I had a daydream when I was enjoying my coffee that evening. I imagined beautiful places in Indonesia, walking around in the shore of the beach of Sumatera, Jawa, Kalimantan, Flores, Papua, Maluku and finally Sulawesi.
Bunaken, Lembeh, Wakatobi are the most must-visited sites when you go to Sulawesi to dive. We could easily forget other sites that are promoted in many other areas in Indonesia. It’s there, lying around just like a golden treasure at the end of the rainbow. The only site I craved so much: Togean.
Togean Islands is lying from west to east in the middle of Tomini Bay. More to the south west, separated from deep sea, Togian Islands Sub-district borders to Sulawesi. In the north, Togean Islands borders to the part of Gorontalo Province. The island is about 75.000 ha. There are 7 main islands from west to east, that are Batudaka Island, Togean Island, Talatakoh Island, Una-Una Island, Malenge Island, Walea Kodi Island, and Walea Bahi Island. These islands are surrounded by small islands and corals (somehow they made me remember Raja Ampat).
There’re several ways to go to Togean. I chose to go by plane to Gorontalo, continued by ferry at 7 o’clock to Wakai, Togean. Here, a speedboat from Black Marlin Dive Resort was prepared to pick me and other guesses who would stay there. I looked around the speedboat and found out that Divemag group was the only local here, the rest of guesses were foreigners who most of them came from Europe. Before went to Togean, I didn’t search any info about Togean dive sites to prevent me to expect something awesome. I love being surprised. However, a friend of mine I met in Gorontalo airport told me to dive in Una-Una site, and he’s not the only one who suggested that.
The island has been producing copra for hundred years, even nowadays copra becomes one of the sources of income besides chocolate and marine resources. Years ago, this island was often called Ringgit Island because of the high transaction done using Malaysian Ringgit.
Black Marlin Dive Resort was our place to stay. It’s in Kadadiri, a different location with Una-Una Island. But that’s not a problem, cos I could say that it’s still very beautiful. When we arrived, we were not only welcomed by clear water, but also by white sand and rows of room. We went to the lobby and dining room at the same time. It felt so cozy, with hangout atmosphere in dining room and warm wood floor and wall, just perfect. Next to the dining room is a dive center with lot of dive gears and an instructor who was briefing his pupils. Whoaaah, we’re getting pumped up! After put our bags in our room (there’s also a hammock in every terrace! Yihaaa!), we went back to the lobby, arranging our trip to Una-Una Island for tomorrow.
08.30, we had been sitting on the speedboat for about an hour. The sky was clear, the sea looked calm, and wind was breezing altogether with our happy chit-chat. Frenly, our dive master, gave a brief explanation, “There are lot of big hard corals here. Also, we will find many groups of barracuda and trevally…” I listened to him carefully while cleaning my masker with sea water; and I caught a glance of silver-ish shadow under our boat. Oh my God! It’s a group of barracuda under our speedboat!! Whooaaaa..!!
We directly jumped to the water, found tens or maybe hundreds of barracuda gathered around with their beautiful formation in 4 meters depth. The body looked silverish with their mouths chewing something. This fish gathered to avoid meeting with predator and hunt small fishes to eat together. Most of adult Barracudas will hunt alone; on the other hand youngsters will form a group. We spent about 30 minutes to see them moving around; it made me remember a queue in a market.
Satisfied with the meeting with Una-Una’s Barracuda, we continued our trip to time machine: a field of big-sized hard corals with thousands of coral fish that swam around non-stop. It’s busy in Una-Una’s underwater!
We had been welcomed by lots of fish, corals with unique formation and beautiful macro details who were hiding inside in our 2 dives here. Just like the glorious era of Una-Una as the most important commercial pathway years ago, the underwater was also amazingly crowded.
Speedboat blasted of like rocket to the dive resort; we had seen the golden treasure at the end of the rainbow. I couldn’t stop smiling cos tomorrow would be good again with another beautiful dive site. Universe blessed us good.
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