The Indo Siren is back to Komodo
The Indo Siren is back to Komodo
Komodo is still my favorite. It was great to come back to the Indo Siren for her first voyage in the 2015 Komodo Season. The vessel just finished her dry dock and the whole team did an amazing job.
We spend the arrival day in Bima bay to take care of all paperwork, setting up the equipment and CD Kathy run through all the briefings and the muster drill. We departed the following morning at 2 am and Captains Hasbia and Defli drove to the lovely island of Sangeang . The black sand slopes offered a great variety of nudibranches and smaller creatures. Sightseeing on the first two dives included ornate ghost pipefish, leaf fish, cuttle fish, chromodoris and thecacera nudibranchs. For the afternoon and night dive we headed further south to Gilli Banta and had a great dive at “K2” with leaf fish, moray eels and beautiful corals before the first night dive of the cruise at Gazor Beach for the “hunt” of the stargazer.
After a day of macro diving everybody onboard was looking forward to some big fish action. First up was “Coral Garden” with a gentle current pushing us along the beautiful hard coral reef. Right at the beginning a small reef manta said hello and he also decided to come back at our safety stop to say good bye. We moved then to the famous dives sites of Gilli Lawa Laut . The current was a little bit crazy or the first dive at “Crystal Rock” but everybody managed this dive just great and saw schooling fusiliers and even an eagle ray at the end. The best dive of the day was without a doubt “Castle Rock”, only a small current but the sheer amount of fish gave everybody the feeling of diving in a giant aquarium. Instead of the night dive we all went to the beach in Gilli Lawa Laut and even climbed up the mountain for a great view over the Komodo National Park. On our morning dive at “Makasar Reef” everybody got an idea of the cooler water of the Indian Ocean. We dove right after the incoming tide and the water temperature was a chilly 24 C. However the drift dive woke us all up and some interesting creatures been spotted including a large bamboo shark and an eagle ray. For the next two dives we stayed in Current City and had a speedy drift at “Tatawa Besar” before enjoying a very colourful dive at “Batu Bolong” with millions of Anthias gave the whole reef an orange tone. One of my favourite dives here in Komodo is always “Wainilu” , during our sunset dive we spotted mandarin fish, picturesque dragonets, pigmy cuttlefish, Indian ocean Walkman and frogfish. Chefs Andri and Gusty prepared another delicious dinner for us and everybody shared funny stories from their previous liveboards.
When you are in Komodo you got to see the dragons, and that is what we had planned for today. Captain Hasbia moved the S/Y Indo Siren closer to the pier and around 7.15 am all of us departed to the ranger station. It was mating season for the dragons and – off course we some getting it on. After the return from the walk chefs Andri and Gusti had the great breakfast ready whilst our captains moved the Indo Siren to Padar Island for our first dive in a bit colder water. The Indian ocean brings rich water to this dive sites and dive master Ungke spotted a tiny frogfish whilst other saw cuttle fish, zebra crab and a few spotted sting rays. For the next 5 dives we cruised two hours more south and arrived in Nusa Kode in time for the afternoon dive at “Cannibal Rock”. The colours on this stunning dive site are just amazing; the whole reef is covered in soft corals and bushes of black coral. A few brace ones went with Ungke for the night dive to “Torpedo Alley” and all came back smiling after seeing Bobbitt worm, seahorse, octopus and a variety of crabs and nudi branchs. Sunshine on a Sunday morning in Nusa Kodo, such a great place, Eagles cruising around the boat and picking the breakfast out of the flat calm sea as we geared up for our first dive at “The Boulders” to look for nudi branchs, scorpionfish and other small critters. After a hearty breakfast, we all went with the dinghies close to the beach to get a close up look at the resident dragons. The second dive was the highlight of our visit to Nusa Kode, the sun was out and “Cannibal Rock” showed its amazing colourful soft corals and fish life. After one more dive at “Rhino Rocks” the Indo Siren moved west back to Komodo for our night dive at the small wreck of the Phinisi.
We spend the Monday morning in southern Komodo and looked at “Manta Alley” if we had some luck with the big birds. On the first dive we had an amazing amount of fish around but the star of the show gave us just a glimpse when all of us been already at the safety stop. We decided that we give it one more try and after the big breakfast by chefs Andri and Gusti we all went again and most of us been lucky to see two of these graceful fish feeding in the current in the alley. Whilst we all been diving Cruise director Kathy conducted a fire drill with the remaining crew onboard to make everybody familiar with our new breathing apparatus and to make sure that everybody understands their role in an emergency. During lunch we moved up north to spend the afternoon and night at “Pink Beach”. The gentle reef slope at Pink Beach is home to a variety of macro life including frogfish, leaf fish, mantis shrimp but also hawksbill turtle and stingrays. Since the lovely bay of Pink Beach offers also a great night dive over grey dark sand nearly all of us joined the critter hunt and followed dive guides/ eagle eyes Ungke and Inyo and Ben rewarded with sightings of frogfish, octopus and cockatoo waspfish. After a good night sleep we headed back to Current City and the first dive at “Batu Bolong” was simply stunning!! Very little current made is possible to circle the whole dive site and an amazing amount of fish and beautiful corals made everybody smile. Back to Makassar Reef was on the agenda for the second dive, but also this time just a couple of mantas showed up for a short visit. For the afternoon we went to Gilli Lawa Darat and after the dive at Golden Passage some of us climbed the top of the mountain to enjoy the best view in Komodo. We started the last full day of diving with the favourite dive site of all our guests “Castle Rock” , and again we have not been disappointed and amazing amount of fish faced the mild current in the warm and giant trevallies and white tip reef sharks been looking for an easy meal. We choose “Crystal Rock “ for our second dive and also here just little current and everybody had a great “fishy” dive. In the afternoon the current picked up a bit and right in time for “Shotgun”. At first some white tip reef sharks and then later at the fast drift a great amount of fusiliers enjoyed the current.
As we came back with the dinghy from the dive we all could see the S/Y Indo Siren with all her sails up and the flat sea provided a great photo opportunity. Just a few of us took part in the last night dive at “Coral Garden” before we headed back to Bima bay for the final two dives with some more macro.
Since it was Michael’s birthday we had a bit of a party with a pub quiz by quizmaster Kathy. What a great last day with sightings of tiger shrimp, frogfish, countless nudibranches, mimic octopus and more. Bima bay is definitely top dive destinations. We chilled out the afternoon and enjoyed a cocktail on the sundeck dreaming about the next holidays.