Komodo National Park dive 2-Siaba Kecil (2019-1-19) This dive did not stand out in my memory as being particularly impressive by Komodo’s high standards, but my pictures seem to prove my memory wrong; they are some of the best reef shots I’ve ever captured!
Dive site notes: This was a great hard coral dive, though visibility was limited (and varied with depth). Very high average live coral cover (ALCC) @ 5-15 m. Current increased at depth, with a coincident decrease in visibility. Large angelfish, giant trevally, Pocillopora verrucosa (PV), Stylophora spp., low-rugosity reef on account of high current. Seriatopora hystrix SH (small) and interesting mix of hard and soft coral at 20 m. Turtles. Some areas dominated by plating Acropora. First Pocillopora acuta (PA) of trip, saw several more as dive progressed. Pigmentation always very dark. Reef was very colorful, albeit scoured. Large areas of Acropora crusts. First moray. PA more common in areas. Extremely high coral cover @ 15 m, maybe 80-90%, interspersed with beautiful sponges. Several areas blanketed by soft corals. The largest anemone I’ve ever seen (1-m diameter). Large areas with 100% Acropora cover @ 15 m. Drained tank on account of strong currents. Soft coral carpets at 11 m. Lionfish (very common here), small schooling reef fish, massive swaths of Acropora @ 7-8 m. At 5-6 m large areas instead dominated by soft corals. Some Acropora at 5 m, though mostly soft corals. Spectacular small reef fish life at 4 m. Giant clam. Soft coral as far as the eye could see at 3-4 m. Small fish living in Acropora with isopod (?) parasites attached to head.