Scuba Diving the Banda Sea
Often this is the first dive site that Banda Sea liveaboards departing from Ambon will visit after diving the Ambon area. It's usually the morning dive of your 2nd diving day following a 6 hour overnight steam from Ambon Bay. From the tender, this appears the type of dive site that scuba gear was made for - a lush tropical island with a little rocky satellite island, surrounded by flat calm water and with a vibrant colourful reef, visible through gin-clear water, from the Banda Sea's surface.
Rolling in you soon descend onto a shallow reef bursting with life. The predominant colours of the sponges, hard and soft coral that proliferate here are brown, orange and pink with splashes of green and blue thrown into the mix. Your dive guide may mention, in his briefing, that you may be able to spot many commensal shrimps and gobies, squat lobsters and clingfish, and it is this type of small creature that really makes this site special. Red-toothed triggerfish, longnose butterflyfish, and blue-dash fusiliers are plentiful here among many other colourful species. You may also run into a banded sea krait or a shark or two but "the devil is in the detail" at this Banda Sea dive site.
If you have a pointer and take pleasure in discovering the smaller things then it is worth examining every whip coral and crinoid you come across. Many play host to more of these critters than seems fair, with some whips entertaining a dozen or more gobies darting along its surface. Commensal shrimps are also plentiful and there are a few different colorations on the numerous whips at this site. You should also inspect the bubble coral and anemones to see delightful little coral shrimp (Periclimenes Holthuisi and Tosaensis) that live in these jelly-like homes. Crinoids are also plentiful with practically each example playing host to a squat lobster and a lazy looking clingfish.
Dolphins and dugongs are also not uncommon in this area, although you will need a large slice of luck to encounter either while diving. Pombo Boi is as easy a Banda dive site as it is colourful and makes a great start to the day.
Pombo Boi Reef Basics: Sloping Reef
Depth: 15 - 30m
Visibility: 15 - 20m
Currents: None - moderate
Surface conditions: Normally calm
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: March, April, and mid-September to mid-December
Distance: ~60 km (4 hours) east of Ambon
Access: Banda Sea liveaboards
• Banda Islands travel information
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• Banda Islands - Indonesia
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