whale shark, mantas and whales in Komodo

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whale shark, mantas and whales in Komodo

Group-on-Indo-SirenOn the second of October we welcomed aboard the Indo Siren our big group of German divers completed by our Chinese couple. After a warm welcome with some briefings so everybody felt safe and comfortable we set off to our first dive site; “The unusual suspect”. A dive here along the sandy bottom gave enough time to adjust the diving gear for the whole trip and of course to spot some small critters in many different “nudis”. For our next dive we departed early morning for Sangeang Island , this is a volcanic island so diving in black sand again and looking for more critters on Bonto and Techno Reef. Again nudis, octopus, leaf fish, crocodile fish, boxer shrimps and ghost pipefish! At the end of the dive day we tested our emergency recall system and practiced with the deco tank to ensure everyone was ready for the likely currents ahead. Our night dive was a delight of odd shaped critters including lion fish ,snake eels and star gazers and open surfacing the stars in the sky were so clear on this cloudless night – meanwhile, having ordered our drinks beforehand we were assured a warm hot chocolate or cold beer at the very first step back onto the boat. Of course with a nice warmed towel over our shoulders too!!! A great start to our 10-night trip in Komodo.

whaleshark-newNext day the “early birds” were rewarded by some dolphins in the bay then after a relaxed dive we drove to Komodo for our first dive at “Crystal Rock”. This was amazing! The reef was particularly lively this morning with sightings of purple leaf fish and an eagle ray but best part was the WHALE SHARK which showed up whilst we made our safety stop. After some circles he came back one more time and posed for the cameras. Capture the moment… yes we did! How to follow that? Well the next dive at “Shot gun” always guarantees a lot of fun and we ended the day with a Bintang on the sundeck – not bad at all.

mantarayA new dive day and time to play with the current. Today’s best dive was at Makassar Reef where we had company of in total 9 mantas, first in pairs and during our safety stop a parade of 3 cruised by. Hanging by our reef hooks, the mantas stayed a couple of minutes next to us without using any energy simply looking at us probably thinking “what crazy creatures hang there and “fly” away” The day ended with our sunset dive with mandarin fish at Wainiloo (aka Dragon Besar).

Zebra-CrabThe next couple of days were spent macro diving in Nusa Kode with solar powered phyllodesmium nudibranchs, Coleman shrimps, frogfish and zebra crab, then we departed for the southwest point of our trip in “ Manta Alley”. Well after three crazy dives the group discussed to call it manta highway…First dive a squadron of mantas flew into the alley with our count somewhere between 22 to 32!!!Second dive the mantas were diving on the cleaning station. Third dive we thought it can get any better, but the mantas surprised us again, each manta choose his own diver to dance for…some divers had mantas just 10cm from their masks! So which was the best dive of the three? How we could be possibly decide!

yellow-ribbonSweetlipDuring the next days we travelled back to the north and the warmer water and viz better. With some really some outstanding dives in current city after which we once again survived “Shotgun”. Unfortunately after another stunning dive at Crystal Rock, Günter took a knock and needed to get to the hospital so we quickly re-routed to Labuan Bajo and after a patch up at the hospital Günter was back and recovering well as we cruised to Bima. But the tip was far from over as we were yet to encounter the 3 fin whales that put in an appearance –a real final show stopper! To celebrate we finished up with a bbq, cocktails and farewell Bintangs. Thanks for joining us!

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