• 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: 2010

New lionfish species

Sulawesi lioinfish CKThe list of new species found in Gorontalo continues to grow! Miguel’s Diving staff have noticed a particular kind of lionfish over the past several years that has a different appearance from the other ones. We have now confirmed it is the newPterois andovernamed in 2008. Its dorsal fins are noticeably taller than other lionfishes’ and it has 13 pectoral spins not 14. Its pectoral fins are very feather-like. Also the white body bands are much wider and it only has a few black spots on its tail and anal fins. It is quite beautiful when it spreads its fins to sail over the substrate! Previous publications noted its presence in central Sulawesi only.

Magic Carpet

This week in one location where Miguel’s Diving brings diver is a rare natural phenomena: the sudden appearance of millions of Bennett’s tobies. They form moving carpets that sail along the coral walls. Divers can swim through the schools, watching them part for divers and bubbles. This event is only recorded from two of Sulawesi’s diving locations, that is Gorontalo and the remote island volcano of Una-una, both of which are in Tomini Bay. This huge bay is formed by two arms of Sulawesi. Diving right now is prime. Soon these fish will begin to attach each other, bite off each other’s fins and begin to die. Because the fish has toxic glands, most predators will not venture to eat the dead or dying tobies. Miguel’s Diving staff presume this phenomena is related to spawning.

Korean fishing boat wreck

On an exploratory dive last week Miguel’s Dving accidently found a large wreck. It turned out to be a Korean fishing boat that sunk in the 1980s. All valuable and removable metals like the round window hatches and propeller had been removed by salvagers long ago. It sits upright and has a striking profile. Because of its position near a small stream, the surrounding area is basically silt, so it is unlikely that Miguel’s Diving will be offering this as a dive attraction in the future. Sulawesi is not known for its wrecks. However, diving wrecks in Gorontalo is possible. Of the five wreck that Miguel’s Diving has discovered and surveyed over the past decade, only two are offered to divers: the 1942 Japanese cargo wreck and the 1993 Tjenderawashi barge wreck.

Divers returning to blue Sulawesi waters

Hawksbill turtle (LW)With the annual changing of east to west winds on Sulawesi’s vast Tomini Bay, diving in Gorontalo has resumed. Divers no longer have to brave crazy surface conditions, multiple thermoclimes and rapidly changing visibility common in early October. Not only are humans returning to Gorontalo’s amazing underwater paradise but hawksbill turtles are back a bit early this season.

Wall of tuna

Dogtooth tuna AMToday’s wreck diving was postponed a bit for another pelagic encounter, this time tuna. As divers were getting ready to enter the water, sudden splashes disturbed the still surface of the ocean. Towards the new moon, minnows start massing for migration up the Bone River where Miguel’s Diving has its docks. These minnows in turn draw pelagic predators. This morning’s dramatic show was large Shipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamisturning the water into froth because of their feeding, estimated at weighing 10-kilos. Not often seen in the water, these torpedo-shaped fish ignored the inquisitive humans who swam close enough to enjoy the beautiful blue scrawling towards the tail. Julianne, who is gaining a reputation in Gorontalo for pelagic encounters, described the experience as “a wall of tuna.” The photo is from another encounter, that time with several Dogtooth tuna, which are often sighted by divers in Gorontalo.

Snake blenny

Snake blennyJKAmong all the wonderful creatures sighted this week while diving the hidden paradise of Gorontalo was a Snake blenny (Xiphasia setifer). Growing up to 50 cm in length this unusual blenny looks more like an eel. Miguel’s Diving staff found this one lying on a shallow sandy bottom during a rest stop. Check out additional photos from John & Grace on our Facebook page.

DEEP Indonesia

We at Miguel’s Diving invite you to drop by the Gorontalo Hidden Paradise booth L8 at the upcoming DEEP Indonesia Exhibition at the Jakarta Convention Center. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, March 12 at noon. It will be open on Saturday and Sunday at 1000. Each day the doors close at 2000 hrs. Be sure to see a great whale shark video shot by a guest this past weekend.