S/Y Indo Siren diving in Komodo National Park
S/Y Indo Siren diving in Komodo National Park
Well it was a rather eventful start to the trip! Merpati,surprise surprise, messed up our schedule by asking one of our guests, Dominic,to change flights to a non-direct flight from Bali to Bima – via the lovely Lombok, assuring him that it would only make a difference of 30 minutes to hisschedule! They neglected to say a day and30 mins, as the flight was grounded in Lombok due to technical problems and sohe had to stay the night there and take a flight very early the next morning to join us. But he did finally make it and once onboard we started our journey over to Gili Banta for the third and forth dive of the trip for the rest of the group.
The currents were with us for a change and so we made it with plenty of time to squeeze in two dives on Gili Banta before heading over to Coral Garden in N Komodo. The first, at Swiss dream was beautiful! Everyone kept asking how the dives were going to get any better than this! Then we hada longer than usual dive on Small World to make up for missing one dive duringthe day! Everyone was happy! Stargazers galour!…. We then moved the boat over to N. Komodo to anchor for the night and meet up with the Palau siren for a crew change! Francesco our Italian Stallion hopped on to the Palau and Dwi our local dive guide jumped back on to the Indo Siren. A gentle start to Day 3at Coral Garden but the devil rays were not out to play as they were the day before for the Palau Siren! Shame but abeautiful dive none the less, with a school of bumphead parrot fish, barramundicod and black frog fish! After breakfast we hit Big Nose and our first introduction to Komodo currents! Although not too strong we had been spoilt for the past couple of days so a bit of a surprise for some! We were joined by our first white tip shark cruising by as well as aneagle ray!
We had planned our third dive for Gili Lawa Laut – Castle or Crystal rock – but when we got there the currents were crazy with eddies everywhere so decided to find some protection in Gili Lawa Darat Bay and then drift through the golden passage! Unfortunately prior to this dive a guest had a mishap and whilst trying to multi-task slipped over and split his chin open requiring stitches. After a number of calls to his insurance company we arranged a speedboat to Labuan Bajo to visit the local hospital. The doc did a very neat job and Lisa and her guest were back onboard the Indo Siren before mid-night. Being such a diver he kept asking when he could dive again!!!!
Next morning was the dragon walk, but before that we had another fallen solider. Many of the guests had decidedto go out for a meal in Bali before joining the boat and had been sufferingfrom Deli – or should I say Bali – belly!!! having to miss a few dives duringthe early part of the trip! Unfortunately for one guest this left him alittle light headed and during the night when he got out of bed he passed outhurting his shoulder in the fall!!! Wechecked him over the strapped him up. Nothing appeared to be broken so we decided to monitor things andimmobilize the shoulder for a while! Greatnews after 3 days he was back in the water diving with the mantas!!!!! alongwith Mr. Stitches… The full team backagain!
Nusa Kode was cold but great and we had the place to our selves until the last morning! Manta Alley was amazing with 15-20 mantas atone time on the second dive!!!! All of them coming close to check us out! We had a number of manta virgins onboard who were smiling all night!!! Birthday Boy John was particularly happy saying what better way to celebrate your Birthday! which we celebrated with him that evening at the Phinisi Wreck.
Time to head up to warmer waters, with our first dive at Pantai Merah with a walking frog fish,then over to Siaba for a gentle drift. Siaba is a beautiful, sloping coralreef. Next dive was Tatawa besar whith many schools of fish. There were the Anthias and Chromis and fusiliers, but there was also a school of batfish and anice Hawksbill Turtle. What a treat .
Next Stop . . .Gili Lawa Darat. With a night dive in Gili Lawa Darat Bay where we saw an Ornate Ghost Pipefilsh, some Nudi’s and a nice Reef Octopus. In the morning we moved around the corner to Gili Lawa Laut so wecould dive the famous Castle and Crystal Rocks again. On Castle Rock we werevisited by a Manta Ray, some White Tips and a banded Sea Snake. Crystal Rock was equally exciting with theresident Eagle Ray hovering in the current above the pinnacle allowing us tocome close and watch him. Several guests got some very nice video. The lastdive in Gili Lawa Laut was Shotgun. An exciting ride as always ending with a White Tip and several Green and Hawksbill turtles. The last night dive ofthe trip was in N. Komodo at Coral Garden. I very nice, gentle dive with somelionfish, banded pipefish and a Spanish Dancer.
With a good nights rest,we are off to Gili Banta for our last two dives at Swiss Dream and K2. The current was picking up so we chose SwissDream over Roller Coaster and very glad we did. The end of the dive at Swiss Dream was a Roller Coaster in it self. We had up and down currents as well as an incoming tide One group jumped in and the current took them toward Roller Coaster so they called the dive after 30minutes because of the strong current. However the other group jumped a theexact same place and the current took them the other way. That group saw ablack ribbon eel and hawksbill turtle, but at the end of the dive, all they sawwas the blur of coral rushing by as they were carried along the reef in anexciting and fun filled ride. K2 was awelcome and relaxing, slow drift along a sandy sloping bottom with the groupsenjoying their last dive. One group willforever remember this site as BintangBay.
Afterwards, the crew got busy cleaning all of the dive gear and securing the dive deck. The guests took lunch and had some time to relax and reminisce of their dive adventure before the nights festivities. Dinner was fabulous, a BBQ of beef and porkchops. The guests with cameras donated a few pictures and videos for the evenings entertainment and we watched a great slide show, remembering the wonders of the trip. After, the serious party gang turned up the music and the dance party began…
Morning came far too early and it was time to take our group photo and say goodbye. As had been the case with the beginning of the trip so at the end the airlines changed two ofthe guests’ itineraries at the last minute and they ended up with an unexpected overnight stay in Indonesia. Lisa headed out with the guests to start her holiday and the crew missed her as soon as she left the boat.