Monday, June 24, 2013

Komodo, Indonesia

MV Mermaid I
Komodo is famous for none other than the Komodo Dragon, the biggest lizard on earth named after the name of the island. Komodo Island lies between Sumbawa and Flores Island. There is no direct access to the island. You have to get a share boat/LOB through the gateway cities of Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores or Bima in eastern Sumbawa or liveaboard from Bali.

8 of us boarded MV Mermaid I from Bali for an exciting 8 days diving to Moyo, Satondam Sangeang, Rinja, Komodo, Gili Lawalaut and Padar islands. It was a luxury steel motor boat run by a team of very professional crew. We were briefed in detail of the day to day schedule, dive briefing were 99% perfect to the actual dive, we were amazed with the drawing done by the cruise director, always intriguing. :-)

Moyo Island
Our days were more thorough than a normal work day, we woke up 6am for a light breakfast, briefing and suit up and off we go into the water, back for a real breakfast, another dive before lunch and 2 more after lunch with a tea break in between. In the evening, we did night dives on some days whenever we are not sailing.
Underwater Hotspring

There is one dive in Sangeang that was extraordinary, we dove in the bubble of hot water like Jacuzzi pool. It was an underwater hot spring where hot water bubbles out from the black sandy bottom, it was the only dive site that has the water temperature of over 30°C. :-)

I remember the dive at Lighthouse where we were brief about the supercurrent at this site, the briefing itself made us all nervous. We will be drop off about 100m before the corner where the super current picks up so we could have enough time to descent and get ready, we were split into 2 groups in order to have enough space at the corner to hook ourselves and stay to watch the pelagic swim by. But things didn't go as plan, the 1st group went but they took longer then they should when the 2nd group arrived at the corner, we hit them like a bowling ball hitting the pins. It was chaotic! No one got hurt but it turn out to be the joke of the trip. :-)

Feather stars
Another dive at the Fish Soup site was memorable too, it was literally as the dive site has describe, we jump into to a bowl of fishes. There were so many actions, tuna zooming pass, schooling jacks, snappers, loads of schooling fishes, sharks. We were all smiling from ear to ear as we surfaced.
Komodo Dragon and the surrounding islands

I will never forget the ice cold Cannibal Rock dive site that we were all looking forward to. A world known macro dive site has kept up the status, we saw plenty of nudibranches and other critters. It was also the coldest dive site as far due to the cold water flow from the south.

Of course not forgetting the trip up to the Komodo National Park to see the fierce looking Komodo Dragon. It is among the world's largest reptiles and can reach up to 3 meters or more in length and weight over 70kg. We were guided by 2 guides into the open grass-woodland savanna to see the unique plantation and to spot the dragons. 

Travel date :  14 Sep 2007-23 Sep 2007
Travel route : Singapore -F-> Bali -B-> Komodo
Accommodation and diving : LOB - MV Mermaid I (
Type of diving : Muck, Wall
Water temperature : 24°C Sumba Sea - 26-28°C Flores Sea
Best time to dive : Year round but best for the northern area is May-Nov and Southern area is Dec-Mar
 -F-> Flight -B-> Boat

Photos of the trip
Hoplophrys oatesii
Aegires villosus
Thecacera pacifica
Table Coral
Soldier fish

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