For those of you who are not yet familiar with Tompotika Dive Lodge, let us give you an introduction on how it all started.
Suryani Mile, who is native from Sulawesi, and myself, Jerome Doucet, his lucky husband native from Paris and working in Sulawesi in the shrimp farming industry, we bought in 2001 an old ferry boat and renovated it to be a dive liveaboard, the Paisubatu.
We created the company Wallacea Dive Cruise, named after the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallacea. We then started cruises diving in the east of Sulawesi, especially in the Banggai and Togian Islands.
Crossing between these 2 groups of islands, we explored the tip of the peninsula in between those 2 archipelagos, as the mountainous coast landscape and some emerged rocks did look promising.
Some fishermen did help us to find the numerous pinnacles and underwater ridges. “Just jump here, they said” and a few meters deep under the surface we discovered some large ridges with an astonishing fish life!
Since then we included the so-called “Tompotika peninsula” in our dive trips and discovered more and more dive sites.
We then did build a new and more suitable boat, exploring and diving some other areas of Indonesia as North Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, and the Banda Sea, we always kept in mind our desire to establish a land-based diving operation in Pulau Dua. What we finally did, starting by building 3 bungalows in 2014.
As the area was still totally unknown from divers, the first years have been difficult, it took a while to get customers regularly. But the feedback is very good, the word did spread and the numbers of guests increased making the structure, if not profitable, at least self-sufficient. It actually makes us very proud to have developed this new diving destination and thanks to its status of “diving destination” protecting it from damaging fishing techniques with the help of the villagers and local government.