Archive for February 2015

Komodo Park – Indonesia is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. It lies between the substantially larger neighboring islands Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east. The island’s surface area covers 390 square kilometers. Komodo Island is home to the Komodo Dragon, the largest lizard on earth.

Pillaarsteen 

Find large schools of Fusiliers along the reef slope, which is also covered in an interesting variety of soft corals. Encounter Sharks and the odd Turtle here.  Pillaarsteen is a rock pinnacle located on the shore of a small island east of Padar Besar. Enter just off the point below the rock, where there is a nice wall. Continue swimming to the west towards interesting caves and swim-throughs at different depths. Diving is particularly good at around 30-40m depth. This site is a good choice when other sites have too much current. This area may also be affected by surge, when there are swells from the southwest. 

Pillaarsteen 

Nusa Kode 

The south western tip of Kode island is characterized by large, coral-encrusted boulders and huge Groupers. Amongst the boulders are some of the largest reef fishes residing in the Park, such as gigantic Potato Cod and Malabar Grouper. Schools of large Red Snapper are normally prevalent. Diving entry is west of a small island at this site in Komodo Park – Indonesia. Swim down to a depth of about 10m and follow the ridge, which juts out in a southerly direction. Swim along the crest of the ridge and continue down to a max of 50m depth. 

Dive Site Nusa Kode 

Crinoid Canyon 

You can see many kinds of small invertebrate life on very colorful walls, carpeted in Feather Stars. This site is located in a small cove, just outside the southern entrance of Loh Dasami, on the island of Nusa Kode, almost directly opposite Yellow Wall. Enter the dive site just south of the cove, then continue along the wall in a counter-clockwise direction. Best to start the dive at 25m depth and then continue swimming back and forth up along the wall to the surface. This is an easy dive location with no current and is also good in the early morning as it catches the morning sun here in Komodo Park – Indonesia. 

Crinoid Canyon 

Boulders 

The dive begins with forests of soft coral at 30-35m depth. Along the way to the boulders is the best place to find Fire Urchins with Coleman Shrimp. The boulders themselves have good coral, invertebrate and fish life. You can see quite often Manta Rays in this area as well. This site is located on Nusa Kode where the bay widens just northwest of Crinoid Canyon. Directly below this point there are several big boulders laying on the bottom. The best point of entry is 100m south of the point where the reef slopes down to soft coral forests. Continue the dive to the boulders by ascending to 20m with the reef to the left. 

Boulders  Komodo Dive Sites

Yellow Wall 

A very good place to see invertebrate diversity, especially during a night dive. Walls are packed with a mind-boggling array of marine life and colors including colorful Sea Urchins, bright red Sea Apples, beautiful soft corals, Spanish Dancer Nudibranchs and a great variety of Tunicates. Crevices in the wall reveal sleeping fishes, Spiny and Slipper Lobsters, Cleaner Shrimps, and Decorator Crabs. Yellow Wall is an excellent day or night dive spot just inside the southeastern corner of Loh Dasami Bay. The current is usually flowing south to north, so the best entry point is just around the western-most tip of the headland. The dive should then continue into the bay along with the current. 

Yellow Wall 

Cannibal Rock/ Batu Buas 

This site is famous for its varied and colorful invertebrate life. Rich soft corals abound as well as Sea Apples and other Sea Cucumber species. Amongst many surprises are flamboyantly colored Nudibranch, and Fire Urchins with Coleman Shrimp. The fish life can also be quite good at times with an array of Scorpion Fish, schools of Red Snappers and Surgeon Fish. Unusual fish such as Pygmy Seahorse and Frogfish may also be seen. Cannibal Rock is a small seamount in well protected Loh Dasami Bay, between Rinca and Nusa Kode, which allows for easy diving with little current. Night dives are excellent, especially on the sandy slope of the northern side of the island starting at about 25m depth. 

