Jan 24, 2017 – Diving in Komodo National Park – Giant Reef Manta Rays!

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A Giant Reef Manta Ray (4 meters wide) Circling in the Current

See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTsL2WJ

I booked my diving through Divers Paradise Komodo. Although, it is not the best company, it was the cheapest. For three dives they charged only 1,375,000 IDR or $137.50 CAN. Additionally, they had revamped their entire team and procedures from last season so I thought I’d give them a try.

I got to their shop early for a free breakfast of pancakes and tea and then headed out with a group of divers. It took about 2 and a half hours to get to our first dive site “Batu Bolong”. It’s a wall of sea life with strong currents on either side of it. It was absolutely incredible! Besides seeing a plethora of fish (lion fish, scorpion fish, snappers, sweetlips, barracuda, box fish, bumperhead parrotfish, etc), I also saw the largest moray eel of my life! Its head was the size of a small watermelon! The wall is a little short so we zig-zagged our way up and down it. I loved this dive site so much I was reconsidering diving only one day in Komodo National Park and maybe diving two instead. This was also the first dive I had done with strong currents.

The second site we went to was Manta Point or Makassar Reef. Our group of 4 divers and one dive master saw a white tip reef shark, spotted eagle ray, and cow fish. But besides that we found several Giant Reef Manta Rays!

Reef Manta Rays are unbelievable!! When we saw the rays, all divers must release the air from their BCDs and hang onto dead coral at the bottom of the ocean because a diver who is vertical may seem like a threat.  The Reef Manta Rays enjoy hanging out in the currents because all the plankton is swept into their mouths. As a result, they would swim in circles in front of us with their 4 meter wide wing span. Lots of fish were also on the manta’s back cleaning it. We watched one Manta Ray for about half an hour.

The third dive site we went to was Wainilu which is famous for macro life. I saw a peacock shrimp, eels, boxfish, more reef manta rays, clown fish, lionfish, cuttlefish, devil rays, longhorn cowfish, and a snowflake moray. This site seems less impressive than the first two sites, but was still great.

Overall, it was a spectacular day and I met some great people too!

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