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Return to Komodo

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Return To Komodo

After nearly a year absence from Komodo I returned to my favorite diving destination and like last year on the Palau Siren, I got to enjoy the brand new Siren Fleet liveaboard the S/Y P. Siren. Frank put a lot of effort into the boat building, together with his father Jan and mother Annie – they really nailed it! The yacht is simply stunning.

Our first guests arrived in Bima, having spent a few days relaxing in Bali they were ready to explore Komodo’s underwater realm. After our briefings and the safety drill the dinghies took us out to our first dive site “The Unusual Suspects”. Much to be expected from the last seasons diving here we encountered thorny seahorse, ornate ghost pipefish and many other critters. Captain Daeng had an early start the following day, weighing anchor at 3 am, to get us to Sangeang Island in time for our next day of diving.

Return To Komodo

I always look forward to see how dive sites change over time; however when we visited Techno Reef”, “The Estuary” and “Hot Rocks” all the amazing life was still there including pygmy seahorses, a variety of nudibranchs, xeno crabs and octopus as well as the luminous anemones and bubbling sea bed. The weather was as fantastic as the diving and during our crossing to Gilli Banta everybody enjoyed a relaxing siesta. As a change from the dark sand, we spent our night dive at The Circus”. With its white sandy slope this site is always superb at night with stargazers, octopus, sting rays and hunting lion fish.

Return To Komodo

The next morning, our first “Komodo Diving Day”, got underway with a dive at “Coral Garden” where we encountered our first white tip shark, Napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and a beautiful pair of white leaf fish. By now we were up for some more big fish action and Gili Lawa Laut delivered! At “Castle Rock” the current was just right bringing big fish to the eastern point. Alex and I directed the dinghies to the correct spot and after the 3-2-1 everybody went back rolled making a negative descent and hooked-in in 25m (85ft) to enjoy the fish parade. In the afternoon we visited “Shotgun”, the outgoing tide meant that the current was pushing us through the gap between Gilli Lawa Laut and Gilli Lawa Derat, so a speedy drift was expected – Great Fun and we were rewarded with sightings of two mobula rays and numerous turtles. The day finished up with a thunderstorm but we were cosy and dry inside and actually enjoyed the cool breeze the rain brought.

Return To Komodo

Sunday morning was time for Crystal Rock”. The best time to visit this site is with slack tide and we managed this just right. White tip and grey reef sharks cruised around the pinnacle and some large Napoleon wrasse and giant trevallies provided some great photo opportunities. Next up was “Makassar Reef” and as always we had a look if some of the “big birds” that come in to get cleaned at this site. Well what a start of the season….. we saw at least 12 beautiful manta rays during our drift dive. It is always amazing to see how gentle the mantas are and how effortlessly they swim. Back on board it was smiling faces all around. Instead of the afternoon dive we opted to visit Rinca Island for theDragon Walk, which was a real adventure after all the rain from the night before. Muddy is an understatement. Then in the evening our dive guides Ungke, Alex and Timo showed off their spotting skills at “Dragon Besar” finding Mandarin fish, frogfish and pygmy cuttlefish.

Return To Komodo

After a day with large fish action we headed south towards “Nusa Kode”, with a stop at Padar Bay to dive “Tiga Dara” and to really get a feeling of what the diving in the south is like. Its truly amazing to arrive in Nusa Kode and be the only boat there and even better the water was surprisingly still 27C (81F) warm! First up was “Cannibal Rock” and later in the afternoon “Torpedo Alley” and of course we visited the dragons on the beach. We stayed for two days here in Nusa Kode to give enough time to explore the magnificent macro life this area has to offer. Ladybugs, ghost pipefish and frogfish could be ticked off the list. After our seventh dive we crossed back to Komodo for the evening dive at “Phinisi” Wreck. The next day was “Big Bird Day” as the P Siren moved to “Manta Alley”. Nine mantas stayed with us for 45 min, cruising all round our groups so once again the happy divers returned to the yacht with big smiles. As the dive was so great our group decided to stay the whole day at this one spot and bask in the glory of manta rays – each dive they swam around us we couldn’t get enough! For our night dive we headed back north and eagle eyed Ungke spotted bobtail squid, frogfish and a variety of crabs and shrimps plus yes a flamboyant cuttlefish!!!

Return To Komodo

A morning dive at “Pink Beach” then we headed back into Current City with its colorful reefs to dive “Batu Bolong and “Tatawa Besar” before returning to Gili Lawa Laut and some more shark action. Strong current supported an amazing drift at the “Shotgun” and plenty of fish life was seen at Castle & Crystal Rocks. As we cruised back to Gili Banta the 7 sails were hoisted and the P Siren was shown in her full pride giving our guests the opportunity to get some great photos. Our last dive of the trip at “K2” gave another manta sighting – a fond farewell to this awesome group from Australia. As always on the last evening our chefs Agus and Suprioni created a delicious spread with BBQ meats & king prawns and plenty of side dishes, full from not only this meal but 10 days of eating heartily, we all retreated into the salon to watch the best pictures of the trip and start planning the next adventure.

To find out more about Worldwide Dive & Sail and their itineraries, click here

 

Thomas has been involved in the Scuba Diving Industry for over 10 years, travelling the world to work and dive in such far flung places as Honduras, the Canary Islands & Red Sea before finally settling down to a life of fun and laughs in Thailand, where he and his wife Susie are employed by the Siren Fleet of luxury liveaboards. Thomas, a PADI Course Director, heads up the diving operations of the fleet as well as running trips in Indonesia, the Maldives, the Philippines, Palau and Fiji (He’s looking forward to setting up the new operation in Truk Lagoon in 2014 too!).

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Scuba Diving in Mexico: Diving Tajma Ha (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive video for Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures, join Richard and Hayley from Black Manta Photography as they explore Cenote Tajma Ha. This Cenote is entered by a seemingly tiny pool hidden under the overhang of a rock. One of the most popular on the Yucatan Peninsula due to its easy nature, mesmerising halocline, and stunning pockets of natural light that flood through the maze of caves!

Cenote Tajma Ha was the second of four Cenotes that Black Manta Photography had the chance to dive, before spending the rest of the time diving with the Bull Sharks at Playacar. Check back soon for the rest of the videos!

You will be able to read about Richard and Hayley’s trip to Mexico when they share their stunning photos in a forthcoming issue of Dive Travel Adventures Magazine soon!


Visit Pro Dive International to find out more!

For more from Richard and Hayley visit www.blackmantaphotography.com.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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