2015 has been the year of the Rhinopias for Got Muck. From our record breaking 13 on Arenui earlier this year to an additional two adults and a very rare juvenile on this trip! Aside from some absolutely all-time macro action we also had some crystal clear fish soup dives and color drenched reefs. Komodo, despite the park’s relatively small size, offers so many different diving environments that in ten years we still see completely new things every time.
Within Komodo National Park there are two distinct regions, those that lie wholly in the Pacific Ocean and those in the Indian…and then there’s everything in between where the raging currents of the mixing seas make for unforgettable action packed dives.
A good portion of the month was spent in Horeshoe Bay, which is not surprisingly shaped like a Horseshoe at the southern end of Rinca Island with the small island of Nusa Kode.
Horseshoe Bay is home to Cannibal Rock and Yellow Wall of Texas, two of the most famous Indonesian dive spots. Lesser known Crinoid Canyon and Boulders along with Torpedo Alley round out the south Rinca lineup. From these sites we get some of the most dense reefs and critter rich slopes in the park.
Despite less than ideal visibility during this time of the year and a rather suboptimal temperature (22º C) on some dives, the incredible life here kept us going back in nonetheless.
Macro opportunities abounded with a blue ring octopus even sitting on some interesting Tubastrea coral for us.
The visibility at Manta Alley, also situated at the southern end of the park but on neighboring Komodo made photographing the mantas challenging – but they showed!
Further north the water turns blue and the temperature returns to a more diver friendly 28º.
Fish life at Gili Lawa Laut was on overdrive with clouds of fusiliers rushing back and forth across the pinnacle being chased by giant trevally.
At Batu Moncol a manta even came by to visit, making a quick pass before heading back out into the blue.
Nudis was the subject in abundance for our dives at Wainilu and Sangean with 2 adult Rhiniopias vying for our attention.
Heading up to Sangean, a still active volcano out in the ocean, we were given an even larger array of nudibranchs to choose from with Ghost Pipefish and frogfish showing up on almost every dive.
Sangeang also features a certain type of colonial anemone that tends to encrust whip corals and sponges. On these gorgeous anemones live some commensal shrimp that mimic the skin pattern perfectly.
As always, Batu Bolong, the capital of Current City circled us with pulsing anthias and staggeringly healthy hard corals as currents of several knots rush by on either side of you.
Our August in Komodo is one of the best we’ve had in the last several years and we can’t wait to get back…next week!!!