This morning we started the day searching for manta rays at a place called Padar Kecil. We saw a few mantas from the surface before the dive, but were not so lucky under the water. My group only found one manta.

Our second survey dive was more eventful. We found seven mantas during the dive, and more on the surface after the dive. Some of us were lucky to get good ID photos, that will be used to check the condition of manta ray populations in Komodo National Park.

Afterwards, all the interns practiced their manta briefings with the mentor team. They all seemed nervous at first, but then relaxed and began to enjoy talking about manta rays.

As evening approached, we sailed into Gili Lawa Darat Bay, and our boat Tatawa anchored close to the beach. We all went ashore for the first time in several days, and hiked up a small hill to watch the sunset. As we sat there, talking and laughing, we all became closer – mentors and interns – with great photos providing a sweet memory of this place.

MantaWatch Interns and Mentors 2015

MantaWatch Interns and Mentors 2015

Night came, and we were back onboard Tatawa and still very energetic. So we decided to explore Gili Lawa Darat Bay together some more, this time by doing a night dive. It was a great experience, and we found many creatures that are hard to find during the day! Frogfish, octopus, squid and many more!

Then finally we were back on the boat, writing up our data and organizing our photos from the day, before falling asleep to be ready for another day of exploration tomorrow.

Niomi Pridina

Niomi Pridina

Niomi earned her B.Sc. Marine Science from the University of Padjadjaran. After successfully completing MIP-2014, she joined MantaWatch as the Education and Research Coordinator, and participated in MIP-2015 and MIP-2016 as a trainer and mentor. She has worked as a communication intern for the International Pole and Line Foundation, where she helped to communicate and […]