Sunday, 16 October 2011

Diving sites and map for Sangalaki island

Sangalaki Island is a small island at the Celebes Sea, perched on the remote edge of northeastern Borneo's continental shelf. Diving is mainly executed around Sangalaki Island but Kakaban, Samama and Manatua Island are not so far from Sangalaki that we can request the optional diving tour to these islands, where there are the different kinds of fishes and locations and we can enjoy more dynamic diving.

Coral Reefs

Good for: Large animals, underwater photography and advanced divers
Not so good for: Non-diving activities
Depth: 10 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: Moderate
Surface conditions: Can be choppy
Water temperature: 28 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: 13
Access: Liveaboard
Recommended length of stay: 6 - 8 days


Coral Gardens
Above the seabed though, it is a gradual incline of shelves full of hard and soft corals. You'll find acropora corals and mosaic corals, among which are a rich variety of reef life such as anthias, damsels, snappers and triggerfish. Do remember to look up every now and then, for in the midst of watching all the busy coral life, you'll probably come across a manta or green turtles which regularly lay their eggs on the beaches of Sangalaki.

Manta Avenue, Manta Parade and Manta Run
To the east of the island are Manta Avenue, Manta Parade and Manta Run - where the manta rays can be found feeding, gills wide open, on a rich supply of plankton minutes from the beach. The mantas can sometimes be seen cruising down these manta highways, whilst other rays forage around for food under the sand together with the goatfish. Their wing tips break the surface at regular intervals as they circle around you. They prefer to swim close to the surface, so snorkeling or free diving is also a good way to interact with them. The mantas can also be found cruising the seas or less often foraging for sustenance down on the sandy sea beds. The best time to see them seems to be full moon when there might be as much 20 mantas hovering over the cleaning stations.

Turtle Town
Located in the southwest corner of Sangalaki, there are gullies and stony ridges all over the place at this rather flat dive site, which make this place ideal for green turtles. Along with them, you'll also find reef fish like pufferfish, moorish idols as well as sea stars and feather stars. Other marine life which you'll see at this dive site are octopus, giant cuttlefish, popcorn crabs, catfish, shy mandarinfish and for lovers of macrolife, flamboyantly coloured nudibranchs.

Lighthouse Reef
Lighthouse Reef has a maximum diving depth of around 15 m / 49.2 ft and is suitable for all divers. The average visibility is 10-20 metres and access to the dive site is by boat. The coral steps its way down to the first sandy tracks which is an ideal environment for the beautifully coloured Fire Goby, Elegant Fire Goby and Dancing Goby together with the Jaw Fish and Ribbon Eels. There are also two small wooden boat wrecks here.

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