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28 Mei 2016

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SWIMMING WITH THE GENTLE GIANTS: WHALE SHARK GORONTALO

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Whale shark Gorontalo

Hanya kurang dari 40 menit naik mobil dari pusat kota Gorontalo, saya dan teman-teman sudah tiba di Desa Botubarani di Kabupaten Bone Bolango, Gorontalo.

Just less than 40 minutes by car from the city center of Gorontalo, I and my friends had arrived in the village of Bolango Botubarani in Bone regency, Gorontalo.

Di satu tenda terpal kecil, terdapat spanduk mengenai wisata hiu paus, the-famous whale shark, the biggest fish in the world!

In a small tarp tent, there is a banner on a whale shark tour, the-famous whale shark, the biggest fish in the world!

Kami bersiap dengan alat-alat snorkeling dan kamera, kemudian naik ke kapal karet tanpa mesin. Hanya digerakan dengan dayung, tidak sampai 5 menit kapal sudah berhenti. Saya melihat garis tali dan pelampung-pelampung di perairan dekat pantai masih jauh.

We prepare with snorkeling equipment and cameras, then climbed into a rubber boat without an engine. Only driven by paddle, it was not until five minutes the ship had stopped. I saw a line of rope and buoys in waters near the coast is still far away.

"Di sini pak? ini deket banget (dengan bibir pantai)," ujar saya


"Here? This is really close (to the coast)," I said

Guide kami selama perjalanan, Feri, langsung memukul-mukul permukaan air, membuat suara-suara tepisan air. Sementara bapak yang membawa perahu juga memukul-mukul dasar perahu karet dengan dayung.


Our guide for the trip, Feri, immediately hits the surface of the water, making noises of ward water. While the man who brought the boat also banging the bottom of inflatable boat with the paddles.
 

Tak lama sosok gelap dan besar terlihat mendekat. Saat itu cuaca mendung sehingga jarak pandang di dalam air tidak begitu baik. Sosok itu semakin mendekat ke arah kapal, bintik-bintik putih di badannya mulai terlihat, whale shark!!


Shortly the dark and great figure looks closer. The weather was cloudy so visibility in the water was not so good. The figure approached closer to the boat, white spots on his body began to be seen, whale shark !!

Whale shark Gorontalo



Kami di perahu langsung heboh saat hiu paus ini langsung menghampiri kapal dan membuka mulut, meminta makan. Satu kantong plastik besar berisi kepala dan kulit udang sudah disiapkan, petugas langsung memberi makan perlahan (dan langsung tersedot saat itu juga oleh hiu paus).  

All of us in the boat suddenly became excited when the whale shark directly approached the ship and opened her mouth, asking for a meal. One large plastic bag containing the head and shrimps' shells have been prepared, the clerk immediately fed slowly (and instantly sucked up immediately by a whale shark).
"OK See you underwater!" tanpa menunggu saya langsung memakai fin dan terjun ke air. Saya berenang mendekat ke arah hiu paus itu namun ia rupanya sudah pergi dari sisi perahu. Feri kemudian memukul-mukul permukaan air lagi, memanggil si gentle giant.


"OK See you underwater!" without waiting I start using fin and plunged into the water. I swam closer to the whale shark but he seems to have gone on the side of the boat. Feri then hit the surface again, called the gentle giant.




Saya melihat ke bawah permukaan air. Mendung dan gerimis membuat air lebih keruh dari biasanya. Tiba-tiba saya melihat bayangan besar, si hiu paus datang mendekat ke arah saya! There's such tremendous feeling when this totally big creature, bigger than cars, swimming right to you!  


I looked down at the water surface. Overcast and drizzle make the water more turbid than usual. Suddenly I saw a big shadow, the whale sharks come closer to me! There's such tremendous feeling when this totally big creature, bigger than cars, swimming right to you!
 


Sambil mengambil gambar, saya memperhatikan hiu paus yang mendekat, saya pikir ia akan menghindar saat berhadapan dengan saya, namun ternyata tidak. Saat ia di posisi kurang dari 2 meter di depan saya, saya menghindar, tentunya saya tidak mau ditabrak ikan seukuran bus ini haha!


While taking pictures, I noticed the whale shark is approaching, I thought he would escape when seeing me, but it did not. When he was in the position less than two meters in front of me, I dodge, I certainly do not want to get his by fish the size of a bus haha!



