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|Newsletter July 2014|
Back in Komodo 2014 - Trip Report by Karl Klingeler
Photos by Colin Marshall & Jaini Maryanti
First trip of the season back on board the Seven Seas and she looks as beautiful as ever! Mark and the crew did an amazing job in our annual dry dock and maintenance period. One of the things that was done that I really like is the "outdoor carpet" on the dive deck. It looks good, it's anti-slip and it feels good & it's not hot under your feet.
The first day on a late afternoon dive off Sebayor Point, we had major spawning activity. The marine scientists we had on board could not believe all the sex on the reef! The second day we spent in Lawa Laut and it was one of those days in Komodo where the current never stopped but, with lots of current, you get lots of fish and get to see all the soft corals out in all their splendour. By the third dive, it was time to do an easy one, so we dived a beautiful hard coral garden with green sea turtles and even a ghost pipefish.
At Batu Bolong there is always a lot of activity. One thing we see often there is wrasse and butterflyfish eating the eggs of sergeant majors. Sergeant majors usually lay their eggs on rocks. As the eggs develop, they become purple in colour and cover large areas. As divers approach the eggs, the sergeant majors get scared away and the other fish come in for a feeding frenzy. If you then back away from the reef, the sergeant majors come back to defend their eggs and the attackers move on.
At the end of a drift dive on Tatawa Besar, we had an unbelievable experience. We saw dolphins underwater! A mother & calf played in the current above us and if this wasn't incredible enough, another mother and calf came into view from behind us! Momentarily, we could see both pairs. A rare thing in Indonesia to see dolphins while diving.
Horseshoe Bay was as productive as ever, with all the usual suspects: we had a pair of giant frogfish, one very pregnant, zebra crabs & coleman shrimp, bobbit worm, cyproidea and my favourite nudibranch, the Ceratasoma Magnifica. For the time of year, the visibility and water temperature were unusually good.
We also had Komodo dragons on the beach and we got up close and personal!
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia