Diving Komodo – August 2011
Diving Komodo – August 2011
Everything runs perfect this trip! The flight arrives in time, no luggage is missing and here we are! Our new guests, fourteen Chinese and two Americans are already on the S/Y Indo Siren. After the welcome cocktail, fresh fruit and cakes we do a short briefing about how to enjoy any part of the boat. Also I introduce our fantastic crew, our family. Time for set up the gear, a light meal and let’s go diving! Our first dive, The Unusual Suspects, is today quite clear. The visibility, around 10 meters/ 30ft, allow us to explore the reef in depth. After one hour dive, everybody agree with how nice muck diving is but it’s time to return to the Indo Siren for a warm towel and a relaxing evening.
Captain Daeng woke up early in the morning and brought us to Sangeang, a volcanic island close to 2000 mt high to enjoy three dives with black sand; Techno reef, The Estuary and Hot Rocks. Bushes of black coral, healthy hard 7 soft corals, schools of snappers, surgeons and sweetlips, trevallies, groupers, octopus, scorpions, moray eels and a lot of different critters like ornate ghost pipe fish, ribbon eels, many varieties of shrimps (mantis, banded coral, white banded cleaner, sawblade, rock, commensal, periclemens, snapping, Coleman’s, lysmatas, rinchocinetes…) and also crabs (oran-gutan, spiders, swimming, porcelains…) pink squat and spiny lobsters. Colorful nudibranchs around as different chromodoris, flabellinas, blue dragons, slugs, flatworms… so much life here! The contrast with the black sandy bottom helps us to find more and more critters. For the night dive we move to Gili Banta. On the protected waters we do our first night dive in Coral Garden. Looking for life on the sandy bottom our divers find Stargazer, hunting lionfishes, spotted snake eels, blue spotted stingrays, Leopard flounders, fringe-lip flatheads, and a big spiny octopus. Is time to come back! Hot towels and a nice shower are the prelude for a fabulous dinner. Everybody is hungry tonight!
Third diving day starts. Arriving to Komodo Island with many schools of colorful fishes, big gorgonian fans and white sandy bottom. In Gili Lawa Laut area we do the next three dives, Shotgun, were we saw our first sharks and very big jacks, Crystal Rock as a good training for negative entries and a night dive on Shotgun reef. Our chefs Agus and Gun prepare for tonight a good variety of dishes and a delicious dessert. Everybody wants to repeat! Castle Rock is a fish soup today. Even the current is not too strong, the life is concentrated feeding on the east of the pinnacle then we move off to Batu Bolong where we jump in the protected area. In the blue, tunas and trevallies are swimming around looking for a late breakfast. Two turtles and a white tip shark are lying lazy on the steps of the wall. Thousand of anthias and small damselfishes swim in shallow waters when we finish the dive. On our way to south Komodo, we dive in Phinisi looking for the mandarin fish. Few of us are lucky, but everybody enjoyed a late dive on the wreck.
We dive again on Pinisi morning early on day five, this time deep exploring the reef and also the wreck. On the sandy bottom we find a group of Chelydones, jawfishes and other critters. Many batfishes are swimming around the wreck. After a hug breakfast we move again north. This time the weather is not good to go to Manta Alley so next dive is in Pink Beach. Big schools of fishes moving are swimming around. Drifting in Makassar reef we cross with seven turtles, bumphead parrotfishes and a huge blotched fantail ray lying on the sand. The night dive is nice and relaxed in Gili Lawa Darat reef
Day six we moved again to Current City. The current is today a little stronger in Batu Bolong. Doesn’t matter because we jump again on the protected area. Many big fish swimming around and also time for small critters. On Makassar reef we realized that mantas are not a myth! Looking for a drift dive we move to Tatawa Kecil, but this time we had an unexpected rip current and the dive is shorter but with a lot of fun. Time for a relaxing dive close to Gili Lawa Laut. Next day we did Castle and Crystal Rock with good visibility and fish soup, with a lot of white, grey and black tip reef sharks, napoleons, trevallies, jacks, groupers, thousand of neon fusiliers and the usual life in this dive sites. Shotgun is waiting for us. Still strong current and everybody have fun. Ok, let’s go to Coral Garden for the last night dive! Many crabs, shrimps, stargazer… for macro lovers.
Last diving day! On the way back to Bima we get our target in K2, find the white mushroom pipe fish. On Swiss Dream we say goodbye to all this amazing marine life for this trip. Time for a group pic underwater! After a strong lunch we got the sails up and our guests enjoy taking pics of the SY Indo Siren with Sangean Island and Komodo as a background.
Time for packing, last briefings, last group pics… Shotgun position! Thank you guys. We hope to see you again diving with us! Sampai jumpa lagi!
Photos by Eva Villagrasa