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scottyb

Adding to a Komodo Trip

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I am looking at a trip to Komodo the week before Thanksgiving. I want to add another week somewhere in the vicinity, either land or liveaboard. Any ideas?

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Sulawasi is pretty easy to get to from Bali. I did a combined Lembeh/Komodo last year that worked well.

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If I was to do the Komodo trip again I would add a week in Bali. Should be cheap and there is suppose to be some very good diving there. Bali is cool enough to be worth a week even if you don't go diving.

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I agree - do some diving around Bali. I did the Komodo trip last year and then spent several days diving at Tulamben. It is great diving, and VERY reasonable. It is also worth doing some touring around Bali - the people are extremely friendly, their culture is very interesting, and the island is gorgeous.

I've also been to Wakatobi and Lembeh, which are excellent. It depends on how long you have - if only a few days I would do Bali. A week or 10 days then you could do another "full-blown" location. You'll want more than just a few days at either Lembeh or Wakatobi to do it justice.

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Let me also endorse the idea of diving in Bali at either end of your Komodo trip. The Amed-Tulamben area in the north has some great dives, including (but not limited to) the Liberty Wreck, which really should be thought of as not as a wreck dive, but as a great macro site.

 

More to the point, since you're talking about September, this is the height of mola mola season at Nusa Penida. There are very few places in the world where one can see (and photograph) these magnificent creatures, but Nusa Penida is one of them. (Nusa Penida is an island in the strait between Bali and Lombok, and the main destination of dive boats based in Sanur. The faster boat will get you there in about 40 minutes. Mola sightings aren't guaranteed, of course, but with several days and a good operator, the chances are ver good. Email me if you'd like my recommendation on the best Nusa Penida dive op. (or just check out the ad in the current issue of UwP with my pic of a mola).

 

One important matter : in September we get upwellings from Indian Ocean on all southern dive sites in the straits along the Nusa Tenggara archipelago, which means quite cold water, around 20-22 C.

 

This not only applies to Nusa Penida, but also to all the sites in southern Komodo you will do, including Horseshoe Bay. It will still be very warm (about 29 C) at the northern Komodo sites, as well as North Bali, but Horseshoe Bay and Nusa Penida will be very cold at that time of year. I've been on trips where the boat abandoned the southern sites after only one day because the divers had only 3 mil suits and couldn't take the cold. You should think about bringing at least a 5 mil, as well as hood and gloves, for these areas.

 

Robert Delfs

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Good point Robert - 5mm recommended by me too!

 

Did you read the article Scotty?

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Actually we are going in Nov. Does that change the water temperature?

 

Bob, I did read your report after you first posted it. It helped to rejuvenate my interest in going there. We are looking at Grand Komodo, a live-aboard operator that offers an itinerary out of Flores Island. It is only a two hour sail to Komodo. They come highly recommended. They actually have 3 boats and offer itineraries to Alor, Wakatobi, and Raja Empat. Do you have any experience with this operator?

 

I am also looking into Lembeh Straits Resort for the additional week. They are supposedly associated with Murex. Do you know anything of them? I believe it is a fairly new resort.

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Not heard of tht particular operator to Komodo...

LEMBEH - Yes, We're all going back in September. The new Murex resort is excellent and Craig actually spent 2 nights there in October. I have some pictures I took of the rooms and I'll shrink & post em tomorrow.

That's a BIG bonus being just 2 hrs out of Komodo. Some good diving around The tips of western Flores too.

Suit - Stick with a 5mm, it can get cool in Lembeh too.

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My vote would be to stay for two or three additional weeks and do all of the above. Topside touring around Bali is in itself worth the trip. At Nusa Penida I experienced one of the most beautiful dives I've ever seen with amazing soft coarls teaming with anthias. Up in Manado I spent 2 weeks at Hotel Sanitka diving with Thalassa who took me to all the Bunaken sites, up to Bangka and several trips to Lembeh. With the exception of Komodo (water temp was much cooler, definitely 5mm), I dived in a Henderson Polartek and never got cold, even on the 75 minute night dives on the house reef at Santika. The only place I would not go back to is the Gili Islands off of Lombok where everything was rubble.

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I'm headed to Wakatobi for 11 days and also on the Peter Hughes Komodo Dancer between

April 3rd, 2005 and May 1st, 2005. I was thinking of PNG after that. Any recommendations?

 

- aLV

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Actually we are going in Nov. Does that change the water temperature?  

 

I'm just back from Komodo, and can tell you that the water in the south is still quite cold in November, at least this year. We had temps of 20-22 at some of the southern sites - Yellow Wall and Cannibal Rock off Rinca. It was a bit warmer at Manta Alley.

 

Actually, the cold water (and low viz) pushed quite far north for a couple of days. Three Sisters was about 24, and one day it was only 25-26 at Castle Rock in the far north. A week earlier it had been 29-30.

 

So I'd say, definitely bring your 5 mil., and a good hood and gloves.

 

But do read the warning about Labuanbajo-based operators in Komodo I've just posted today.

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Hi!

 

I've been to the Komodo area a couple of times and Ive got some travel journals.

 

They are available on:

http://travel.xentranet.com/journal.asp?us...me=laser&jid=55

http://travel.xentranet.com/journal.asp?us...e=laser&jid=131

 

If you can read swedish I've also written a short article about diving the area, http://www.resmixen.nu/komodo.htm

 

Have a nice day!

 

/Lasse

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I'm headed to Wakatobi for 11 days and also on the Peter Hughes Komodo Dancer between

April 3rd, 2005 and May 1st, 2005. I was thinking of PNG after that. Any recommendations?

- aLV

Alvin, the one big limitation for combining Indo with PNG is travel time. The most direct way is via Singapore on Air Niugini. But if you don't buy the ticket in Singapore, they are very draconian with weight at check in.

If you still want to go, April is usually the best time for Milne Bay.There are a few liveaboard options from Alotau. The Golden Dawn is very nice and know the area well, benefitting from Halstead. No one knows the area better than Rob Van Der Loos on the Chertan but the boat has shared heads and a bit aged. The nicest boat imho is the Paradise Sport by Mike Ball, and their knowledge of the area is good. However it's a big boat and it can get very crowded and the itineraries tend to be a wider variety due to the more mixed levels of divers as clientele. The Telita was pretty on the one trip I went on.

Another area I liked alot was Kavieng, which had more WWII wrecks and more pelagics, with good critters and healthy reefs in the mix.

As for the Komodo dancer, bring footware with good grip as the rubber matting system they have on the boat is atrociously on your feet and many areas are a hazard for slipping and falling.

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