Bluewater Travel's Komodo Trip Recap & Photos

Bluewater Travel's Komodo Trip Recap & Photos


Komodo Group Trip

August 2016

Led by Adam Gibson

 

 Enjoy this trip video courtesy of the Wallacea Dive Staff!

 

Komodo is located nearly dead center amongst Indonesia’s many islands.  It hosts fantastic coral and marine life, both large and small.  The marine biodiversity is top class and I would highly recommend it to any experienced scuba divers.  We had many guests onboard which had already dove Komodo once before - which is a great testament for the quality of diving.  One advisement is the currents can be very strong - so only with an experience level of 50+ dives and Advanced or more certification is advised as well as required by most liveaboard vessels.

After the typical long flight process to get to Indonesia, we finally made it to Bali and settled in for the evening.  The next day our group met for the first time and boarded a little island hopper to Bima where we then were picked up, shuttled to the boat, and the true adventure began!

After the standard safety briefings, moving in to their designated cabins, exploring the boat, etc, we began with a check-dive at Betlehem, a clever acronym for “Better than Lembeh”.  Although I couldn’t give you a proper comparison, I can thankfully say it didn’t disappoint!  Being a proper “muck” site, it was filled with debris, which then in turn had the critters flockings!  Sightings of pipefish, ghost pipefish, frog fish, stone fish, octopus, nudi’s, cuttlefish, and more were abound.  With knowing that the majority of divesites we’d be hitting on our Komodo tour would be reefs, currents, etc it was a nice changeup to start off in some proper muck.


Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


From there we ventured south, diving along the way.  Thanks to traveling over the “shoulder season” both the south and north divests were accessible to us.  In the south it’s typically colder with less visibility, but you also have a larger amount of marine life as well as many critters and more “macro focused” dives.  We had some fabulous dives, seeing a number of creatures from big to small.  We hit various top divesites like Manta Alley, Cannibal Rock, 3 sisters, Padar Reef, and many more. 


Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


Liveaboards are truly a way to unwind and clear your head from everything besides what is in front of you at that exact moment in time.  On the Ambai, we were spoiled.  The cabins feel like a floating 5 star hotel, the smiling staff greet us by name, and the bell rings nearly every hour indicating food is on the table or it’s time to gear up for the next dive.  The staff onboard are truly spectacular, always a smile and a hello.

Although wonderful sites, the visibility was quite poor and with 4 dives a day, 25-26 degree Celsius started taking its toll.  After about 1.5 days, our group was in search for warmer waters and better visibility so we decided to shorten our southern route and head to the north half early,

In our southern route we only saw 2 or 3 dive boats the whole time, but up in the north it’s far more populated with liveaboards (likely preferring the warmer temperatures like us), as well as day boats or shorter 3-night cruises all coming from Labuan Bajo.  Due to this, we occasionally had to contend with other boats and divers at the divesites, but very rarely was it an issue.  Fortunately most the boats respect a modo of “the first is king” so if you arrive afterwards you must dive around their planned schedule.  Besides this one downside, the dives were spectacular.  Deep blue visibility and far warmer temperatures ensured happy faces during every dive.

"We become jaded by the beautiful scenery - the turquoise water lapping at the white beaches, sprinkled with pink hue from crushed vibrant corals.  Green trees dot the faced and rocky terrain.  Boats of all shapes and sizes putter around, greeting us with a wave.  Currents can be seen from the boat, pulling and pushing the waters surface into life, leaving some patches smooth and untouched.  But it’s the deep blue, the world underneath ours, that pulls us in."


Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


Around the north we covered all the “top dive sites” I had on my list, as well as many others that I hadn’t heard of but loved!  A few sites covered were Batu Bolong, Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, Wainilu (for mandarin fish), Karang Makassar, Shotgun, Siaba (awesome muck dive), and many others!


Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip

Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip 

Komodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


Besides diving and eating, we stay busy with numerous land visits to islands for swimming, view points to hike and watch the sunset, jet skiing behind the zodiacs (I am still shocked they had that - so much fun!), Komodo dragons to see at the National Park, and an awesome beach bonfire at the end to top off the great trip.


Komodo 2016 Bluewater Trip

Komodo 2016 Bluewater Trip

Komodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


"Without the distractions of WiFi, we are cut out from the outside world and our usual obligations.  In between dives, we lounge in the hot sun as the boat pivots around the island, a perfect breeze keeping us cool.  We read, we talk, we nap.  Discussions arise as we study fish books and look through photos and videos, trying to put a name to what we have seen.  As if we haven’t spend enough time in the water already, we jump off the roof of the boat like children, laughing so hard we breathe salt water into our burning lungs.  Buntings and card games keep us awake under the starry skies until we are so tired we can barely keep our eyes open."


Komodo 2016 Bluewater TripKomodo 2016 Bluewater Trip


Approximately 30 hours underwater and 9 days has left us tired, prune and with clogged ears.  Yet after each dive, we retreat to the main deck, ready for it to start all over again!

This trip, crew, and most importantly - the group of guests were an absolute pleasure.  Thanks again to the Wallacea staff and all our fantastic guests, you all were fantastic and I hope to see you again very soon!


Komodo 2016 Bluewater Trip

 

 

Bluewater Travel runs multiple group trips every year, as well as arranges personal travel for anyone planning their next dive vacation. For more information on Bluewater trips as well as amazing dive destinations, visit www.bluewaterdivetravel.com or email us at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com.

Learn more about the boat, the MV Ambai, or learn about diving Komodo National Park for your next dive destination.

 

 

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