Indonesia Scuba Diving - Anambas, 7 Skies & Igara Wreck



Scuba Diving in the Anambas Islands

Named Asia’s Best Tropical Island by CNN.com in 2013 the Anambas Islands are indeed a tropical paradise. Located in the South China Sea, the Anambas Islands are among Indonesia’s northern-most border archipelagos.

Facing the wide open ocean, the Anambas Islands provide a panoramic view of blue seas and green islands dotted with azure lagoons. Here are excellent dive spots where divers will be amazed at the colorful underwater life, while on land rows of coconut trees protect the soft white sand beaches, where turtles have made the shores of the islands of Keramut and Mangkal their habitat.

The Anambas Islands are administratively an autonomous district, part of the province of the Riau Archipelago, and covers an area of 46,667 sq.kms where its outer seas are nearly 90percent crossed by foreign vessels. It has only recently become a separate district apart from the neighboring Natuna islands.

In all, there are 255 islands in the Anambas Islands cluster where only 26 are inhabited. The district has only some 45,500 population. 97 percent of its territory is sea where the largest islands are Siantan, Palmatak and Jemaja. Capital of the district of Anambas Islands is called Tarempa and lies on the island of Siantan.

Admire the many lagoons here, especially on the islands of Pantai Selat Rangsang, Pulau Bawah, Pulau Rongkat and Pantai Pulau Penjalin, where islands emerge from the sea as out of nowhere. At low tide the islets grow together by the connecting sands, creating an inland sea and an outer sea beyond, with lagoons that are paved with white sand and here and there colorful corals.

All of the islands in the Anambas Islands have fine white beaches which glisten and become even more beautiful as the lagoons fill with aquamarine water through which one can see strange corals and schools of fish darting in the clear water.


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Scuba Diving at Seven (7) Skies Wreck

One of the worlds first real supertankers, the 90000 ton, 262 meter long Swedish-built Seven Skies Wreck is another classic asia dive site. In 1969, she suffered an explosion and sank east of Tioman Island, not far from Anambas Islands (Indonesia). She rests perfectly upright in 64 meters of water and the entire superstructure is intact, but tanker section has collapsed. As you descend, you will find the top of the funnel at 18-20 meters, the bridge and superstructure at 30 meters, and then various decks and structures to explore down to the main deck level at 45 meters. Main attractions include the bridge, the pool, the explosion damage and many easy swimthroughs and penetrations. Visibility is usually very good up 20 meters and can be up to 50 meters. Plenty of large fish and coral makes it an interesting dive. Manta Rays have often been spotted. Almost the entire superstructure is accessible by recreational divers and the deeper parts inside and outside the hull there is plenty to explore for technical divers as well.

The Seven Skies Wreck is huge; sitting perfectly upright in 67m of water with the entire superstructure intact, but the tanker section has largely collapsed. The top of the funnel is in approximately 25m, the bridge and the superstructure at 30m, then various decks and structures to explore down to the main deck level at 45m.

Main attractions include the bridge, the pool, the explosion damage and many easy swim-throughs. The main point of reference for recreational divers is the funnel where one frequently finds large Scorpionfish.

The Seven Skies Wreck is popular with large pelagics too. Indeed some will tell you that one particular visitor was the inspiration behind our name. Curious if not somewhat aggressive schools of Batfish are ever-present. One usually gets to see tunas; big-eye trevallies; giant trevallies; barracudas and bludger trevallies in impressive schools driving balls of baitfish to the surface.

Two large nurse sharks are often to be found in the rope room in the bow. You may also spot a Whale Shark, mantas or dolphins swimming around the wreck.

This wreck has a deep diving range and therefore we recommend doing either a deep adventure dive; Advanced Open Water course and/or Deep Diver Specialty course and/or PADI TecRec.

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Scuba Diving at Igara Wreck

The Igara Wreck is a wreck off the East Coast of Malaysia that sank on 12 March 1973. At the time of her sinking the Igara Wreck was the largest ever single marine insurance loss in maritime history. Valued at over US$25 million she was loaded with 127,718 tonnes of Brazilian Iron Ore. The Igara was an Italian ore/oil steamship of 136,400 tonnes deadweight (DWT). It was on voyage from Vitoria to Muroran when after passing through the Sunda Strait, she struck an uncharted rock in the South China sea about 190 miles (310 km) from Horsborough Lighthouse, off Mendarik Island, on 11 March 1973.

However she did not sink immediately but continued her voyage until her bow settled submerged and resting on the sea bottom in approx 40 metres of water about 70 miles (110 km) from Singapore. She settled with her entire stern section sticking out of the water. The following day 27 of the 38 man crew abandoned ship being picked up in their lifeboats by passing vessels. The master and 10 crew stayed on board until 19 March when she began to break across hold no.1. Salvors used explosives to cut through the ship at hold no. 1 and the entire rear section of the ship was towed to Japan where a new forward section was attached and she was renamed the Eraclide.

The Igara Wreck now lies in around 40m of water rising to 11m at the top of the wreck. Despite only half the wreck remaining this is a huge wreck with vast open cargo holds. The site is prone to very strong currents and occasional bad visibility. It is commonly frequented by Singapore-based liveaboards which stop for a dive or two on the way back to Singapore after a weekend diving in the South China Sea

The wreck was nicknamed the ‘turtle wreck’ by divers due to a resident turtle although more recent reports suggest the turtle is no longer present. Three resident nurse sharks are sometimes spotted in the storage rooms in the stern. As of 2010, divers reported seeing a large nurse shark inside the rope room at the bow on nearly every dive. The wreck is overgrown with soft corals, sponges and hydroids. Divers frequently see schools of barracudas, snappers, fusiliers, angelfish, groupers, and batfish. Divers have also reported seeing a large and aggressive grouper.

Indonesia Scuba Diving - Anambas, 7 Skies & Igara Wreck



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