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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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March 2023    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 49, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Komodo Resort; Kalimaya Resort; Indonesia

from very good to great, two hours apart

from the March, 2023 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

Komodo Resort's beachfrontIf I were going to spend endless hours flying to and from Indonesia, I would want world-class diving with variety. Liveaboards can provide that, but too many Undercurrent readers have reported how the COVID petri-dish environment aboard a liveaboard affected their trips. Having dived this area by liveaboards before, my solution was to visit two land-based resorts, the Komodo Resort, followed by the less-dived Kalimaya Resort.

But during my checkout dive at Komodo, my heart sank when I jumped into the lousy visibility. Although the fish were schooling and plentiful, as a photographer, would the muck mean I had traveled halfway around the world for this?

After landing at Labuan Bajo from Bali, the starting point for these destinations, my van driver drove me to the old wooden dive boat for the 90-minute ride to Komodo Resort. Once there, the friendly staff gave me a cold facecloth, tamarind juice, and a sandwich in the bougainvillea-covered dining area. Dive director Britta from Stuttgart and the Spanish and Italian guides briefed my group of 10 divers, and then the staff carried my stuff along the sandy path to my bungalow, with a million-dollar beach/mountain view.

The 20 ocean-front air-conditioned cabins had lounge chairs and umbrellas steps away from the water's edge. Mine had plenty of storage and a nice outdoor bathroom -- but no hot water, not a great hardship in the warm climate. I had enough electrical outlets for charging my batteries and a small fridge to keep my chocolate stash cool. With no camera room at the resort, I had to schlep my rig daily on the long walk to my room.

Restaurant at the Komodo ResortOn my second day, my concerns about the visibility lessened (eventually, we had about 60 feet) with the stellar diving -- giant mantas on the first dive and rich coral gardens on the second. I saw massive schools of fish wherever I went -- trevallies, surgeonfish, durgons, bannerfish, Moorish idols, fusiliers (lots of blue and yellow); occasionally, a black-tip shark cruised by. I slowly coasted along the main attraction, the healthy reef, snapping wide-angle pictures of beautiful floral "bouquets," sea fans, and multi-colored brittle stars, angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, chromis, and an occasional turtle. Having arrived the day after a full moon, I had to work around the strong current swings and stay alert, although the captain was careful about where he dropped us. We stuck with our guides in a ratio of 4 to 1....

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