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Siau Island Sangihe Islands

YC8ROP, YC8TDK, YC8RBI, YB8SX, YC8UVH will be active from Siau Island, Sangihe Islands (IOTA OC-210) 19 - 23 November 2014.
They will operate on HF bands.
QSL via home calls.

Siau Island Sangihe Islands

A brief introduction to Sangihe islands, and Siau island in particular

Sangihe Island is situated in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The area is actually part of Sangir islands that expand almost 813 square kms with vertile soil and active volcanoes. Sangihe is a part of the unspoiled beauty in Indonesia. The journey takes 6 hours from Manado by speedboat. Sangihe Besar, or Sangihe Island, is actually passable by vehicles. There are shops of carved woods and embroidered fabrics. Since it had been occupied by the Dutch for centuries, the influence can still be seen quite strong in the area such as the house design and the culture itself.

The glorious island has volcanic peak Karangetang or Gunung Api. With major explosion 2 decades ago, the mountain has been closely monitored. Approaching the area can be done with climbing but with careful cautions.

Other places to visit in the island is the beaches and the birds conservation that this place is a home to unique species of birds and other species like Tarsius.

Siau island: What to expect?

Situated in North Sulawesi, Siau Island is at the archipelago of Sangir (or Sangihe) in Celebes Sea. Inside the island, there is one of active volcano, Karangetang at the north side. Siau is not a densely populated area with only 40,700 people.

During the Dutch colonial, the government declared that Sangihe island is a part of Indonesia. The language spoken are varied from Indonesian to Phillippines. Sangihe’s tectonic plate is very active up to this day. Siau island is part of Sitaro, a group of islands named Siau, Tagulandang, and Biaro. There are young people who have preserved the area with many campaigns to save the species as well.

Karangetang volcano: an active volcano mountain, strictly monitored by the observatory

The Karangetang volcano is the famous active mountain in the island. Many scientists have been dedicating their times to study Karangetang. The poorly developed area does not scare them off. There were many records of Karangetang eruptions. The episodes of destruction dated back from 2007 and continued again 2 years after in 2009. The alert status has been raised ever since. It was in 2010 that Karangetang throwing up lava and ashes that caused 4 villages to be buried in the muddy eruption.

In 2011, Karangetang began to erup right after Japan earthquake that caused Tsunami. The mountain emitted gas clouds of poisonous sulphur. The volcano began its act again in 2013. Due to its remote place, the eruptions were not documented regularly. There have been more than 40 eruptions so far and the craters contained can go along the line with 1784 high. The explosive activities make Karangetang not a frequent travelers’ destination.

Major products from Siau island and the influence of Indonesian culture

As this island is fertile, there are extensive products from coconut, nutmeg, to rattan and ebony. The crafts are also closely related to Indonesian culture of rattan crafting that makes chair, tables or other handicrafts.

The Climate

The island has tropical island with 2 season of hot and rainy. During the rainy season between October and April. The condition can be worse with rough waves and heavy rain. This is why the island develops huge risk of malaria.

The Cultural backgrounds: a well mixed of Dutch and traditional arts

The culture in Siau island is closely influenced by Indonesia. As it is part of the Celebes, most people speak Indonesian language. The culture is also a mix between the Dutch and the traditional origins.

Things to do in Siau Island

Diving is one of the best activities to do in Siau Island. The water is deep with trenches of ocean. Indonesian current brings nutritious water and also plankton. The marine life is quite impressive with numbers of water species. However, no dive operators in the area – hence everything needs to be done by yourself.

The area is great for professional divers but it is not recommended for novice divers as there is no diving operator. Also, the diving session has to depend on the local weather. During the rainy season, the waves can be extremely strong and should be avoided. The locals can guide tourists to the area with considerable depths to reach. However, it is advisable to bring along the diving equipments because the places are quite remote. For experienced divers, this area can be the heaven on earth.

Here are some of the diver’s spots around the island

  • Eddy Point

As you travel in large groups, this place can be as deep as 37 meter to explore. The current is quite strong inside however.

  • Batu Lehi

This is a steep shore with lots of corals. There are thousands of species you can find here in Batu Lehi. The hot spring water is very relaxing and it comes directly from the volcanic spring.

  • Batu Jendela
  • Mula Kampung
  • Paul’s reef
  • Makalehi island

The stunning reef panorama that provides diving site with pinnacles of beauties. The strong currents can be great for professional divers.

In Siau, you can also cruise and watch dolphins swimming freely on site. The best cruising time is between January to December hence it is an all time season of cruising.

Siau Port

The main port is Tahuna. This area is linked to the Sam Ratulangi Airport hence Sulawesi is accessible from domestic or international destinations. The national cruise have provided passenger ferries with small ferries in and out Manado. The coast ports can also go to Sangihe or Ternate.

The Siau’s fame of Remote Island

Due to this uninhabited island, Siau is famous for its virginity. The remote place makes the sea untouched hence; the clear blue color can rightly be seen from the beach. There are small activities in the traditional market where locals sell fishes and in the morning, small fishing boats would park on the beach side ready to sail. So, in short we can say, there are lots of things if one visits Sangihe Islands.

Diving Sangihe Islands