Pangabatang is small sand bank, located between Dambila Island and the main land Tanjung Darat. The dive site FISH SOUP lays on the southern side of the Pangabatang Island. 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.