Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sangeang Lighthouse, Indonesia
In September 2012 Kelly and I did a week long liveaboard dive trip in Indonesia which went from Bali to Komodo and back. We went on the MV Mermaid II. Click here to read about the boat. This is one of the dive sites we did on the trip. The trip heads north-east from Benoa Harbour on Bali out north of Lombok and then north of the other islands to Komodo Island and then down the eastern side of Komodo to the southernmost point of Komodo. For all dives on this trip we used 31% Nitrox, so bear this in mind when considering the bottom times we did.
Sangeang Island (Pulau Sangeang) is located off the north-eastern corner of Sumbawa Island. It is home to an active volcano called Sangeang Api. The volcano is the almost perfect conical shape, and as such, the island is circular. It is almost uninhabited, about 15 kilometres in diameter and 1,949 metres high. It last erupted in 1989. This site is off the northern side of the island, about 1.5 kilometres west of the lighthouse which is on what could be termed the north-eastern point of the island. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is 8° 7' 43.3"S 119° 4' 9.4"E (using WGS84 as the datum). The site is about 400 metres to the south-east of the GPS mark.
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location
of the dive site - in the small bayThe lighthouse is far right
|A photo of the dive site
The actual site is located in a small bay at the head of which appears to be a dry creek. The site consists of a black sand bottom with coral reefs to the west and east.
|A map of the dive site - north is at the bottom of the map
Used courtesy of Mermaid Cruises
As with virtually all dive sites that you do when on MV Mermaid II, you use the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to get to the start of the dive (and also to get back to the boat). The RIB will drop you normally on sand at about eight metres.
The sandy bottom has a lot of isolated coral bommies, these are mostly small, but there are some that are larger. We worked our way deeper on the sand, getting to about 29 metres. The sand has some interesting species to see, including indian walking fish (see the photo). We also explored the northern reef, seeing some ornate ghost pipefish, dancing shrimp (under anemones).
|Briareum phyllodesmium (I think)
After a while we crossed over the sand to the southern side of the reef. As well as a pygmy sea horse seen on the northern side, we see two more on gorgonias (again, found by the guides, although I think Kelly may have found one).
The southern side of the reef is quite nice, with lots of things to see. There are many different species of nudibranchs to see, so many that we have never seen before this trip.
|Phyllidia species (I think)
After about 48 minutes we start a gradual ascent from 16 metres into the shallows. We spend the last 25 minutes in about four minutes, apart from one quick excursion to 10 metres to look at something Kelly found (I forget what it was but it was worth it).
The shallow part of the reef has a lot of small boulders/coral outcrops as well as a few larger coral bommies. It was a very nice spot to spend our safety stop.
|Ornate ghost pipefish
This was a very good dive, with lots of interesting things to see. The visibility was 30 metres and the water temperature was about 27ÂșC.
Click here to return to the list of sites we did on our MV Mermaid II trip.