The Kararu Voyager is a 150’ wooden sailing vessel customized for tropical diving with in-room air conditioners and open air lounges. She makes her home in the 132,000 hectares of the Komodo National Marine Park, a world heritage site with some of the greatest biodiversity in the world.
Every dive produced amazing encounters, but it was the shallow muck diving near Komodo where divers saw the most outrageous species. Things like ghost pipefish, bobtail squid, decorator crabs and harlequin shrimp were the usual suspects, but Indonesia is also well known for wild colored gastropods and this expedition was no exception. These shell-less mollusks are likened to sea slugs and the group came across the breathtaking Spanish shawl and Nembrotha kubaryana, two of the more spectacular nudibranch.
And par for the course, the one dive that Graham sat out was the memorable encounter with an ocean sunfish. OFD’s videographer, Bob Ross, captured footage of the mola mola to confirm the sighting and make sure Graham knew exactly what he had missed. While off-gasing on the second to last day, the group visited the fabled Komodo Island and came face to face with the prehistoric dragons who virulent saliva contains over fifty strains of bacteria. If the initial bite from these mammoth lizards doesn’t kill their victim, they usually die within a week from the ensuing infection. Though the dragon is hefty and awkward, it’s alarmingly fast and the group had to keep their distance to ensure a safe exit off the island. The live-aboard ended with the Liberty shipwreck off Bali before the divers disembarked and headed to Ubud, the cultural center of the island.