nudisusie

nudisusie

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My Dive Map

Reviews (2)

Komodo

5
5
5
4

I went for a 10-night liveaboard which departed from Bima Bay and combined diving in North and South Komodo.

Day 1 – flight from Bali to Bima was delayed so we boarded the liveaboard around 4pm had briefings and orientation, dinner and bintangs

Day 2 – Sangeang Island & Gili Banta (blue water, temp 28C, viz 15-25m)
Bonto Reef &Techno Reef; both have black volcanic sand with small reef outcroppings, black coral bushes, soft corals. Great for critters. Some disturbance at Bonto Reef could be seen from the recent eruption of Sangeang Api but there appeared little affect to the marine life.
Marine Life: Nudibranchs (about 20 different species spotted), ornate ghost pipefish, cuttlefish, snake eels, leaf fish
Stargazer Reef (AKA Circus / Star Wars) (night)– large sandy area with a few coral bommies
Marine Life: Stargazers!

Day 3 – North Komodo & Gili Lawa Laut – (blue water, temp 28C, viz 25-30m)
Coral Garden – White sand with coral bommies – little if no current – we used the dive to practice with reef hooks and smb deployment for later in the trip. Marine Life leaf fish, nudibranchs, ribbon eel, moray eels.
Castle Rock – large submerged coral pinnacle, strong current, negative entry and fast descent to cleaning station (20-30m). Reef hooks required. Shelter behind the pinnacle when making safety stop. Marine Life: white tips, schools of jacks, snappers, schools of bannerfish & surgeon fish, turtles, Napoleon wrasse
Crystal Rock – large coral pinnacle which breaks the surface, secondary smaller pinnacle approx. 50m across a narrow channel. Marine Life: Pygmy seahorse, ladybugs, turtles, school of jacks, white tips, Napoleon wrasse
Spanish Dancer Heaven (night)– Reef wall descending to 18m followed by white sand sloping reef. Marine Life: nudibranchs, flat worms, decorator crabs, commensal shrimps, lobster, sponge snail

Day 4 – Gili Lawa Laut, Current City & Rinca (blue water, temp 28C, viz 25-30m)
Golden Passage – wide channel with reef wall and sandy bottom at approx. 30m. Numerous whip corals. Current was mild but picked up during the dive to medium strength – the drift was fun and easy going. Marine Life: Bumphad parrot fish, Xeno crabs, turtles, candy crabs, blue spotted sting rays
Shot Gun! (AKA Cauldron) – Sloping reef / coral garden with a large “fish bowl”/ “cauldron” with white sandy bottom at approx. 25m.Gentle drift until the Cauldron lip when we were “shot” over the reef (8m) – fun drift and we managed to keep our group together by kicking slightly to the left and finished up the dive on the other side of the passage in apretty coral garden. Marine Life: pygmy seahorse, leaf fish, turtles, schooling snappers (2 people saw a manta and 1 a dugong!)
Makassar Reef – long rubble reef with coral bommies. Mantas come to be cleaned / feed here but we didn’t have any luck. The reef itself is quite dull as you simply drift along keeping a look out for the big stuff. Marine life: white tip, eagle rays, sting ray.
Wainlioo (AKA Dragon Besar) Sunset / Night dive – shallow rubble / broken corals followed by a slope with seagrass & coral bommies. Sunset / Night dive. Marine Life: mandarin fish, picturesque dragonets, hairy bat crab (took some time to id that one!), frogfish, pygmy cuttlefish

Day 5 – Guided Dragon walk on Rinca, Padar Bay (Greenish & cooler water -25C, viz 10-20m)
Dragon Walk was awesome – we saw 5 dragons out and about, some lazing close to the trail others prowling around near to the ranger’s station. Better experience than previous visits to Komodo the guides were informative and helpful.
Secret Bay – relatively small site with reef wall starting at 18m – 30m. Plenty of corals, black coral bushes, anemones and barrel sponges. Viz was very poor. Marine Life: hairy squat lobster, mobula rays (just)! Thought the dive site a little lacking in event but if viz better then mobula rays would make it worthwhile.
Tiga Dara (AKA3 Sisters)-3 pinnacles fairly close to each other, each covered in corals, loads of crinoids, whip corals. Mild current made it easy to cruise between the pinnacles, viz poor (10m). Marine Life: giant frogfish, xeno crab, devil scorpionfish, nudibranchs, cowries, porcelain crabs
Sunset on the beach with a few bintangs

