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Komodo Trip Report

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Clernix, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Clernix

    Clernix Nassau Grouper

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    Komodo Trip Report

    I took my first trip back to Asia in many years on September 14, 2016. I flew with Singapore Airlines and was extremely happy with the service. I flew Premium Economy from JFK to Denpasar Bali. I am a pretty big guy but flying Premium Economy made it manageable. I am roughly 6’5” and north of 300lbs. One of the main reasons I had not been back to Asia was the long flight. In total I was in transit about 36 hours.

    Singapore Airlines took good care of me. The seat was really comfortable and the in-flight entertainment and food was really good.

    I flew Garudu Airlines from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo and spent the night in the Jayakarta Suites Komodo-Flores; a fairly decent hotel that provided a pick up at the airport.

    The crew of the Nusa Tara picked me up around 10 am and we boarded the ship shortly after that. Here is the website Grand Komodo

    I can’t say enough about this company; a really great local operation. The Nusa Tara had three cabins with two bunks each. The cabins were small but efficient with a shower and a toilet in the cabin. The crew took really good care of us. There was plenty to eat, great dive guides and well-kept rooms. When we first got up in the morning coffee and toast was ready, we did our first dive, by the time we came back our rooms were made up and breakfast was ready. The day continued with diving, eating and resting. We did four dives a day including a night dive every night. Oh and when these guys say night dive they mean night dive. None of this diving at sunset, we boarded the dingy way past sundown and did real night dives.

    We were supposed to do a check dive the same day we boarded but one of the guests was delayed and we could not leave the harbor till late so we motored into position for the next day of diving.

    I am going to hit highlights instead of each individual dive or this will get way to long. Manta Alley and Taka Masar provided more mantas than I have ever seen in all my years of diving; groups of 2-4 mantas at time with a total of around 20-25 mantas between both dive sites.

    Current City with ripping currents but more fish on one reef than I have ever seen before; Castle and Crystal rock close together were so full of life. There were sharks and huge schools of damsel fish just beyond belief.

    We dove macro at night with Kris our lead guide pointing out one great macro shot after another. I have no idea how he found the stuff he did but it was one creature after another.

    We went to see Komodo dragons in the wild from our boat and also on land on the island of Komodo. The ranger station there was a great stop on the last day after our last dives.

    If I had to some this trip it would be to say; this was not a vacation it was an adventure.


    Thank you Grand Komodo and the Crew of the Nusa Tara!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    Zog, Dan, chillyinCanada and 4 others like this.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,240
    5,717
    113
    Sounds wonderful. Couple of questions about logistics.

    1.) Where did you depart from (airport), and did you make your own travel arrangements or use a travel agents? I think I'd use one of the professionals for something like that...

    2.) What was your longest continuous time on any flight?

    Richard.
     
  3. Clernix

    Clernix Nassau Grouper

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    I booked everything myself. This is only part of the trip. I also did Raja Ampat. I will be posting that trip report in a few days. It took time to do the research but it's part of the fun really.

    I left Cincinnati on Delta and flew to JFK. I had a really long layover at JFK outbound and inbound roughly 4-5 hours each way. That was unavoidable they way I booked it. I wanted a non-stop flight from Cincinnati to JFK and Delta was the only one that offered it. An interesting fact here too; since Delta does not offer a free checked bag and I was checking two it ended up being about the same to fly first class. First class allows two checked bags 70 lbs each.and Singapore Airlines allows two checked bags 50 lbs each in economy. Keep in mind I was gone a month so I needed more crap.

    The JFK Singapore leg is broken into two pieces. JFK-Frankfurt which is about 7.5 hours. You get out of the plane for 90 minutes. You can grab a snack including a great German brew then back on the same plane with a new crew. Then FRA-SIN for roughly 12 hours.

    Local flights were anywhere from 1-1.5 hours.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  4. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,126
    791
    113
    Clernix, how far south did you dive?
    Horseshoe Bay? Manta Alley? Pink Beach?
     
  5. Clernix

    Clernix Nassau Grouper

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    We did Manta Alley and Pink Beach. I couldn't really tell you how far south we went. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention. They rang the dive bell and in we went. I wasn't sure of the location.
    Btw Dirtfarmer I really enjoyed all of your posts before I left. They really hyped me on Indonesia. I understand your love of Indonesia now. I will return as much as I can. What a wonderful place.
    In one of your posts you mentioned loving Komodo as much as Raja. I get that too. Komodo is pretty amazing in its own right. Adding in its cheaper and much easier to get too,
     
    MA and dirtfarmer like this.
  6. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,126
    791
    113
    Manta Alley is as far south as it gets! But I'm wondering about Horseshoe Bay? It includes Cannibal Rock and Yellow Wall etc. I ask because I'm going on an even more budget LOB in Nov which is a southern trip, but the boat you were on looks a bit nicer. And the boat I'm on only has one bed in the cabin so to avoid paying for a whole cabin I'm sleeping on deck. (Really hoping for a not full boat so I can have a cabin). Then I'm heading to Scuba Junkies for another 8 days! And before Komodo I'm diving Tulamben for a week! I can hardly contain myself.

    Raja Amat I love too! It's just that Komodo is much more affordable.
     
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,173
    2,516
    113
    My mate had to sleep on the deck because his room has bed bugs!!!!!!!!
     
  8. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,126
    791
    113
    Budget boat...first thing check for bedbugs! I'm hoping my choice won't be a disaster...if it is I'll let people know here and on trip advisor, if not I'll keep it a secret so I can go back and still get a booking!
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  9. Clernix

    Clernix Nassau Grouper

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    We did dive cannibal rock. Just curious how much are you paying? Bed bugs sounds pretty crappy but bad air sounds worse. Do you have any concerns? Some of the boats I saw looked a little iffy but honestly also adventures. Komodo seems really on the edge.There is a feeling to downtown Labuan Bajo at night. Also I saw Scuba Junkies shop in Labuan Bajo. I meant to go in and have a chat with them after reading about them in your posts. I wouldn't mind doing an 8 days live aboard and spending a few days on their dive base in Komodo.

    What I am about to say is probably going to really get me flamed but I went to Tulamben and dove the Liberty and was not impressed. Keep in mind I had just dove Komodo and Raja but I did two dives on the Liberty and packed my bags up and went back to Kuta and finished my trip on the beach. I had toured Bali a bit including Ubud, Sorong. Tulamben and Kuta. Kuta was a mess just like everyone says but it was interesting.

    That being said again Indonesia blew my mind. Komodo and Raja were the best I have dove in my thirty years of diving. Crap I just dated myself.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  10. bunty99

    bunty99 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Singapore
    27
    7
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    I have to agree with you. I love diving Tulamben for the macro life except the liberty wreck. I go to tulamben once a year and have always avoided diving the wreck after doing it once. Too crowded and way overrated. Didn't think there was anything to see.
     

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