After nearly eight months in Raja Ampat, Ambon, Lembeh Strait and the Banda Sea, Mermaid 1 is now back in Komodo for even more adventures!

Wonderful conditions throughout this trip made it a particularly enjoyable one. Add great sightings, both underwater and topside, and you’ll end up with a remarkable 10 days!

Starting in the southern part of the Komodo National Park, we got our first up-close-and personal encounters with Manta Rays (more were to come…). In Horseshoe Bay we were treated with extremely healthy reefs, and an parade of critters, such as Coleman Shrimps, Zebra Crabs and an abundance of Nudibranchs! We also got a chance to see the signature animal of the area – the infamous Komodo Dragon!

Moving up in the Linta Strait (a.k.a. the Komodo Channel) not only did we get more quality time with our black-and-white, rather big and flappy friends, but also beautiful dives with tons of colourful fish and stunning corals! Some of us were even lucky enough to see not only one but TWO Dugongs!

Northern part of Komodo offers some great high-voltage dives; seamounts and narrow passages were scheduled for the next couple of days.

We found ourselves in a virtual fishsoup on several of the dives here! Surgeonfish, Batfish, Sailfin Snappers, Sweetlips, Giant Trevallies and Whitetip Reef Sharks were all over the place with Eagle Rays and Napoleons also joining the party!

Highlight here was probably a dive in a narrow channel known as Shotgun. You typically dive here when there’s a healthy current running that brings in all kinds of pelagics. We had three Manta Rays playing in that current, making us look rather silly while they effortlessly cruised up and down the channel, occasionally passing just inches from us! Mindblowing!

Heading west towards Bali, we spent a day at Sangeang Volcano. Fields of volcanic bubbles, sensational corals and lots (lots!!) of rare and interesting creatures, including a very co-operative Wonderpus living up to its scientific name “wunderpus photogenicus”. Shaggy Frogfish, Coconut Octopus and a strange Melibe Nudibranch were among the many other sightings here.

Happy fishy dives at Moyo Island rounded off this first Komodo trip of 2018.

Mermaid I, Diving Cruise at Maumere – Komodo – Bali
May 8 – 17, 2018
Pj Widestrand
Video Pro