Dive Sites Maumere Bay, Flores
SCUBA DIVING IN MAUMERE BAY - PHOTOS
Maumere Bay is an extensive, beautiful bay surrounded by volcanoes
and gentle hills and rimmed by islands. Maumere Bay encompasses
the whole area around Maumere town, all the way to the East until
Tanjung Darat and including the islands of Besar, Dambilah, Pangabatang,
Babi and Pamana.
Diving here is very good, mostly coral reefs around the islands
but also excellent muck diving in Ankermi's Bay. Maumere Bay accounts
for about 30 Dive Sites, most can be reached all year around.
See Galery / Slideshow / Video by Christian Siegenthaler / Video by Stefan Frutiger
Large ray in the sand
Huge sponges and gorgonian fans
Coral reefs in the Bay of Maumere
Some people believe it is not worth visiting Maumere Bay for
diving because the area was hit by an earthquake in 1992 with
a tsunami following. Many families here have lost members and
the stories are very sad, as in every disaster. Damage on land
was extensive, but underwater only a few dive sites suffered and
the corals have grown back since (take a look at our gallery).
There are more than 1200 species of fishes
living in the bay and the variety of corals, sponges, crustaceans
and molluscs is immense.
The coastline of the mainland and the island is diverse and offers
shelter and nursery grounds for all kinds of animals. The coast
of Tanjung Darat is mainly untouched mangroves, the islands mostly
sandy beaches with sea grass and coral reefs. On the mainland
shore you find mainly of dark volcanic sand and rocks with mangroves
and some small coral reefs.
WHAT CAN I SEE ON MY DIVES?
This is probably the question which is most often asked.
So we ask back: “What would you like
There are certain animals and certain critters which we always
find again because we know their habitat and we know what they
like and where they hide or feed. But mostly, people forget that
as a diver you are only in the water for about one hour. The animals
have another 23 hours to pass by whenever and wherever they like.
Therefore we can't give a 100% guarantee that we will see sharks,
rays, barracudas, turtles, groupers, bumpheads, big tuna etc.
on every dive. But - yes, we have seen them all, yes, we have
seen them often, yes, we swam with whale sharks, pilot whales
and we were concerned when the hammerhead shark came so close
to us… yes, we have seen schools of bumphead parrot fish,
passing by gently and we were lucky to observe many beautiful
animals as they live and swim among us.
So our philosophy is - jump in the water and be surprised about
what will swim along....! Gallery
On the following list of DIVE SITES we also write, what kind
of animals you might see during a dive, but this doesn't mean,
we ALWAYS see them. At certain times of the year or under certain
conditions we might see a specific animal very often but then
again it might disappear. Therefore we also don't write which
months you are likely to see a specific fish. For example: When
is the season to see sperm whales? Well, mostly in November but
sometimes we see them also in July or August. We are aware of
global warming and climatic changes and we believe the animals
also adjust and change accordingly. So let’s be flexible
and take every dive as a surprise!
Except one 100% guarantee: you can see a mermaid in our restaurant.
Where? Search for it!
Map of the dive sites in Maumere Bay (Copyright
- 1. Atoll Pasir Sari
(Gosong Bone Atoll)
- 2. Pamana West
- 3. Pamana South
- 4. Pamana Kecil
- 5. Labuan Tur
- 6. Easteregg
- 7. Happy Wall
- 8. Maragajong
- 9. Dambilah
- 10. Fishsoup
- 11. The Channel
- 12. Pangabatang North
- 13. The Crack
- 14. Majella's Ledge
- 15. Poison Sardeen
- 16. The Village
- 16a Heiz Plateau
- 17. Bugis House
- 18. Bad Mood
- 19. Shark Point
- 20. Tanjung Darat Pondok
- 21. New Ankermi Slope
- 22. Wairterang Wreck
- 23. Mandarine Patch
- 24. Old Ankermi Muck
- 25. Waigete
- 26. Pertamina Jetty
- 27. Maumere Harbor
- 28. Wailiti Reef
- 29. Zubinarius
DIVE SITES ON THE ISLANDS IN MAUMERE BAY
For the dive sites for muck diving please click here
/ Photos. All dive sites
on the islands are 1 to 1.5 hours by boat from Ankermi's Resort.
The topography of Pangabatang island (Pangahbatan) is unique
because it is at the tip of the strait between the islands and
the mainland. Therefore it is the “gate” to leave
the protected bay and that is the reason why we often can spot
whales and dolphins here.
THE CHANNEL (No.11)
A slope down to 30m depth, a continuous white sand bottom channel,
framed by beautiful coral gardens and a steep wall continuing
deep down, covered with big Gorgonian fans, sponges, hydrozoans
and hard corals.
