Weird & Wonderful Komodo
Weird & Wonderful Komodo
Arriving late in the afternoon our International divers arranged their dive gear and cameras in preparation to start our diving the following morning at Coral Garden in Komodo National Park. Beautiful hard and soft corals, huge gorgonian sea fans, plenty of fish and a juvenile frog fish was the order along with an early morning sun highlighting the underwater world and as an added bonus we saw manta rays breaching during our breakfast.
We followed up the morning with a bit of mild current at Big Nose where dolphins were spotted underwater in the distance then during lunch we cruised to Gili Lawa to dive Crystal Rock. Several white tips were on patrol as their young rested under the table corals. The trevally jacks were already hunting fusiliers and 2 leaf fish became a highlight of the dive for the macro photographers. It’s always an amazing dive at Crystal Rock and this week we had the ripping currents Komodo is famous for. We finished the day at Flamenco Reef for our first night dive of this 10-night liveaboard safari.
For our next few dives we continued to encounter ripping currents, which meant fish, fish, and more fish at Castle Rock and Batu Bolong. Several species of fusiliers, sweet lips, trevallies and bat fish were all in attendance for the divers to see. There were also many white tip and grey reef sharks circling right in front of our noses while we were connected to the rocks with our reef hooks. The green turtles were on parade at Batu Bolong providing for excellent photo and video opportunities for the divers. Wainilu at Rinca Island is probably the best sunset night dive around. Mating mandarin fish followed by frog fish, Indian walkman, comet longfin and a juvenile batfish. Most of the divers were able to enjoy a chilly 80 to 90 minute night dive… we love diving without time constraints!
At sunrise the guests went to meet the Komodo dragons in the National Park then a sedate dive at Tiga Dara where the current had slackened off. The next few dives in South Komodo (Cannibal Rock, The Boulders, Yellow Wall of Texas) provided calm and relaxing diving as the currents were mild for two days, but the aquatic life was astounding. Frog Fish, Sea Apples, Turtles, and too many more to mention were in abundance. Water temperature is dropping (25C) so only the brave few made the 4 dives each day.
During the week we had the pleasure of celebrating a birthday for Michaela, the belated honeymoon of John and Maureen and the 25th Wedding Anniversary of Fred and Denise. Many well wishes were shared as well as the wonderful cakes created by the chefs onboard. Heading back North to better vis and warmer water we visited Pink Beach to see the small frog fish, a second try for mantas at Karang Makassar ; though they were still on holiday! Tetawa Besar for the turtles and Sebayor Kecil for the night dive followed. By popular request we returned to Gili Lawa Laut to dive again at Castle Rock, Crystal Rock and Shot Gun; 3 more great dives with several guests agreeing this was their favorite day of diving during the trip.
Sangeang Island was to be our final stop. Hot Rocks, which has bubbles coming from the sand and colorful coral bommies is always a stunning site but this time we found 6 bargibanti pygmy seahorses on a gorgonian fan at 18 meters! The following two dives were awesome for the macro photographers – Pohon Merah and Kampung Bonto, so many species of shrimp and nudis everywhere, also scorpion leaf fish and several blue spotted rays. The final day was spent in Bima Bay diving the Unusual Suspects, and More Unusual Suspects. The macro aquatic life was in abundance and the photographers were very pleased. Thanks to Khalid on the final night for hosting a dance party for the group. Safe travels to everyone and we hope to see you again soon. Cheers!