Sunset at Cannibal Rock/ Batu Buas 

Torpedo Point 

An excellent place to find unusual critters such as Torpedo Rays and Bobbit Worms, Flying Gurnards, Frogfish, and Ghost Pipefish. Located north of Cannibal Rock, critters can also be found on a patchy rocky reef at a depth of 15m. A great low environmental-impact dive for photographers, because most of the rocky habitats are surrounded by sand. 

Toro Sie 

On the south west coast of Rinca you will find a point marked Toro Sie. Adjacent to the point is a rock awash. This rock has a ridge that extends to the west that is covered in Crynoids and soft corals. You can find lots of interesting critters on the seabed around the rock. If you swim out over the sand southwest of the rock there is a patch reef that usually has excellent fish life on it and quite often also a few big Grouper. This dive is usually has better visibility during the NW monsoon along with most of the Parks other southern sites. 

Torpedo Point and Toro Sie

Sebayor Kecil 

Large boulders shelter groups of giant TrevallyWhitetip Reef Sharks, Coral Trout, Snappers and Emperors.  The northwestern corner of Sebayor Kecil is one of the better dive sites near Labuanbajo. A small reef extends northwest from the island, where it drops off to greater depths along the northern coast of the island. A few hundred meters from the shore are some large boulders with notable fish life. Currents can be quite strong at this site in Komodo Park – Indonesia. 

Mini Wall 

The whole north face of this island is good diving. You’ll find Garden Eels on the sandy slopes, and Shrimp Gobies and Sweetlips are also common. Occasionally, Mandarin Fish have been spotted in shallow water. This site also features beautiful coral gardens, with a high abundance of both hard and soft corals. Enter just on the eastern side of the point and swim counter-clockwise around the point at 20-25m depth. Once around the point the reef slope will turn into a wall that drops to about 35m depth. The wall continues to a sandy slope in front of the beach, which marks the end of the dive. 

Sabolan Kecil 

This is another good site and also within easy reach of Labuanbajo. On the west side of the island there is a small white sandy beach. You best enter at the northern most point of the beach, where the sand meets the rocks. The reef slopes down to sand and there is a patch reef a little apart from the islands fringing reef. The Water clarity is usually good and so is the dive. Once you have seen the patch reef, you can return to the fringing reef slope to finish your dive.    

Divesites Sebayor Kecil, Mini Wall  and Sabolan Kecil 

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Komodo National Park is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The waters around Komodo island contain a rich marine biodiversity. In 1980, Komodo National Park was created, with the main purpose to conserve the unique Komodo dragon and its habitat. However, over the years, the goals for the Park have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine.

Crystal Rock 

A very colorful dive with excellent soft coral coverage. Encounter clouds of Anthias and schools of Yellow-ribbon Sweetlips, while Frog Fish and Moray Eels and Scorpion Fish are commonly seen. There is a small mound northwest of the rock, where different species of fish school seasonally, including Tuna and Mackerel. An excellent dive usually worth doing twice here in Komodo National Park. The name of this site comes from the very clear water surrounding it. This site is prone to currents, which usually flow eastwards. You best dive here during slack tide. 

 

Castle Rock 

Curious Batfish school here as well as Barracuda, Trevally and Mackerel that swim at 30- 40m depth. At approximately 20m depth there is excellent soft coral growth and numerous Sea Fans that host Pygmy Seahorses. The top of the rock is a good, calm place to explore during safety stops. This site usually has excellent visibility, but is prone to strong currents. The current usually flows eastwards and is much stronger at the surface than in the deeper water. However, the top of the rock also offers shelter from the current, hence the name “Castle Rock. Recommended dive entry point is in blue water, approximately 50m up-current from the shallowest point of the reef. 

Castle Rock 

Gililawa Laut 

A great dive site to see fish, but it does not have much to show in terms of hard corals. Behind a very large rock is a drop-off with many holes and hidden animals. Excellent Grouper sightings, especially in October and November during spawning gatherings. There are usually many Golden TrevalliesSnappers and sometimes huge Napoleon Wrasse. The site is located on the northeastern tip of Gililawa Laut. The diving here at this site is best, when there is a slight current just before or after slack-tide. 