Most times there is a strong current here, so there is a good
chance to see big fish. Eagle rays glide in the current, reef
sharks and big dog tooth tunas are spinning around, hammerhead
sharks and turtles show up to hunt and hide.
A large variety of reef fish can also be discovered here. In shallower
waters we often find crocodile flatheads, ghostpipe fishes, ribbon
eels, frogfishes, many
kinds of scorpionfishes,
and flatworms etc. etc. Bumphead parrotfish often accompany the
divers on their safety stop.
FISH SOUP (No.10)
This site usually has strong currents. Here you mostly drift
along a deep wall covered with huge Gorgonian fans and whip corals,
sea fans, green corals and soft coral gardens. Schools of fish
gather, rays, sharks and mackerels pass by but it is also well
worth to take a closer look at the macro life among the corals.
Dambilah island lies west of Pangabatang island, there is a reef
in front of the island, not connected to the island itself. The
reef has an oval shape, long stretched, cut in two parts and offers
varied land scape - steep wall, slopes and overhangs, white sand
areas and coral gardens. A nice playground for fish schools and
rays swimming with the current.
Babi island (Pulau Babi) is not very far away from Pangabatang,
in general we combine these two islands for our island trips.
Babi island is outside of the sheltered bay and on the way to
this “pig shaped” (babi” means pig) island we
cross the open sea. Often we spot dolphins, whales, even dugongs
here. Babi island has shallow coral gardens all around the island
dropping to steep walls. Only in the south there is a slope instead
of walls. Depths for all sites is undefined, we never went all
the way down, it is too deep.
Babi island was hit in 1992 by an earthquake (epicenter just
4km north of the island) which caused a tsunami and a lot of the
people living on the island lost family members, cattle and homes.
Two villages were washed away by up to 10m high waves. The villages
were resettled on the mainland by a government project, but many
people have come back to their island, because after all they
are fishermen - bajo tribe-people who live from and by the sea.
THE CRACK (No.13)
The crack is the most visible remain of the earthquake of 1992.
The reef has been ripped apart here, a crack of about 50cm width
has been formed and you can follow it all the way towards the
beach. As a diver you can see, that the crack widens deeper down
and forms a small cave from where you can see all the way to the
surface. Corals grow in it and a lot of reef fish find shelter
here. After a close look at this testimony of earths forces we
continue the dive on a steep wall, full with coral growth, mostly
hard corals, large sea fans and many fishes
darting around. As we look down into the depths we can spot reef
sharks and rays. The wall also hosts many kinds of smaller life
like nudibranchs, leaf
scorpionfishes, eels and morays, octopus,
lobsters and the resident
frogfish or two.
The steep wall from The Crack continues towards the north side
of the island.
MAJELLA’S LEDGE (No.14)
A deep ledge, located around 35m, with a cave below an overhang
(too deep to go down). A great spot to see white tip reef sharks,
nurse sharks and if you are lucky a hammerhead shark. Turtles
also often feed on the sponges growing on this overhang. After
the ledge the dive continues on a steep wall.
POISONED SARDEEN (No.15)
Gorgonian fans are waving against the current on this slope
which is part of Babi island. Tunas, schools of mackerels and
red tooth triggerfish are spinning around this site. A good place
to find Gorgonian (pygmy) sea horses and frogfish.
THE VILLAGE (No.16)
This is a slope and a mini walls going east from the village
on the south side of Babi island which was hit most heavily by
the tsunami. Variable bommie formations, mini walls and a platform,
a diverse habitat for all kinds of marine life. Apart from different
species of rays and reef fish we spot the highest number of reef
sharks here. Macro lovers can’t get enough when finding
mantis shrimps, ghostpipe
fishes, frogfishes, pipefishes,
pygmy seahorses, shrimps, eels, nudibranchs
Pulau Besar, the biggest island of Maumere Bay is connected
to Pangabatang and Dambilah with only small channels in between.
This dive sites starts with a slope, then a platform on about
14m and continues to an endless wall (40m down or more). Giant
sea fans, soft corals in all shapes and sizes, anemones, black
coral, hydrozoans, a wide selection of sponges and different species
of hard coral. Butterfly fishes, emperor fishes, ghostpipe fishes,
different nudibranchs, turtles, bumphead parrotfishes etc. This
is the place for big schools of mackerels and tunas, spinning
around you but it is also nice to enjoy the lush coral growth
in the shallow parts.
HAPPY WALL (No.7)
Similar condition as the Maragajong dive site (see above), stunning
walls overgrown with corals and big bommies, sea fans, hydrozoans,
gorgonian fans and sponges. Schools of mackerels and several species
of tunas, sharks, big groupers and sweetlips can be seen passing
On Easter 2008 we found a very interesting new dive site. More
exploring needs to be done, it is a spot full of surprises with
possibly strong current where you can enjoy wall covered with
corals and big fish all around and we call it THE
EASTER EGG (No.6).
