We left Labuan Bajo on October 2nd. My apologies, but I didn’t get to process the photos for Rinca and the Komodo dragons before we left. Our next destination, where we are now, has no Internet. So, I’m uploading this blog post via our very slow HF radio e-mail. No way to upload photos with this. We’ll probably have to wait until we get to Bali to get caught up on all the photos.
After Labuan Bajo, we motored 14 miles (no wind) over to a bay off Gililawa Laut a beautiful island off the northeast side of Komodo Island. This island is famous for some great diving and snorkeling, and is our first stop where we have had beautiful clear turquoise water we could swim in since Lizard Island in Australia. Not only that, but I had instructions from my doctors not to swim until the end of September because of my eye.
I wish I could say we’ve spent 3 days doing recreational diving. But, instead, I spent three days diving the bottom of Tahina cleaning her bottom from months of growth. Karen had a bit of stomach bug, or she would have helped some. Our speed has been over 1.5 knots slower than normal with a clean bottom. The bottoms are clean now – and we’re anxious to see how much faster we go.
The entire time we’ve been here there has been over a dozen visits of large Indonesian cruising dive boats. These are multi-day diving excursions out of Bali. They have been diving here day and night.
We had some friends show up here a couple days ago. s/v Migration, a red-hulled trimaran we first met in Niue, appeared. Also, a New Zealand catamaran called s/v Naturally High. We’ve been having sundowners together each night.
Yesterday, Migration and Tahina went out together and dove a site called Crystal Rock. This was a technically challenging dive because of the currents. We had to swim like crazy to get to the very large pinnacle rock. There were fantastic coral, both hard and soft, many fish including some large ones – and shark. But, you had to hold on to something because the currents would constantly change including down and up drafts. The currents were so strong you would lose your grip on the rocks. Migration went first while we kept motoring to stay nearby. Then we took our turn. It was hard to do our safety stop because we couldn’t hold depth very easily.
We plan to start heading west today to go to Bali. But, we hope to do one more dive in the morning. The coral here in Indonesia is the most lively we have seen anywhere in the world. And the water has been ultra clear (over 30m of visibility). It’s too bad I spent most of the last three days working, but it had to be done.