Wicked Diving in Komodo

Wicked Diving Komodo-4Besides 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.

A good and thorough preparation is everything.

A good and thorough preparation is everything.

Our mixed group of divers on the way to the first site.

Our mixed group of divers on the way to the first site.

Gear ready to go...

Gear 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.

Lifesaver ...

Lifesaver …

No rest for the wicked ...

No rest for the wicked …

 

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.

Too bad we couldn't stop there ...

Too bad we couldn’t stop there …

Almost like Pirates in the Caribbean...

Almost like Pirates in the Caribbean…

Sunset from the Wicked Dive Terrace

Sunset from the Wicked Dive Terrace

 

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.

Categories: Diving, Indonesia | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Wicked Diving in Komodo

  1. Wicked sunset over the dive terrace! (sorry, couldn’t help it ;-) ) And sorry for the long silence…I feel like a time-travelling commenter. I pop in sometimes, and then go back through all the adventures I’ve missed, and then talk about things that others have already commented on ages ago ^_^;;

    • Hi Nerija, no worries I always appreciate your comments. Glad to have you back here ;). How have you been? I am about to fly over to yanmar and I have really high hopes for it. Malaysia wasn’t that good. Too many tourists and I mean tourists and not travelers and generally a lot of dumb people. I am actually looking forward to change countries. I hope it is gonna be good.

      • I’ve been well Summer’s unofficially over here, but it’s still really nice out — perfect, actually, now that the humidity’s gone.

        Bummer about the obnoxious tourists–and the jellyfish! Myanmar should be an interesting experience, with the military government having just recently eased up, and the release of Aung San Su Kyi. I’d be careful, though — there’s been recent news of sectarian violence, especially in the Rakhine area.

      • Philipp Dukatz

        I like those late summer days. Kind of melancholic but yet nice to be out and all. I actually am not mad about the jellyfish. It’s nature and there is nothing you can do about it. In the end, I was the one in its territory. But the issue with the tourists is in fact a troubling one. Reflecting a bit, I think it is all of Asia except a few of the beaten track places. As for me, I probably won’t travel Asia again because of that phenomenon ….

      • Well, it may be that most of the super-high tourist activity is just at this time of year, whereas if you travel again someday in the winter/early spring, you might have an easier time getting to some of the big cultural/historical sites. But then, I don’t know how cold it gets in those months, so diving might be more difficult/not possible.

        I guess if more tourists were aware of the dangerous creatures in those waters–and it may be they get more agitated and aggressive the more people start crowding their territories–there’d be less of a problem.

      • Philipp Dukatz

        Basically you are right, I was there during peak season and things are probably different in low season. But Flores is going to explode very soon I reckon. They are about to finish an international airport there which will bring loads of tourists over directlt from AUS and Europe. I am in Myanmar right now and its is low season \ rainy season. It is suprisingly pleasant with less people and the weather is not too bad. I think it might generally a good idea to travel Asia during low season, despite the weather ….

      • I look forward to reading your thoughts on Myanmar!

      • Philipp Dukatz

        I can already tell you that is FREAKIN amazing. One of the best countries I have ever been to. People are so nice. The country is still raw and unspoiled, just the way I like it. More detailed info coming soon….

      • Awesome!

  2. kancilwati

    Hi Phil, I’m enjoying reading your blog. Are you still staying at Flores to enjoy Sail Komodo event? Maybe you could try ship hitchhike ;-)

    • Hi Kancil, when I was in Flores I saw all of those posters about the Sail Komodo, What exactly is it? Shit, ship hitchhiking sounds actually like an awesome idea. I wish I could have done that. I really love being on ships. Are you gonna be around for the event then?

  3. kancilwati

    It’s international sail event held by Indonesian gov to promote tourism in East Nusa Tenggara. One of the activities is yacht rally. I would love to visit there, would like to see international research expedition ship. Unfortunately I can’t leave my job.
    Well, hope you enjoy your time in Indonesia. Looking forward for your next posting :-)

    • Indonesia was great. Too bad you couldn’t attend the Sail Komodo event. Sounds really nice. Do you have any other plans to travel soon? Indonesia has so much to offer …… I would like to see Kalimantan someday or even Papua….

      • kancilwati

        I’m planning to visit Angkor Wat this year.
        Perhaps you could visit Indonesia again next year. Indonesia will conduct “Sail Raja Ampat” in Papua :-)

      • Philipp Dukatz

        Haha, I would really LOVE to go to Raja Ampat. It is like a dream but I heard it extraordinarily expensive. Everything, from food to accomodation. So I don’t think I will be able to come since I will be broke as hell… But it sure would be a great thing to do ……

  4. Xia Zi Wei

    What an amazing journey you have! I myself am a huge fan of Indonesia – love Bunaken and Gili the most! But Flores seems amazing too – I read it too once in http://www.jakpost.travel. Thanks for the article!

    • Hi there, thanks for stopping by. Bunaken is a really nice place… I really liked it there. The Gilis are great too but sometimes it can be too busy there. Were you on Gili Air, Gili Meno or Gili Travangan? I stayed on Gili Air and loved it….

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