Peering out of the plane window as we made our way into Bima, Indonesia, for the disembarkation of our dive safari, we caught our first glimpse of the otherwordly terrain of the Komodo Islands. We were a cauldron of anticipation as we eyed the lagoons we would be dropping into to explore the wonders below.
Taking the short domestic flight from Bali to Bima, we were swiftly transferred by car and then by speedboat to our new home for the next ten nights. Salt filled the air as we skipped across the ocean blues toward our vibrant white and navy vessell, Indo Siren.
Leaving the concrete facades of Bima behind, Indo Siren beamed proudly in the distance, sunlight skipping off the white ironwoods as we climbed aboard the 40m luxury liveaboard to the smiles of the crew and scent of the sea breeze. We were introduced to the charasmatic crew who were to be our boat family for the next ten nights.
Leaving our baggage and dive equipment in the capable hands of the crew, we were shown to our comfortable and cosy cabin, one of 8 onboard. Newly refurbished, the wooden interiors complement the fresh white linen sheets and en suite private bathroom with hot shower as well as the ample storage space. A world class safari yacht inclusive of all modern amenities.
Daybreak was a morning ritual of ours ahead of our 4 dives a day. Cup of coffee in hand, we headed to one of the two sundecks onboard to take front row seats to the greatest show on earth as the morning sunlight protruded above the volcanic vistas of the Komodo National Park.
Our voyage through the dragonesque landscape of the Komodo Islands was like no other. Mighty & mountainous mounds of volcanic lava flow penetrate the landscape, as if it were a powder painted horizon. Craggy coves and isolated islets sprawl the surface while upwellings and crazy currents below create whirl pools and jaccuzzi like spectacles that interrupt the silky seas. Indeed, these currents and the diverse marine life and nutrients they bring with it make for dazzling reefs and mesmerising moments underwater. It is no wonder intrigued divers, current junkies and photographers alike are attracted to these shores from every corner of the globe.
Gearing up aboard the spacious dive deck, post briefing of course, we eagerly donned our equipment in preparation for the world waiting below. Each time we dropped in we were hypnotised by the huge table corals that swarm the ocean floor, each distinct in colour, shape and topography. Challenging channels such as 'shotgun' shoot you across the seabed, while the reefs of 'Batu Bolong' and 'Castle Rock' are brimming with an explosion of colossal corals and crystal clear colours while the sunlight dances magically aloft the radiant reef.
Our route journeying through the dramatic dragon-like backdrop of the Komodo National Park saw us gliding through the oceans of Gili Lawa where we were given ample opportunity to challenge ourselves in the currents of 'Castle Rock', gazing at giant trevally and eyeing both black tip and white tip sharks hunting the swarms of fusiliers that walled the reef. Monumentous to the itinerary were the several magnificent dives of Makassar reef, where magical manta rays swooned the seabed and treated us to a cirque du soleil performance. Worlds change when eyes meet.
Resurfacing from dazzling dives such as these are the moments you remember forever and as soon as you have caught your breath and processed the sights of might that have preceded you, wondrous white sand and lush green land outings await. Our itinerary included a sensational sunset walk to the mammouth mountains of Padar Island, as well as meeting the potent and poisonous predators of Rinca Island, the prehistoric Komodo Dragons.
Free from all light and sound pollution, sundown casts a spell upon the horizon with orange and pink hues that layer light on everything in its sight. Joe serves up a selection of beverages after every dive, but none are appreciated as much as last dive of the day, back to the boat beers and classy cocktails. Guests can opt to drink in the sunset from the safety of the spacious lounge to the sounds of the in-house entertainment system or dining area, as well as the sundeck for the best seats in the house to sip in the sensational sunset panoramas. Tequila s̶u̶n̶r̶i̶s̶e̶ sunset anyone?
Winding through the dragonesque landscape of craggy volcanic vistas, gliding graciously with manta, challenging ourselves in crazy currents and drifting through the mesmorising underwater world of The Komodo National Park has been nothing short of extraordinary. We can look back at this image and remember the exact feelings that rushed through us as we sipped in the sunset on our final night and final voyage, reminiscing the laughter, diving and memories that will last a lifetime aboard Indo Siren.
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