Return to Komodo
Return to Komodo
With our very cosmopolitan group from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Korea, Malta, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA (+ a crew of 5 nationalities), we headed to the volcanic island of Sangeang for our first 4 dives where the sandy bottom is black and marine life consists of octopus, garden eels, stingray, various types of nudibranch. Our Indo Siren liveaboard safari was well underway and already delighting photographers and non-photographers alike.A 6 hour boat ride brought us to the North part of Komodo Island, “Coral Garden ” offered us its wonderful landscape of white sand and coral bommies, beautifully illuminated by early morning sun. Then it was time for more action with 2 drift dives. “Shotgun” was even for some divers the best site they have ever dived: baby manta, turtle, leaf fish, garden eels, sweetlips, octopus…. and as a bonus, the incredible, but funny, washing machine effect.
Was it the influence of full moon on 3rd day of diving, expected strong current was in fact weak, then expected slight, current was rather strong? Who knows? During the afternoon drift dive, current was playing yoyo with us at safety stop and also during the night dive the current was not going to sleep before us. However, current (even capricious) means also abundant life: sharks, barracuda, trevallies, batfish, eagle rays and Napoleon wrasse….. a fantastic day of diving!
After paying a visit to the Komodo dragons (and some cute monkeys too) on Rinca Island, we began to experience colder water (24C) and lower visibility (8 to 15m) but enjoyed watching life we had not seen previously : ghost pipefish, bobtail squid, orang-utang crab, sea snakes to name just a few. Then came Nusa Kode, the southernmost point of our trip. So rich in life that a spot like “Cannibal Rock” must be dived twice to appreciate its diversity : sea apples, ladybugs, fire urchins, shrimps, crabs, frog fish of all sizes and colors, a festival of nudis and for some of us, a never seen before dragon scorpionfish with its beautiful blue skin. In the water, larger animals such as hawksbill turtles and sting rays were observed. On the surface, there were dolphins and on land, we spotted a group of 4 Komodo dragons and above our heads majestic eagles.
Because of the huge variety of life, from ladybugs to mantas, as well as the differing style of the dives, our 6th day of diving has been voted, by most of the guests, their best dive day of the trip. In the morning plenty of macro on the “Yellow Wall of Texas”, followed by a fun dive in strong current at “Longkoi Rock”. The afternoon was a festival of Mantas turning around and above us for almost 40 mins at “Manta Alley”. We finished the day at “Pantai Merah” by an astonishing night dive: decorated crab, frog fish, leaf fish and a massive but peaceful crocodile fish.
Returning back on the East part of Komodo, another diving day full of variety was in front for us: “Batu Bolong” with its colorful corals, abundant life from small nudis to big trevallies and Napoleon wrasse. Then we did an easy drift dive at Karang Makassar searching for mantas that, unfortunately, we could not find. In the afternoon, all divers had a lot of fun with a strong current dive at “Lighthouse”. Only 2 divers wanted to keep the pace of 4 dives a day and made night dives, when others enjoyed a sunset drink on the beach of Gili Lawa Laut. We anchored between Gili Lawa Laut and North Komodo and due to their popularity; our 4 dives were repeated dives from days 2 and 3; “Shotgun” and “Castle Rock” with plenty of sharks, “Crystal Rock” where a school of fusiliers were chased by a group of trevallies and “Coral Garden” always beautiful even at night.
Even if, because of flying, our last day must be limited to 2 dives, they were some of the best dives of our trip; “Hot Rocks” and its surrealistic landscapes shaped by volcanic lava, followed by “Kampung Bontoh” with beautiful life in coral bommies and dark sand; a superb way to round up this 10-night trip in Komodo. Thanks to all for joining us and Sampai Jumpa Lagi!