The Indo Siren was happy to welcome on board this week 13 divers from Sweden. All thrilled to discover what Komodo Marine Park had to offer. A few of them were repeat customers. The dive crew introduced our divers to the strange and wonderful creatures of Bima Bay on the island of Sumbawa. A checkout dive at Nudi Reef proved that the astounding diversity the nudibranchs we had spotted on our last cruise was no fluke, while the following dives in Bima Bay offered many of our guests their first glimpse of the thorny seahorse, pygmy cuttlefish and even Wunderpus!
The following morning, the Indo Siren moved to the volcanic island of Sangeang for another day of remarkable macro diving. The great visibility helped us to spot the critters! At Techno Reef and the Estuary, our photographers got some fantastic shots of a tiny painted frogfish, two ornate ghost pipefish camouflaged in a feather star and the quintessential macro subject, the bargibanti pygmy seahorse. The night dive at Sangeang’s Circus is always a favorite with our guests, and our Swedish divers were no different, as they marveled at the stargazers’ eerie grimace hidden just beneath the sand.
As thrilling as it is to explore the macro world above and below volcanic sands, by our third day it was time for some “blue water” diving. And no better place to begin than the famed Shotgun. Divers could see the mantas hovering the current. The late morning dive at Castle Rock brought our divers to use their reef hook and see the white tip reef sharks and giant trevallies hunting only few meters away.
The next day, at Makassar Reef, with its numerous cleaning stations, our divers made excellent manta video footage, as well as at Batu Bolong where white tips and big napoleons were there for our divers ‘delight! The sunset dive at Wainilu where we had the opportunity to see some mandarin fish. At Rinca Island, we did the awaited Komodo walk. Wearing their shoes for the first time in almost a week, the group encountered about a half dozen good-sized dragons before ascending the rocky path to take in the view overlooking the bay. Dragons. Done. Photos. Done. Let’s get back to the diving! And our first taste of cold water. At Tiga Dara, our divers adjusted to their newly-added layers of neoprene and a new type of diving: greener water, more soft corals, different types of aquatic life. Then we moved the Indo Siren farther south to Nusa Kode and the stunning soft coral coverage of Yellow Wall of Texas, Boulders and Cannibal Rock.
We moved the Indo Siren to Manta Alley in southern Komodo. Back to the hot waters, our divers could keep their attention focused on the business of spotting mantas! about 10 or 12 on each dive!! But what really had the divers pumping their fists in excitement was the first creature spotted at the manta cleaning station….a MOLA MOLA!
We came back to Batu Bolong and on our second visit to Shotgun a swarm of mantas entered the channel and hovered gracefully above us for 10 minutes or more. The best dive of the return trip, however, was the second visit to Castle Rock with 7 white tips, 2 grey reef sharks, giant trevallies and schools of blue dash fusiliers all vying for our attention. Just awesome.
It was a fantastic cruise from start to finish. We were sorry to see our Swedish group go, but we were delighted to know that a few of them were going to join us again when the Indo Siren would be back at Raja Ampat! Can’t wait to see them again!