Karena di otak saya sudah tertanam informasi bahwa meski berukuran besar, hiu paus hanya memakan plankton, ikan kecil dan udang, maka saya justru senang saat hiu paus mendekat, dan saat berada di sisi atau berhadapan dengan hiu paus, bahkan saat salah satu gentle giant ini tiba-tiba membuka lebar mulutnya saat di depan saya.


Because in my brain already embedded information that even it is large, whale sharks only eat plankton, small fish and shrimp, then I'm glad when the whale shark is approaching, and while on the side or face to face with the whale sharks, even when one of the gentle giant's suddenly opened her mouth wide when in front of me.



"Yang besar namanya Bima," ujar bapak yang saya lupa namanya (maaf ya pak, saya terlalu excited melihat whale shark sampai lupa dengan manusia haha)


"The bigger one's name is Bima," said the man that I forgot his name (sorry yes sir, I'm too excited about seeing whale shark so I forgot the man haha)
 


Hiu paus ini terus menerus mendekati kapal, kemudian menjauh, mendekat lagi, kemudian menjauh. Total ada lima hiu paus yang "mampir" saat perahu kami datang untuk feeding time. Ukuran hiu paus yang mendekati kami beragam, mulai dari 5 hingga 7 meter. Setelah beberapa lama kami mulai "mengenal" hiu paus ini satu per-satu.


The whale shark is continuously approaching the boat, then stayed away, came closer, then stayed away. In total there are five whale sharks "stopped off" when our boat comes to feeding time. The size of the whale shark approaching us are diverse, ranging from 5 to 7 meters. After a while we begin to "know" the whale shark is one by one.
 
"Ini namanya Sherli," saat satu hiu paus mendekat. Ia punya bekas-bekas luka di dekat area mulutnya.


"It's called Sherli," when the whale shark approaching. He has scars near her mouth area.

"Kasian Sherli"
"Get well soon ya Sherli"
"Sherli udah bikin BPJS?"


"Poor Sherli"
"Get well soon dear Sherli"
"Sherli did you have BPJS?" (ps: health insurance)
 
Kami bercanda sambil memperhatikan Sherli, the-whale-shark yang lebih dari 4 menit terus menerus membuka mulut di dekat kapal, meminta makan seperti anjing peliharaan yang jinak.
 

We joked while watching Sherli, the-whale-shark who was more than 4 minutes continuously open mouth near the boat, ask for food like the tame pet dogs.
 

Meski tampak jinak, whale shark tetap binatang liar. Saat Desa Botubarani "ditemukan" sebagai area persinggahan hiu paus, lokasi ini langsung "booming," warga Gorontalo maupun turis luar daerah berbondong-bondong datang untuk berfoto dengan hiu paus, tanpa aturan sehingga kacau, foto orang-orang menyentuh hiu paus, atau bahkan duduk di atas hiu paus dengan mudah ditemukan di sosial media. Hiu paus ini pun mulai luka-luka di badannya, akibat tersepak, terinjak dan terkena baling-baling mesin kapal.


Although seem tame, the whale shark remains a wild animal. When Village Botubarani "discovered" as an area stopover whale sharks, the location was right "booming," residents of Gorontalo and tourists outside the region flocked to take pictures with whale sharks, without rules so it was chaotic, photos of people touching the whale sharks, or even sitting on a whale shark easily found on social media. The whale shark began to have wounds on his body, as a result of being kicked, trampled and exposed by propeller of boat engines.
 



Untungnya tidak memakan waktu lama hingga pegiat lingkungan berdiskusi dengan pemerintah, dan lahir aturan untuk menjaga area ini, dan tentunya melindungi hiu paus yang ada. Kini semua kapal di zonasi (area) feeding whale shark, jumlah kapal dan penumpang di dalamnya pun diatur. Pengunjung juga tidak boleh menyentuh whale shark dengan sengaja (well, terkadang whale shark melintas dengan cepat dan "menyentuh" kita, it's ok).


Luckily it did not take long until environmentalists discussed with the government, and made rules to keep this area, and of course protect the existing whale sharks. Now all the boats in the zone (area) feeding whale shark, the number of ships and passengers in it was arranged. Visitors also should not touch a whale shark on purpose (well, sometimes whale shark flashed quickly and "touch" us, it's ok).
 


