More Than Komodo

This weeks trip on board Mermaid II to Komodo National Park really proved why making the crossing from Bali to Komodo and back again can be so much more rewarding than taking a flight to Labuan Bajo. Aside from the logistics of additional flights and time lost in an airport there is a huge of array of marine life to see along the way.

On route to Komodo our first stop was at Moyo Island, with excellent visibility, we were treated to several Turtles, schools of fusiliers being chased by Trivially and Mackerel in the blue, passing Black tip Reef Sharks and White-Tip Reef sharks hiding under a table coral. In between all the big action the dive guides were finding anemone shrimps, Hairy Squat Lobsters and Nudibranchs.

Sumbawa Wall was the next stop, a dive dominated by more miniscual beasts the highlight of which was the Bagabanti Pygmy seahorses. Out in the blue one of the groups even got to see an Eagle Ray and a Silvertip Reef Shark.

Our last dive before reaching the park was a sunset dive at Satonda Island. As we shallowed up over the sands we found flathead crocodile fish, snake eels and Stargazers.

Reaching the north of Komodo we were intending on diving Crystal Rock, but noticing the array of other dive boats, our guides switched to Castle Rock which was empty and it was an excellent decision. Being the only divers we descended on a divesite full of action! Having the whole of Castle Rock to ourselves was a rare treat and we were spoilt by several large Grey Reef Sharks lurking on the edges of the Reef.

Tuesday was a day of giants. After an eventful morning trekking around Komodo with many Active Dragon Encounters we headed South to Manta Alley which certainly lived up to its name with 2 action packed dives and Manta Rays all around us.

On our way back to Bali we stopped to dive around Sangeang Volcano. The black sand can at first appear barren but it takes no time at all for the talented dive guides to spot the tiny marine life hidden in the sands. Frogfish, Nudibranchs and Shrimps of all shapes and sizes made for a day of fantastic much diving. At night we did one final muck dive off the beach at Bontoh where the water was full of Octopus of varying shapes and sizes.

The final dives were back at Moyo Island, exploring a different part of the Reef we found Banded sea kraits and more Sharks.

Komodo Diving Cruise Sep 2023

Barry Neal

Mermaid II

12th – 19th August 2023

For more details about Komodo National park check