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Gorontalo ( Indonesia ) April 2018 - trip report


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#1 paolobl65

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:42 AM

I was in Gorontalo ( Sulawesi - Indonesia ) for a 8 days dive trip last April 2018 with Miguel's Diving Gorontalo ( Dive Gorontalo, Sulawesi, Indonesia with Miguel's Diving )  

Unfortunately I lost 4 days diving because a tracheit , so with only 4 days diving I had just an idea of what the place has to offer .

Logist is very easy : Garuda Indonesiua connect every day Jakarta to Gorontalo ( 4 hours flight with a tecnical stop in Makassar ) , resort arrange pick up in airport for a 50 min drive to the town.
Accomodation is in Gorontalo City ( Grand Q hotel : GRAND Q HOTEL GORONTALO • GRAND Q HOTEL GORONTALO ) so do not expect any idilliac resort on unspoiled beach , anyway the hotel is big and quite confortable ( air con , hot shower , great breakfast buffet ) .
Dinner at hotel is good and it is also possible to go outside in many local suggested restaurant , anyway be aware a little bahasa indonesia is needed !

Every morning Rantje Allen ( Miguel Diving owner ) pick up me 07:30 AM for a short drive to the dock . Back more or less 04:00 PM . 
Dive boat is confortable , with toilet on board . Dive sites from 20 to 40 min away .  
3 dives per day , lunch on board ( lunch box from a local restaurant … very good ) .

Underwater scenario was very interesting and really unspoiled : incredible big sponges ( and the famous Salvador Dalì sponges as well ) , big sea fans , dramatic sea scape with many holes , cavern and deep splits.
Fantastic visibility , warm water ( 28-29°C ) , mild to none current made the dives very relaxing . Good fish life , but nothing big .
Good macro life as well even nothing to compare to the real macro destinations like Tulamben , Lembeh , Anilao , Ambon .
Unfortunately whale shark are no more regulary seen here because the local shrimps factory closed and so no more organic waste is flushed in the sea to attract the whale sharks .
What I dislike a bit was the too much plastic garbage on the surface …. 

As underwater photographer I take advantage of the skilled dive master for macro shot and the professional dive models for wide angle shots .
All in all a very interesting place , nice place to vist if you are in Sulawesi area ( Manado/ Lembeh ) and have some spare days . 

Here some photos from this trip  .

( Canon 80D  in S&S housung  -  Canon 8-15 FE  with ZEN DP170   -  2 x Inon Z330 )

( more photos and better quality on my flick gallery : https://www.flickr.c...157669429671268 )

 

 

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Edited by paolobl65, 23 June 2018 - 07:52 AM.


#2 paolobl65

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:50 AM

some more photos .... :

 

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#3 paolobl65

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 07:59 AM

and  just few  macro :

(  canon 7D  + canon 60 mm  and  Inon Z240 snooted  )

 

 

 

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#4 dmshore

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:21 AM

Very nice photos.  I have a question for you regarding Garuda.  I'm heading to Lembeh in October for the first time ever, and I'm flying Garuda to/from Jakarta.  What are their exact policies regarding carry-on luggage?  Are carry-on's weighed?  If so, do they force you to check them if heavy?  Or merely pay an extra fee?  I typically travel with a light back pack with my cameras/lenses, and a heavy (but appropriately sized external dimensions for all US carriers) carry-on Pelican hard shell case with my housing, strobes, etc etc etc.  This has worked for any flights I've ever been on for numerous destinations in the Caribbean. Garuda's website notes a 7kg weight limit for carryons.  Did it seem like they were actively checking weight on bags?  My Pelican case is way over 7kg.  All my valuable equipment are in padded compartments, and the case is hard (and can be locked), so I could theoretically check it, but it is my MUCH preferred option to keep it with me.

 

Any insight you can add would be helpful.  Thanks!



#5 makar0n

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:59 AM

Very nice photos.  I have a question for you regarding Garuda.  I'm heading to Lembeh in October for the first time ever, and I'm flying Garuda to/from Jakarta.  What are their exact policies regarding carry-on luggage?  Are carry-on's weighed?  If so, do they force you to check them if heavy?  Or merely pay an extra fee?  I typically travel with a light back pack with my cameras/lenses, and a heavy (but appropriately sized external dimensions for all US carriers) carry-on Pelican hard shell case with my housing, strobes, etc etc etc.  This has worked for any flights I've ever been on for numerous destinations in the Caribbean. Garuda's website notes a 7kg weight limit for carryons.  Did it seem like they were actively checking weight on bags?  My Pelican case is way over 7kg.  All my valuable equipment are in padded compartments, and the case is hard (and can be locked), so I could theoretically check it, but it is my MUCH preferred option to keep it with me.

 

Any insight you can add would be helpful.  Thanks!

 

Flew with Garuda to Komodo last year - check-in in Amsterdam was fine, only in Jakarta, when checking in for a connecting flight, my other half had problems with hand luggage - they weighted it and she had to repack, though there was no need to put anything in the main luggage. They were fine with two hand luggages as long as no single one was over 7 kg. That said, it happened only since her hand luggage is on the bigger side, i.e. max allowable hence it attracted the attention. I was carrying smaller looking backpack, weighting around 13kg and no problems at all.

With hard case you might struggle - especially check the local connecting flights as sometimes they fly super small jets - there is no way to fit a normal size hand luggage in the overhead compartments. But I guess considering you will be flying to Manado, it should be a normal sized plane.

