6 – 22 August 2009

It was both Yogi and my first time to see the underwater world of the World Heritage Site Komodo National Park. About 15 years ago Yogi spent time here on land, photographing Komodo dragons. Not much was known about underwater Komodo, and there were few dive operators then as is the case now. But over the past decade,  we heard and read much about this place —the mad currents, the amount of fish, the pristine underwater wilderness that it was—and still we never managed to get here, until now.

Komodo is special. Its geological location and exchange of tide currents from the Indian Ocean and the Pacific has made it so. It now ranks as one of our top and favourite tropical dive destinations.

Padar Island. An grassland environment with lots of bushes that made the sounds of rain when rattled.

Padar Island. A grassland environment with lots of dry bushes that made the sound of rain when rattled.

The topside landscape is dry and barren – an open savannah or grassland ecosystem so like the Australian outback, and the underwater world is a totally mind-blowing contrast.

Contrast of barren land and coral reefs like from the Jurassic era. This is the unique beauty of Komodo

Contrast of barren land and untouched coral reefs like from the Jurassic era. This is the unique beauty of Komodo

The intact coral reefs, the clear current and clean warm waters of north Komodo, the cold upwelling and nutrient-rich waters of south Komodo and of course the fish and critters kept us very busy doing four dives a day onboard the beautiful Indonesian phinisi schooner The Seven Seas. This entry is a case of say less but show more. This is our Komodo underwater photo gallery:

THE REEF

Coral structured like cauliflowers or open cabbages in the shallows

Corals structured like cauliflowers or open cabbages in the shallows

Glassy sweepers cover abundant bright orange soft corals

Glassy sweepers cover abundant bright orange soft corals

The one day of strong ocean swells hammering against the cliffs of Batu Muncho

The one day of strong ocean swells hammering against the cliffs of Batu Moncho

Sea pen proud and solitary in the volcanic sand of Sangean Island

Sea pen proud and solitary in the volcanic sand of Sangean Island

Would you ever think this is a sea cucumber? Sea apple feeding on plankton in the cold waters of South Rinca

Would you ever think this is a sea cucumber? Sea apple feeding on plankton in the cold waters of South Rinca

Thousands of glass fish in brilliant orange soft corals

Thousands of glass fish in brilliant orange soft corals

THE ANIMALS

Garden eels sticking out more than a meter long from the sands of Sangean Island

Garden eels sticking out more than a meter long from the sands of Sangean Island

Beautiful but terrible. A bleached anemone still surviving to give home to this adorable false clownfish

Beautiful but terrible. A bleached anemone still surviving to give home to this adorable false clownfish

Stargazer on a night dive in Banta Island

Stargazer on a night dive in Banta Island

Friendly hawksbill turtle high on a sponge he munches

Friendly hawksbill turtle high on a sponge he munches

Juvenile lion fish in the black sands of Sangean Island

Juvenile lion fish in the black sands of Sangean Island

Reef octopus crawling the reef of Manta Alley in South Komodo

Reef octopus crawling the reef of Manta Alley in South Komodo

Cold water diving was worth it knowing we were going to be with mantas

Cold water diving was worth it knowing we were going to be with mantas in South Komodo

Stella trying to keep up with a graceful but fast manta against the current

Stella trying to keep up with a graceful but fast manta against the current

Beautiful mantas in clear waters in Manta Point

Beautiful mantas in clear waters in North Komodo