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Dive Review of Gangga Divers/Gangga Island in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Gangga Divers/Gangga Island, Aug, 2007,

by Rick Cavanaugh, MD, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 3644.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bonaire, Bequia, BVI, Cozumel, Dominica, Little Cayman, Florida Keys, North Carolina, Saba, St Croix, St Vincent, Tobago Cays.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 78 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Good Camera Room, Each boat had 1 to 2 rinse buckets for cameras

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Getting to Gangga is fairly easy. Silk Air has flights from Singapore to Manado several times per week. Gangga picks you up at Manado airport and takes you for a 45 minute ride to a dock where you board their boat for a 30 minute ride.

The rooms are very clean and spread out along their white sandy beach. Housekeeping makes up/cleans the rooms 2 times per day. Most of the staff speaks english and is anxious to speak to a native english speaking person. They are limited in what the understand and if it is outside of their normal dealings, don't expect them to understand.

The food at the resort is very good. It is a combination of toned down Indonesian food (not very spicy) and very good Italian food. Most days there was a choice of a fish or a meat (pork, chicken or beef). Each meal included a soup, pasta dessert etc. Beer, wine, soda, ice tea and such was extra. Their prices for drinks averaged about $5 to $8 US. The resort is somewhat isolated so there are no other restaurants to try and explore.

The diving was done from their Indonesian style wooden boats (all resorts in the area use the same style boats). The boats are not the most comfortable but in this area of the world you have no choice. Each boat had 1 to 2 plastic containers for cameras and a separate container for masks. All gear was brought onto the boat and care for by the staff.

Depth limits stated, but not really enforced. Typically the dives were a maximum depth of 80 feet. My deepest depth was 100 feet. Most of the good things to see are shallower than 60 feet. On one dive the dive guide continued searching for critters even though 1 diver signaled low air and started his safety stop. We joined this diver as he was about to run out of air. The dive guide joined us after surfacing and wanted to know why we did not follow him.

We were there during the full moon. There were VERY strong currents at times. During the night dive the currents were so strong it was hard to maintain any control. Within 15 minutes during the same dive, the current would stop. During the day dives the currents were not as bad.

Tidal depth changes about 6 feet. Low tide is around 12 noon to 1 pm. After one dive the dive boat was unable to get to the dock due to the low water. They brought us around the to the side of the island and dropped us off next to the reef. We had to walk across the exposed, semi exposed and submerged reef getting cut up in the process. I still don't know why they did this as we could have easily swum in next to the dock which had a sandy bottom.

The boat is split up and goes out in several groups separated by several minutes. Typically there was 2 to 4 divers per dive guide. The dive guides did a fairly good job pointing out critters, but they were rough on the sea life. You must sign a statement before diving about handling, feeding and harassing sea life, but this is totally ignored by the dive guides. I saw them pickup anemones and flip them upside down for a photographer to get a picture of a shrimp. They handled just about every crionoid they saw looking for squat lobsters, after you have seen a dozen or so I feel it is well over do to leave the crionoids alone. The dive guides were frequently seen rubbing the remains of the crionoids off their hands. One dive guide would bring along his own camera and took pictures during the dive and thus adding one more person to hog the critter to be viewed.

Gangga has one huge advantage over some of the other diver resorts in the area and that is location. Gangga is about 90 minutes from Bunaken which has wonderful wall dives and more fish life. About 30 minutes from Sulawesi, 40 minutes from Bangka with pinnacle diving, 60 minutes from Talisei, and about 90 minutes from Lembeh with wonderful muck diving. This one location can allow you to dive all of these spots. Lembeh and Bunaken require an additional fee due to the distance.

Generally speaking the area is over fished and there is not much large sea life. I did see 1 bump head parrot fish and a Napoleon Wrasse. I did not see any sharks or large rays. The largest ray was about 18 inches in diameter.

Bunaken had the prettiest reef with a beautiful wall with lots of color and life. There was a large turtle that was the biggest I have ever seen Rambo My guess is that he was well over 500 lbs. Lots of healthy corals, nudibranches, crabs, and other critters.

Bangka had very colorful pinnacles with good coral growth. It did show some damage from aggressive divemasters trying to find critters. A fair amount of the bubble coral and frog spawn / hammer corals shown signs of necrosis. The dive guides were rough on this coral trying to find shrimps and lobsters.

Talisei had some very nice sites as well, however another guest said that they saw evidence of cyanide fishing in Talisei during one of their dives.

Lembeh is fantastic muck diving. We did 2 dives here and they dropped us off at Lembeh Resort for the second part of our trip.

Overall the diving is excellent for reef and small critters. Poor for large fish.

I just wish they would be easier on the reef so that it will survive longer.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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