Pelagics of Komodo

This weeks trip aboard Mermaid II to Komodo National Park was one dominated by Pelagics.

Crystal Rock was alive with current and having managed to descent into the sweet spot where the current splits around the pinnacle we were surrounded by Dogtooth tuna and Giant Trevalley as they hounded the fusiliers at speed.

At Castle rock, we once again made it into the split but this dive site gave us a very different scene, this time with White-Tip Reef Sharks taking the place of the Tuna. Unlike the Tuna, they appeared more lazy in their approach, gently swimming in and out of the currents looking for opportunities to snack on the small reef fish.

The visibility at Manta Alley had closed in a bit but this just seemed to lead to the Mantas coming ever closer. Silently they would appear from the gloom and move in close to check us out before disappearing again.

Siaba Kecil, Pink Beach and Gilli Banta gave us close up encounters with Hawksbill Turtles and Reef cuttlefish. The turtles paid us no attention as they foraged the reef for soft corals while the cuttlefish seemed just as interested to observe us as we watched them.

After last weeks discovery of a Weedy Scorpionfish, we returned to the Secret Garden hoping to find more only to discover another member of the Rhinopias Genius, the Paddle-flap Scorpionfish. This Rhinopias was clearly on a mission walking along the sea-bed using its paddle-like fins.

Barry Neal

MV Mermaid II
22nd – 29th July 2023

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