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|Newsletter March 2014|
South Komodo with Mark Heighes - Second Wetpixel Charter (February 2014)
South Komodo has never been a really wet place during the wet season. The big neighboring islands of Sumbawa and Flores seem to attract most of the clouds and leave the Komodo islands in a rain shadow. If it does rain it's usually during the night. Showers during the day usually last less than an hour or two.
We are on our 2nd Wetpixel Trip for the month of February. The group landed on time, using the early morning Garuda flight from Bali. Garuda have only just started to fly into Komodo airport and what a breath of fresh air it has been. With a dive gear allowance of 35 kilos and we have not had to pay excess since we started using them. Group check-in makes it quick, easy and stress free.
We have 14 divers loaded up with camera gear as only a Wetpixel group can be. Most had never been to Komodo before and seemed to be very excited. When I explained that we were going to do 3 dives before the day was out they became even more excited and ready to go. So we headed out to Wainilu to get started with critters. Wainilu is located in north Rinca and only two hours from port, and it's the sort of site where you can find just about any critter you can imagine. You name it and its been seen there! We were not to be disappointed and everyone came back with lots of goodies on their camera except for one unfortunate chap who flooded his housing on the first dive of the trip. Ouch!
The next day we visited the Komodo dragons early followed by another dive on Wainilu. Over lunch we changed lenses to wide and headed up to Komodo to see if we could find any Manta Ray action as the tidal cycle was looking good and would improve our chances. We were in luck and had 4 manta mania dives into the next day with the highlight being dive number 3 encountering up to 50 individuals lined up to be photographed. Up with the anchor and we followed the tide South to Padar. We stopped in a new area, then sent a small group ashore to capture some topside images of the sheer natural beauty the island has to offer during sunset. While the shore party were keen to shoot into the darkness we offered an exploratory night dive that turned out to be a winner for all involved.
We awoke the next morning in Padar to another stunning day. The atmosphere was so clear we could see the island of Sumba on the horizon. Sumba lays 60 nautical miles to the south of us and can seldom be seen from Komodo. Not only was the vis good topside, things were looking real good underwater as well - so we had a great morning dive in crystal clear water. The highlight being more mantas only a different species, they were Mobula mantas gliding effortlessly around us in loose formations.
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Deep South Komodo - 2015 Availabilities
Please check our schedule page for remaining availability on our South Komodo cruises in January and February 2015.
Mark Goyen's South Komodo Gallery
CLICK HERE for Mark Goyen's South Komodo Gallery, from Wetpixel charter South Komodo, 5-16 February 2014.
Komodo: Places available from 18 April to 02 May 2014
Message from Mike McDowell, Adventurer and Explorer:
"We have places available on a magical two week private charter on the fabulous Seven Seas, cruising around Komodo from 18 April to 02 May 2014. Our group includes seasoned divers and some young beginners, so we will be stopping at a range of beautiful sites to cater for all levels of diving expertise. Interested adventurers are welcome to join us! We have a diverse age range but we are good fun and good company. Please contact The Seven Seas if you are able to come along at such short notice. The cost per person for the charter is US$5,150."
"Return to South Komodo" Expedition, Jan./Feb. 2015
Trip Dates: January 31-February 13, 2015 (14 days/ 13 nights)
"We've recently returned from two back-to- back trips aboard the wonderful Seven Seas liveaboard, exploring the southern sites of Komodo National Park. The diving was so incredible, the amount of sea life so astonishingly varied, diverse, and exciting, and the Seven Seas crew so gracious & fun that we just have to go back! The beginning of the year brings clear currents and wonderfully warm temperatures into the South, affording us an opportunity to focus on southern sites that are nothing short of lush underwater gardens full of color and life.
Join us for this terrific adventure in a stunning location that we have virtually all to ourselves, sharing fun times and great diving with friends on the Seven Seas liveaboard!"
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The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia