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Thread: Gorontalo - Togian - Toraja March 2011

 


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    Wisnu's Avatar
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    Gorontalo - Togian - Toraja March 2011

    Part 1 - Gorontalo

    First, I have to blame xariatay; her great report 2009 Dec 26th to 2010 Jan 9th has attracted us to visit beautiful gorontalo and force me to break our account to get lumic 7-14mm lens.

    We followed her path at Gorontalo, stayed at Oasis hotel from 19 March 2011 for 4 days/3 night; diving with Miguel Diving but for 9 dives. Since I’m lazy guy, I’m happy I don’t have to write anything about gorontalo. Her report is such detail and accurate. However, instead of return to Manado; we continue our trip to Togean – so, at least I do not really copy her; still have something to report in part 2 of this thread – again, if I’m not lazy.

    Indeed, the first impression when you enter their boat at MD pier is not inspiring at all. We’re shocked with the cappuccino water of the river



    But, the story is different once we reach the site and jump to the water.



    Whether you like sponge bob or not, you will love the amazing sponges including the unique Salvador Dali sponge (Petrosia lignosa) claimed only found in Gorontalo. And the lumix 7-14mm lens for my E-Pl1 is wide enough to capture these gigantic and massive creatures.











    We also saw pods of Risson dolphin as well as the bottlenose every afternoon we return to the pier from divesites. Sorry no picture; but we saw mr. Turtie just before we surfaced at ulele village.



    Although no wreck, ulele village with several amazing dive sites can beat Tulamben. But no dive resort here. Melati, my younger daughter playing in front of ulele village just before SI.


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    Gorontalo is not only for WA. After frustrated not able to take picture of Salvador Dali sponge, she concentrate more on macro with her G9.





    Few of her shots.







    She’s very happy taking the pictures of hundreds eyes of anemone fish which will face the wild world in few days, although their parent were not happy and keep attacking her face. Remind us to Nemo movie. Too bad, we have no time to wait until they hatch.


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    Part 2 – Togean, The lost Paradise

    On the map, Togean islands is only few cm from Gorontalo; but not very easy to get-in and more difficult to get-out. Currently there’s only one direct transportation from Gorontalo to togean, ie. the very slow bigg steel ferry, KM Tuna Tomini, depart every Tuesday and Friday night at 20:00 pm and arrive at Wakai village, Togian 11 hours later on good sea condition – still much faster than swimming!. In our case, we arrived at 11:00 am – 4 hours late due to choppy condition despite the claim that tomini bay is the calmest bay on earth. Anyway, the business class is not too bad, with reclining seat and AC or just buy economic ticket for approx. 8 USD per pax and rent the crew cabin for another USD 27 per room - and we have a very good more than 10 hours sleep.





    Just beware with the porters – you’ll need them if you bring along your gear but don’t let them to touch your bag before you agree the cost.

    The most popular island is Kadidiri, 15 minute from wakai, where three resorts laid on 150 m beautiful white sandy beach.
    Lestari kadidiri is the most popular resort among backpacker, USD 9 per pax for very basic accommodation incl. 3 meals, free flow tea/copy and free snorkelling – no dive center at this resort, you have to use their next door neighbour Black Marlin (BM), well run dive resort managed by British guy living in Bali most of the time (though when you send him e-mail you will receive an automatic reply to excuse slow response due to he is in kadidiri island where no internet access and cell network is not reliable at all). With USD 25 per pax you can enjoy their deluxe bungalow which is clean, equipped with western bathroom, spring bed with mossy net, ceiling fans and nice veranda facing picturesque sunset (don’t forget to bring along mossy repellent). Next door of BM is Kadidiri Paradise (KP), slightly more luxury and bigger resorts with more spacious room. KP also has bigger and faster boats with 2x100 HP motor. Unfortunately, KP is not very good in responding e-mail. So, we chose BM for our 3 nights in almost paradise. No fresh water in Kadidiri, they have to bring from Wakai or nearby island. Electric available from 17:00 pm to 24:00 and water only run from 16:00 to 21:00 but they prepare big bucket in the bathroom. If lucky you can get cellular network though most of the time only suitable for SMS.






