And we had this boat just for the two of us (me and Fabien my French travel buddy)
Labuan Bajo is a bit of scruffy town on the western tip of Flores where you can't do much except diving in the Komodo National Park. And this place is great for the bigger fish. I stayed for 6 days and did about 12 dives, some of them were absolutely wonderfull and some were absolutely terrifying. Both for the same reason: there's lots of currents so all the dives here are planned using the tide charts. If you get it wrong you hang on to the reef for dear life (which happened to me) and if you get it right you loads of big fish.
I dove 'Castle rock' 3 times and with good reason: this is where huge schools of trevally, giant trevally and tons of white tip sharks hang out. On the 2nd dive there was nobody except our group and we went in with a negative jump, so sank immediately to the bottom.
Batu Bolong dive site: just great!
Those first 10 minutes nobody dared to breath, our eyes couldn't take in everything we saw, it was like jumping into a huge aquarium at a Marine Institute, walls of fish drifted only an arms lenght of me, lots of giant trevally crusing around, sharks buzzed lazily down the reef and passed at a meter or 2, too many to count. This dive is absolutely at the top of my list. The 3rd time I dove here there was more current but even more sharks, they were 'parked' at the edge of the reef in the direction of the current waiting for the food to come to them, damn impressive.
Another great dive was 'Batu Bolong' which we did twice, it's basically a pinnacle with very strong currents on either ide and you do your dive in the 'shadow side' of the current, zigzagging up the pinnacle.
We and our german co-divers near just off Komodo. We had just done Castle Rock and were going to D'Lagoon next: a passage between 2 islands with strong currents at the end.
Turtles feed on their favourite sponges here and I could get up close and personal while it was munching away. The current is really strong at the edges of the pinnacle and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a turtle who tried to swim against the current flying backwards and being tossed on it's side in a whirlpool current. We were going in the same direction but immediately turned around. If a turtle can't do it I sure can't do it.
And I saw my first eagle ray here, missed the manta ray but the eagle ray was really impressive as well, a massive aniaml, biggest thing I've seen underwater so far...
And for the 'technically challenging' dives: the dive master getting the tide charts wrong and having to dig my steel pen into the reef to be able to hold on was not fun.
Lonely tree dive site on a bad day: the "washing machine" on the surface was almost as bad under water... let's say it was good for experience
This dive at Pulau Tengah had almost no shadow from the current, we basically clawed our way over the reef, hanging on to every bit of solid rock. We came up after just 30 minutes, and I had 15 bar left in my tank, which is basically a flat tank. When I tried to inflate my vest so I could float on the surface the vest malfunctiond, didn't inflate and I sank again, only after the dive master taking ovr my weigh5t belt did I manage to float. Not something you need after a stressfull dive...
This was the 2nd equipment malfunction I'd had, if you dive here: be carefull of the cowboy outfits, this is no place to dive with dodgy equipment or bad judgement on the part of the dive master. I can recommend Divine Diving: new equipment, good dive master and run by a Dutch woman with high quality standards.