Manta Rays- yes really!

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August 27th 2010
Published: August 27th 2010
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Claire: I thought I'd start for a change! Well I can safely say that today has been far the best day so far! I can not begin to describe how perfect today was! We arrived at the harbour at 7.30 and quickly realised that the pier was not a joke, and that you did actually have to climb on all fours in places to get from one wooden plank to the other, Indiana Jones style. Also that the holes dotted around the pier were not an artistic statement, more that the pier was in fact just falling in to the sea. After this mini-adventure we found our boat and our dive team, and were met initially by a guy a year older than us from Q.E boys! (Nice to meet London lads for a change!)

There were 10 of us in total with the equivalent number of staff. We headed for our first dive site which took about 2 hours to reach. It was in the channel between Komodo and Rinca (the dragon islands). I was stunned. I can't describe to you all the complexity of life on the reef. We spotted a white-tipped shark having a nap on the reef, followed quickly by a turtle swimming by, and the sizes of the groupers, snappers and trevalleys were remarkable! The coral, may I add, was hugely diverse and less impacted than Hoga, although similar culprits were undergoing various forms of bleaching! (Sorry had to add that bit!)

I surfaced after a rather long hour (we waited until our tanks were almost empty) and went as far as saying that I hated Guy (the english dive instructor) as he must have what I can only describe as the best job in the world!

After a cooling swim in shallow lagoon-esque water we were ready for our next dive. The site was called Manta Point, and after about 30 minutes being dragged by the current, I began to think it was rather poorly named... Until out of the blue appeared our first manta, followed by a second, third, and soon there were 5 vast creatures looming towards us with such grace and magnificence. It may sound like I'm over-playing this encounter, but I can not portray the sheer size of these creatures, and if I did, I doubt I'd do it justice!

All in all, a pretty good day of diving, only followed by a trip to a hill-side sunset-facing pub, aptly named 'Paradise' with our instructor, and what turned out to be all the other divers staying in Labuan Bajo! Oh and we went back to the restaurant, had another 'small cat' sized fish, (a grouper this time) just to top off what has to be an incredible day in Indonesia!

Elly: Goodness, I come back from a teeth clean and Claire has written a book! It's fair to say we're feeling rather pleased with ourselves. The photos have been face-booked for those with access. The Komodo National Park has to be one of the most stunning areas on earth - the water is practically neon and the islands are each like little mountains. It's far more dry and rugged than Bali and the Wakatobi, but more beautiful we think. Tomorrow we're getting up at the same time and boating it to North Komodo with a different group. The sites are so good, apparently, that Greg (the Australian owner of DiveKomodo) is coming with us. I'm finding it hard to keep Claire off the ceiling.

Now for a film - night all!


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