To Komodo and back - 7 days in diver's paradise

Trip Start May 11, 2010
Trip End Aug 01, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I got on the boat late on Sunday afternoon with 7 other happy divers, plus three dive guides and an Indonesian boat crew. Had an absolutely fantastic week!! We did 2-3 dives every day, and some days got off the boat for a quick visit to the islands on the way to hike to a viewpoint,
waterfalls etc - and of course to see the famous Komodo dragons! To be honest, seeing them was a bit of a let down, I think because it had been hyped up so much and I was expecting something more of a scene from Jurassic Park, rather than the lazy lizards lying happily in the sun by the island caretaker's house, looking almost tame and harmless.

Diving in the region was absolutely spectacular: I saw 4-5 metre  wide manta rays from very close, eagle rays, turtles, octopus, sharks (fortunately of the not hungry variety) and millions of fish, from little reef fish and tiny pygmy seahorses only a few millimetres tall to huge wrasse weighing near 100kg or so. Some of the luckier ones amongst us even saw dolphins underwater ( that would not include me, boo hoo) - I saw them several times on the surface though, as they raced with our boat a few times along the way.

Some of the dive sites had very strong currents, so much so that diving was sometimes more like underwater rock-climbing! You would have to hold on to a rock or something else on the bottom of the sea with one hand, and to mask and regulator with the other hand so that currents
would not sweep you and the equipment away. It was really good fun  though, and our dive guides were fantastic, always making sure we knew what we were doing and had a plan B in case something didn't go to the plan (note to mum - not that anything ever went wrong!).

The boat itself was pretty basic - it looks huge on the pictures, but after all the equipment, engine rooms, kitchen etc there was only room for absolutely tiny little cabins, which got very hot at night. So I ended up sleeping on the deck every night, which was actually really
lovely - sleeping under the stars, with the boat rocking gently (on good nights anyway) sending me to sleep. There were one or two nights when the waves got a bit bigger and the excessive swaying woke me up, but nothing too bad. In the morning the rising sun would wake you up (yes, even me!) around 6am, then for a quick first breakfast before first dive and then banana pancakes for main breakfast. Ah, happy days...
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