Besides spotting the dragons, another highlight during my stay on Flores was supposed to be the diving. A lot of people i met on the way had recommended diving Komodo so I was pretty excited to go. Komodo is supposed to be one of the richest marine environments in the world and at the same time one of the most challenging dive destinations. I heard rumors of huge schools of fish, large pelagic fish and an abundance of colorful coral. At the same time strong currents were supposed to make the diving the mentioned challenge. Hence a good dive shop with properly educated personnel and good equipment was needed. After shopping around a bit in Labuan Bajo I found Wicked Diving. The shop made a very good impression and after getting to know the team and discussing some details, I was convinced and ready to go. True to the shops motto “No rest for the wicked!”.
Getting ready for the descent
The next day I had to get up early. Meeting at the dive shop was scheduled for 7:00 in order to leave the port at 7:30. Good thing the guys from the shop had already prepared all of the gear which even left time for a cup of hot coffee before heading out. We were quiet a mixed group with divers from Asia, Europe and the US and everybody was excited to go. On the boat the wicked crew went straight to work, assembling everyone’s gear while we were served hot drinks and some fruit. What a service. At the same time one of our dive masters of the day prepared for the upcoming briefing. A proper map of the site was drawn on a white board (very artistically) and all the eventualities were discussed. After that I felt well prepared and pretty much in good hands. I was set and ready to go.
Into the blue
We descended into the blue at our first site Sebayor Kecil which was supposed to be an easy check dive before heading to Manta Point. But even that dive was already spectacular with so many corals and great visibility. We saw schools of fish, turtles and two small white tip reef sharks. Not too bad for an easy check dive I thought and when we came up again, everybody seemed very happy. The second dive was Manta Point where, as the name already implies, the goal was to spot the angels of the sea, Manta Rays. Dive spots like that are always a little gamble. Usually sites with high chances of spotting Mantas don’t offer much besides the possible encounter itself. So if you don’t get to see them, the dive can be rather boring. Unfortunately this applied to us since we didn’t encounter any Mantas this time. But the dive wasn’t too bad in the end. There was a strong current and we just drifted along the bottom, across boulders and drop offs. It was fun and a good test of our buoyancy skills. At the end we even saw a huge turtle feeding on the bottom. It was calm and totally not distracted by us. We stayed close, faces in the current, for at least five minutes and watched our green friend from up close.
On our way back we passed some beautiful little islands with white beaches and blue lagoons. Pirate like ships were passing by or anchoring safely in one of the bays. The the sea got a little rougher but we made back into port safely and on time. We happily returned to the shop to log our dives and plan our next underwater adventures. The day ended on the Wicked Dive terrace which offered a superb view of Labuan Bajo bay with it’s special atmosphere.
Last thoughts …
Diving with Wicked Diving was definitely the right decision. Labuan Bajo has 20 plus dive shops and it is hard to separate the good ones from the bad ones. Especially when diving Komodo, you want to be with experienced dive masters who know their trade as well as the specifics of the local sites. At the same time their operation was run so professionally, that everybody was feeling really comfortable, even the not so experienced divers among us.
The diving itself on Komodo was probably the best I have ever done in my life. A bit later I went to some other more advanced sites in the North which definitely were highlights of my diving career so far. I can just urge everyone who is into diving and about to visit Indonesia to go diving in Flores. And if you do so, Wicked Diving is probably the best address.