Our third day floating at sea, and more special experiences in Komodo National Park.
Our first dive began at 07:15 at The Arch. We descended to 25 meters looking for mantas and other marine life. My dive computer showed 23°C! I felt so cold, and was dreaming about the cup of hot tea I would have after the dive.
We found lots of schooling fish, beautiful corals and a Napoleon wrasse. The really interesting part of this dive was near the end. We drifted with the current through a giant cave. It felt like we were being pushed out to the other side of the world. I really enjoyed exploring the cave and emerging out into the sunshine again.
Next we went to Manta Point. This is my favorite dive site. We started our dive right in the middle of rising tide. This should be the best time to find mantas, with the currents pushing lots of nutrient rich waters up from the south. We found 20 mantas, and four were making a manta train formation. I was so happy! We all tried to keep our positioon just like the manta code of Conduct, and capture a good manta ID photo. Our second time to encounter a manta train, so happy!
We headed north, and our next site was The Cauldron. This site looks like a huge bowl-like depression some 30m wide with a colourful mini wall on the right and small canyon to the left side. It’s a unique dive site, which covers a variety of topographies throughout the dive. I found a great barracuda facing into the current as we drifted through the channel between Gili Lawa Darat and Gili Lawa Laut. It was fun dive, but I felt a little nervous as the current began to get stronger and stronger. We also encountered a hawksbill turtle and two reef mantas. Here the mantas looked smaller than the ones I had see elsewhere. I estimated that they were less than 2 meters wide. They could be juveniles.
After diving, we enjoyed the sunset at Gili Darat. We climbed the hill and took many photos to remember the moment. This is the beautiful moment we have together in MIP 2018.
Finally we had a chance for a night dive. Actually this is our first night dive. Fortunately the water was not very cold, and this was a great experience. We found nudibranch, stonefish, sea cucumbers, many juvenile fish, and also a lot of trash. Plastics wrappers, bottles, cloths. We decided to pick up the trash and bring it to the surface. We filled an entire bucket. I was surprised to find so much trash inside a national park, but at least we dived and took action for our environment.
After a shower and dinner, we played the Hat Game. We played as two teams: interns against mentors. It was very funny and full of laughs. And the winners… the interns! After a long day, time to sleep, and we are all looking forward to other amazing moments.