Diving @Palu, Central Sulawesi

Drama started even before we embarked on the trip.  We had our 12 August Batavia afternoon direct flight from Jakarta to Palu cancelled and only 1 among 12 of us got informed of the cancellation (we booked our tickets separately).  Luckily, that member had the initiative to contact Victor the organizer who then contacted the rest.  After changing our flight to 12 August Batavia morning flight (with stopover at Surabaya), we scrambled to reschedule our flight from Singapore to Jakarta. Most flew on Garuda but 2 othersand I flew Airasia to Jakarta.  However, all of us had to flew a day earlier to Jakarta as there was no way to get there early in the morning for the connecting flight on Batavia.  Extra costs were incurred for flight change and overnight accommodations.  Similarly, the morning return direct flight from Palu to jakarta on 17 August was cancelled and we were rescheduled on the afternoon flight (again stopover at Surabaya) and hence needed overnight stay at Jakarta as we were not able to connect on the last flight from Jakarta to Singapore.

Palu is the main city of Central Sulawesi.  Diving is relatively unspoiled and there is only 1 dive resort there.  Accommodations at resort are very basic.  There is no air-conditioning, no hot shower, no wash basin and no toiletories except towel.  Beds are provided with netting as the mozzies are big and plentiful.  However, wifi with internet access is available at the bar next to the dive center.  The beach is beautiful with nice white sands.  Most of the guests are Europeans and are non-divers.  Food is not great and pretty repeatitive.

Diving here is mainly for macro except for some white and black tip sharks.  There is a nice wreck at the house reef right in front at about 24m with plenty of macro opportunity.  Other dives sites are within 0.5 to 1.5 hour boat journey.  Diving here is relatively easy with slight current on a few dives only.

Here are some of the photos taken.

#1.1 – A pair of Leaf Scorpion Fish

#1.2 – A red Leaf Scorpion Fish

#2.1 – A small 4cm lobster.

#2.2 – Another shot of the lobster.

#3.1 – Tiny 1cm frog fish.

#3.2 – Same tiny frog fish perch on a rock.

#3.3 – This shot wasn’t very well taken but the pointer was used to demonstrate the size of the frog fish.

#4.1 – Tiny crab

#4.2 – Tiny crab

#4.3 – Tiny crab found on a sea cucumber.  Sea cucumber crab (Lissocarcinus orbicularis)

#4.4 – Sea cucumber crab (Lissocarcinus orbicularis).

#4.5 – Another crab

#4.6 – Closeup of a hermit crab

#5.1 – A shell

#6.1 – Shrimp Gobies

#6.2 – Shrimp & Goby

#7.1 – Mantis Shrimp

#7.2 – Periclimenes brevicarpalis, an Anemone Shrimp which is nearly transparent and perched on Branching Anemone (Megalactis griffithis)

#7.3 – Periclimenes brevicarpalis

#8.1 – Fire Goby

#8.2 – Fire Goby

#9.1 – Whip Coral Goby

#9.2 – Whip Coral Goby

#9.3 – Whip Coral Goby

#9.4 – Whip Coral Goby

#10.1 – Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish

#10.2 – Ghost Pipe Fish

#11.1 – Garden Eel

#11.2 – Garden Eel

#12.1 – Jaw Fish

Here are the nudibranchs captured on this trip.

#13.1 – Ceratosoma sinuata

#13.2

#13.3 – Flatworm Thysanozoon sp.

#13.4 – Chromodoris magnifica

#13.5 – Chromodoris willani

#13.6 – Chromodoris willani

#13.7 – Hypselodoris apolegma

#13.8 – Ardeadoris egretta

#13.9 – Ardeadoris egretta

#13.10 – Chromodoris annae

#13.11 – Risbecia tryoni

#13.12 – Risbecia tryoni

#13.13 – Risbecia tryoni

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~ by grbenji on 16/08/2011.

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