TANJUNG DARAT (MAIN LAND):
We descend from a mini wall and pass a big bommie situated on
a platform on 18m and continue down to a steep wall which “floor”
you can't see. This dive site lies across the strait from Pangabatang
in Tanjung Darat. Therefore the currents are often strong and
the big fish are passing
on their way in and out the bay. You will find big groupers and
sweetlips, several species of bannerfishes and butterfly fishes.
The wall is covered with black corals, hydrozoans and sponges
as well as many species of hard corals. Octopus, blue spotted
stingrays, eels, morays, nudibranch, shrimps
and many more animals find shelter here. Back on 18m- 14m there
is a platform with large coral formations, bommies, sponges and
table corals with baby sharks sleeping underneath. A good place
to drift with the current and search for scorpionfishes,
barramundi cods, mandarin fishes, pygmy seahorses and cuttlefish,
just to name a few.
BUGI’S HOUSE (No.17)
This dive site is situated further along where the strait leasdds
to open water and is therefore well known for the chance to do
whale watching (sperm whales, fin whales, sometimes in July- August
or November). The dive site starts from a shallow coral garden
with beautiful hard and soft corals and many squids, down to a
white sand channel - the perfect place to see sleeping sharks
and big rays - where blue razor fishes, flounders, garden eels,
lionfishes, sea pens and sea stars live and then continues to
a steep drop off starting at 18m depth. Here you can search for
frogfishes and other small
animals, but it is also possible to sometimes observe turtles
feeding on sponges, or a leaf
scorpionfish and blue ribbon eel posing on top of the sea
mount on 12m. After the wall, the dive continues to the platform
with the coral garden with many different hard and soft corals.
Anemones and their clownfish, morays, orangutan crabs, nudibranchs
and a big selection of reef fish etc.
These dive sites are very far away, divers need to get up early
and we need four people minimum to do this trip.
PAMANA BESAR (No.2 and 3)
The dive sites around Pamana Island are mainly walls and slopes.
There are growths of sponges, soft coral, and fans being host
to little reef fish. It is quite common to see reef sharks and
eagle rays, groupers, sweetlips, nudibranchs,
and much more.
PAMANA KECIL (No.4)
Beautiful drop off with caves and caverns where baby sharks
hide and sleep, lots of trevallys, rays, groupers, sweetlips,
batfish, nudibranchs and the usual coral inhabitants.
GOSONG BONE ATOLL:
This atoll lies far out in the open sea and it is therefore
not easy to reach. Currents here are very strong, the waves often
high so it is not possible to dive here all year around. We only
go there if the conditions allow it and we have a large enough
group of divers.
PASIR SARI LIGHT TOWER (No.1)
Pasir Sari is the local name for the Gosong Bone Atoll and on
its Southwest side stands a broken light tower, which was installed
shortly before the earthquake in 1992. When the quake hit the
area, the light tower broke and hasn't been repaired since.
Descending you pass a 6m- 10m deep platform and then continue
to a seemingly endless drop off. The wall has several caverns
and if the current is mild it is a perfect place to find macro
life - we found a oversized Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus)
during the day. With stronger current you have nothing to do than
watch your air supply and the big fish like manta rays, devil
rays, big sharks, schools of dog tooth tuna, mackerels etc. passing
MUCK DIVING IN ANKERMI'S BAY
For coral reef diving click here / Photos
WHAT IS MUCK DIVING?
In the mid 90’s we started exploring around Ankermi’s
river beds, mudflows, sand, rocky areas, algae fields and sea
grass fields. What we found there was incredible - Ambon scorpionfishes,
wonderpus, bobtail squids, frogfishes,
skeleton shrimps, wasp
fishes, ghost pipe fishes, pipe horses, seahorses, special scorpionfishes,
flying gurnards, several species of dragonets, bobbit worms and
many more critteres were living in the muck just on our doorstep!
Kermi became a specialist for the rare critters and their juveniles
and many of his friends call him the “eagle-eyed”
Kermi, because no critter can hide from him. He started filming
underwater videos to gently document the behavior of these wonderful
critters. Night diving for hours in the muck has become his passion
and he is always very happy to meet people who are addicted to
it as well. Many critter lovers from all over the world are visiting
us for our muck. We also love to introduce people to muck diving
who have never tried it but would like to know more about it.
We were looking at the nature above the water and around us.
