Kanawa Island Diving

Our morning starts excellent in Bali… We eat a fresh breakfast, make all luggage arrangements and call a taxi to the airport. There we take our luggage cart an go on the balinese way to the terminal… Slof slof sloffieslof… I really need to accommodate to that behaviour, while Ilse manages that quite well! We get a security check, but never a passport control and arrive at the check-in desk of Merpati… But our flight is nowhere to detect. We ask the hostess and receive the answer ‘already going’… Oops, whats going on?

These flight are never on time!?! But she abates us, all luggage is still in the terminal. So they can add ours. We arrive at the gate and its already boarding time! Hmm thats fast, what happened… Once in the bus we read our flight ticket and conclude I’ve red the arrival time instead of the departure time. The flight took of at 9h instead of 10h15.
We check the clock and… Its 9h22… Pfieuw, these local flights are never on time. Lucky us…

We leave Bali in our small plane, get a wonderful sight of the different isles in this part of the Pacific all the way and we arrive, luggage included in Labuan Bajo. Located in the famous Komodo Archipelago.
Hmm these Asian people know how to secure a good service!
With our lightweight luggage we take a taxi to the port, buy some supplies and head to our boat bringing us to Kanawa Island. We’re enjoying the weather, the foresight of an idyllic place and set sail to the island. Questioning what will wait for us on that tiny spot of earth…

The arrival happens as pictured, along the long pier we walk straight to the isle.
We get a bungalow near the coast side, a magnificent view from every point of our cabin and we’re transported back in time. Water supplies are limited to 100l per couple – I’ll have to shower differently during this stay, no fluid water, electricity only from 18h till 23h each day and absolute silence, except for nature. That’s the living away from every sign of civilisation.

But the bungalows are masterfully constructed. From every point in our place we can see the sea, even from our shower and toilet. A small room with a great view, located in the shadow of a huge tree. And the hammock on the terrace, this only happens in Hollywood… Until now. Thanks to the excellent preparation of Ilse we’re able to taste it.

All equipment is made from bamboo or wood. Only some foundations are concrete made. However the entire scene is so relaxed and peaceful, that we got no problem with our basic accommodation. Even the food is limited. Our first day we ordered a chicken dish, some fish, a mango and pineapple juice from the card… But no chicken available… And also no mango… So it became papaya juice and a vegetable dish instead. And the day after no chicken, no mango and no papaya… But that’s living on a deserted spot of the earth. Civilisation is a 60′ boat trip away… And that’s the small village of Labuan Bajo… It has an airport, a couple of hotels, many dive shops, but hardly any houses.

The first day would be very relaxing, I taught… I’m only 15′ in the hammock or my dive instructor, Nico, comes along. He asks if I can start with my dive course today, because another student, Vinda, just started the day before, so we could practice the rest of the course together. Luckily I’ve studied the theoretical part at home, so I can immediately jump into the water.
Preparing my equipment goes well, most of the skill exercises also go well, but my buoyancy is horrible. To go to and stay on a specific depth asks a lot of practicing. As a reward I got a view on many animals and loads of coral reefs. Instead of looking at an aquarium, I’m in the middle of one. Exciting and completely different from all I’ve learned and know before. Luckily Nico is nearby to assist me with these first steps…

After a few days, I got my first open water dive in the Komodo Park, at the Manta Point… And it hasn’t stolen its name. The first time we saw 5 manta’s on a row and the second time 4. Knowing that many people have to have a huge number of dives before they ever see one, I’m a lucky one.
Buoyancy keeps giving troubles and the usage of oxygen too. My tanks are almost immediately emptied… I only last 15′ without support from others. Luckily during the last days – after 10 dives – this slowly improves. But I still have lots of practise ahead. After some days in the water I’m glad I’ve discovered a new world. Not only the life and plants differ entirely from everything known, the feeling of being in the water is also completely different.

Ilse is also very excited about the park, on many places there are stunning, intact and complete coral reef gardens, the aquatic life is amazing and the current in different parts of the area even tests her diving skills. The dive instructors and dive masters make a huge team. To be on a boat with Ed, Marie or Nico is fun. They assist in every way possible.
Yeah, Kanawa Island Diving is a great location to learn diving or to enjoy aquatic life. Just a pity that the bomb fishers destroyed certain spots of the reefs. On that locations all coral is scattered around and hardly any fish can be seen. Luckily its a minority of the beautiful reefs, however already too much! Hope they find an adequate way to deal with this foolery!

When we walk at the evening on the isle, a couple of laughters sound through the air… The local fishers, for now the island crew, are playing beach volley. It’s just fun to hear them play an laugh.
They always seem to be happy. Nice people to have around.

After all, we closed Kanawa in our hearts! Its an amazing dive location, an incredibly beautiful vacation location with a friendly crew and a wonderful tiny isle in the middle of nowhere.
Its with regret we leave it behind and head back to shore. All great adventures have to end…
And now we’re heading to Alor, probably another idyllic isle, but first we spend a day in the capital of the Nusa Tenggara Archipelago of Indonesia…

Until our next adventure…

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