit. Seven whale sharks were seen congregating. To local fishermen, this was not news. The giant fish had been gathering in the same spot for two years. A nearby shrimp factory had been throwing its unwanted shrimp shells and heads into the ocean. The whale sharks love to eat them. This means that whale shark sightings occur daily in April at this location.

Protection Efforts

Miguel’s Diving staff, POSSI Gorontalo and government officials met together the week following the discovery. Under the direction of Gorontalo’s governor, Drs. H. Rusli Habibie, MAP, a conservation area is being established. This includes zonation.

Responsible Contact with Whale Sharks

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has published guidelines for whale shark encounters. This includes the call not to touch the whale shark. Certainly, no one should ride one or grab a fin. A safe distance is two meters from the whale shark’s head. Stay three meters from its tail.

Schooling whale sharks is a new phenomenon for Miguel’s Diving. We are still studying how to conduct scuba diving that is safe for guests and whale sharks alike.

Below the feeding area is a series of coral pinnacles. Divers descend and wait near the pinnacles. The depth is around 15 meters. This provides an appropriate distance for safe viewing whale shark silhouettes as they circle above. After eating some shrimp heads, they swim down to inspect the divers. Oftentimes, they swim very close.

Taking pictures or video of the whale sharks is easy to do. WWF guidelines indicate that a flash should not be used. Divers also should not chase them. The whale sharks will pass by divers waiting patiently by the pinnacles.

For your chance for a whale shark encounter, please book your dive trip with us.

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016 marks its 10th anniversary this year. Miguel’s Diving will be there to help celebrate! We remember the first DEEP expo. We have been operating for over 13 years now.

Booth D-7A

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016
From Gorontalo with love

Gorontalo Province has invited Miguel’s Diving to provide banners for its booth. The booth location is D-7A. This year’s theme is “From Gorontalo with love.” The back drop photo is courtesy of Jevin Surjadi. He discovered an unusual sponge. It is red and heart-shaped. Its secret location is at one of the unnamed dive sites that we use.

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016

As in many previous years, DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016 will be held at the Jakarta Convention Center. The dates are 31 March to 3 April. The expo combines scuba diving with extreme sports, such as rock climbing. It is now the largest expo of its kind in Southeast Asia.
At DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016, we are offering discount dive packages. Drop by to see us!

Friends Old & New

The Gorontalo booth for DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016 contains dramatic photos from Gorontalo. Some are wide angle shots, such as the view from inside Jinn Caves. Others are macro shots. Gorontalo is a great place for both types of underwater photos.

Also part of the Gorontalo booth is the wall of friends. Over 40 photographs of some of our Indonesian guests are featured. Some international divers also joined. Finding your photo or those of friends makes great fun.

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2016
A dragon-shaped Salvador Dali sponge

At special request of Ibu Resma, Provincial Head of Tourism, is a special underwater photo. It is a Salvador Dali sponge shaped like a dragon. She says it looks as if a magical spell was cast on a ferocious dragon. Right before the attack, it was turned to stone.

For your chance to see this giant sponge in person, please book your dive trip with us.

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