Nov Trip Report – Mantas, Dolphins and Washing Machine Cycles

This trip we welcomed Paola & Roberto from Italy, and Stephanie, Christian, Iris, Karl-Heinz, Christiane and Joe from Germany. Some in the group were returning guests, they were happy to see familiar faces among the crew and were very excited to hit the diving in Komodo they so fondly remember!

We started our first dive of the cruise at Satonda Kiri. Not a bad check dive as we were graced with the presence of a number of turtles and even a lovely anemone shrimp, which was an impressive start!

Strange and unpredictable currents greeted us on the next day, as we entered Komodo National Park, Our morning dive at Golden Passage (normally a drift dive), turned into an unexpected “washing machine spin cycle” dive as the current seemed to be coming from everywhere. Nevertheless, we had great fun and spotted some Bump heads and 8 Stingrays.

mantas, dolphins and washing machine cyclesWe decided to head south into Current City to try our luck at spotting Mantas at Makassar Reef. We spotted a beautiful Manta, and then saw a tiny Ghost pipefish being dragged through the current and into the jaws of the biggest Barracuda we have ever see here in this area. Gulp!

In the afternoon, the currents and whirlpools were everywhere. So we waited patiently for a window of opportunity to dive Batu Bolong. Despite the conditions, we knew we would be in luck as strong currents meant we would see a few White tip sharks! A few divers proceeded onto the night dive at Cucumber city, but most called it an early night as we wanted to wake up bright and early for the dragon hunt.

Our early night paid off as we were the first to arrive on Komodo Island. We hiked to a watering hole, where three males were seen basking in the morning rays. A number of deer and wild boars were also up early, crossing our path on many occasions. A lucky day in the park indeed!

The next day, it was time to hit the famous Pink Beach – A relaxing macro dive and also where we spotted a beautiful Dorid Nudi! Loh Namu was calling us next and with a gentle rising tide we drifted along the slope, passing a school of Fusiliers and a lone White tip. After a delicious lunch and a snooze, we proceeded for a dusk dive for the very special Mandarin Fish!

The next day’s highlight was when we sailed to South Komodo, a Manta galore at Manta Alley. About a dozen gentle giants were doing loops and zooming over our head

Entering South Rinca (Nusa Kode) & Padar

Today was dedicated to our macro loving divers, as we headed to Banana Reef. The reef slopes here are covered in beautiful soft coral and we enjoyed the good visibility that is typical in the south. During our break, we hopped into dinghies to try and get some nice close up photos of dragons swimming.  We then proceeded for the highlight of the day – Cannibal Rock that is a macro haven – Nudis of all colors were seen here!

Early next morning, and our last day in Komodo National Park we decided to go out with a bang by hitting the top 3 dive sites in the north, starting off at Crystal Rock, then moving to Shotgun and then The Canyon. Boy what a day it was as we saw reef sharks feeding and numerous schools of trevally! Shotgun however, was unusually tame without much current. Just when we decided it was time to head to the surface, 5 dolphins approached us curiously, that definitely was icing on the cake on this dive!!

We sailed to the volcanic islands of Sangeang the next day, the mood during this dive is often eerie as the ocean floor is covered with dark volcanic sand, and gas bubbles that are released from the sea bed.  We dived at Black Magic Reef in search for critters and then to Buffalo Beach where you can glide over the underwater sand dunes in search of Ghost pipeFish.

school of fusiliers - Adelaar Liveaboards in KomodoBesides a good day of diving, the highlight was also seeing the crew put up the sails! After which, we sailed to the direction of Moyo.

The next morning we fitted in our last 2 dives of the trip, at Angel Reef and Little Angel, both relaxing dives in calm warm water. The reef were teeming with schooling fusiliers, while the trevallies were out for a spot of breakfast. Black tip sharks were mingling around, and a whitetips was spotted hiding under a large table coral. This was a perfect end to a beautiful trip!

The next morning, we arrived back in Serangan harbor and after a teary farewell our lovely guests parted and went their separate ways. What a trip it’s been of Mantas, Dolphins & Washing Machine cycles! A big thank you to our photographers Roberto, Christian & Joe for providing the photos for this week’s trip report!

To learn more about the various dive sites Adelaar visits, click here…