Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
That morning, Uwe, the German instructor who organizes the dives, takes us to a site not too far away, Bulu Tuko. My Dutch friends Suzanna and Johan dive with me. Their children accompany us, but will stay on the boat to snorkel. Fabian and Stefanie, a young German couple, who have been snorkeling on the island for two weeks, complete the group.
We happily pile onto the boat. Not really designed for diving, it is also used for shopping and long crossings to Ampana, on Sulawesi. The weather is good, the sea is not too rough, we arrive quickly at the site. No other boat on the horizon.
It is a beautiful drop-off. The coral has suffered a bit, it is obvious (the warming of the water, the dynamite), but it is in the process of reforming. Some beautiful tubular sponges can be seen here and there. There are many caves and niches, not too deep, in the 12-14 meters, to explore.
We are moving slowly. Uwe is ahead with Suzanna and Johan, Fabian and Stefanie are behind me. The usual tropical fauna is there. Nice processions of angelfish and butterflies, many small yellow and purple two-tone fishes, royal dottybacks in English, nudibranchs, anemone shrimps, clams... I make some pictures.
And then, halfway through the dive (we have been in the water for almost 30 minutes), a dull roar invades everything. The sound is impressive, a bit scary. It lasts a few seconds.
Underwater, you can never know from which direction a sound is coming. Waves don't spread out like they do in the air. This roar seems to come from nowhere. We raise our heads towards the surface, we turn around, we look at each other, widening our eyes in astonishment behind our masks. It looks like the engine of a boat which would have just started above our heads.
But there is nothing. Our boat stayed on the mooring. There is no other one around. Everything seems normal. Uwe shrugs, checks our air consumption, and we finish the dive quietly.
Back to Island Retreat
On the return to the surface, we remain perplexed. The guys of the boat and the children did not notice anything particular.
It is only when we return to the island that we will have the explanation. The earth shook. A small tremor, as it happens regularly, here.
A few days earlier, on the beach of Poso Lake, I had woken up in the middle of the night with the strange feeling that my bungalow, although it was made of concrete, had vibrated. The next day, our guide Ynus confirmed that I had not been dreaming. He too perceived this slight earthquake at night.
AT Island RetreatOther clients confirm the time. It corresponds to the moment when we were under water. Everyone felt the ground shaking, some say that even the pillars and roofs of the bungalows moved a little.
The Indonesian archipelago is on the "belt of fire" of the Pacific. The island of Batu Daka is only about thirty kilometers from the island of Una-Una and its volcano, still active, Gunung Colo. The land is alive in Togian.
That day, it was only a slight tremor, without consequence. But I never imagined I would feel the breath of the earth under the water!