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Best Diving Season and Recommendation for Sangalaki, Maratua, Kakaban

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by xtraspicy, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. cetacean

    cetacean Angel Fish

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    We visited Sangalaki 20 years ago back when Borneo Divers had a small resort on the island. The macro diving was very good (nudis we found there we didn't see anywhere else). The turtles nested on the island every night (under the huts) which also meant that the surrounding reefs had a huge number of turtles.

    The "jellyfish" lake at Kakaban was also worth the visit...

    We spent 8 days on Sangalaki - mantas were elusive for the first 6 days (1-2 each day), but then the day before the full moon we had ~30 of them in the channel.

    Quick search of YouTube videos shows that others diving Sangalaki in the last year or two have seen a number of mantas.
     
  2. xtraspicy

    xtraspicy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malaysia
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    Hi Madacub, thanks for the advice. You are right, the price point is possibly not worth it if I consider to base in Maratua, instead of Scuba Junkie Sangalaki. I have always been fascinated by the stories (and videos) of Maratua, Sangalaki and Kakaban diving, with the whalesharks and mantas, and dolphins and of course the barracudas.

    I have also considered Alor.. maybe next time..
     
  3. Spiderandi

    Spiderandi Angel Fish

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    Just came back from a 2 week stay at Nabucco , made 32 dives , lovely double house on stilts not the newest anymore but still comfortable.
    Diving was good , but the second week resembled the first. Which is not bad if you keep looking for new creatures. Reefs are quite good to excellent with steep walls and slopes. We were lucky to encounter leopard shark, many mantas at Sangalaki - beautiful undeep reef flats there.
    The only downsize would be the only place to nightdive is the jetty -and channel , not deeper than 3 meters - but still nice finds like stonefish , decorator crabs and bluering octopus. Big Fish Country is the USP as far as diving is concerned. Not for the fainthearted , with sometimes strong incoming currents - outgoing impossible to dive. The patrolling sharks and cloud of barracudas is impressive.
    We might suggest to combine Nabucco with a week at Nunukan to combine the diving locations - then adventure diving to the uninhabited atoll is possible .
    Overall a delightful stay with ample food and Bintang in paradise location.
    I dont rate with stars or numbers !
    Flying in on Saturdays from Balikpapan is very convenient
    Thank You Florian and Andris and the whole crew

    Hans and Brigitte from Holland

    IMG_5953.JPG IMG_5280.jpg IMG_5434.jpg
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,020
    3,544
    113
    I was in Nabucco resort in May 2014. It only takes 5 min boat ride to the "Big Fish Country" or "The Channel" site and I have never missed the schooling barracuda like the video, below.



    My next trip will be on White Manta to see the Whaleshark on the Bagan similar to the time when I was in Cendrawasih Bay, like this one:



    I plan to charter the boat for August 2021 with a group rate (15% discount). PM me if anyone is interested in joining me on that trip.
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,020
    3,544
    113
    When you are in Nabucco Resort, you definitely don't want to miss The Channel. The Google Earth map (below), shows you where it is, which is the dark blue line northeast of Nabucco Resort, right above the word "Nabucco" on the map. Like I mentioned in the previous post, it's only 5 minute boat ride from Nabucco resort.

    image.png

    It is a very save dive if you know when to do it. You need to go during the rising tide, when the current is going from the deep blue to the shallow towards the resort. You get your hook ready, BCD empty of air. Back roll from the boat and negative entry from the northeast mouth down to the channel. When you see the north edge of the Channel at about 100' (30m) deep, get ready with the reef hook on your hand. As soon as you are approaching the ledge, just hook on the rock edge and let go the hook, but keep a slight grip on the line to keep some tension, slowly release your grip on the line until you are freely floating in the water column to watch the parade of the thick cloud of schooling barracuda, some sharks and Napoleon wrasse chasing little fish. Once you hit the zero bottom time, release the hook and drift with the current to the shallow for safety stop, just like you see in the video I posted previously.

    This is one of the best hook-in dive I have ever done in 830 dives, 15 years of diving around the world. The ones come close to this are the Peleliu Cut and the Blue Corner of Palau.
     
  6. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,020
    3,544
    113
    Another dive site that you don't want to miss is Baracuda Point in Kakaban.

     
  7. xtraspicy

    xtraspicy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malaysia
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    Thanks alot Dan, I have booked to stay in Maratua Seaview Resort for a week next year end April to May!

    Hope it will be good!
     

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