Day 6 – Nusa Kode, South Rinca (all dives greenish water with 10-15m viz and water temp 24C)
Boulders – reef slope with large coral “boulders”. We’d been told there was a rhinopia spotted here so our dive focused on that and we found it at 30m. Medium current. Marine Life: Rhinopia, mobula rays, ribbon eels, nudibranchs, whip coral shrimps, crinoid cuttlefish
Cannibal Rock- large submerged pinnacle with soft corals,hard corals, sea fans, black corals and whip corals. Marine Life: turtle, frogfish, sea apples, zebra crabs
Rhino Rocks – sloping dark sand reef with small coral bommies, sea grass and sea fans. Marine Life: frogfish, soft coral cowries, mantis shrimp, pygmy seahorse, cuttlefish, plakobranchs, nudibranchs, zebra crabs, crinoid clingfish, Pegasus seamoths, bobbit worm.
Torpedo Alley (night)- sloping dark sand with tiny sponges, corals and seagrass. Marine Life: all manner of decorator crab, octopus, skeleton shrimp, nudibranchs, sea pens

Day 7 – 3 dives in Nusa Kode and dragon watching at the beach from the dinghies. We crossed from there to South Komodo and a late night dive was offered at Phinisi Wreck.

Day 8 – South Komodo (viz 15-20m, water temp 22-24C)
Manta Alley- reef wall with coral outcroppings. Cleaning station at 24m. Channels run between the rocks at 10-15m where mantas can be seen feeding. We made 3 dives and had success each time at the cleaning station, watching the mantas for 20-30 minutes then moving shallower up the reef. We think there were at least 15 different mantas including 2 all black ones. A late night dive was also offered at Pink Beach (Pantai Merah). Dive 2 was the best of the day

Day 9 – Current City & Gili Lawa Laut (blue water, temp 28C, viz 30-40m)
Pink Beach – sloping coral garden with numerous bommies and white sand. Large patch of staghorn corals. Marine Life: leaf fish, ribbon eels, common octopus,
Batu Bolong – coral pinnacle which breaks the surface has stunning hard and soft corals, a few overhangs and crevices. Need to watch out on the edges as the current can get very strong & turbulent. Marine Life: numerous fish species including puffers, snappers, lionfish, angel fish, nudibranchs, sea spider
Castle Rock – as above though the current was a little stronger and most of the divers were in a “ashing machine” style current during the safety stop – there isn’t much place to hang on, smbs were only deployed when stop was complete. Our guide Dince (who is tiny) had 1 guest hanging off her leg!
Crystal Rock / sunset “booze cruise”

Day 10- Bima Bay (muck diving, water temp 28C, viz 15-20m)
Nudibranch Reef – silty sandy slope with a coral bommies & sponges. Marine Life: many different species of nudibranchs
The Unusual Suspects – sandy slope with coral bommies, shallow sandy area great for extending the dive time (I made a 103minute dive). Marine life: colemani shrimp, zebra crabs, crocodile fish, spiny devilfish, lionfish many types, seahorses, wonderpus, hairy filefish, juv. Barramundi, nudibranchs, frogfish,stone fish, Pegasus seamoths

Visited on 07/2014 - Submitted on 08/01/2014
Read all Komodo Dive Travel reviews

Indo Siren

5
5
5
4

It had been 4 years since I was last in Komodo and I couldn’t wait to get back. I’ve always said (to anyone who cared to ask) that Komodo tops the list of my all-time favourite destinations– so with much anticipation I boarded the plane to Bima to start the adventure aboard the Indo Siren.

