Morning dive was round Sabayor Pinnacle

Link to location of dive site click on location title

2018-08-01

The Pinnacle, Sabayor

Sabayor Komodo
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Negative entry

Did my first negative entry. Key points to remember: empty BCD of air, exhale as roll back into water (take a breath in on count of 3 before roll back), stay on your back, fin when fins are below surface to about 2 m and then roll over to front (lead with right shoulder) and swim down to about 5 m (fins above you)

Anyway I was very happy with my first attempt. Mike enthuasiasm took him down to 15m before being encouraged back up by Andy….

The dive was round the slopes of the Pinnacle, which were covered as yesterday in coral. However, as the light was much flatter it did not appear as brilliant and colourful as our first dive here.

Notable highlights: spotted eagle ray (came very close) and a turtle resting on the bottom of the seabed. Nice easy drift dive along Pinnacle wall for second half of dive.

Midday dive Batu Balong, slack tide

Link to location of dive site click on location title

2018-08-01

Batu Bolong

Komodo, Batu Bolong
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Change of plan for this dive, Andy saw that the tide had just turned slack as we reached Batu Balong (one of the top dive sites in Komodo park) and that there were only 2 other tenders at the site. So we had a quick briefing and changed into our kit before dropping into the tidal split of the island.

Nudi on the move

We zigzagged up from a depth of 28m and I just enjoyed the vibrancy of the reef and the amazing marine life. So many schools of fish close to the reef – outstanding. We moved with the current into a drift dive and went round the wall into the lee of the island where the current dropped a bit. Just before the point there was a stunning underwater cleft between the rocks. That was cool, esp. seeing another diver descending down it! I think he was surprised to see us.

In the sheltered lee of the island we came across a number of other divers and best of all a white tip reef shark which was swimming in amongst the fish close to the reef wall. He was totally unperturbed by the divers and it was fantastic to see him coming head on close to me.

We started our ascent which continued to be as good and vibrant as the rest of the dive. We hung around (literally on the rocks) at the edge of the lee where the current picks up significantly. Fun experience. From there we saw giant barnacles, a magnificent eel (largest I have see to date), a feeding frenzy of blue wrasse. This would have to be classed as one of the best dives Mike and I have experienced from the perspective of the beauty of the coral growth on the pinnacle together with the multitude of tropical fish.

Notable sightings included

  • Giant eel
  • wrasse eating eggs of Pacific seargent majors (blue feeding frenzy)
  • red scorpion fish
  • giant trevally
  • white tip reef shark
  • very large lion fish
  • turtle riding the current

Afternoon dive Karang Macassar – strong falling tide

Link to location of dive site click on location title

2018-08-01

Makassar (Manta Point)

Manta Point Komodo
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The objective of our last dive for the day was to see giant Manta rays at a cleaning station as they move from North to South and back again through the park. It was a falling tide and our approach was to do a drift dive along a rubble reef dotted with coral outcrops at about 18 m, hunkering down when we saw the Mantas.

Sweetlips

Unfortunately the current was too strong for the cleaner wrasse to be out and about. They tend to hide in among the rocks if the current is too strong to stop being swept away.

Both Mike and I struggled with our negative entries as our BCDs were not fully deflated. Thing to check next time. The dive itself was challenging given the current, we “drifted” about 2.2 km and I felt that this was at the limit of my ability in places. Fortunately as a group we kept together and there were no problems on the dive. Next time will hopefully be easier.

Here is a link to my YouTube video Komodo Day 2 . Below is a slide show of some photos, click on play to see them

Pictures of our dive maps

Batu Balong

Macassar Drift

Sebayor Pinnacle