From the stunning blue waters, remote islands, the glistening sunshine and breathtaking marine life – Indonesia is truly a diver’s wonderland. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago and comprises 10-15 percent of the world’s coral reefs. Here you’ll find greater marine diversity than anywhere else on earth. Home to 3,000 different species of fish, the waters of Indonesia are brimming with life. The choice of dive sites in Indonesia is equally impressive, with divers of all levels being spoilt for choices. In our latest series, Destinations, we will review various islands around the world and Padang, Indonesia was chosen as the first review.
Bob Island (also known as Pulau Sinyaru), is an island about and hour and a half boat ride off Padang, is a relatively undiscovered and unspoilt by humans. Marine life thrives here due to the topography and amazing visibility. The coral, which is very much alive and thriving, are a refuge to both pelagic and macro marine life. There is plenty to explore and you are guaranteed to see a different species every dive you take. It is a heaven for underwater photographers, both macro and wide angled.
To get to the Island, you will need to fly to Minangkabau International Airport, Padang. A van will pick you up (pre arranged with the resort) and drive you to the jetty, (optionally if you would like to have a meal within Padang town, it can be arranged with the drivers), an hour drive depending on Padang town traffic, where you will board a speed boat to the island. Before getting onto the boat, you will need to register with Padang marine authorities at the jetty. In most cases the driver will take care of this formality. The boat ride is about an hour and half to two hours depending on sea conditions from Padang Jetty. In some instances if you are lucky, you might see dolphins accompanying the boat. The only negative part of the trip unfortunately is seen right at the exit from mainland Padang out into the open ocean. Trash of all sorts is seen floating out to the open ocean from the river mouth, which basically snakes across Padang town. Though Padang town itself is mostly spotlessly clean, majority of the trash is thrown into the water bodies which eventually ends up in the open ocean, something for the authorities at Padang to look into.
The island is surrounded by hard coral from all sides. It starts with a gentle slope that gradually drops to about 30 meters and in some places to 60 meters. Good descend and buoyancy controls are important as some places are a steep drop, especially the eastern part of the island which features an amazing wall, a dream spot for macro lovers. The western side of the island receives some decent waves, a surfers favorite spot, though it can get a little dangerous due to the hard coral nearing the shore. The northern side faces the open Indian Ocean and mostly strong winds blowing inland. Shore dives are normally conducted from the jetty, on the southern part of the island.
Shore dives are conducted for Open Water and Advanced Open Water students as this spot has a sandy bottom for underwater skills testing and practice.
An hour boat ride to the western side of the island brings us to a dive site called Manta Point. It is basically a lighthouse on a rocky island and the surrounding waters are extremely clear with a calm lagoon. As the name suggests, there used to be sightings of Mantas but due to climate changes and currents, there are fewer sightings with an occasional manta or 2. The depth of this site ranges from 10m to more than 30m with some spots further out in the ocean dropping to 200m so it is important to keep a watch on your depth. This spot is a heaven for macro lovers with lots of macro to shoot under clear visibility and mostly weak currents. There are not many sandy bottom spots hence it is very important to manage your buoyancy so as not to break any coral.
If you are interested to explore Bobs island, Padang further, please lookout for trips from our calendar as we have regular dive trips to Bobs Island, Padang or you could reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at +6017 345 DIVE (3483) +603 5636 DIVE (3483) and we will more than happy to talk to you about this paradise in Padang, Indonesia.