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Dive Review of Gangga Island Resort in
Indonesia/Northern Sulawesi

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Steven Levin, VA, USA
Report Number 2819
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
You could dive with the dive guide.  Groups were always very small or
operate largely on your own.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
The dive boats have plastic tanks for cameras.  A new dive shop with
additional facilities for underwater photographers was being built and very
near completion.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
The Resort. The resort has a good physical plant with spacious common
areas.  There is a main area that contains the bar, various sitting areas,
and a large dining area.  This area has a pool table.  The resort has a
nice pool and a very credible white sand beach.  There are many lounge
chairs, covered areas, and other places in which to rest by the beach - in
other words, lots of shade.

The Rooms.  The rooms are double bungalows that provide very good privacy. 
The rooms are spacious.  Amenities include a television, mini-bar,
coffee-tea making, and air conditioning.    There is good lighting and a
good number of outlets.  The room contains a built-in desk.  In a corner of
the room there was another table with two chairs, the coffee-tea making
equipment, and a coffee-table.  There was a collection of fresh fruit upon
arrival.  The bungalow has a nice patio/terrace with chairs and a table
that faces the ocean.  

Meals.  Meal times are 7:00 AM onward for breakfast, lunch from 1:00 PM to
3:00 PM and dinner a rather latish 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  There is a tea
service at 5:00 PM that consists of fruit and sandwiches.  Dinner was
served buffet-style in an outside covered area.  You could sit at long
tables holding six to ten people with your feet in the sand.  The first
dinner offered a small salad bar (i.e., lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes,
cucumbers, and carrot) with a choice of Thousand Island or French Dressing.
 There was an appetizer of Fish Fingers with Tartar Sauce or Mayonnaise. 
The main dishes consisted of two types of fish - grilled Marlin and some
whole Snapper-type fish in a sweet-sour sauce.  There were prawns and squid
that were being grilled.  Non-fish items consisted of Nasi Goreng (rice),
roasted potatoes, and some mixed steamed vegetables.  A Corn Crab soup was
also available.  Dessert was as assorted of fresh fruits and three
different types of cake.  Lunch the next day was much better, in my
opinion, that the buffet dinner,  as was every meal that followed.   See
the descriptions that follows.  This was the only night that dinner was
served outside in the pavilion.

Diving.   Diving is conducted from the traditional wooden boats.  Depending
on the boat that is being used entry is either a back roll or a giant
stride entry.  In either case the entry is easy.  All boats have a large
ladder.  As is usually the case you have the option of handing up your
weight belt and tank or just handing up your fins and climbing aboard.  I
had no problem getting up the ladder with my gear.  Depending on the boat
there would be one or two small plastic tubs in which cameras could be
placed.  The dive staff was very good in handling equipment.  

All dives were preceded by a good briefing.  A set of flip charts
diagramming the dive site was used to illustrate the site's topology.  All
dives were guided and with one or two exception they were drift dives.  The
dive guide to guest ratio was very good.  For most of the diving I had my
own guide.  Rarely ever did I see more than four people with a single
guide.  This is probably due to the relatively low occupancy during my
visit.  The guides were enthusiastic and very professional.   While briefed
as a one hour maximum I usually was able to dive from 70 to 75 minutes. A
few times I dove 80+ minutes with a few dives of 95+ minutes.

The diving area for the resort is an area that includes several islands
(i.e., Talisei, Bangka, Gangga)  and several sites on the Northern Sulawesi
mainland.  Travel times were from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the site
being visited.  Many guests would sit on the bow of the boat or on top of
the cabin.

After the first dive there was a refreshment consisting of a "coconut
with a straw" and bananas.  Water and fresh towels were provided on
every dive.  The diving schedule was a departure at 8:00 AM for two dives
in the local area with a return to the resort for lunch.  The afternoon
dive was at 3:30 PM.  

The dives sites are quite varied and include some of the best in Northern
Sulawesi.  Dive sites include great pinnacle dives such as Batu Gosoh and
Sahung.  There are some wonderful wall dives such as Pulisan and muck areas
such as Paradise Reef.  Both the Bangka Island dive sites and those on the
Northern Sulawesi coast offer great soft corals.  Sightings typically
include Frogfish, nudibranchs, flatworms, and good schooling fish.  I spent
45 minutes with a Mimic Octopus at the Paradise Reef site on this trip.
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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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