Nabucco Island, Indonesien
A report on a journey of
Christa and Wolfgang Fiedler
On the search for new and interesting dive spots we decided this time for that at the beginning of the yearly opened Nabucco Island Resort. Travel time was the 06.10.01. to 25.10.01. The journey took place with a 2-Days Stop-Over in Singapore (12 hrs. Flying time). Afterwards it went to Balikpapan (2 hrs. Flying time), of there after Berau (1.5 hrs. Flying time) and further with a speed boat (glass fiber boat, 6 seats for guests, 2 x 115 HP outbord-engines) after Nabucco (1 hr. River travel, 2 hrs. open sea). The departure took place in reverse order, whereby because of the flight dates an inevitable overnight accomodation in Balikpapan became necessary. This overnight accomodation can be avoided by a flexible organization of the on and leaving of dates, what does not admit us however beforehand was. That customerservice of the travel agency, over which we posted, was unqualified and unfortunately not only in this point. Locally against it however everything ran remarkably smoothly. With interest informs you therefore directly about walter (Federsee) travel agency.
Our flight and the stop over took place with Singapore airlines. The special during a flight with this society was:
Locally we received a coupon package for various free performances from substantial importance. A single dump from it:
City tour with boat travel, transfer with entrance after Sentosa, entrance into the bird park and the orchid garden.
Furthermore price abatements to 30 % for other trips and internal messages before place we did not have unfortunately the time to use everything.
Information about Nabucco:
The name Nabucco originates from a German initiative of divers, who met regularly in the restaurant of the same name (proximity of fair Duesseldorf), a small and unaffected Dive-Paradise in Indonesia looked up, it found and in German direction structures. The name of the restaurant for the island was taken over. The little island is located in the Celebessee, directly before the large native island Maratua, at the east coast of Kalimantan. The Dive-Spots Kakaban and Sangalakki is in direct proximity and in daily routes to diving excursion ions is started. Nabucco is only 20,000 square meter largely, is under nature protection and offers nature in origin form. The system was built around the existing tree stock. Nevertheless it the operators successfully to arrange environmentalcompatible with according to technical expenditure, luxury and nature. In addition the water heating over solar energy, a biological waste water dressing plant, fresh water production belongs directly on the island, with editing over an electrical ozone installation and filters. The Diesel generator is a very modern and muffled Deutz generator and runs almost not audibly. All lines and pipes are almost invisibly shifted under wood bars. The bungalows (usually double housing units) were created, up to the shower area, from wood and are very roomy. 2 cover fans and the high building method provide for a pleasant room climate. A large mosquito web over the beds keeps small tormenting spirit away of the at night.
Other animal species could settle on the small nature-paradise or hold until today. To call here above all the small dragons (monitor lizards), lizards, bats, coconut crabs and kingfishers.
The temperatures are attached all year round: Air approx. 35 °, water approx. 27 °. that tropical neoprene with 3 to 4 mm is enough therefore always. The rain time is situated between October and January, which became apparent by short nocturnal rainstorms with us.
Restaurant, kitchen, fashion shop, administration, technical buildings and dive base are separate in each case construction units.
The local manager is Fabian (Weißhaupt), an world-experienced and far-traveled Swiss cook. Cooks is also on Nabucco its passion. For each evening, he create, with conjuring tricks, a 5 courses menu from the available and organized products of the environment. Over 10 days there was each day an alternation in asiatic or indopazifischen courts. Freshly baked bread and a very good feeling for spices were its special speciality.
At beverages probably almost everything was available. Also the prices were remarkably civilian (1 bottle beer starting from 2,5 USD, soft drinks starting from 1 USD).
Other addition performances, like additional dive courses, midday meals or lunch packages were likewise resonable priced. Here the tenants of the island showed at the same time and the tour organizer Walter (Federsee), what is still possible regarding the balance of price and performance also today.
Who would like to know still more, look the page of the organizer might have regarded.
The Dive Base:
The base is situated directly on the landing stage (Jetty). Tanks and equipment are loaded and unloaded by the boat crew. Available are Aluminum tanks (12 ltr.) for DIN and INT and the necessary lead with belts. Additionally are available to rent: 15 full equipment, dive computers, lamps and photo equipment. 2 very fast boats (2 x 85 HP) bring the divers to the dive places. The running time amounts to from 5 to 20 minutes, since the island is directly because of the external reef.
With daily trips to the dive spots Sangalakki and Kakaban the running time, depending upon weather conditions, amounts to up to approx. 1 ¼ hrs.
It concerns usually always current dives. A certain experience and an appropriate physical condition should be given. There is no a test dive otherwise usual on dive base. It goes directly to diving on the wall.
With more or less current the submerged depths usually are because of steep walls up to 35 meters. And no doubts to the glossary word „current“. It is diving basically with the current, whereby the divers observe the ship’s boat on the basis the bubbles and gather after emerging. In particular for photographers and Filmer a current-line is however sometimes very helpful.
