Komodo National Park dive 3: Mawan (2019-1-19) Although famous for mantas (see pictures from future visits to the site later in January), the reef is pretty damn beautiful, as well. Little known fact (and by “little known,” I mean over 1.3 billion people): “Ma-wan” means “horse bay” in Chinese.
Dive site notes: 14:54-15:57 (63 min). Max. depth=18.3 m. 25.6ºC. 31% oxygen. 10 m viz. Extreme current. Descended over rubble field colonized by cyanobacteria and soft corals. Occasional Acropora, though loads of Acropora rubble. Eventually hit crazy current that was the fastest I’ve experienced in a long time. Dead ended at manta, though viz was too bad to get a good picture (4-m wingspan). Eventually reached pristine reef with several monster cuttlefish. Stylophora, Seriatopora, Pocillopora acuta, Pocillopora verrucosa, Pocillopora eydouxi, and many species that can tolerate high flow (including many soft corals). Stinging hydroids (the species common in Raja Ampat), brain coral, enormous cuttlefish, Pachyseris (small), small massive Porites, low-relief hard+soft coral community for most of dive. Red fluorescent mussids. SC and SP very common. Enormous Euphyllia colony. Many species of hard coral I’ve never seen before. White frogfish in Acropora colony. Isopora. Razor wrasse x 3 (super beautiful and never-before-seen). Plerogyra, Physogyra, abundant and diverse sea anemones, and many gorgeous nudibranchs.