Back to Island Retreat. (Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)
Back to Island Retreat. (Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)

Earthquake underwater

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

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: 


This is one of the strangest dives I've done. Feel the earth tremble ... under water, it's really a funny thing. It was in Indonesia, in Sulawesi, in July 2007. In the Togian Islands, exactly.

Togian, a little paradise far from everything

I spent a whole week there, on a tiny beach of Batu Daka Island, near the village of Bomba, far from everything. Enjoy the pleasure of doing nothing. To contemplate the sea, to walk, to dive.

The bungalows of the Island Retreat Resort, in the Togian Islands. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)
The bungalows of the Island Retreat Resort, in the Togian Islands. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)

It's an incredible place, a miniature tropical paradise, beautiful. I stay at Island Retreat, a handful of wooden bungalows, all simple, facing the azure water.

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 very nice young German couple, who have been scoting on the island for a fortnight, complete the team.

For the crossing, the diving equipment is piled up between us, in the middle of the boat ... (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)
For the crossing, the diving equipment is piled up between us, in the middle of the boat ... (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)

We huddle happily on the boat. Not really designed for diving, it is also used for shopping and long trips to Ampana, Sulawesi. The weather is nice, the sea is not too rough, we arrive quickly enough to the site. No other boat on the horizon.

Under water

It's a beautiful falling. The coral has suffered a little, it shows (the warming of the water, dynamite), but it is being reformed. Beautiful tubular sponges stand 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, giant clams ... I make some pictures.

nudibranch

And then, half dive (it's been almost 30 minutes that we are in the water), a dull roar invades everything. The sound is impressive, a little scary. It lasts a few seconds.

Underwater, you can never know which direction a sound comes from. The waves do not diffuse as in the air. This roar seems to come from nowhere. We raise our heads to the surface, we turn around, we look at each other, wide-eyed astonished behind our masks. It looks like the engine of a boat coming overhead.

But there is nothing. Our boat was moored. There is no other in the area. Everything seems normal. Uwe shrugs, checks our air conso, and we finish the dive quietly.

Back to Island Retreat

When we return to the surface, we remain perplexed. The guys on the boat and the kids did not notice anything special.

Back to Island Retreat. (Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)
Back to Island Retreat. (Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2008.)

It is only once returned to the island that we will have the explanation. The earth trembled. A little shake, as it happens regularly, here.

A few days ago, already, on the beach of Lake Poso, I woke up in the middle of the night, with the strange sensation that my bungalow, hard, nevertheless, had vibrated. The next day our guide Ynus confirmed that I had not dreamed. He too perceived this slight night earthquake.

AT Island Retreatother customers confirm the time. It corresponds to the moment when we were under water. Everyone has felt the ground shudder, some say that even the pillars and roofs of the bungalows have moved a little.

The Indonesian archipelago is on the "belt of fire" Pacific. The island of Batu Daka is only about thirty kilometers from that of Una-Una and its volcano, always active, the Gunung Colo. The land is alive in the Togians.

On that day, it was only a slight tremor, of no consequence. But I never imagined I would feel the breath of the earth underwater!

😮

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

Share
Tweet
Pin
Share