The underwater formation consists at most dive spots of unaffected steep walls up to a depth of approx. 2000 mtr. The walls are densely populated with corals of each type. Sponges, partly as largely as airplane engines, grow on the sand surfaces and in niches. Also the upper edges of the reefs, usually approx. 5 mtr. and thus ideally to the safety stop, show up in unaffected form and with most beautiful hard and soft corals.
By high plankton density arising the view up to approx. 50 meters amounts to. The night dive spot are executed at the Jetty. In addition, it flows here, so that only with tidal change diving or snorkeling is meaningful.
Unfortunately in this area still fishing with dynamite, so that the fish stock is substantially reduced. Which is however available, us nevertheless very much impressed. In particular at close range it gave to discover very much.
Diving and snorkeling at the Jetty
Jetty, the house reef of Nabucco, is alone already snorkeling or diving something special. With the night dive of the moreover: Sea hare – which probably largest nudibranches which one knows, sea spiders – partly handplate large, sea snakes, porcelain snails, mantisshrimps and hermit crabs.
Yellow lips seacobra
In the corals and stones, from which the jetty is established, we discovered among other things: 2 types of lyra fish, morays, blue spotted rays, snails, cardinal fishes and among the surface garpikes.
In the realm of the Manta-Rays
The daily trips to Sangalakki
Arriving at the manta point and on the sea looking, in the proximity of the boat we have seen aboat 40 pieces, and thereafter we stopped the counting. Also under water are these giants of the seas a little shy. Particularly beautifully was however snorkeling with the manta rays.
In the water to put and to be floated be able. With folded up heading fins and far open muzzle they take up plankton, swim thereby on the snorklers too, turn a few meter before it in other direction, circle and return.
At the steep walls
Big Fish Country, Bat Fish Alley, Shark City, Turtle Parade
The names of these dive spots point already on it which is to be expected. In addition, all other places are fully surprises. Thus we were unexpectedly before a huge and rotary school of barracudas. Continued to it show: Eagle rays, napoleon fishes, bat fishes, leopard sharks and again and again turtles. At the Big Fish Country is already considerable the current, which however of enormous jack and another school of barracuds one preferred.
On the floor spaces
Particularly big sponges are in the area of the even surfaces. Whip corals and the partial bright sand point on almost the current always pending. Enormous table corals, partly several times one above the other, in addition, leather corals and soft corals, are witnesses of a still unaffected and healthy biotope. Sand snake eals, puffer fishes and nudibranches are only some the inhabitant of this area.
The inhabitants, traditionally
Big puffer fishes, individually or in groups, were to be everywhere found, in addition, scorpio fishes, one crocodile fish, lizard fishes, cuttle fishes, cardinal fishes, leopard pushers, gobies and other kinds of animals.
The inhabitants, particularly
In the gorgonian on the steep wall showed us the always very attentive diveguide „Dudi“ the tiny and very rare pygmy sea horses. Due to its size (tiny, 5 mm high) they are recognizable only with trained view. Effective photos and accommodations are possible only with appropriate equipment. Macro 1:1 is thereby the minimum requirement. Feather stars, which were inhabited by small cancers, were likewise a special feature. There were porcelain cancers in and under sea anemones in many places.
Island attendance of special type:
A daily trip to the island Kakaban
In an earlier time epoch tectonic forces lifted the island from the sea. A lake separated from the sea developed, once filled with sea water, today a mixture from rain water and sea water.
In the space Indonesien/Mikronesien are well-known further seas of this type. In them a flora and a fauna could develop, which form the high point with a gigantic stock of no nettle jellyfishes. Originally those nourished themselves strongly nettle jelly fishes of plankton in the sea. When the plankton in the lake became limited, they were received a symbiosis with single-cell algae. During the day today the jellyfishes closely under the surface of the lake, with which the algae have the possibility of producing by photosynthesis of nutrients and at the same time of supplying with it their host.
Between two dives in the sea into the inside the island was to snorkels in the lake. The water in the mangrove of the bank area was highly transparent. Between the wonderfull sponges we observed the first jellyfishes, jellyfishes in the polyp stage, other fishes and a sea snake. The further we came into the lake, the view became the worse. But the number of the jelly fishes available in the milky/brown-green water increased increasingly. We could determine three different types (there was to be 4). And if one touches it: Like thick cottenballs they are situated in the hand, an unforgettable feeling.
Also to it still some photos:
The cotton ball, transparent and almost invisibly
Underwater photos: Christa and Wolfgang Fiedler, cameras NIKONOS 3 with Sea and Sea flash or Marinsolar duo flash, Hydro shortdistance- and macro auxiliary lenses and wide-angle auxiliary lens SubaWider III.