Komodo 2012 Season Finale
12 Nights in Komodo
For the Indo Siren’s final trip of the 2012 season in Komodo before heading back over to Raja Ampat via Alor and the Banda Islands, we were joined by a very international group from Germany, UK, America, Holland, Switzerland and Australia. This trip was a 12-night extension, ending in Maumere, giving us extra time in Komodo! For our check out dive we visited the Unusual Suspects, saying goodbye to the thorny seahorses and 3 different frog fish before spending the evening celebrating Laetitia’s birthday! The following morning we headed over to Sangeang Island, where we managed 3 dives at the Estuary, Techno Reef and finally the very beautiful Hot Rocks, before cruising to Gili Banta for some stargazers at Small World!
Day 3 began with 2 action-packed dives at K2 and Swiss Dream and continued to north Komodo Island for 2 dives at Coral Garden. By the fourth day we were in the park at Gili Lawa Laut for diving at the beautiful Crystal Rock, followed by Castle Rock and an adventure dive on Shotgun; normally a popular request for a repeat dive, but not this time, our guests preferring the more relaxed currents so once was enough! For the night dive on Shotgun Reef we saw two huge Spanish Dancers -Beautiful! After returning to Crystal Rock the morning, the Indo Siren moved into Current City diving at Batu Bolong and getting on the manta action on Makassar Reef! Then it was time to head to Pantai Merah for some alian sticks, spearing mantis and skeleton shrimp to name but a few of the small critters seem here. The following day we were walking with the dragons and also stopped for a spot of souvenir shopping … then it was off for some the rather cool diving – 23 degrees Celcius – at Padar Bay & Secret Garden; where one group saw a manta and we also hung out with a giant frogfish. Worried the water was going to get even colder we still braved it and headed south to Nusa Kode for our last chance this year to see the bobbit worm at Torpedo Alley! We were pleasantly surprised as the water was a balmy 25C – bargin!
Enjoying the warmish water we opted to hang out in Nusa Kode at Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall and Crinoid Wall…. And yes the crinoids did jump out and attack us this time! We also had time for a little dragon action at the beach before the sunset dive! Nudis, frogfish, lady bugs, zebra crabs, octopus, sharks, cuttlefish and so much more. For our last dive in Nuda Kode and we mixed it up a bit splitting the groups over 2 dive sites, some in the hunt for the hairy frogfish we saw last trip and others wanting to head back to Cannibal Rock. Then we headed over the Manta Alley in the hunt for some manta rays! The viz was pretty bad but the Mantas were back which was great, so we did two dives before heading back up to Padar for a night dive in Padar Bay. The following morning we visited the beautiful Tiga Dara and then cruised back north for some warm water diving in Wainilu, in search of ribbon eels and Tengah Kecil for some fish action. That evening, for those who opted out of the night dive it was time to hunt for vampires!!! We headed over in the dingy to a small island to see the thousands of huge fruit bats take flight a sunset! Whilst on the night dive we found warty frogfish and many baby cuttlefish and decorator crabs.
The next day was off to a good start with a gentle drift dive on Tatawa Besar followed by some manta action on Makassar Reef – by popular request we stayed for 2 dives, getting up close and personal with the mantas! We returned to Wainilu for a sunset dive to check out the mandarin fish and picturesque dragonets. For our last full day of diving, we headed back to the ridiculously fishy Castle and Crystal Rocks, surprisingly the first dive had no current but schools of fish just hanging out! The second time the currents were certainly running and the sharks and trevally we back and hunting!
Our final day was spent cruising over to Maumere with a quick stop at Riung for some snorkeling and hanging out in the shallows! We got the party started that evening with a BBQ and some dancing, with a few hardcore partiers finishing around 1am… even with the early start the next day! Wake up call was at 6am boat time for a 7:40am flight back to Bali! Sadness set in for me and the dive guides after each dive, knowing we won’t be back here for another 6 months, but we are also happy as we have an awesome season in Raja Ampat to look forward to! Lisa & the Indo Siren Crew
Photos by Dave Scattergood, Larry Ferlan, Robin Bronsteede, Sarah & Lee Lockwood