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March 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Komodo Resort Diving Club, Indonesia

exciting diving at budget prices

from the March, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

In preparing for my first trip to Indonesia, I had a tough choice: Raja Ampat or Komodo? So as to not bust my budget for the first seven days, (with nine more after that), Komodo Resort Diving Club, averaging $250 per person, per day, for room, food and diving won out.

Built from the ground up by a couple of Italian fellows, the Komodo Resort is on the desert-like Sebayur Island, smack dab in the middle of the Flores Sea, about halfway between Labuan Bajo (where one arrives by air from Bali) and Komodo Island. I came without my BC and wetsuit because the resort advertised all gear for rent; some of their rental stuff is a little long in the tooth, but serviceable. Most divers, mainly European, also seemed to be renters, not bringing much beyond their cameras and masks. With no real "dedicated dive shop," I would have been out of luck had I needed any nonessential accessory.

Komodo Resort Diving Club, IndonesiaThe wooden dive boats, like most in this area, are slow for those who are used to high-speed boats, but they have enough room so that I didn't feel cramped. After getting underway, most people scampered to the top to flop on giant bean bags under a canvas top. Slow boats with rides up to an hour meant limited range: Any island in the north and east areas that are surrounded by Komodo, Rinca, and Flores Islands was accessible, but not those to the west and south. Nonetheless, the sites we reached had plenty to hold my attention. If I may use Palau as a measuring stick, the reefs on Komodo's north and northeast sides had more diversity in both corals and reef animals. I saw vast areas of unique Flores Sea animals and critters, things I did not know even existed, as well as huge barrel sponges, impossibly long moray eels, large Napoleon wrasses and pleurobranchus (beautiful sea slugs), all set in a coral background showing little sign of bleaching and only a few dead patches. While the ocean surface appeared glass-flat, upon closer inspection, I saw water boils all over the place, caused by current upwellings. The ocean was raging under that seemingly calm surface -- a good sign for marine life....

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