Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Golden Passage, Indonesia
In September 2012 Kelly and I did a week long liveaboard dive trip in Indonesia which went from Bali to Komodo and back. We went on the MV Mermaid II. Click here to read about the boat. This is one of the dive sites we did on the trip. The trip heads north-east from Benoa Harbour on Bali out north of Lombok and then north of the other islands to Komodo Island and then down the eastern side of Komodo to the southernmost point of Komodo. For all dives on this trip we used 31% Nitrox, so bear this in mind when considering the bottom times we did.
Golden Passage is a small channel between Gili Lawa Darat and Komodo Island, right at the north-eastern end of Komodo. Gili Lawa Darat is a small island about two by one and a half kilometres in size. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is 8Â° 28' 24.1"S 119Â° 33' 00.3"E (using WGS84 as the datum). The site is located to the south-east from the GPS mark.
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site |
The dive starts where the arrow is and around into the passage and then
across the passage to the narrow island
|Sunset at the dive site|
The actual dive is into the channel between the two islands. The channel is about 300 metres wide, with the deeper part about 200 metres wide.
Although virtually all dive sites that you do when on MV Mermaid II are done from a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), this site may start from the boat itself.
The RIB was used to push the rear of the Mermaid II towards the shore and we dropped into the water once we were closer. This put us over the reef in about seven metres. Once in the water, we dropped to the reef and then followed the edge to the south and then east. The reef dropped to about 15 metres.
The reef here consisted of hard corals with lots of soft coral. There were many small gaps in between the coral and lots of smaller tropical species. There were a few firefish as well. After about 15 minutes we entered the channel.
Once we were in the channel, we left the main reef and headed south over the black sand. The depth here got to 24 metres. We spent most of the dive on the sand, seeing some colourful sea cucumbers with shrimp, a few different species of nudibranchs. There was also a very large moray eel that that was quite interested in the GoPro's video lights.
At this spot I lost Kelly as there were so many other divers around that I followed the wrong person for a while before discovering that the green fins were not her's. I never did find her, so I headed back with some of the others towards the main reef on the northern side of the channel.
Once on the main reef, I headed west and then north and retraced my steps back to the reef near the Mermaid II. I spent the remaining time in the shallows near the boat where there was plenty to see.
This was only an average dive, certainly not up to the standard of the other night dives we did on this trip. The visibility was probably 25 metres at the most and the water temperature was about 27Â°C.
Click here to return to the list of sites we did on our MV Mermaid II trip.