Gililawa Laut Dive sites Komodo

Tatawa Besar 

Good reef fish life and an endless field of orange soft corals. You’ll often see Mantas in this area in the Komodo Island Park – Indonesia. Start the drift dive at the northwest tip of the island and runs along the western side in about 15- 20 m of water. A similar drift dive is also possible along the north coast of the Tatawa Besar from the same entry point. This site is a good dive option if the current is too strong at Tatawa Kecil or Batu Bolong. 

Tatawa Besar 

Tatawa Kecil 

Rocks, caves and beautiful coral gardens grace the reef on the western side of the island. You can see many coral reef fish, including large Groupers, Snappers, SweetlipsTrevally and Sharks. Amazing numbers of Anthias swim amongst colorful fields of branching corals. Dugongs have been spotted here and Manta Rays are often seen on the southern side of the island. This small rocky islet southwest of Tatawa Besar Island is an egret nesting site and a fantastic snorkel and dive site when the current is not too fast. Large or inexperienced groups should only attempt this site around slack tide. 

Tatawa Kecil 

Karang Makasar 

This site is for snorkeling only, please don’t dive here as it will disturb the Manta Rays. The reef at this island does not have much in the way of coral or fish life, however this location is the Manta Ray gathering site. The best way to find the Mantas is to cruise along the eastern face of the reef until you see them on the surface. The best time is during rising tide and there can be between 40 to 50 mantas.    

Batu Bolong 

Covering the top of the reef are colorful corals, invertebrate life and thousands of brilliant reef fish. Along the steep walls in deeper water are many large fishes, including Sharks and Napoleon Wrasse and also Giant Trevally and Dogtooth Tuna. Large schools of Rainbow Runners can also be observed on almost every occasion here in Komodo. Batu Bolong is a tiny rocky outcropping in the strait between Tatawa Kecil and Komodo Island. This site is one of the top diving locations in the Park, but it can only be dived around slack tide when the current is not too strong. 

Divesite Karang Makasar and Batu Bolong 

Batu Tiga 

An excellent “big fish” dive in Komodo Island Park – Indonesia. Large boulders in deeper water to the west offer excellent habitats for Groupers. Mantas, Giant Trevally and other pelagic fishes are frequently seen here. Batu Tiga is without a doubt one of the most current-effected sites in Komodo and is tricky to dive. A rocky reef is situated southeast of Tanjung Kuning in Linta Strait and extends below the surface up towards Komodo Island. You best enter at the northeastern side of the three rocks. Swim counter-clockwise until reaching some big boulders at 33m depth. After exploring the area around these boulders turn around and swim back, keeping the reef to your right. 

Batu Tiga 

Payung Island 

There are many canyons and crevices to explore at this spot in the Komodo Island Park – Indonesia. Fish and invertebrate life is diverse and abundant. There are big schools of Surgeons and smaller Yellow Snappers. Rocky reefs are covered with Soft Coral, Gorgonians and Feather Stars. Visibility is relatively low (5-10 m) and the water is cooler (low to mid 20°C range). Dive this site at slack-tide, preferably during slack of low tide. Two dives are possible: The first dive descends at the northwest tip of the island and continues south at 15-30m depth, then turns at the southern-most end of the island and ascends to 10m depth. The second dive starts at the southeastern side of the island and proceeds around the southern tip of the island at 20-35m depth, then ascends to 5-15m depth. 

Payung Island 

Three Sisters/ Tiga Dara 

A pristine reef with excellent coral coverage and also rich fish life. Located north of Pillaarsteen, there are three very large submerged rocks about 10m apart and within easy swimming distance of each other. The rocks run in a line about 100m east of a small reef that juts out on the eastern side of the island. The rocks sit on a sandy bottom in about 20-25m of water and rise to 3-5m from the surface of the water. For the adventurous there is actually a fourth sister located further to the west that starts in about 20m of water and then drops down to 40m with some impressive Sea Fans and good marine life around it. 

Three Sisters/ Tiga Dara 

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