Labujuan Bajo

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Oct 08, 2012


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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another early morning rise and diving by 7:07AM today we started with a site called The Passage. This was a straight off the boat entry into a fairly shallow dive of 12m the majority of the hour that we were down.

Crossing paths with a turtle, at least one White Tip Shark, tons of Giant Travelly, a few Spanish Mackerel, Juvenile Bumphead, tons of Yellow Sea Cucumbers and a Spotted Lionfish.

Second dive we returned to Castle Rock, determined to experience its notorious strong current. Although the current was nonexistent it was still a stunning ride. In addition to the White Tips that are becoming boring (j/k), we saw a Grey Shark aka Big Fucking Shark described under water showing "big" then the middle finger, then sign for shark which is hand to forehead, thumb touching. Not to mention the two Spotted Eagle Rays hanging around and then swimming straight up above me. There was our first Bandit Sea Crate (snake), Trumpet Fish, a Barracuda, school of Rainbow Runners, and a black and white Giant Puffer Fish.

And the third dive of the day was at Tatawa Kecil. This one had some seriously strong current at the beginning requiring us to hold on and plan our next move as we slowly made our way to protected area. Figuring out where to grab onto is tricky plus making sure to hold on in the right direction so to avoid getting flipped over. Nonetheless a successful 50 minute dive with loads of Yellow Back Fusiliers, Blue Fin  and Golden Travellys and a school of Black Snappers.

The routine after each dive, especially the last one of the day is hurry to rinse off and change to get warm, followed by none other than a delicious meal. 

We arrived to Labuan Bajo at around 4:30PM. Unfortunately Umut and Burcu were leaving us today. They needed to catch a flight back to Istanbul on 7/31 and this was the only way they could get back in time. It was sad to see them leave the group, they were such a great addition and I bonded with them most of all.

It was a bit odd to be on land again, of course there were moments that I found myself swaying. On a mission to find the ATM machine, we got a chance to walk the whole town (all of 10 blocks long). According to Lauren, a ton of new restaurants and dive shops have sprung up over the last year. The one thing I hadn't missed while being on the boat was the incessant honking of the moped horns but thank God they beeped as they came rushing by and nearly clipping us a few times; there wasn’t much of a sidewalk. On the return trip we did a little shopping for sodas to last the next couple of days and then to the local hot spot, The Lounge. It was a good opportunity for me to get online and deal with some flight adjustments.

I was happy to bump into Burcu and Umut later in the night and share a glass of chardonnay with them. Burcu does marketing for a top end restaurant in Istanbul with hopes of opening her own Spanish restaurant one day. I imagine she is an exceptional cook, you can tell she is a foodie. This night I slept solid and enjoyed having my own space after taking over Burcu and Umut’s room.

Note: I have to add that I am writing this while watching another magnificently bright orangish red sun disappear into the sea.
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