Diving in Bangka Island, North Sulawesi
Bangka and the surrounding islands lie off the northern tip of Sulawesi. They are quite exposed and often get strong currents which can come from all directions. Big pelagics come in to feed here and the reefs are alive with colour. The islands in the group consist of Bangka, Talise, Kinabohutan, Tindila, Gangga and tamperong.
There are four villages and a number of dive sites around Bangka island. Batu Gasoh consists of a number of steep pinnacles rising up from the depths, a drift can be done around them and there are plenty of areas to escape the current. A number of large boulders and pinnacles can be dived at Sahaung and large step formations can be seen. Coral is very colourful here and there are plenty of schooling fish such as snappers, fusiliers and surgeonfish.
Similar topography can be found at Batu Mandi and Batu Pendeta, there is also a plane wreck of a B-21 bomber at around 28 meters, a lot of it has been covered with sand though. There are a number of dive sites and house reefs on the mainland around Pulisan that offer shallower diving around pinnacles and rocks with equally as impressive marine life.
Great for: Small animals, underwater photography, reef life and health, snorkelling and dive value-for-money
Not so great for: Wrecks, wall diving and non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 35m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Can be rough
Water Temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience Level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: >25
Distance: ~80 km north of Manado Bay (2¾ hours)
Access: Dive liveaboards
Recommended length of stay: 5 - 7 days