Togian Islands Diving

Togean Islands North Sulawesi

Spanish dancerThe Togian Islands (sometimes spelled Togean) are located in the large and deep Tomini Bay in North Sulawesi. This hard to reach dive destination offers fringing reefs, barrier reefs and coral atolls. Waters are clear and warm, corals are pristine and fish life is abundant, a true tropical diving paradise. Togian Islands diving offers something for everyone, from big fish action on deep walls to pretty coral reefs full of colourful fish to macro dives for critter hunters. There is even a B24 Plane Wreck.

Divers can reach the Togian’s by liveaboard or they can stay at one of the small dive resorts. The best months to dive are April to October.

Togian Islands Dive sites

Pulau Una Una is a small volcanic island with a pinnacle off the east coast that drops down to 60m. Perfect coral formations and huge sponges create a kaleidoscope of colour and the density of fish is simply astonishing. Large schools of midnight snapper, yellow dash fusilier and lantern toby among others surround divers. Other reef fish include oriental sweetlips, regal angelfish, redtooth triggerfish, pumphead parrotfish and long nose emperors. Turtles and eagle rays are commonly seen. Crocodile longtoms are seen just below the surface.

Apollo is a sloping patch reef on the south west side of Una Una Island. It starts at 20 metres and descents down to 45 metres. There are normally large schools of blacktail barracuda here. It is also possible to see Napoleon wrasse and clown triggerfish.

Pasir Tengah is a coral atoll with vertical walls that drop to 400m deep! It is one of the Togian Islands best dive sites where you never know what you might see. Schools of trevally are numerous including bluefin, big eye, yellow fin and six banded. Schools of spanish mackeral, wahoo and rainbow runner also storm past divers. In deeper water black tip reef sharks and silky sharks patrol. The walls are covered with corals, gorgonian sea fans and feather stars. Schools of reef fish such as snapper and fusilier are ever present. Macro enthusiasts have the chance to see frogfish, leaf scorpionfish, nudibranchs, shrimps and even Spanish dancers.

grey reef sharkTapai Wall, just 20 minutes boat ride from Kadidiri is a relaxing dive. The wall is carpeted with soft corals and large gorgonian seafans down to 30m. Then the wall slopes away to outlying boulders and hard coral bommies. On the top of the wall is a small coral garden full of anemones and different anemone fish. Black tip reef sharks are common. Large bumphead parrotfish munch away at the reef. Apart from the impressive schools of fish this is an excellent macro dive with myriads of nudibranchs and crustaceans to hunt for.

Dominic Rock is a deep wall dive with great visibility and the chance to see big fish. In the depths below 40m divers can see large groupers, fantail rays and grey reef sharks. Eagle rays often swoop past and trevally are seen circling in the blue.

Batu Gila, to the north east of Dominic Rock, is one of the best Togian dive sites for big fish action. The exposed ridge offers the chance to see scalloped hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks and silvertip sharks. Manta rays, tuna and large schools of barracuda are be seen. Visibility is usually excellent but currents can be strong and as the dive site is between 28m and 45m deep. This is a dive for experienced divers only.

 

B24 Bomber Wreck

This American Liberator bomber from the 307th squadron crash landed in Tomini bay on 3 May 1945 after an engine fire. After skidding along the surface for 50 metres the plane came to a halt close to Togian Island where it shortly sank. All 11 crew safely abondoned the plane to life rafts.

The wreck is 17 metres long and 22 metres wide and lies upright facing north west in 22 metres of water. The nose turret and three of the four propellers were lost when the plane crash landed. One remaining propeller is still on the right side wing. Machine guns are still mounted on the rear of the aircraft.

Parachute harnesses are inside the fuselage and the pilot and co-pilot’s chairs are still in place. All in all the wreck is in excellent condition.

Coral and sponge has encrusted the plane in patches. There are tube and barrel sponges plus colourful sea squirts and tunicates on the wings. Lionfish and scorpionfish have made their homes around the wreck. Batfish hang out at the tail. Large schools of big eye trevally circle above the wreck.

Currents are normally mild. Visibility is usually 10-15m but the shallow depth makes this an excellent dive for all levels of diver.