The Patintie Strait is the passage of water between the south-west of Halmahera and the island of Bacan.
It offers some classic “big current” Indonesian diving…
This is particularly so at its narrow southern end where the geological gods have conspired to place the small island of Pulau Kusu right in the middle of the channel.
The water velocity around Pulau Kusu can reach warp speed at times, and great care needs to be taken when diving in the area because of the danger of “downdrafts”.
Downdrafts are where an intense flow of water combines with underwater topography to create a downward pull that can overcome both the natural forces of nature and all the air you can put into your BCD!
The clearest indicator that you are in one is when your bubbles start to head down, rather then up…
There are two main dive sites around Palau Koso – the Proco Channel to the west of the island and Batu Jabu, a large rock to the southeast.
Halmahera – Map of the Patintie Strait dive sites
Diving Indonesia: Southwest Halmahera Dive Sites – Proco Channel
Simply stated, the Proco Channel has to be dived in the right conditions, otherwise it is simply too dangerous.
But given good conditions it offers some truly memorable diving!
Located between Pulau Salah and Pulau Saleh Kecil, it really is an excellent spot with some sublime soft coral & sponge gardens in the shallows, while down deeper there is some serious pelagic action.
The day I dived it we entered the water quite early in the morning and the light was so good in the shallows I spent most of the dive there enjoying the show…
Back on the boat at the end of the dive, the rest of the divers were in a state of considerable excitement at what they had just seen.
The majority of the pelagic action was at about 24m and it was quite intense with numerous reef sharks adding to the excitement!
Underwater Image Gallery from the Proco Channel
Diving Indonesia: Southwest Halmahera Dive Sites - Batu Jabu
Batu Jabu is a reef located near to, and in the lee of, the northern tip of the Palau Kusu island.
The reef has built up around a rock sea-mount, the tip of which breaks the surface and provides a good visual indicator of the strength of the current.
Generally speaking the presence of white water around the tip means that the current is just too strong…
The rich currents from the Patintie Strait provide the nutrients for the reef at Batu Jabu to flourish and it really is a very pleasant dive.
But it has to be said that it lacks the charisma and pelagic action of the Proco Channel.
Batu Jabu Image Gallery
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