Komodo has been on the "must do" list for years and these trips did not disappoint.
Scenic cruising around thousands of islands, an erupting volcano (Sungeang),
traditional wooden sailing boats-- and a huge variety of dives.
We were on the Mermaid 1 which left from Bali--a live-aboard dive boat with
capacious cabins, great crew and food. The diving was warm tropical waters in the
north and surprisingly cool in the south, drifts in raging open water currents or
sheltered in calm coves. Both provided new and interesting critters. And of course, the
Komodo "dragons" (actually a huge variant of the monitor lizard) were as expected.
Big! The Dragons are on Komodo and Rinca islands between the Indian Ocean and
the Flores Sea. We were East of the Wallace Line, the biological divide between Asian
and Australian species, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist from
Victorian times sadly less well known than his contemporary, Charles Darwin. The
dragons are descendants of an Australian animal. And a Google search of "Wallace
Line" is fascinating.
Our first trip was in 2014, we returned on the Mermaid 1 in 2019. The 2019 photos are
labelled. It was a very different experience, there was a full moon and the tides were
higher, the currents were stronger which brought up deeper and colder water on the
southern leg of the itinerary. The trade off was many more Manta!
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