Whale of a time…
Whale of a time…
For this liveaboard safari to Komodo we welcomed aboard a group of 16 Americans, who have spent their holidays together since 1994! The Phi Siren left Bima Harbour late afternoon and cruised to Sangeang Island, where we anchored for the night. On the first day of diving we started with a check dive at Bonto Reef, it was a relaxed dive with many of nudibranchs and a huge angry cuttlefish. A dive at Estuary followed and then K2. K2 is a divesite at GIlli Banta, which treated us with Hawksbill Turtles, Juvenile black Frogfish, Orang-Utang Crabs and a Bamboo Shark, meanwhile the night dive at Circus we saw a Bobtail Squid, Squat Shrimp, some decorator Crabs.
Coral Garden is a relaxed morning dive and great to start the day with. After that we cruised to Gili Lawa Laut and went diving at Castle Rock and Crystal Rock – Eagle Ray was passing us over our heads, white tip reef sharks were hanging with us in the current and lots of fish were seen during these two dives. Instead of a night dive, we opted to walk up a hill at Gilli Lawa Laut, to look at the stunning sunset, while drinking a cool Bintang. The view was breathtakingly beautiful and all the guests and crew enjoyed it very very much. On the schedule of day 4 was Shotgun, Makassar Reef, Batu Bolong and Wainiloo. For the first time of this trip, we had some current going on. The current at Makassar Reef was ripping; we just flew over the dive site. Unfortunately we were not really able to stick with the Mantas, because they stayed stationary and we, as I said, were just flying by. The northern part of Batu Bolong is a wall with plenty of fish hanging around there. A big oceanic Manta was cruising along the wall aswell. Wainiloo, one of the best night dives in the north of Komodo, showed us a lot of cool stuff including spotfin anglerfish, bobtail squid, cuttlefish and ambon scorpionfish.
In the morning of day 5 our guests went for the Dragon walk on the Rinca Island. Along with the dragons they also saw Water buffalos, lots of Butterflies and Lizards. After that we went for a dive at Padar Island called Pilarsteen. Afterwhich we cruised to the south of Rinca to dive at Cannibal Rock. As usual we had a stunning dive, then before the nightdive at Torpedo Alley, the guests visited the Komodo Dragons on the beach with our dinghies and were able to take nice pictures from these special animals. Day 6 started with a dive at Cannibal Rock once again, followed by Boulders. Both dive sites are full of coral and the most beautiful part on both sites is definitely the shallow part, with its wonderful colours. Before leaving the south of Rinca, we dived in the afternoon at Yellow Wall of Texas. Memorable for the hawksbill turtle, which was having an issue with the surge underwater and perhaps should consider to take a swim-course, before continuing bumping in to corals.
Manta Alley, in the South of Komodo, was on the schedule for day 7. Like in the last two trips, the manta action was immense, so we were able to give our guests, in cooperation with the Mantas, their best Manta-Dive ever – and they have an average of 500 dives each. After these two dives we travelled north to dive at Pink Beach, where the dive guides found several Leaf-Fishes, some Ribbon Eels and a special frogfish. A short story next to diving: In the south of Komodo, a man on a kayak was coming to our boat, asking us to catch a ride, because he had to hurry up to get to Labuan Bajo. Not only we gave him a ride, we even took him diving at Manta Alley and Pink Beach (he had a Open Water-Certification), gave him Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and a couch to sleep on. His plan was to kayak around Komodo Island in 9 days, fishing his own food and sleeping on the island (where you can find the Komodo Dragons) – a real adventure for sure, and he’s only 19 years old.
The following dives at Makassar Reef, Batu Bolong, Tatawa Besar, and Golden Passage treated us to lots of amazing Sharks, Turtles and Eagle Rays. We visited Castle Rock, Shotgun, Crystal Rock and Coral Garden again on our return journey to Bima – plenty of fish action once again as the currents had picked up and as we cruised to Bima we spotted a huge Whale at the surface – lucky us! A great and memorable trip with a lovely group from San Francisco-Sampai jumpa lagi!