 

Also, not sure how does it look when flying from US, but from Europe Garuda gives you additional 20kg if you declare dive gear...so one can carry a respectable 50 kg even in economy :)


Edited by makar0n, 25 June 2018 - 09:00 AM.


#6 paolobl65

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 12:24 PM

Very nice photos.  I have a question for you regarding Garuda.  I'm heading to Lembeh in October for the first time ever, and I'm flying Garuda to/from Jakarta.  What are their exact policies regarding carry-on luggage?  Are carry-on's weighed?  If so, do they force you to check them if heavy?  Or merely pay an extra fee?  I typically travel with a light back pack with my cameras/lenses, and a heavy (but appropriately sized external dimensions for all US carriers) carry-on Pelican hard shell case with my housing, strobes, etc etc etc.  This has worked for any flights I've ever been on for numerous destinations in the Caribbean. Garuda's website notes a 7kg weight limit for carryons.  Did it seem like they were actively checking weight on bags?  My Pelican case is way over 7kg.  All my valuable equipment are in padded compartments, and the case is hard (and can be locked), so I could theoretically check it, but it is my MUCH preferred option to keep it with me.

 

Any insight you can add would be helpful.  Thanks!

 

I flew  many many times with  Garuda  and  always  with  one Loewepro 200  with 2 camera , 3-4 lenses and  accessories  ( 7 Kg )  and  one ultralight sansonite trolley with housing , arms , 2 strobe , dome , wet lense , clamp , laptop  ( 12 Kg ) .  

I dont remember any weight control at check in .  Anyway  I usually take out  from trolly some equipment and put them in a photographic jacket  .... just in case ....

 

And with Garuda  you can have  as  chek in baggage    + 23 Kg  for diving equipment  on top  of  the  regular 20 Kg  .



#7 bubffm

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 05:44 AM

Terima kasih! Some nice shots. Have not been to that area yet,

As to luggage: I agree with Paolo, Garuda is very forgiving when it comes to some overweight carryon luggage. Never had any probems and my camera bag usually weighs in at around 15kg... plus a rucksack for laptop etc with another 6kg or so. On smaller planes they check in larger carryons at the plane for you to pick up straight after landing.

Much more trouble with many of those cheapo carriers....

Edited by bubffm, 28 June 2018 - 05:47 AM.


#8 dmshore

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 07:17 AM

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and tips for Garuda! 

 

I think the best bet for me would be to ditch the hard Pelican case.  It's proven to be a bulletproof travel case for my Caribbean dive travel, but I fear it will attract attention and get weighed.  I have no doubt it will be WAY over 7kg, and I don't want to get stuck frantically throwing my expensive glass in my suitcase and praying for the best.  I will plan on experimenting with placing the delicate things like the ports in with my cameras and lenses in a camera backpack, and then will put the more rugged items like the housing, strobes, arms in a separate bag inside my main suitcase. 

 

Speaking of ports, it seems like I have an audience here familiar with this part of the world, so let me ask your opinions on ports/lenses to bring.  I'm heading to Lembeh obviously with the intent to focus on macro.  Are there any/enough wide angle subjects and scenes to warrant bringing my 170mm dome port and accompanying fisheye?



#9 TimG

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 08:11 AM

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and tips for Garuda! 

 

I think the best bet for me would be to ditch the hard Pelican case.  It's proven to be a bulletproof travel case for my Caribbean dive travel, but I fear it will attract attention and get weighed.  I have no doubt it will be WAY over 7kg, and I don't want to get stuck frantically throwing my expensive glass in my suitcase and praying for the best.  I will plan on experimenting with placing the delicate things like the ports in with my cameras and lenses in a camera backpack, and then will put the more rugged items like the housing, strobes, arms in a separate bag inside my main suitcase. 

 

Speaking of ports, it seems like I have an audience here familiar with this part of the world, so let me ask your opinions on ports/lenses to bring.  I'm heading to Lembeh obviously with the intent to focus on macro.  Are there any/enough wide angle subjects and scenes to warrant bringing my 170mm dome port and accompanying fisheye?

 

Wide angle and Lembeh: yes, bring your wide-angle/FE. There are a couple of good wide-angle sites in the Straits. This was discussed in a few posts about two weeks ago. Worth a search. Nudi Falls and Angels Window are, I'd say, the best WA sites in the Straits. There's LOADS of CFWA as well.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#10 SeaLionScuba

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:06 PM

Very inspiring. Recently visited Raja Ampat & Bunaken but not Lembeh side. Going back soon. Previously went to Bali, Gili T, Komodo ...all great. Difficult to be disappointed diving Indonesia ;)



#11 bubffm

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:06 AM

Difficult to be disappointed diving Indonesia ;)


You can say that! Just back from French Polynesia. Pretty disappointing. Yes plenty sharks, a few Mantas and dolphins. But the reefs mostly dead or dying. Fakarava inner lagoon is totally bleached. And the boat a mess on top.....So certainly next trip will be Indonesia again

#12 Nicool

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 06:47 PM

Sorry to hear you’ve been sick and missed few days of diving. Happened to me in last 2 dive trips, i know how it feels...
Still, an awe-inspiring selection of wide angle photos you brought back! You made the trip worth it really. I am stucky between admiration and jealousy ;)


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

#13 Daniel M. Brown

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 02:26 AM

Awesome! Good job!