There is forest, swamp, desert, rocks, etc. In all these places
live different species of animals. Every animal has it’s
preferred habitat to live where it can survive the best. We were
thinking that under the sea it must be similar. There can not
only be life in the corals! Actually marine life on sand and rocks
is as interesting as life in a coral reef but here the animals
can be observed much closer and in more detail. Muck diving here
is ideal for photographers, offering a great variation in rare
and well camouflaged animals. Take your macro lens along and be
The muck dive sites all lie nearby Ankermi Happy Dive Resort
in a secluded bay which we call Ankermi's Bay and which is part
of the larger Maumere Bay. So far Kermi and Claudia have discovered
about five different dive spots only for mucking. You dive mainly
on fine, dark volcanic sand, mud and earth in an area between
two river mouths. All dives are always accompanied by our experienced
OLD ANKERMI MUCK (No.24)
Until 2007 Ankermi Resort was located in Wodong, two kilometers
further to the west of the new Resort. The sandy area in front
is the perfect habitat for the mimic
octopus, flying gurnards, fingered dragonets, demon stingers,
frogfishes, dwarf stonefishes,
mantis shrimps, flounders,
seahorses and other rare critters.
This place is not only famous for the great muck but also for
night diving. Bobtail squids, all sorts of octopus, squids, cuttlefish,
crocodile flathead juveniles, nudibranchs,
slugs, flatworms, shells,
arrowhead crabs, shrimps
etc. can be spotted here at night. Night dives are so interesting,
that you want to prolong it for as long as possible even if you
start shivering long before you go up - but don't be afraid -
Claudia is willing to boil hot water for the wary night diver,
so you can warm up when you come back from a long night dive!
FROGGIES REEF / MANDARIN PATCH (No.23)
This dive site is easily combined with the wreck and is a great
place to observe the mandarin fish. You can also start at the
actual reef so you have enough time to wait for the mandarin fish
to come out. This is a small reef easily reached from the shore.
You dive on a gentle slope with growth of sponges and corals that
give shelter to many different animals: shrimps,
trigger fishes, cuttlefish, morays, lobsters,
nudibranchs and much more.
In the reef around it live among other fishes also stonefishes,
several ribbon eels and often ghostpipefishes.
ZUBINARIUS (Nr. 29)
Close to Nangahale village there is a new dive site we started
to dive in 2009 and our guest Zubi found a shaggy frogfishes (Antennarius
hispidus) after only 5 minutes diving. So we named it after her
and her favorite animal (see www.frogfish.ch).
It is a true muck site with sand, mud and some garbage and with
visibility usually not so good. Aside from frogfishes there are
also a lot of other critters like large seahorses, octopuses,
nudibranchs, small pipefishes, coconut crabs, lots of sea cucumbers
Kermi has discovered a very special place where you can see nothing
but mermaids. He loves to play and swim, dive and spin around
with them. During certain moon constellations they even come up
and break the surface. He may share this secret with you…
MAINLAND CLOSE TO MAUMERE
PERTAMINA JETTY (No.26)
The local oil company lies about 5km away from Maumere town
and it is not always possible to get permission to dive their
jetty and the surrounding area. Under the pier of the oil company
it is mostly muck diving and on the pillars there are sponges
and soft coral growing. There are juvenile wrasses feeding around
the jetty pillars while a frogfish
is hiding between concrete and coral. In the muck and the slope
there is a lot to see - scorpionfishes, stonefishes,
flatheads, flounders, dragonets, etc…..
MAUMERE HARBOR / PASAR IKAN (No.27)
This is a busy place with fishing boats and canoes, people coming
in with their catch and selling it on the fish market (pasar ikan).
We dive to the side of the jetty on a slope where there are usually
no boats overhead. This is mainly a muck dive site, a seahorse
has been spotted here which was the size of a 1,5lt Aqua bottle,
mating frogfishes have
been seen here, dragonets, devil fishes, morey eels and sea moths
WAIRTERANG WRECK (No.22)
The Wairterang wreck is located close to the Ankermi Resort.
This is a Japanese ship-wreck from the World War II, we don’t
know exactly if it was a freighter or a controller. Wreck specialists
have been diving with us checking out the wreck in order to find
a registration number. Unfortunately the ship lies twisted, so
the number might be buried in the sand, and the specialists said,
that the ship is not registered. The oldest men of the village
have told us the story that the crew was taking water from the
Wairterang spring near by and then the ship was bombed from air
The wreck lies on its side from 12m–32m depth, it is twisted
and iron spruces and doors are clearly visible, some overgrown
with hard and soft corals. Schools of trevallys, mackerels, groupers
and batfish swim around its surface and the wreck is a perfect
hiding place for all kinds of marine animals: Mantis
lionfish, twin-spot lionfish, different nudibranchs,
pipefishes, morays, ghostpipefishes, frogfishes
and a large variety of shrimps.
IMPORTANT: Spearfishing is prohibited in Indonesia and not tolerated
by us! Collecting of marine specimens from our marine environment