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    Despite the beautiful topsite scenery and spectacular sunset; I have to say, Togean diving is just so so by Indonesia standard, at least nothing special from the 7 dive sites visited, ie. Kota wall, taipi wall, house reef, mini canyon, taipi island, nursery rock and new reef. Not many big fish, we only saw 2 bumphead parrot fish at taipi wall and two huge napoleon wrasse at mini canyon. Lot of damage coral due the past bombing and cyanide but the good thing, more and more new and healthy corals are growing. Viz. actually is not bad but lot of particles and white sands in the water particularly in the afternoon; very annoying for taking pictures.









    The other problem, March, suppose to have calm water and nice weather – but not in our case. Underwater is not too bad, currents still manageable although on our last dive, other group could not escape from strong current and had to be picked-up 1 km from drop point. On the surface was more difficult, choppy water, we’re struggling to climb the boat – one of the reason we cancelled our night dive.



    Indeed, those above sites we visited are not the best dive sites Togean can offer. Unfortunately, they were not able to bring us to Una-una island where famous for pelagic, barracuda tornado and spectacular wall; simple because bad weather (can be understood) and ridiculously – not enough petrol ; so not possible either to visit the bomber B24 wreck eventhough this site is located in sheltered area, calm water.

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    opalobsidian's Avatar
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    gorgeous pictures Wisnu and Family! Also, I'm kinda glad I changed my mind about going here this summer. Better I enjoy it thru your pix and stories.
    "It is impossible for anyone to learn that which he thinks he already knows" ~ Plutarch

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    Wakatobi, Bunaken and ...?
     

    Magrone's Avatar
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    Nice pics. Looks like the 7-14 is working out nicely. I like the over/under + sponge CFWA shots. Great Report. Thanks a bunch for sharing. Very helpful to read reports from places that are frequented less as dive destinations.
    Wisnu likes this.

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    Another much appreciated Wisnu report. I like that you also spend some time to describe the aspects outside diving.
    That said, you help me eliminate a few stops that would have been potential candidates for my summer vacation indonesian trip (or more precisely, it's getting more difficult to select my destination). I couldn't really make my mind with the Togeans, I think it's done now.

    btw, your half split shot is great, never succedeed in that exercise myself. I love the surface shots too, all very dynamic.
    Wisnu likes this.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Photo galleries. newest : Mucking in Anilao, Alor Blues, fish soup in Raja Ampat, colorful Bangka, beautiful Bali, amazing Ambon, remote Maluku & freaky Lembeh.. Do you REALLY like Nudis?
    Earlier reports : Komodo, Sipadan and Vanuatu incl.SS Pres.Coolidge, vanilla diving Reunion island ...
    Also a pbase.com view from below ... have a look & leave a comment in my Flickr gallery, good or bad, your choice .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magrone View Post
    Nice pics. Looks like the 7-14 is working out nicely. I like the over/under + sponge CFWA shots. Great Report. Thanks a bunch for sharing. Very helpful to read reports from places that are frequented less as dive destinations.
    Thanks magrone,
    Indeed 7-14mm is nice lens though not cheap, could be much better with good hand.

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    Luko, Thanks
    with only 7 dives at bad weather, and exclude the Una-una, can't use my report to justice the togean diving. I'm still curious with Una-una. I've seen the William Tan shots of massive barracuda tornado at Una-una.
    Surprisingly, June, July, August and September - all resorts at Kadidiri is fully booked!!

    There's many interesting aspect other than diving I like to enjoy in every our trip but notice this is diving forum (and I'm too lazy) to write other than diving.

    The split shot taken by my daughter - may be just lucky, can't expect much with small semi dome port.

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    xariatay puts together awesome reports. You put together a pretty good report also!....Love your pics. Thanks for sharing.
    Wisnu and xariatay like this.
    I Endeavor to Pursue....March Palau....Summer Yellowstone.....Oct Raja Ampat-Lembeh-Bangka

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