Dive 12 of the second Komodo National Park trip: “Bonsai Rock”
Dive site notes: 7:52-8:50 (58 min). Max. depth=27.7 m. 30% oxygen. Cold (25-26ºC), poor viz=10 m. Mixed soft coral+Acropora community @ 4 m. Seriatopora caliendrum and Stylophora pistillata both common. At 5-10 m, the hard coral community became more complex: small massive poritids, Pocillopora eydouxi, P. acuta, Seriatopora hystrix (SH), and Diploastrea. Average live coral cover (ALCC) still high @ 20-25 m, with abundant Pachyseris. Few large fish, though occasional large snapper and batfish. Cool swim-through. Many never-before-seen plating coral species. Wall (deep) dominated by non-coral invertebrates in many places. Pocillopora verrucosa common. High coral diversity @ 20 m. Very high fish biomass in areas, albeit with low mean size. Encountered area with high densities of foliaceous sponges (?), would be spectacular site with good viz. SH very common in areas. Tubastrea. Reef is low relief in most places, likely due to strong currents. Some large Acropora tables, very high Acropora cover in areas. Most impressive corals @ 5 m. Mostly plates and branching Acropora spp., but also some huge massive poritids. Acropora growing to just below surface (0.5 m). Best coral of dive in shallows, mostly Acropora, some fire coral. High fish biomass, reef eventually became more algal-dominated in areas.
Best of (I’m a suck for the shallow/high-light reefs):
The rest (for some reason, I don’t feel like I did this site justice, photo-wise)