Photo Dispatch from Siau

Get lost in this underwater photo essay on the diving and critters from remote Northern Indonesia
By Paul & Lisa Hogger

In late 2014 we sailed our yacht from the Philippines to Indonesia and cruised along the Northern Archipelago between Mindanao and Northern Sulawesi, stopping at many places to dive. This tour included the island of Siau, which is located within the Sitaro Province.

We had googled diving in Siau but did not find much info except that a few exploratory liveaboard dive boats pass through the area each year. Our curiosity was perked, and we made sure to get in the water ourselves.

The muck/macro diving in Siau’s main east coast harbour area left us speechless!

We dived on some black sand beaches further north of the harbour as well, which also brought fantastic results.  We later chartered a small open boat from the Coast Guard to dive the West Coast.  The West Coast was in stark contrast to the East Coast with blue water, big walls and loads of fish life. There is a wreck at 40m/130ft and a spectacular point covered in hard lettuce coral.  And after each dive on the west coast, we were rewarded with a swim in the hot springs produced from the active volcano.

For divers travelling to the Lembeh Strait or the Bunaken National Park in Manado, consider adding an extra few days to the trip and catch the high-speed ferry (125nm) to Siau to dive with the newly opened operators Siau Diving. 

The area has just as many macro critter species as Lembeh, better viz, no crowds and the added bonus of wall and wreck diving.  Combine that with friendly people, a quiet town, the hot springs, the endemic Siau Tarsier & the Karangetang active volcano and you have a fantastic dive holiday destination.

With more time and the right weather, diving the Mahengetang active underwater volcano is also an option and is a fast boat ride from Siau. We have done it and it’s incredible.

Below are some photos offering a little insight into this fantastic diving.


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Curious about Paul & Lisa's other photo journies?  Read their other travel dispatches linked in the 'Also by' section below:


Paul and Lisa are an Australian couple originating from Australia’s East Coast. Of their 20 years of marriage they have lived on their private yachts Purranha and Lorelei for 14 years and have been full time sailing/cruising for 9 of those years. Their latest expedition began in 2011 onboard Lorelei with the main purpose to dive many of the world’s best dive locations. To date they have explored 22 countries in the South Pacific, North Pacific and Asia – covering a distance of over 24 000 nautical miles.

They are independent divers and can proudly say that over 95% of their underwater images were taken whilst diving by themselves from their purpose built dive tender on board Lorelei. They are PADI pros and have over 8000 dives between them. Due to the harsh conditions of sailing life, they choose Nikon, Ikelite and Aquatica photographic equipment.

More information and images of their travels can be found on their blog:


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