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Mermaid I - Cruise Komodo in Style

 Mermaid I, one of two vessels of the Thailand based “Mermaid Liveaboards”, spends June to October in Indonesia, offering 9 night liveaboard excursions to Komodo National Park.
Mermaid I is one of the most comfortable vessels out there. Cabins, lounge, sun and dive decks are all very spacious accommodating a total of 15 guests only. All excursions start and end at Bali’s Benoa Harbour.

After an overnight steam, passing the north east of Lombok, we woke up at Moyo Island; doing our first two dives for the trip at Angel Reef and Satonda Reef. Clear, blue water, and plenty of fish around. Leaf sorpionfish, orangutang craps, mantis shrimps, lots of nudibranchs and massive elephant ear sponges were among these dives sightings.

Sangeang Volcano

Sangeang Volcano

The following day we spent at Sangeang Volcano. Lighthouse Reef and Hot Rocks were our dive sites for the day. Diving for rare nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, leaf scorpionfish, blue and black ribbon eels were on top of our list. Hot Rocks is black sand diving and a truly magical place, with bubbles rising from the bottom.

Day 3 started off with a dive at Crystal Rock. A dive site offering strong currents, we could expect grey reef sharks, turtles, giant Maori wrasse, and of course we were not disappointed. We continued the day diving at Takat Toko and Takat Makassar, off the north-east corner of Komodo. A bit of a current running, so lots of pelagic action: whitetip and grey reef sharks, unicorn fish, jackfish, snappers, and plenty more.

Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon

Our next day started with a visit to Komodo National Park to see and walk with the famous Komodo Dragons. We did a two-hour walk in the park, a World Heritage Site, spotting Timor Deer, cockatoos, wild boar and of course dragons. Our dives for the day were done at Pink Beach – a paradise for critters – the Three Sisters and Padar Island.

Next was Cannibal Rock, a true top-ten-in-the-world dive site. We spent all day at this amazing place spotting enormous frogfish, rare lacy scorpionfish, an abundance of corals, sponges, sea apples, turtles, cuttlefish, crabs, loads of nudibranchs and the other usual suspects.

Manta Rays

Manta Rays

Today we headed to Manta Alley to watch in awe these magnificent creatures play, feed and get cleaned at the many cleaning stations. … and we were not disappointed … especially as I had never seen a manta before! Feeding at the surface, getting cleaned at a cleaning station or just playing around us for hours. We returned to the vessel with huge smiles on our faces!

Starting to head back towards Bali, we spend some more dives at Crystal Rock, Takat Toko, Sumbawa Surprise and Angel Reef. We even encountered a rare blue-ringed octopus, numerous more nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, longnose hawkfish, ghost pipefish, more orangutan crabs and of course more mantas.

 This was our first time in Indonesia and we were amazed by the health and wealth of the reefs and soft corals throughout this entire trip. We will definitely be back some time soon!

Time flies when you are having fun, and before we knew it, we were heading back to Bali for the last time.

by Bettina Schmidberger

One Response to “Mermaid I – Bali – Komodo 2009”

  1. limewire says:

    shoot nice stuff man.

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