Nick’s 1st trip in Komodo
Nick’s 1st trip in Komodo…
Its Friday 13th June and 16 Australian, Canadian and American divers have arrived in Bima to board the Indo Siren! After some papper work and briefings, while watching the beautiful sunset over the mountans, we pulled anchor and headed on our way towards Komodo. In the morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and calm seas as we aproched Coral Garden for our first dive of the trip. The site was full of life, massive schools of blue dash fusiliers and some very impressive schools of moorish idols danced in the gentle current. Blake even found a beautiful white leaf fish. Dive two was on Crystal Rock ; full of fish and with a couple white tip sharks. Inyo found the group a gorgonian giving us our first look and two fantastic pygmy sea horses whilst cruising along I found an egg sack anchored to the rocks by a bamboo shark… not a bad way to spend a day…
We awoke the next morning to another beautiful sunrise and headed back to Castle Rock for a calm dive surounded by giant trevalies and tons of reef fish but it was the third dive of the day which was truly unforgetable – the famous Shotgun! We started the dive in a sandy area with 4 blue spotted stingrays swimming around us as if they were checking us out. In the middle of the sand was a small purple gorgonian fan with a couple pygmy seahorses. Cruising further up the channel we were shot past the cauldron over the ridge for a very fast paced drift. Just when we thought it couldnt get any better we looked up to see a hungry baby manta ray scooping up plankton in the current.
We started day four with a very fast paced drift dive, taking just 12 minutes to drift what would normally take 45! As the current ripped us along we were surounded by fusiliers and even a black tip shark; a fabulous introduction to the renowned Komodo currents. Dive 2 was at Makassar Reef (Manta Point) we jumped in and right away were greeted by 4 manta rays, including one very large Black Morph! We sat in the current with the 4 for around 15 minutes before drifting off along the rocky bottom coming across 7 or 8 more mantas.
The next day we started to head south into current city, to dive Batu Bolong, giving us some cold water diving and loads of fish! Then onwards for some fantastic dives at Cannibal Rock; the site was full of life today, the schools of reef fish surounded the rock and all throughout the dive we were finding nudis all over the place. We found a green giant frogfish on a small over hang along with a beautiful ornate ghost pipefish. It seemed like under every rock we found another awesome animal, marble ray, blue spot stingray and a big bamboo shark. At Boulders we found another rare fish- the Rhinopia (lacy Scorpion fish) whilst during the night dive at Torpedo Alley we found the elusive flamboyant cuttlefish along with some other fantastic critters.
We tried our luck at Manta Alley but came up empty handed so we headed back up to Makassar Reef. The current was gentle once again as we swam across the sandy bottom, I looked forward to see some very large animals coming my way and wasn;t sure what they were at first but then it hit me, BottleNose Dolphins! WOW. Shortly after the dolphins we were greeted by two eagle rays and 6 mantas to tie the whole dive together!
Back up to Castle and Crystal Rock in Gili Lawa Laut we went for the last to dives of the trip. Conditions were perfect giving us an awesome view of the GTs and blue fin trevallie hunting the fusiliers in the waters above and a chance to use our reefhooks. We relaxed and hung in as the curent drifted by along with the sharks and endless schools of fish being hunted. The crew and I had a blast with this fantastic group. I hope to see everybody again here on the Indo Siren!
Photos by guest diver Curtis Bale