Diving Around Maumere Sikka Regency

diving around maumere

DIVING AROUND MAUMERE , SIKKA REGENCY

THE CRACK
Dive site in Babi Island, Sikka
Dive Type: wall dive
Reef Type: hard and soft coral drop off, huge fans, little caves and overhangs and the spectacular crack
Distance to nearest town: 37.7km from Maumere.

THE CRACK is called after the 10m deep crack, a remain of the earthquake (which pulled the reef apart) and following tsunami in 1992. The crack start at the drop  off and continuing land inward all along the shallow reef of Babi Island. Rumors of destroyed refd caused by the earthquake are nonsense. The crack is a perfect shelter for sweetlips, starpuffer fish, boxfish, batfish, firefish and many others which like to hide safely.

The wall of Babi Island is overgrown with different  soft and hard coral, oyster, sponges, huge fans, etc, creating shelter for giant morays, baby sharks bedding in the caverns, pygmy seahorses, different species of nudi branchs, leaf scorpion fish, dart fish, frog fish, juvenile reef fish and dragonets.

It is easy for loosing yourself in watching the little  details on the wall. Looking down, eagle rays, nuzzling around and turtles feeding on the big barrel sponges. Marple rays passing and reef sharks swimming by. Along the edge of the wall the surgeon fish group and the midnight snappers stay along with the passing  mackerel and fusilier schools. The site is easy to dive as long you control your buoyancy, to stay on the right depth. Currents are mostly mild, if there is any, horizontal direction.

THE FISH SOUP
Dive site in Pangabatang Island
Dive Type: Drift Dive
Reef Type: Hard and soft coral slope, white sand bottom
Distance to nearest town: 29.85km from Maumere
Depth: 30m on the channel floor

The dive site FISH SOUP lays on the southern side of the Pangabatang sland. Pangabatang is small sand bank, located between Dambila Island and the main land Tanjung Darat. The water is pushing through the channel between Pangabatang and Tanjung Darat and therefore the current is often strong. By incoming tide the eagle ray groups are standing still-gliding in the blue water, white tip reef sharks shooting up from the deep, chasing giant trevally’s or turtles along the edge of the channel (30m-40m) where a coral reef is framing the end of the sandy bottom, before it drops. Schools of snappers, red tooth trigger fish, Wahoo, huge dog tooth tuna’s and Napoleon are gathering there, creating the famous FISH SOUP. Marple rays as well as Jenkins’ stingrays resting on the sand. Sometimes hammerhead shark is curious and watches all the traffic in the channel.

The divers swim along the channel. The drop off, starting it over 30m, is overgrown with big Gorgonian fans which offers a beautiful view from above. Continuing the dive, the divers follow the channel into shallower depth, passing afield of garden eels and blue spotted stingrays enjoying overgrown seamounts, the home for the big batfish family, and the slope with different hard and soft coral. Passing “the corner” and following the shallower channel surprising the divers with big schools of bumphead parrotfish, especially around full moon. Often we have to wait them to pass by as we cannot swim pass them, because they are to many. On the shallower slope, 145m, there is a lot of smaller fish to find. Lobsters, crocodile flathead, pipefish, pipehorse, ribbon eels, ghostpipe fish, many different nudibranchs and plenty of reef fish inhabiting this area. The current easily picks up and becomes strong.