May 22, 2010

Makasser Reef & Mangrove Dive

Komodo Island liveonboard dive package is now available in Malaysia

"Komodo Island offers diver just about every type of tropical diving imaginable, from warm, calm and colourful shallow reefs alive with hundreds of colourful reef fishes and invertebrates, to current-swept deep cool water sea mounts, walls and pinnacles patrolled by sharks, tuna and other big fish."

Dive site: Manta Point
Max depth: 10meter

Jump from MV Blue Dragon and drifted about half mile by strong current to Manta Point. I'm buddied with Slovania diver, Andre. Current pull both of us away from the rest of divers (as it supposed to). Quite scary to have only one buddy in the water, and Andre is very new to diving. He signal me to come up to surface but what's the point coming? So I gave him descend signal and he has no choice other than to go deeper. We were drifted and only stop where the water is a bit calm and warm.
There we found only a small houses of soft coral, very nice and colorful -like tropical paradise or something.We dive about 30 minutes in a nice clear water, no manta in sight. A bit disappointed but we keep looking.
In my mind I still remember what Arnold told us during the briefing, that Manta normally swim against current. So from coral reef we swam to a sandy bottom area where we can feel a abit of current push.
Suddenly I saw a huge blacky thing flying on my left eye side, then here he came... the Manta Ray, a sized of three meter wings spread. I know that manta don't attack diver but facing thing that big for the first time will definitely give some adrenalin pump.
Andrea took the photo of the 1st ray, but the second ray we missed because it's quite far. Maybe Andre not even looking. It's bigger from the first one we saw.
According to Arnold, there is more chances to see Manta ray in Makasser Reef during the low tide. But for those who comes, they will never miss a chance to see. Anyways, Manta Point is not only a name..continued to next dive to know why.

Manta Ray seen in Makasser Reef in Komodo Island
Dive Site: Manta Point II

Up on the boat. I'm very happy. It was my first encounter with manta. But after sharing story with a group of the divers I'm turn into total disappointment. They do not see one Manta but more than 30 of it. It's a Manta Parade.
So that evening we agree to go to the same dive site they all dived in. Upon entrance, I saw huge monster laying down at our descend spot (drop zone), size is no less than 4 meter broad, spreading motionless at the sandy bottom. Then maybe he can hear the sound of the bubble, he flew away. Yeah I did try my luck on this second time at Manta Point, but I only saw 3, not 30. Got a close photo of the ray. Great dive.

Mangrove dive at Waemilu
Depth: 4-19 meter

Waemilu maybe seems boring for it's shallow water, but divers will be surprised of what they can discover..

One of the thing that I really love about Komodo is its morning, waking up in the middle of nowhere. Experiencing the Great Calmness. Inspiring the misty surface of the Flores Sea.
Dive start early in the morning, around 7.30 am. Mangrove is heaven for muckdive. Alot of macro seen in the black grey sand. Nudybranch, Mantis shrimp and a frogfish.
This is my first time I saw frogfish,they were called frog because they look like fish but they don't swim, instead they jump. Very odd and interesting looking critters. This was a second last dive for us, but for me this was the last (9th) because Im going to skip the last dive to enjoy the beautiful nature on boats with a bit privacy (when they all leave for their dive).. and Im glad that I've skipped the dive because for me the beauty of Komodo Island not only lie under the water.

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