Indonesia has some of the best diving in the world, with the waters around Komodo possessing some of the country’s best diving. And although the dive sites north of Komodo are among the best in the country and the world, I was reluctant to sign up for a second day of diving due to the cost. On the boat ride back from yesterday’s dives, I was trying to think of a way to justify another day of diving- we’re not going to any more diving destinations on our trip, we’ll just dive here instead of Bali or Lombok, the market rallied last week didn’t it- when Joylani asked, “Matt, when are we gonna be in Komodo again?” Good point. Our first dive was at Castle Rock, a large submerged cone of rock and coral. We dropped in a ways from the site and let the current take us to the site. Swimming around it to the side sheltered from the current, we were greeted by a ton of big fish. The first thing I saw was a Great Barracuda, about two meters long. Just when I was thinking about how good it would taste, some even tastier fish swam between us. I looked around and noticed tuna and jackfish (trevally) swarming around us. Yellowfin and dogtooth tuna zipped around, while the trevally moved in large schools. There were some other cool things around too, like white-tip reef sharks, lionfish, nudibranches, the Moorish idols that liked to play with my camera, and the group of surgeonfish that followed Joylani around, playing with her column of bubbles.
can you spot the scorpionfish? Joylani couldn\’t either…
school of trevally
Our second dive was to Crystal Rock, also teeming with life. We saw a ton of different species of sweetlips and even a moray eel swimming out in the open, an extremely rare sight as only their heads are usually seen poking out from under rocks. There was a ton of table coral around too. Joylani stayed up top while Fabio, our divemaster and I went down for a third dive near a place called Seribayu Island. It was a wall dive without too many big things, so mostly we wet up and down the reef wall scouring for interesting things.
my best nudibranch photo to date
don\’t know what he\’s stretching for though…
There were a quite a few soft corals I’d never seen before, a couple species of nudibranches I’d never seen before, a couple of cuttlefish. Besides having eaten lots of dried cuttlefish, I didn’t know anything about them. They look really interesting and propel themselves with “fins” than run the length of their body. The coolest thing though, was watching them change color as we followed them- maybe they could sense how much I like to eat them….
Reading back over this post, I realize how much of a nerd I am listing and describing everything I saw, but I’ve realized that the diving community is pretty nerdy. Even the tough-looking hardcore divers start talking about marine life when they hit the surface: corals, reef-fish, nudibranches, pelagics, and so on. If you find my lists and descriptions of the dives boring, suffice it to say diving around Komodo is awesome.
our lunch spot wasn\’t too bad either…
parrotfish and surgeonfish feeding frenzy
shark photos are always cool