Dive Trips to the Komodo Islands – Written by Nani Murtaqi
Dive trips to the Komodo islands (a play on semantics, as the Komodo National Park is in fact comprised of three major islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar) are always exciting and much anticipated. My husband and I have taken several trips there, and they did not disappoint. Our point of entry is Labuan Bajo, a bustling town in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, where advanced and novice divers alike congregate to partake of the diverse cuisines available either within walking distance from one’s hotel, or by motorbike.
Where was I…oh yes, diving…our destination is the Sudamala Resort, Seraya, located on the island of Seraya Kecil, a half-hour ride by speedboat from Labuan Bajo. Sudamala Resort not only has the amenities of a 5-star hotel, but also has an excellent dive center as well. Aqura Dive is staffed by experienced PADI instructors and attentive support staff. Aqura Dive is also blessed with having an exceptional house reef teeming with beautiful marine life.
It was there that I had my very first night dive; one which I awaited with trepidation, but completed with a sense of accomplishment and in awe of the nightlife under the sea (yes, sea creatures do enjoy the after-hours scene as much as we do). I am being philosophical when I say that on a night dive, one’s world is confined to the perimeters of one’s torch light…speaking of which, our torch light shone upon what at first looked like a paint-splattered blotch on an already colorful strip of coral. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the nocturnal sea slug, Latin name pleurobranchus grandis pease of bright yellow and polka-dot brown, complete with pigmentation that resembled a pair of eyes, eyebrows, and mascaraed eyelashes. It was awesome to watch, and humbling to witness the beauty that our ocean has to offer.