Because of the early flight we ordered breakfast for 6:15am and a pickup car to the airport for 6:30. Breakfast was ready on time, the car wasn’t ordered at all. We had to wait 40 more minutes until they arranged a car that brings us to the airport! The driver asked why we didn’t order on the day before because it can take up to 1.5 hours to get to the airport and we told him that we did. So he went just a little faster and we arrived after 40 minutes and the check-in wasn’t open yet. We stared on time at 10am and arrived one hour later at the airport of Labuan Bajo.
The taxi dropped us for 40000 at our hotel “L Bajo”. The hotel didn’t have a prizewinning architecture but the rooms were spacious and clean. 10 minutes foot walk to the “city” center but there is a nice sushi place on the way! After a short nap we went to look for some activities for the next days. We were looking for some dive day trips and one day going to see the Komodo dragons. But before doing that we stopped at the “Happy Banana Sushi Bar” for lunch. It is a beautiful decorated restaurant run by an Italian couple. And the Sushi is amazing! The best Tuna sashimi I’ve ever had! They explained us that they use a special local Tuna brought freshly every day by a local fisherman.
After lunch we asked in some dive shops for their offers and ended up with “Wicked Diving Komodo”. We didn’t decide for day trips and booked a 3 days / 2 nights liveaboard in the Komodo Nationalpark. This means 3 days diving, 3 dives a day with the option for a night dive and 2 nights on the boat in the middle of Komodo Nationalpark!
We had to rearrange our hotel booking because we booked the first 2 nights and had to leave for the board the next day at 7:00am. So we asked at the hotel reception to change the second day to when we return from the boat and also to extend one night because of course there is a at least 24 hours no flight time after the last dive. All no problem and they also stored our luggage for the next 3 days!
After booking the dive arrangement we got our dive equipment for the next days. I was a little bit surprised when they gave me a 5mm long wetsuit because normally in this areas with warm weather I use a 3mm short one. But when they explained me that the water temperature can go down to 22 degrees Celsius I agreed with them and took the long one. The equipment was good quality and seemed well maintained. And after having everything prepared we went to a bar next door which had Guinness. Of course, it was St. Patrick’s Day!
The next morning, March 18h at 7am, we arrived at the Wicked Diving and prepared to go to the boat. We started the first day with a day tip boat and did our first 2 dives from this boat. After finishing the 2 dives we changed to our home for the next 2 nights and left the day trip guys. The boat was quite big. Downstairs they have beds for up to 14 people, all single beds with a curtain to close to get some privacy, a ventilator, light and electricity to charge the mobile and camera. In front of the main deck their are the air tanks, space to hang the wetsuits and fresh water to clean the equipment. In the middle is the captain’s bridge and tables for food or sit down while getting the instructions for the next dive. Behind the captain are the rooms for the crew, divemasters and instructors. On the upper deck is space to lay down for sunbathing or to sit together in the evening to have a beer or two.
When we entered the boat we were 4 new people this day. 2 Germans but one of them was on the boat for snorkeling. On the new boat were already 5 people who arrived here 2 days ago. They were 5 Americans. After the first night all together all of them decided to extend one more night and stayed with us until we returned. Probably we all would have extended the stay for one or two nights but the boat had to go back to the harbor for inspections.
After the 3 dives the first day I was thinking to make the night dive but didn’t do it because I would have been the only one. But instead of this they dropped us on an island not far from our boat to climb a small mountain to see the sunset. It was maybe 300-400 meters high and the view was just breathtaking as it was the highest point around and there was no civilization as far as the eyes reached! The color of the water was amazing and the islands covered in a beautiful green! Back on the boat we got dinner and the crew played the guitar and was singing and offered some Arrak and the beer was also available. But before 10pm everyone was sleeping on the upper deck and we decided to go down to our bed.
The next morning we we’re waked up at 5:30am for the first small breakfast and instructions for the first dive at 6am. Ok, in the end we started 30-40 minutes late but who cares?! The sunrise out there is amazing and getting up isn’t as hard as other days. The first dive site was Manta Point where we hoped to see some, or at least one, of this amazing animals! And we saw them! First from the boat on the surface, there were sooo many of them! All the water was full ant the Manta Rays were jumping and sunbathing. And then we entered the water. It wasn’t the most spectacular dive site with it’s sandy bottom but just laying down on the ground and watching 5 Manta Rays playing around together and swim in front of you of just float 1 meter over your head was one of my most impressive moments I’ve ever had!
In the evening I did a night dive and one of the German guys and Ari accompanied me. Ari decided to do her Advanced Certification because she had the possibility to do all the necessary dives on the boat and didn’t have to pay extra for them. Only the basic course costs. The course instructor was also on board and time for the theories was plenty. The German guy, Jochen, also did his advanced so ther was only one more student for Andrea and for this it went hand in hand.
The third days was the same procedure as the second day with the different we drove back to Labuan Bajo with the floating hotel after we finished our third dive. Back on land we returned to Wicked Diving, had a beer and planned to go for pizza dinner all together in the evening.
The three days on the boat was the best thing we could do and I recommend it to everyone to do if there is the possibility! And the price for all was not to high:
- 3 days / 2 nights
- 9 regular dives / 1 night dive
- Komodo Nationalpark entrance fee (yes, you have to pay for every day)
- SSI Advanced Open Water for Ari
- 3 big meals a day any various snacks
- The beer
All together for 2 persons 15’000’000 Indonesian rupees (~1000€)
- Mini Wall
- China Shop
- The Camien Reef
- Castle Rock
- Crystal Rock
- Manta Point
- Simba Besar
- Tatawab Besar
Bat Fish, Mantis Shrimp, Reef Sharks, Sting Rays, Scorpion Fish, Guitar Shark, Napoleon Fish, Tuna, Manta Ray, Octopus, Lion Fish, Turtle, Nubibranch and many many more…