Mantas, Sharks & Critters abound…

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Mantas, Sharks & Critters abound…

Orang-utan Crab KomodoAfter all the travelling, our guests for this 10-night Komodo liveaboard safari boarded the P Siren and got settled in. It was already getting dark but several of the divers were keen to get into the water and so we opted for a night dive at the Unusual Suspects in Bima Bay – a superb dive with loads of critters to kick off the trip. For the rest the dives planned for the next day would be their first taster of Komodo’s underwater realm. Starting off at Techno Reef and The Estuary, at Sangeang Island and followed by K2 and Circus at Gili Banta, we were treated to orang-utang crabs, hawksbill and green turtles, tiny frogfish, bargibanti pygmy seahorse, bobtail squid and many special shrimps. The day’s highlight was witnessing a hungry stargazer gobbling up a tiny fish in a millisecond during the night dive.

Moray-eel-Komodo1After a really relaxed morning dive at Coral Garden, we cruised to Gilli Lawa Laut. Crystal Rock showed us, why it’s called like that: crystal clear water. White tip reef sharks and moray eels in love (not with each other!) were the highlights of the dive. We followed up with an afternoon dive at Shotgun. Famous for its currents our divers were treated to some feeding mantas, whilst enjoying a light drift. Pleasantly the manta was still around during our sunset dive too. Day 4 got off to a great start with plenty of shark action at Castle Rock. Plug your reef hook in and enjoy the display of the white tip & grey reef sharks, what could be simpler? Then from one show to the other, our second dive of the day at Makassar Reef had many mantas passing over our heads and all around us. For sure the best morning of the trip… so far! Plenty of critters were spotted throughout the day too including bobtail squid, seahorse, mimic octopus and many commensal shrimps.

Zebra Crab KomodoNon-diving activity was the plan for the next morning so after a light breakfast we went to Komodo Island for the famous Dragon walk. Everyone really enjoyed it and the excursion gave us plenty to chat about as the P Siren cruised southwards to Nusa Kode. “That was one of my top 5 dives I ever had in my life”, said tour leader Nic Rewitt after the dive at Cannibal Rock. Giant frogfish, zebra crabs, tiger shrimps and nembrotha cristata were just a few of the macro treats that were found during the dive. It is easy to understand why Cannibal Rock is voted one of the 10 best dive sites in the world. Rhino Rocks as an afternoon dive and Torpedo Alley as a night dive made for another memorable day of diving in Indonesia.

manta-ray-Komodo1An early morning dive at Cannibal Rock proved just a great as the previous day’s. An eagle ray was doing circles around the rock and Alex found a solar powered nudibranch. Yellow Wall of Texas was our second dive; full of corals this site is so beautiful and stunning and you can also spot lady bugs amongst them. After our third dive at the Boulders we departed once again for Komodo Island enjoying time relaxing on the sundeck with a few cocktails and nice music. We are pleased to say, that at the moment Komodo has so many mantas 9dare we say sightings are guaranteed?) We scheduled 3 dives at Manta Alley for our 7th day and what a day it was! Numerous mantas passed so close over our heads you could almost touch them – So magical and majestic, of course the feeling on the boat was one of elation. A night dive at Evening Star gave a wonderful end to another day with lots of “WoW moments”.

Spanish Dancer- KomodoTiga Dara, Tatawa Kecil, Tatawa Besar and Sebayur Kecil, were scheduled for the following day of diving. We were treated to an eagle ray, seasnake, stargazer, Spanish dancer, many hawksbill turtles, octopus, white tip reef shark and a whole host of other critters and fish, but for me the highlight was the clear sky full of stars after surfacing from our night dive. For our last full day of diving we returned to Gili Lawa Laut. Shooting through Golden Passage we passed barracudas, batfishes, eagle ray, hawksbill turtles, black tip and white tip reef sharks, then all too soon it was time to hoist the sails and begin our cruise back towards Bima Bay, stopping for our final dives at at Big Nose and Swiss Dream along the way. Our last evening was pent enjoying a delicious barbecue and some farewell Bintangs, whilst discussing the next trip that many of our group have already booked with the Siren Fleet. A fun trip with a fun group- thanks for joining our liveaboard safari in Komodo and see you all again!

Photos by Nic Rewitt

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