Fun Diving in Komodo
Fun Diving in Komodo
Our group of American friends arrived right on time and with a brief stop to pick up some redbull they were all on board by lunch time ready for our welcome briefing and safety drill. A change from our usual schedule we decided to head straight to Gili Lawa Laut and start our trip there in an attempt to beat the weather. So we had a relaxed day cruising finishing with a beautiful sunset! Our second day began with a relaxed dive on Shotgun Reef – taking just the outside not passing through the “shotgun” itself … with turtles, sharks and Indonesian jaw fish is was a good start to the trip! Then it was time for the real “shotgun”; although the currents weren’t too strong. The afternoon was spent at the beautiful Crystal Rock and we were lucky to hang out with the eagle ray and some white tip sharks, all of whom came and eyeballed me a couple of times as did a tiny peacock mantis shrimp! We spent the night in GLD Bay and some brave souls joined me for a hike up the mountain to see the sunset! Chris came close to giving up but Mimpy, our dinghy driver, convinced him that we would not be going down the same way and it was easier on the way back down! Which it was actually, even to the point where Chris got a little competitive and raced the others to the beach!
Day 3 started off at the spectacular and colourful “Batu Bolong” where the currents were behaving for once! Followed by a gentle drift at Tatawa Besar and Pantai Merah where we were joined by a giant cuttlefish. That evening we did a muck dive at Pantai Merah where two cockatoo leaf scorpionfish as well as a white octopus were sighted. Very early the following morning we tried to make our way down to Nusa Kode via Padar but big waves thwarted our attempts and we turned back to spend the morning’s first dive at Pantai Merah before heading north east for some protections at Siaba Kecil followed by Tengah Kecil – which actually ended up as quite a ride due to the full moon nearing. The night dive made up for it at Wainilu with a giant and small painted frogfish. Many broadfoot cuttlefish were seen hunting, including one that had just caught his dinner and Spider decorator crabs, tiny red octopus, orange spearing mantis shrimp and much much more to be found. That’s one of the great things about diving in Komodo– there are plenty of dive sites with fantastic marine life enabling us to change plans and still enjoy our diving day.
Day 5 saw us heading off to Makassar Reef to search for Manta Ray as there were lots there during the last trip! Unfortunately they were not performing for us this day so we returned to dive once again at Batu Bolong which everyone loved so much previously. Next stop Sebayur Kecil proved a gentle drift to start however throughout the dive the tide increased then we all turned into superman and went flying over the reef! Kayaks, swimming and relaxing on the sundeck was the order for the rest of the day. Later that afternoon we received favourable weather reports for the southern Komodo region so pulled anchor around 5pm and headed towards Padar for our night dive…. Giant frogfish, a huge cuttlefish and our first sighting of the sea apples feeding. Ron received a bit of a scare during the dive; being joined by a late arrival to the night dive he was convinced that it was a mugger come to steal him away – underwater! The way he described the incident when he returned to the boat had everyone in stitches! Sorry Ron for giving you a scare! We were only trying to show you some interesting things!
The following morning we made our first dive Tiga Dara, seeing the devil scorpionfish, a huge painted lobster and peacock mantis shrimp. Conditions were looking good so it was time to make the dash down to Nusa Kode whilst we had the chance! Smooth sailing all the way with just a little rock and roll as we turned into the bay! And YES!!!! We were the only ones there! GREAT!!! Cannibal Rock was calling, followed by the very colourful Yellow Wall, which was swarming with Lady Bugs and then Mr Bobbit’s Bobbit worm, torpedo rays and skeleton shrimp in Torpedo Alley for our night dive.
A walk with the dragons got our 7th day off to a fabulous start being more action-packed than usual! It still being mating season, a female took a stroll close to our group with a male hot on her tail! The guides gathered everyone close together to protect them with their big sticks. All survived to make it to the souvenir shop for wooden figurines and pearls, after which we steamed on back up to Gili Lawa Laut to revisit Castle Rock, Shotgun and Shotgun Reef for the night dive! Some got really lucky on Shotgun seeing both a pygmy seahorse and a manta ray on the same dive! In the morning it was back to the beauty of Crystal Rock followed be a nice gentle dive at Lighthouse before putting the sails up and heading over to N Komodo. Joe celebrated his 200th dive today and also held a private memorial during a very beautiful sunset for his Mother, who sadly passed away earlier in the year. He had brought her ashes with him on the trip and her spirit will now live with us in Coral Garden– a very emotional day for all.
The last full day of diving was upon us and our morning started with a very relaxed dive at Coral Garden, after which we headed over to Gili Banta to dive K2, finding an ornate ghost pipefish, and the very beautiful Swiss Dream. Small World for the night dive was as hectic as ever… bobtail squid, star gazers, stone fish, flying gurnards, flatheads, snake eels, spearing mantis shrimp and the list goes on and on and on…. Voted the no. 1 favourite night dive of the trip! It was a trip of 200th dives as Chris completed his today and David the following day! Don has kept it a secret but he had actually completed his 400th at the beginning of the trip!
Sangaeng Island was last on the agenda for a taste of Hot Rocks! The bargibanti pygmy seahorses were there as well as a black painted frog fish and so many beautiful nudis! A little current but plenty of bubbles…Beautiful! Our final dive was made at The Estuary and afterwards there was time to relax a little and contemplate our 30+ dives. It was great having you guys on board and we hope to see you all again! All the best from the Indo Siren Crew!
Photo by Jeff,Annie/Cheri,Chris,Joeseph and Lee