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An Epic Dive Trip to Komodo

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Komodo

Having always dreamed of diving in Indonesia, I booked a trip to Komodo over a year ago. I decided to go with the Arenui because it was sponsoring a Ray of Hope Expedition (Marine Megafauna Foundation) and Dr Andrea Marshall, aka Queen of Mantas, was on board as the resident expert. As many of my readers know, I have been on several trips with Ray of Hope, doing Citizen Science Volunteer work, and I love the Foundation’s mission to save marine megafauna from extinction.

Andrea and I shared a room… and what a room! The Arenui is absolutely luxurious. The stateroom was large and roomy and so Indonesian! We stayed in Garuda, the stateroom named for the Hindu deity Garuda, a large humanlike bird who served as Vishnu’s mount. The carvings in the room were beautiful, as you can see! The Arenui is definitely the most luxurious boat I have been on, and I am now absolutely spoiled.

Komodo

With Andrea Marshall, the Queen of Mantas!

The mission of the trip was to identify as many Reef Mantas as possible. Of course, along the way we would dive several other dive sites too. The diving was out of this world and eclipsed my imagination. The trip map below shows our journey from Bali, past Lombok and Sumbawa to Moyo Island and the Sangeang Volcano, to Komodo and Rinca Islands in the Flores Sea. It was an incredibly beautiful journey, both above and below the surface.

Komodo

Our Trip Map

Komodo

A Manta ID shot I took. Mantas are identified by the spots on their bellies…they are unique to each individual.

Why do I travel with Ray of Hope Expeditions? Because I admire their work, passion, and dedication. Andrea Marshall was the first person to do a PhD on Manta Rays. Until her research, very little was known about them. She discovered two species, and a large population off the coast of Mozambique, where she makes her home. She has advocated for protection for Mantas everywhere in the world. Indonesia, once the main fishery for Manta Rays for Chinese medicine, is now protecting Manta Rays as they have realized they are worth more for their economy alive than dead. Sadly, the once flourishing colony of Reef Mantas off Mozambique has declined by 95% due to Mozambique’s refusal to protect the animals. Manta encounters drew many to Mozambique’s dive centers, and the disappearance of the mantas will have a negative effect on Mozambique’s economy. Andrea has witnessed the decline of mantas in Mozambique over the last 12 years, and it has been heartbreaking. The species is very vulnerable to extinction because of the slow reproduction of the animals. Females give birth every 2 or 3 years to only one pup; rarely there are twins.

Fishing Mantas can destroy entire populations because they are taken faster than they can reproduce. These gentle, intelligent ocean giants must be protected in order to save the species from extinction. Andrea devotes her life to advocating for Manta Rays and other pelagics such as Whale Sharks, Mola Mola, and turtles.

Our first stop was Moyo Island and Angel Reef. I have to say that Angel Reef was heavenly, indeed! My first Komodo dive…and how gorgeous it was!

Komodo

Diving Indonesia was an unbelievable experience for me. The sheer amount of life in the seas is almost mind blowing. Stay tuned for photos and reports on this fabulous journey. I will be posting frequently to show you the wonders of Komodo (yes, there will be dragons!).

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

News

And the 5 winners of our free tickets to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital Show competition are…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a free ticket to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital online dive show!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only five winners!!

And those winners are…

  • Beth Carr from the USA
  • Steven Turnbull from the UK
  • Wendy Van Oosterwijck from Belgium
  • Eric Lim from Malaysia, and
  • David Polanik from the USA.

Congratulations to you all – your tickets will be on their way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

And if you didn’t win, be sure to get yourself a ticket and check out Scuba.Digital from tomorrow, 23rd October until Sunday 26th October 2020. See you there!

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Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)

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Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/c/diversready?sub_confirmation=1
  2. Enter the contest here: https://gleam.io/LOgJt/dive-rite-es155-mask-giveaway

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case: https://amzn.to/35b6Avj

Good luck to everyone!

D.S.D.O

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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