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There be Dragons…

September 21, 2015

We are working our way west toward Bali after enjoying some world class diving in the Komodo Island National Park. We anchored in a quiet bay 2 miles north of the busy city of Labuan Bajo. Each morning we were picked up by the Uber Scuba speed boat and taken to their dive boat for a complete day of diving. The park includes Komodo and Rinca Islands as well as dozens of smaller islands offering a wide variety of dive sites.

The water at Komodo is very clear due to the strong currents. We dove the Caldron where manta rays feed in the pass and flew through in a 3.5 knot current. One of our favorite dives was Crystal Rock which is a pinnacle with schooling fish feeding on the upwelling of the current. The visibility was 90 feet and sea life and variety of corals were on par with Namena in Fiji.

At the end of each day we were delivered back to Persephone where we usually fell asleep going through our GoPro pictures. Three tank dives a day is about all we can handle any more.

On the afternoon of our last dive trip we went to Rinca Island and saw the Komodo dragons. Their infectious bite is deadly and they can bring down a water buffalo by biting it and following it around for two weeks until it drops. Humans take a lot less time. We were safely protected from these monsters by a guide with a forked stick.

Labuan is a popular dive destination and there must be 15 dive centers along the main street. They have a good open market where we found our first lettuce in Indonesia. Yippee, salads! There is also a selection of very good restaurants. Unfortunately, the city is crowded and dirty so we were glad to be anchored in the bucolic bay to the north.

We stopped at Gili Banta after leaving Labuan and did some snorkeling. In the morning we left the anchorage and started around the island and found ourselves fighting a 5.5 knot current complete with eddies and whirlpools. A boat that was following us wasn’t paying much attention until he looked at his chart plotter and realized he was moving backwards. It took us an hour to go the two miles around the island where we finally cleared the current.

We are currently anchored off a small village on Sumbawa Island where the kids rowed out to the boat and asked for school supplies. Fortunately we stocked up in Labuan and were ready for them. We plan to arrive tomorrow in Pulau Moyo for several days of diving before heading to Gili Aer for even more diving. We are starting to get pruny. Then it’s off to Bali to pick up Jennifer.

Note: This posting was delayed for 5 days because of no Internet access.  It was posted as we sailed past a cell tower on the island of Lombok.

Big eyes; Komodo Park

Big eyes; Komodo Park

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Oriental sweetlips; Komodo Park

Oriental sweetlips; Komodo Park

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Moray eel; Komodo Park

Moray eel; Komodo Park

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Giant clam; Komodo Park

Giant clam; Komodo Park

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Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Snorkeling Gili Banta

Brian & Sandie enjoy diving with Uber Dive along with Vincint & Dominique from Dream Weaver

Brian & Sandie enjoy diving with Uber Dive along with Vincint & Dominique from Dream Weaver

Monkey on the beach by the anchorage

Monkey on the beach by the anchorage

Wonderful open market in Labuan

Wonderful open market in Labuan

Adrian prepares a dive briefing aboard the Uber Dive boat

Adrian prepares a dive briefing aboard the Uber Dive boat

Entering the Komodo Dragon Park on Rinca Island

Entering the Komodo Dragon Park on Rinca Island

Komodo Dragon Park

Komodo Dragon Park

Komodo Dragon Park

Komodo Dragon Park

Komodo Dragon Park

Komodo Dragon Park

Sandie with our protector in Komodo Dragon Park

Sandie with our protector in Komodo Dragon Park

Mother and baby on the dock at Rinca Island

Mother and baby on the dock at Rinca Island

Giant manta in Komodo Park

Giant manta in Komodo Park

Giant manta in Komodo Park

Giant manta in Komodo Park

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Sea horse; Komodo Park

Sea horse; Komodo Park

Lion fish; Komodo Park

Lion fish; Komodo Park

Inverted jelly fish; Komodo Park

Inverted jelly fish; Komodo Park

Feeding sea turtle; Komodo Park

Feeding sea turtle; Komodo Park

Colorful anemone; Komodo Park

Colorful anemone; Komodo Park

Octopus; Komodo Park

Octopus; Komodo Park

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Puffer fish stalking Sandie; Komodo Park

Puffer fish stalking Sandie; Komodo Park

Sea turtle hiding in the coral; Komodo Park

Sea turtle hiding in the coral; Komodo Park

Crystal Rock; Komodo Park

Crystal Rock; Komodo Park

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