It was another action packed week aboard Mermaid II as it voyaged from Bali to Komodo. Sunday evening we went for a sunset dive at Satonda Reef where we briefly interrupted a pair of mating cuttlefish. Dive guide Bob spotted a tiny pygmy squid hidden amongst the coral reef.
Our first day in the National Park was spent in the North as we dived Batu Moncho, Castle Rock & Crystal Rock. At Castle, we were greeted by an array of White-tip Reef Sharks which were coming in much closer than usual as they glided around in the currents. The next dive at Crystal Rock we were joined by schools of Bigeye Trevalley & Pickhandle Barracuda whilst huge schools of mixed Fusiliers danced around. As we shallowed up around the rock we found a brave Peacock mantis shrimp out in the open and a Giant Moray hunting amongst the rocks and corals.
Jumping in on Tatawa Besar at slack tide we were able to explore the reef much more than on the usual fast drift along. A couple of Reef Octopus were taking advantage of the lack of current and putting on a colourful display as they explore outside of their burrows. As we shallowed up we came across several Hawksbill Turtles, some sleeping. One hungry Turtle had its eye on a particular Anemone but it was well guarded by a team of Anemonefish who knew that to deter the turtle the eye was a good target. As we left behind the action the Turtle was still trying to get close to the anemone and the anemone fish were still aggressively defending their home.
More Turtles were waiting for us at Siaba Besar, this time of the Green variety, with one resting on the coral and others munching on the sea grass. Around the stag horn corals a female cuttlefish was searching for save places to leave her eggs whilst the smaller male hovered nearby.
Leaving the National Park we made a dive at Gilli Banta. Whilst most of us were looking at Mushroom Pipefish, Pygmy Seahorses and other small creatures a Melanistic Manta passed overhead in the shallows before swopping down into the depths. As we journeyed on to Sangeang Volcano we found yet more Pygmy Seahorses as well as Ornate Ghost Pipefish and many Frogfish.
Mermaid II Komodo
August 19 to 26, 2023
Check out https://www.mermaid-liveaboards.com/destinations/komodo/ for more details of Komodo National Park.