This trip was critter crazy and kickstarted with a bang on the first night! We had a great night dive at the picturesque Satonda Island halfway to Komodo National Park. Stargazers, Ambon scorpionfish, seamoths, robust ghostpipefish, skeleton and mantis shrimps were out in force, along with a stealth squad of Indian Ocean lionfish that hunted hapless cardinalfish on the sandy seabed.
Moving on to Komodo, we were blessed with clear waters all week, and some really fishy dives at Batu Bolong, Castle, and Crystal Rock – a trio of the best dive sites in the park – with white-tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, dogtooth tuna, along with schools of trevally and fusiliers. Still, the critters kept coming, and our guests got to photograph pygmy seahorses and ribbon eels one minute, followed by a passing shark the next!
In the south of Komodo National Park, ‘Manta Alley’ didn’t fail to deliver – we had chains of up to 7 mantas passing our dive group around the cleaning stations and through the alley.
This was followed with a dive on the stunning ‘Yellow Wall’ where we saw giant frogfish, clown frogfish, coleman shrimp, zebra crab, ornate ghostpipefish, and a plethora of different nudibranchs.
One of the many highlights of this trip was the night dive at ‘Bontoh’ on the volcanic island of Sangeang where we found some interactive coconut octopus, a teeny tiny juvenile bright yellow (unidentified) frogfish, seahorses, ornate and rough-snout ghostpipefish, along with many cute-as-a-button bobtail squids.
A personal highlight of this trip was all down to the eagle eyes of our dive guide Ketut on the last dive at ‘Sumbawa Wall’ where he found two incredibly rare, tiny pugheaded pipefish!
Mermaid II Bali-Komodo-Bali Scuba Diving Cruise
Aug 26th – Sep 2nd 2017
by Christian Loader