Liveaboard Diving Komodo in the areas of Gilli Lawa Laut & Batu Bolong

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Liveaboard Diving Komodo
in the areas of Gilli Lawa Laut & Batu Bolong

IMG-7682A slight delay to the departure of our Indo Siren liveaboard trip due to Merpati Airlines leaving one bag in Bali but that didn’t interrupt our great dives at the Unusual Suspects with its amazing critters! With all luggage returned to its rightful owner later the following morning we were making our way over to Gili Banta. Currents and waves made the journey over a little tough going but diving at Small World, where the stargazers were out in force, made up for this.

IMG-7313We started the following day with a relaxed paced dive at Coral Garden where we were to have our first sighting of the hairy squat lobster hiding in the barrel sponges. We then moved the yacht over to Gili Lawa Laut for a beautiful fishy dive on Crystal Rock. Our friendly eagle ray was taking the day off but we were inspected by some white tips and a school of big eye jacks! In the afternoon it was time to see what was happening at Castle Rock, plenty of fish swarming over the reef with sightings of white tip sharks, giant and blue fin trevally and a turtle. No need to hook in today as the currents were not as strong as we have sometimes experienced! Some of our divers made a sunset dive on shotgun reef whilst Jeff and Kathy joined me for a walk up the mountain at GLL to watch the sunset and take in the view!

hairy-frogfishDay 4 started with a bang at Shotgun where the currents were not too strong and we had a sighting of an eagle ray…. Perhaps the one rom Crystal Rock has found a new home? Back to Castle Rock and although previously suspected to mainly be in the south we found ladybugs! Not so great for those photographers on wide angle for the action but no worries we would see them again! In the hundreds! The spectacular and colourful Batu Bolong was calling and we managed to jump before the any other dive boats… good planning I’d say! Such a great dive, everyone came up asking to do it again! Time for another muck dive and this time at Pantai Merah where we were joined by hairy frogfish, painted frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, white V octopus, marbled octopus and a bobtail squid to name but a few… Amazing dive

bobtail squidTime to meet the Dragons! It is mating season still but the ones we saw were all being lazy around the ranger hut but we found one at the watering hole and also managed to see where they build their nests for their eggs. One baby dragon was spotted hiding in the tree so its mother wouldn’t eat it….Very cute! A spot of souvenir shopping and it was time to head south to Padar with the aim of moving on for our night dive in Nusa Kode. However the winds had picked up and we ended up spending the night in Padar Bay. Only two divers did the night dive but came up raving after spotting giant frogfish, leaf scorpion fish, giant and baby cuttlefish and a giant barracuda amongst other things.

white-V-octopusHeading south the winds had died down so we had a great cruise and then our luck was definitely in….We were the only boat in Horseshoe Bay! How great to be able to dive Cannibal Rock by ourselves for our first dive. The viz unfortunately was not great,but it did not distract from the beauty of this fabulous dive site; zebra crabs and many many nudis were sighted. The dragons were already patrolling the beach checking us out before we made our second dive at Crinoid Wall; very colourful and our first proper sighting of the lady bugs in force! An Orangutan crab was out posing and a large reef octopus came to play. Many of our guests knew Larry Smith personally and so were excited to jump on the Yellow Wall of Texas, named many years ago by Larry. Before the night dive it was time to visit some really wild dragons! They kept coming out to the dinghy and even put on a little show of how they mating season goes for the dragons in Rinca – Two female dragons and one male! Lucky boy!!! The colder water and the excitement of the dragons had gotten to a few of our divers so just 6 opted for the night dive where we were to see the rare bobbit worm and many torpedo rays along with the skeleton shrimp, a White V octopus and coconut octopus.

IMG-7218We remained in Nusa Kode for our first dive after which we headed up to Padar to try to dive Tiga Dara again as the conditions had been two rough on the way down. It was flat calm and hardly any current! Beautiful! At Tengah Kecil we managed to avoid most of the other divers seeing a large school of chevron barracuda and bumphead parrotfish. Diving in the shallows was just like being in an aquarium… so many fish everywhere we looked. The night dives was special again with frogfish, cuttlefish and ornate ghost pipe fish. The following morning we dived Siaba Kecil and Batu Bolong, which were both very relaxed! In fact we managed to swim all the way around Batu Bolong for the first time this season!!! Then it was time to ratch it up a notch and go for a drift dive on the beautiful and colourful Tatawa Besar, finishing the day’s diving at Gili Lawa Darat Bay.

pygmy-seahorsesThe last full day of diving had approached so time to go back to the famous Castle and Crystal Rocks for some fishiness before culminating our trip at Sangaeng Island for a taste of Hot Rocks! The Bargibanti were still there and posed nicely for us. The black sand makes a stark contrast to the striking colours of the anemones and corals at this dive site! Our final dive was at The Estuary where the Komodo currents decided to make an appearance. They did some crazy things forcing us divers to do a lot of zigzagging but it was still a superb dive with plenty to see, just their way of saying goodbye and remember me! Time to relax during our journey back to Bima with photos to edit & books to read! This trip really flew by. It’s been lovely having you all on board! We hope to see you all again soon/ Sampai Jumpa Lagi – Indo Siren Crew


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