Indonesia - Diving in deeper

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This article discusses following locations:

Dear friends

Please, take a coffee, sit back in your favourite chair and let me immerse you into another episode of "Where the f are Silke & Padi?". Enjoy!

A short apology for the longer dry spell between blog articles. I have been and still am battling a two sided ear infection. It's the most common diving issue and I've had it twice before, already. So yay, hattrick!

Our zig zag tour d'Indonesie is taking its final shape: 60 days with Bali, Penida, Komodo, Cenderawasih Bay, Bunaken, Lembeh - squeezing in a hint of Malaysia - and another 30 days Derawan, Maumere, and a long Liveaboard to Ambon.

For that, we needed to extend our Visa by 30 days in Labuan Bajo, shortly before our 7 days Liveaboard through the Komodo national park. Our trip organizer UberScuba helped us all along the way and it all worked out smoothly:

Visa Extension process

Workday 1: Visit immigration for 15min, bring printed out headshots & passport fotos, fill out a form, get a bill of 1.5M IDR, pay it at the local post office or bank.

Workday 2: Visit immigration for 15min, get fingerprints taken, answer some harmless interview questions. Leave passport with them (yes, odd, but necessary).

Workday 6: Visit again and get stamped passport back. 5min. Done.

Turns out, it's far better to do this process in Labuan Bajo rather than in Denpasar/Bali where the waiting time at and in between the 3 visits is substantially longer.

Komodo

In Labuan Bajo we met our friends, Yvi and Cedi again. Check our previous adventure where we got stuck in Austria because of an imminent car destruction, here!

Also on board were Irati and Iñaki, our Spanish muck enthusiast friends we met in Tulamben. The diving world is small, indeed! Another diver was Kris, who calculated the liveaboard duration wrongly and had to leave the boat a day early so in honor of him, I will refrain from writing about any cool underwater findings on our last day, of course!

The Komodo national park has a few islands, the main one, aptly called Komodo, is home to about 1300 dragons like this one:

Komodo Dragon A Komodo dragon evolving to upright walking

Ship Our ship/home

We slept on deck, every day, enjoying the cool sea breeze and gentle rocking of the boat.

Spending 7 days on the boat was great. Of course, we saw many Sharks, Mantas, Octopus, massive turtles, loads of critters, one gigantic Cuttlefish and so much more.

School of Jacks School of Jacks plus Cedi, on top of the world as he's a big fan!

Cuttlefish Cuttlefish (40cm!)

Leaf Fish Leaf fish

Pteraeolidia Ianthina Pteraeolidia Ianthina (Nudibranch)

Mating Nenbrotha Two mating Nembrotha Nudis (we got that on 4K video but I cannot upload porn to our blog!)

Curious Squid Curious Squid

Juvenile Batfish juv. Batfish

Juvenile Frog Fish juv. Frog fish

Thecacera Pacifica Thecacera Pacifica - Lovingly dubbed Pikatchu Nudibranch

The gang underwater Group foto with Cedi & Yvi ❤️

On one of the protected islands, someone did a more elaborate bbq and we could watch the island burn down. Nature is crazy, right? At night, the clear sky stars and the amber glowing fire lines made for a beautiful good night view!

Labuan Bajo has the Seaesta hostel which is highly recommended as its walls are thick enough to silence the 4am mosque loudspeaker prayer. And it has a pool.

Sunset Vibe in Labuan Bajo

We did rent a motorbike for 75k IDR/day to visit some water cave but... apart from that we don't suggest spending more time than necessary in Labuan Bajo.

Same goes for our next two transit places we visited: Timika and Nabire. The Malaria winners by scientific publication claiming a 89% annual infection rate. In short, everyone has it.

Albeit strange, we didn't go there for the Malaria. But for something else, they have in abundance:

Whale shark diving in Cenderawasih Bay

With car and speedboat 6h away from Nabire, we arrived at the Kali Lemon Dive Resort. An idyllic refuge for digital abstinence.

Kali Lemon Ressort

Pier of Kali Lemon

Our first boat ride out to a fishing platform is a strong memory: As soon as we arrived, we saw them from the boat. Almost bumping it!

Whale sharks feeding

At any time, we had 6 to 8 Whale sharks diving around us, it was ridiculous. Silke says: absurd. On the first dive, we jokingly pushed each other into the directions of these - sneaking up from behind - gentle giants hence this blog articles subtitle.

Some young ones were so curious, they basically had bumped us if we hadn't gently pushed them away since even diving away wasn't an option, they'd literally chase you. My first such encounter felt scary but I got used to it. As opposed to Hammerheads, the Whale sharks LOVE bubbels... no matter if they resulted from near panic breathing. Same as to diving in only 10m Anchovi blood enriched hot seawater with ear infection guarantee - but I digress.

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Four days for this were sufficient to check off Whale sharks for quite a good while from our todo list.

Next stop:

Lembeh.... or?

No, first Bunaken since Two Fish Divers Lembeh were booked out for the first 4 of planned 14 days.

Bunaken

Not a planned location and also not worth too many words since every day was wall/drift diving and I really came to hate those. No time to enjoy small animals and only occasional big stuff swimming by with way too many turtles. Trust me, the novelty wears off and you should know, Silke and I are into muck diving. It's the macro world we want to see (I used to think, micro stands for 'small' but divers think otherwise).

And this is where Lembeh comes in. It's one of the Macro capitals of the world (together with Ambon, Anilao and Dumaguete). But this article is too long already so you get it in approximately one week. Stay tuned for photos of the tiniest of the tiny!!

Tobias wrote:

Diving with those giants must be amazing... Great pictures again!! I hope you got rid of your infection quick!!!! 13.10.2022, 09:11:01

Rika wrote:

Those pictures are absolutely surreal. Pure amazement. What a trip! 11.09.2022, 19:44:36