Hingga kini ada 17 hiu paus jantan, (yes) meskipun salah satu namanya Sherli :)) yang terus menerus mendatangi perairan Desa Botubarani. Hiu-hiu paus ini masih belum dewasa, dengan ukuran tiga hingga 7 meter. Biasanya ada masa di mana hiu-hiu paus ini berkeliling mencari makan, namun sejak terdapat usaha pengolahan udang, hiu paus mendekati Desa Botubarani karena air bekas pengolahan udang yang mengandung sari-sari kulit udang yang mengalir ke laut memancing minat hiu-hiu paus ini, kemudian nelayan dan warga mulai "memberi makan" sisa-sisa pengolahan udang.


Up to now there are 17 male whale sharks, (yes) even though one of them is named Sherli :)) who continually aome to the waters Botubarani village. These whale sharks are still immature, with three sizes of up to 7 meters. Usually there are times where the sharks whales around looking for food, but since there is the business of processing shrimp, whale sharks approached the village Botubarani for water used for processing shrimp containing the essence of the shells that flow into the sea fishing interest the whale sharks, then fishermen and residents begin to "feed" the remnants of shrimp processing.
 
Selfie attempt with the whale sharks, they don't seem to care anyway LOL
Maybe someday these gentle giant have to migrate again, biasanya ada satu musim migrasi hiu paus. Hopefully we didn't change their migrate cycle, and hopefully after migrating, they will remember to come back again to Desa Botubarani :)

@marischkaprue - she's just a small creature in this big big world :)


NOTES

DESA BOTUBARANI WHALE SHARK FEEDING
Desa Botubarani
Kabupaten Bone Bolango, Provinsi Gorontalo
Sulawesi - Indonesia

RULES TO KNOW TO INTERACT WITH WHALE SHARK
No touching
Never put anything into whale shark's mouth (kecuali makanan yang disediakan petugas)
Siapkan masker + snorkel + fin atau life jacket pelampung bagi yang belum nyaman berenang di laut
Jangan panik, they're very gentle :)


No touching
Never put anything into the whale shark's mouth (except meals provided by officers)
Prepare mask + snorkel + fins or life jacket buoy to those who are not comfortable swimming in the sea
Do not panic, they're very gentle :)
 
ADMISSION FEE
Rp. 15.000,- per person (entry fee), belum termasuk sewa kapal dll, tambahkan juga tip untuk guide
Estimate fee per person for all in: Rp. 100.000,- up to Rp. 150.000,- per person


Rp. 15.000, - per person (entry fee), not including rental boats etc, also add the tip to guide
Estimate fee per person for all in: Rp. 100.000, - up to Rp. 150.000, - per person
 
GROUP VISIT
Contact: Tukang Jalan for arrangement

CP : Mentari 085810697553
Simpati 081315890191
XL 087808116852
WA / LINE : 081806898303 ; 087808116852 / 085810697553
PIN BB : 2BA4E9C1 / 52BDD3B1
Email : tuk4ng.jalan@gmail.com

ANOTHER ATTRACTION IN GORONTALO
Pulo Cinta, resort on top of the sea in breath-taking location

***

8 comments:

Cumilebay MazToro mengatakan...

Pengen balik lagi kesini tapi mesti sudah bisa freedive biar foto nya kece banget hahaha
Semoga Whale Shark disini lestari dan tak tersakiti

berbagifun mengatakan...

wuih keren banget yeee... bisa sedekat itu dengan ikan raksasa
semoga gak jadi rame banget yaaa.. kasihan juga ikan nya kalau terlalu rame :)

Putri Azka G. mengatakan...

Lucu banget whale shark-nyaaaa xD ga kebayang kalo mereka ada di depan wajahku hahahaha :))

magellanictivity.com

Timo mengatakan...

Wew, ga kebayang kl ditubruk ama whale shark wkwk

Lintang Noviantara mengatakan...

Wiiiiih.... keren sumpah!! Tapi sepintas kok kayak liat ikan lele versi raksasa ya.

Anthony mengatakan...

walopun ga makan orang... tapi mulutnya segede gitu, kalo gw ikutan ketelen kumaha -_-
tp tetep bikin mupeng sih

Martha mengatakan...

Waaaaaah. Waaah.. waaah..waaah (Terus aja gitu)

Gloria Clifford mengatakan...

Mudahan tetep jinak ya mereka, jangan kejadian sy di australia, whaleshark nya tiba2 ngamuk ekornya dikibas2 kena bbrp diver, untung ga sampai parah tapi sy jadi agak ngeri sekarang2 ini.