Trip Reports

Sep 9, 2016

The Final KM Black Manta Trip

In the early hours of September 7th 2016 KM Black Manta entered the Indonesian Port of Maumere and prepared to bid farewell to it’s most recent group of guests. As usual those onboard had enjoyed a fantastic adventure both above and below the waves; spectacular diving, amazing food, great company and stunning sunset views, the difference? This would be the Black Manta’s last trip as part of the White Manta group. Whilst the KM Black Manta will sail on under new ownership this was an end of an era for our crew and guests onboard, saying goodbye to a vessel which has earned it’s reputation over the last 5 years as one of the premier liveaboards operating in Indonesia. Our Black Manta schedules will now switch to our new vessel, KM Raja Manta.

The final KM Black Manta voyage began six days earlier in Labuan Bajo, Flores, gateway to the world famous Komodo national park. Joining us for this momentus occasion we had representatives from Russia, Korea, France and the UK, a multinational team of divers that would enjoy some stunning dives in one of the best places to dive in Indonesia.

After a check dive and night dive on our departure day, a good sleep and an early wake up it was time to explore the best Komodo has to offer. Day one started with a gentle reef dive in crystal clear, blue water in the North of the park, frog fish, leaf scorpion fish, schools of Ribbon Sweetlips, turtles and cuttlefish were all on the menu and made for a fantastic introduction to the variety of marine life Komodo has to offer. The rest of the day was spent drifting with Mantas on the moon before heading to the colder, Southern waters of Padar where huge Giant Frog fish,Thorny Seahorse, Cuttlefish and all manner of macro delights were on display. The day was topped off with a sunset trek to the peaks of Padar which offers some of the best views of the park, as a first day it was almost perfect, how could things get better?

Well a trip to Manta Alley at the very Southern tip of Komodo is not a bad way to start day two! They say a picture speaks a thousand words, if that’s true a video should speak millions! Take a look at the short video below to get an idea of just what an amazing dive site Manta Alley really is!

After the excitement of Manta Alley we decided to move to a land based adventure where we would encounter the infamous Komodo dragon on a beautiful trail through jungle and savannah a few small hills and a gift shop!

And so we entered the gruelling schedule of dive, eat, sleep repeat; famous sites such as ShotGun, Castle Rock and Golden Passage provided evidence of Komodo’s powerful currents along with all the pelagic life that such currents encourage, Sharks, Mantas, Tuna, Trevally and even dolphins were all spotted during the next few days. Whilst more sunset treks allowed us to enjoy some incredible views under firey red skies.

During the final days cruise to Maumere we were all able to reflect, not only on an amazing trip, but also on saying goodbye to our wonderful KM Black Manta. So many people have enjoyed so many amazing memories on this boat, so many happy memories and once in a life time experiences. Whilst she will be missed and fondly remembered, the end of an era always marks the start of a new one. We are all excited to welcome our MV White Manta (to be re-named KM Raja Manta) to Indonesia, not just a replacement for the Black Manta but a fantastic upgrade! She has been delighting our guests in Singapore & Thailand for the last few years with well appointed cabins, comfort, safety and spacious common areas we are confident all who sail on her will be eager to return for more diving adventures!

So long KM Black Manta, Thanks for all the memories and Welcome KM Raja Manta, we cant wait to create new adventures and memories with you!

Trip: BMK1618 1-7 September 2016
Author: Mike