Back in Komodo - July 2014

The Seven Seas News - September 2015

Komodo again... By Lida Pet Soede

Sometimes I hear people say: "Yes I have done Komodo, dived there a few years ago." It often means that they will not consider going back to dive in Komodo, and often they ask me where is the best place to go next. Now, fortunately, Indonesia has many fantastic places to visit above and below water so it is easy to give suggestions. However, as I was fortunate to have dived in Komodo each year over the past 2 decades, I considered what it is that keeps me coming back, and that makes me think that I still have not "done Komodo" really. Just this year, I tried using a small video camera to capture some of what I think is special about Komodo.

Obviously, it turned out that I think a lot in Komodo is special as I took home some > 40GB of material. What stands out from my condensed 7 minute summary clip however was the big fish and special behaviour of animals on the reef interacting with each other, and even with me. Listening to what my newly certified 11 year old niece summarised from her dives and to what my 12 year old daughter Laura - who celebrated her 100th dive during the same trip - gushed about, I think that I know what keeps me excited every time I roll into the waters of Komodo, is the exactly the fact that I know more or less what the site should look like but that I will be surprised about something or other that I had never considered or witnessed before. That I will come up after 60 minutes and be able to add my new observations to those of all others onto the huge list of amazing creatures that Komodo hosts.

Sure, I know which reef will be packed with turtles, and where we are sure to see giant cuttle-fish hovering above the corals, yet, every dive over the past 20 years has brought a surprise. Sometimes it's the collaboration between completely different fish species as they hunt for prey. Sometimes it's the dopey turtle coming up to swim with my daughter until she runs out of air (my daughter that is). Another time it is the huge school of baitfish that encircle me as they bowl up for safety from big trevallies. Sometimes it's the bamboo shark who knows somehow there is trouble in the water - me - but does not know where to escape from it, because I am hovering 10 meters above it, very still.


Secondly, don't we order our favorite pizza every time we come to that italian place? Whats wrong with returning to the reefs where you know you will be able to relax and just take in the stunning beauty of healthy coral reefs and mesmerizing soft corals.

Last, and not least, I realised that while I get a lot out of diving myselve, the whole experience carries so much more value when I can share it with others. There is nothing more motivating than coming up after a great dive, popping throug the surface, bobbing in the water and hearing your dive buddies talk excitedly about all they saw. Sharing great dive experiences is still easy in Komodo, its all there, and in fact, this time, it appears that the larger fish were out to meet us.

Please check out my clip and then tell me how you could grow bored of something so special as diving in Komodo! Just consider to come and "do" Komodo again. And again... :)

Lida Pet Soede
August 2015

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