Your journey begins when you board the stunning Tiaré in Maumere. After settling in and meeting your crew you will prepare for 1 or 2 dives. For some world-class muck diving you’ll visit Gosong Boni and Tanjung Gedong to the southwest of Kawula Island. At Gosong Boni sponges and sea fans are abundant and blue ringed octopus, pygmy seahorses and algae shrimp can be found. Tajung Gedong has large table corals and often reef sharks and grouper. Pulau Babi or Pig Island is also another option. This site is bordered by a wide coral reef and also offers a deep wall with lots of crevices for creatures to hide in. One large crack was made during a 1992 earthquake and is 30 metres long.
On day 2 you’ll be anchored off of Palu’e Island north of Flores. There are no roads or vehicles, but the island is home to almost 10,000 people. Today you’ll dive the Wall in the Falls, which is a beautiful wall that drops from 8 to about a depth of 30 meters. This is a dramatic dive and with the wall housing leaf fish, reef octopus, nudibranchs and many juvenile reef fish. You’ll also see huge tube sponges, sea fans and the black coral bushes as well as a hard coral garden in the shallower waters of the site.
Cruising on to the Komodo/Flores channel and Sebayur and Sabolon islands you’ll dive 2 or 3 sites today. Tatawa Besar is a beautiful drift dive starting off from the north western tip of Tatawa and continuing west until you are 15 to 20 meters down. Stunning orange corals are home to an incredible array of ocean life like sweetlips and batfish. You also may see turtles and mantas if you’re lucky! Look for leaf fish, ghost pipefish and nudibranchs at your second dive at Sebayur Island. Your last dive of the day at Sabolon Island will allow you to see beautiful sea fans, bump head parrotfish and garden eels. Huge leather corals also hide cuttlefish and lots of other exciting species.
Wake up to the beautiful sights of the straits between the islands of Komodo and Rinca. You will dive here at the stunning Manta Reef and the spectacular Batu Bolong, where you will see an incredible amount of coral and tropical fish. Rest and have lunch on board before an afternoon dive at Three Sisters; 3 underwater ridges with massive steps, and towers of stone, caves and overhangs covered in soft corals. Expect to see nudibranchs, frogfish and larger marine life like reef sharks and bump head parrotfish. Your third dive of the day will be a night dive in Padar. Water temperatures at these sites can drop to around 20°c, so be prepared for the possibility of chillier dives. You might also notice the water is greener here than other areas. However, this means there are far more nutrients in the water, which in turn means incredible biodiveristy!
On day 5 you will have 4 dives off Nusa Kode Island, where you’ll see some of the most incredible marine creatures in the archipelago. During the day you’ll dive at Canninbal Rock, which has often been listed as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world! With its sand slopes, rocky areas and a plateau covered in marine life, you can expect to see hard and soft corals, sponges, tube anemones, and a huge variety of nudibranchs. Yellow Wall at southern entrance to Horseshoe Bay is your next stop, where you will see the yellow and orange corals that give the site its name. This drift dive allows you to slowly take in all the ladybugs and nudibranchs covering the wall. Entering in to the bay Boulders is home to resting rays and sometimes even hiding nurse sharks. Head back to Tiaré for a rest before a shallow night dive in Torpedo Bay (sometimes called Torpedo Alley). This site is named after the torpedo rays that are found here. You can also expect seahorses, coconut octopus, squid and the odd bobbit worm burrowed into the volcanic black sand.
Weather permitting you will do a full day with 4 spectacular dives. This morning you’ll be south of Komodo Island at Manta Alley and German Flag. Manta Alley is in Tora Langkoi Bay and is the most popular dive for spotting the majestic manta rays. There is also a possibility of spotting mantas at German Flag, as well as Malabar groupers, schools of potato cod, red snapper, surgeon fish. In the afternoon you will dive Tanjung Lehoksera or Batu Gajah depending on the weather conditions. At night discover the wreck of a 100-foot wooden Pinisi boat.
Also take the chance to get a tender or kayak to watch komodo dragons, wild pigs, deer and monkeys roam the beach.
Today you’ll dive 3 times off the coast of Komodo Island. Pantai Merah (Pink Beach) is famous for not only its beautiful pink sand, but its mini wall in the middle of the reef where the crevices make the perfect home for glassfish, nudibranchs, frogfish, crocodile fish and scorpionfish. In the sandier area opposite the wall juvenile harlequin sweetlips and mandarin fish live. Pulau Hantu also has an incredible array of smaller fish. Komodo dragons on the Tour the island.
Today you’ll be diving off Komodo Island where currents can be quite strong. Dives must be timed in accordance with tides and weather conditions so there are a number of dive sites you may visit. Takat Makassar Reef, Batu Bolong and Tatawa Kecil are all stunning dives with soft and hard corals.
The challenge continues on day 9 with dive sites off Gili Lawa Laut. Crystal Rock (named for the rock jutting out from crystal blue water) and Castle Rock both boast a wide variety of very healthy corals and an impressive array of marine life. Couldron (sometimes called Shotgun) and Gili Lawa Laut Lighthouse are two of the other thrilling dives in this area and can be dived in the evening or at night. Here you might see crocodilefish, lion fish, sometimes eagle rays and reef sharks and even manta rays. Between dives you’ll have the chance to trek to the highest point of Gili Lawa Laut to see the gorgeous views over the Komodo-Flores channel.
Heading back towards Komodo and Rinca, you’ll dive the sites you missed on the way out. Batu Bolong and Tatawa Besar are possibilities. These sites are famous for their endless fields of stunning orange soft corals and manta encounters. Dive at night at Pulau Sebayur.
Batu Tengah is right in the middle of the Komodo National Park, hence the name “Middle Rock”, and slopes into a stunning coral garden. Divers often see turtles, cuttlefish, white tip reef sharks and large groups of Napoleon wrasse and snapper here. Your night dive will be at Wainilu where you will see a wide array of nudibranchs, frogfish and other smaller marine creatures perfect for macro photography. Look in the hard coral reef for juvenile harlequin sweetlips and batfish. The sandy slope is scattered with pulsing soft corals where you may find starry night octopus, plus a moray eel found only in Wainilu.
After breakfast on board it’s time to check out and leave the Tiaré behind. Departing from Labuan Bajo.