The Cabin – Double bed #5
Comfy bed, nice linen – the beds are pushed together to make a double which made a little gap but a mattress topper will solve that issue (I believe one will be bought!)
Spacious, plenty of storage for the limited clothes we brought & we stowed our gear bags in the cupboard also, though the crew will store below decks if you prefer.
Private safe in cupboard also, bathrobes very good.
Entertainment system had plenty of variety but a few times it didn’t work or stopped during the movie.
Bathroom is functional and I liked the addition of the tiled floor, but I’m not keen on water heaters –never seems to be really hot enough (but then again I guess we need to avoid hot showers after dives!)
Very little engine or generator noise, though creaking is to be expected (wood does that!)

Dive Deck – I love the Siren set up
There is loads of room and plenty of personal storage.
Fresh deck towels after each dive if you like (though I kept mine for the full day as I try to limit laundry use).
I made use of the shaded relaxation area only once during the trip – could benefit from triangular cushions so you can sit up to read/ hammocks / bean bag loungers.

Sun Deck – used daily after breakfast and in the late afternoon. Comfy loungers and we improvised using clothing pegs to hold towels down to stop them flying away in the breeze as we cruised between sites.

Dining Area – like all Siren yachts, comfy, functional and good for group chatting. Outdoor TV screen is great for briefings – would be good to show marine life slide shows was useful to see dive briefings clearly.

Lounge / bar – 2-seater couches not 3-seaters made it hard to truly lounge about indoors. But 2 tv screens made separate sitting areas and it was easy to view the day’s goPro footage.
Fresh coffee was from a proper machine was delicious of a morning.

Camera Area – we had 2 people with large cameras and a few of us had small ones or GoPros – so there was plenty of room for charging & 3 areas to work at – lighting over the work space was bright.
The large drawers do need fixing as during one fairly rocky crossing a few flew out – no kit damaged though.

The Food – Breakfast was typical of Siren yachts – bacon, eggs to order, fresh fruit, yoghurts but the chefs always made something extra whether it was noodles, fried rice, hash browns or porridge.
Lunch & dinner were predominantly Indonesian style (sliced meat, chicken or fish fillets in sauce) but with plenty of choice and lots of veggies and salad. Perhaps a little repetitive of the beef dishes/ sauces used. Desserts looked ok but I didn’t eat them. Soups were delicious and the fresh baked bread a real hit.

The Crew – What can I say?? Siren service with a smile! I thought the crew of the Indo Siren really worked as a team. There was always someone on hand to assist you whether on the dive deck, fixing you a drink, or picking you up at the dive sites. A fun group who enjoyed interacting with guests and spoke a good amount of English so communication was pretty easy. They also learn your name so its nice to be greeted with "Pagi Susie" in the morning.
Dive guides Dince & Inyo are excellent spotters. Dince was also particularly good at checking the less experienced divers of our group and ensuring they stayed safe.
Cruise Director Nick is new to Komodo (he just joined from 1 year on Palau Siren) but he found many great critters and he is very fun and enthusiastic. Good pole dancing skills too!
Deckhands & Dinghy drivers were friendly, courteous and helpful – carrying tanks to the dinghy, helping with gear, making sure the cameras and correct fins were in the dinghy to hand, helping those who needed with getting their fins on (some of us don’t bend so well anymore!) Tank fills were never below 200bar and nitrox was always 31.4-32.5 %
Chefs – Ismael’s dinner briefings were quite funny and he always seemed to be smiling
Host / Housekeeper – Joe & Deyby kept the interior clean and dry and made sure we always had fresh towels and a drink pre & post dive (and knew who liked a bintang after the last dive of the day!)
Captain & Engineer– Hasbia & Ruslan kept the yacht running smoothly, we had pretty good crossings, only 1 was rocky and bumpy. No engine, water maker or generator issues. 1 guest (cabin 3) had an issue with the aircon but that was fixed right away, nothing else noticed.

So Komodo remains at the top of my all-time favourites and for me the 10-night itinerary offered by the Siren Fleet gave the perfect mix of macro sites & big fish current dives. The day with the mantas was my best experience at Manta Alley but Rhino Rocks has pipped the post for favourite site of the trip.
If you like diversity of dive sites, critters, sharks and mantas – get yourself to Komodo and you can;t go wrong with booking Indo Siren.

Visited on 07/2014 - Submitted on 08/01/2014

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