Six months ago, Amy and I reserved two spots on a liveaboard diving boat with Wicked Diving in Komodo National Park. I’m struggling to come up with an adjective adequate enough to describe the trip.
This is the Jaya. She was purpose-built 12 years ago for diving and has been to a couple different spots in Southeast Asia. 14 divers, 4 guides, and 7 crew members comfortably cruised around Komodo on this ship.
As far as diving goes, the spots we visited were a kaleidoscope of color and life. It was like soaring through all the photos and TV programs that drive people to get into diving. Here are some of the memorable critters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t photograph all of them.
Having never seen manta rays before, I was totally struck by their grace. We went to a spot nick named Manta Point, parked ourselves on the bottom, and the mantas swam all around us. Fun fact: the markings on a manta’s belly are all unique and are used to identify them, similar to our finger prints.
Is there any creature in the ocean more lovable than a sea turtle? We saw a ton of turtles chowing down on reef treats and playing in the currents.
This little guy is a mantis shrimp, and believe it or not, is one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean. Their arms shoot out as fast as bullets and can break all kinds of things, like crab shells. And scuba masks, fingers, and aquarium glass. Check out this on The Oatmeal and get ready to fall in love them. Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal.
On a night dive, this squid charged at my buddy and I. It terrified me, but Kara kept snapping photos and then when we got to the surface, asked me why I was screaming underwater over such a small squid.
We all love Nemo.
And here’s just a pretty picture of coral.
We also stopped on Rinca Island to check out the infamous Komodo Dragons. Unfortunately, they weren’t very active, and we didn’t see many, but they were magnificent animals that I, personally, would not want to quarrel with.
All in all, the trip was a ten. There was a great vibe on the boat, we ate well, dove often. Who could ask for anything more?