Diving in Komodo on the Palau Siren
Diving in Komodo on the Palau Siren
Our first official cruise started with a bit of a delay-thanks to Merpati. However after all our guests from Australia were on board, we had a light lunch prepared from our Chefs Ivan and Andre. After this we settled into our cabins and set up the dive equipment. Captain Daeng started early to bring us in time to Sangeang Island where we enjoyed three beautiful dives over the black sand with black corals and amazing colorful corals. Sightings included pygmy seahorse, mantis shrimp, pipefish, leaf fish and different kinds of nudibranchs. For the night we headed towards Gilli Banta and searched “The Circus” for stargazers and mantis shrimp. The next day started at “Coral Garden”, and what a start of the day, a very large group of eagle rays (50), followed by four manta rays and a couple of sharks made this dive a special one. May be it was because I did the first dive on the Poseidon MKVI rebreather and all the rays want to have a look at it? Since it started so good we went to Gilli Lawa Laut and dived “Castle Rock”, a bit of current meant a lot of shark action! Large grey reef sharks patrolled the deeper water whilst white tip reef sharks hunted together with the giant trevallies inside the large schools of fuselliers. To complete the amazing diving day we choose to enjoy a fast ride in the “Shotgun”, low tide was running and we had lots of fun flying out of the fishbowl.
After a good night sleep we went for more adrenalin with a fast drift dive at “Tatawa Besar”, its really amazing how the current suddenly stops after you fly along the reef fore 20 min. That is a nice combination, at first the fun or fast cruising and then the second part of the dive a beautiful hard coral reef with leaf fish and nudibranchs. The current changed and became a bit milder when we explored the deeper boulders of “Tatawa Kecil”, the amount of fish life is breathtaking. After a good lunch we went to Rinca and visited the famous Komodo Dragons. To finish this eventful day we made a sunset dive at “Dragon Besar” to spy on the Mandarin fish as they mate.
The next day, the water was a bit colder (24 C) but the diving definitely world class at “Cannibal Rock” in southern Rinca. From colorful nudis to giant frogfish, we saw it all. We spent the whole day here and visited “Boulders”, “Rhino Rocks” and “Torpedo Alley”, everybody had a smile on his face after each dive. The area around Nusa Kode is full of amazing macro life and we stayed overnight for another three dives the next day. We made an early start with a morning dive on “Cannibal Rock”, and then a further 2 dives before we crossed over back to Komodo and had an amazing sunset dive at the “Phinisi” wreck.
Captain Deang drove us on Sunday morning to our most southern point in Komodo, “Manta Alley”. Cold water awaited us but with big fish. We all hoped for the best and we got it during the second dive, spending 60 min with 8 mantas who were being cleaned. After this amazing dive we headed north towards “Pink Beach” for warmer water and more macro life. We started the new week with some action at “Batu Bolong”, the current was running but we stayed on the sheltered side and everybody enjoyed the millions of fish surrounding us, just like being in a giant fish tank. Since the current was still going we decided to dive “Makassar Reef” and did a fun drift dive along the sloping reef to meet several green turtles, eagle rays and even 2 mantas showed up. Everybody was glad to be back in “warmer” water and in the afternoon we split the groups and for those who wanted to have more current we went to “Crystal Rock”, whilst the others had a great relaxing dive at “The lighthouse”.
All the divers returned with smiling faces after either seeing dolphins or being surrounded by thousands of fuseliers. The last full day of diving brought us some more big fish action, at first we visited “Crystal Rock” with a strong current, however we managed to go to the pinnacle to see sharks and giant trevallies. After the exhausting dive we moved back to Coral Garden and checked if the devil rays were still around our luck was in and we saw 5 of them cruising around. The afternoon was lovely and whilst the group went out to dive “Big Nose”, Jennifer gave our Poseidon MKVI Rebreather a try dive. For the last night dive we chose a new site named after DM Tim “Tims Place”; numerous critters and a large Spanish Dancer entertained our divers. Later that evening we said good bye to DM Dwi and welcomed Francesco on board. We moved early morning to “Gilli Banta” and started off with “K2”, where some of us witnessed large cuttle fish laying their eggs. Komodo Island said good bye to us, for this time around as we started our way back to Bima. We hoisted our sails up and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon cruising. Back in Bima we enjoyed a great BBQ and celebrated Caitlins Advanced and Nitrox certifications.