Komodo: poiscaille galore

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

Diving in Komodo, I was dreaming about it ! The reality was beyond the dream... First glimpse in video, at the fabulous site of Batu Bolong.

Batu Bolong: the video

Welcome to Batu Bolong. A rock planted in the sea, in the heart of the Komodo archipelago, in Indonesia.

At each end, disturbing swirls and eddies. Between the two, in front of the rock, a surprisingly calm and smooth water. This is where we drop the divers...

Under the surface, you don't know where to look. Schools of fish are moving in all directions, jacks are hunting under your nose, huge napoleons are looking at you without fear...

It is spectacular! The concentration of fish per cubic meter of water is really amazing. I have put together a little video, so you can see for yourself:


Contrary to what I feared, the dive is not too physical. Jerome, my guide, who knows the site by heart, watches over our trajectory so that we remain protected from the current.

We go back and forth from one end of the reef to the other, going up a little at each length. Jerome makes me sign to leave in the other direction as soon as he feels the juice, a little before the point of the rock.

All the subtlety of this dive consists in staying in the sheltered area, in the zone less exposed to the underwater "wind", close to the wall, to enjoy the show serenely.

I do not see the time pass. Even at shallow depth, when we finish the dive, the show continues. Banks of small fish are made and disintegrated tirelessly under the rays of sun that cross the surface.

A rock surrounded by currents

With Crystal Rock, where we dived the day before, Batu Bolong is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive sites of Komodo. At sea, seen from afar, it looks like nothing, this rock. But under the surface, we take a lot of eyes.

Jerome confides to me, once we are back in the dinghy, that this rock has also a sinister reputation: there have been deaths, here... 😱

Brrr. He did well to tell me after, not before the dive! One thing is for sure: you don't dive at Batu Bolong without a serious guide, who knows the tides, the currents and the site.

Batu Bolong, Komodo. Indonesia, July 2011.

The annex returns to the Pascha by tacking between two whirlpools.

I take a last look at Batu Bolong in wonder. I am not close to forgetting this piece of rock surrounded by the currents.

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  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

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  1. What a pleasure it is to see these images, we were following you on this dive within two minutes... Thanks to you, we have underwater images and the memory of our vacation is all the more beautiful!
    Laurence of Jingo Jango 8)

  2. More pictures, quick! 😀
    Because these are pictures taken just minutes before our own diving ... happiness!
    Laurence of Jingo Jango 8)

  3. Even though the outside swirls were very impressive, it was really great ... Batu Bolong remains one of the most beautiful dives ever made. I have an amazing memory, as well as dives from Castle Rock and Crystal Rock ...
    Can't wait for you to post more photos or videos, we're still not equipped to make images... You always have to have a "little bubble of elsewhere" in the boat next door!!! 🙂 😉

  4. Very nice video! 8)

    Two questions from a geek-qui-hesitant-to-switch-to-video-mode-of-sound-7D 😳: What's your scale from 0:40 - I think it's very pretty? What objo did you use, the Tok 10-17?

    For BB I didn't know there were any deaths, but I did know there were lost ones, which the dive center I employed made a specialty of... and forgotten ones - including myself and 4 other divers 😯 - picked up after half an hour by another center that was passing by... 😮

  5. @LoL: Don't worry, I've got plenty of Crystal Rock and Castle Rock on the hard drive... I'll be posting new photos and videos soon.

    @ Ludovic / Wet & Sea: Arfff... That damn white balance is a pain! In fact, I've recorded a manual white balance, made during a previous dive, on a light, plain sandy bottom, at 15 meters... I use this pre-recorded balance for sites where there's no "white" background on which to manually redo the balance.

    The problem is that conditions (sun, depth, visi) vary enormously from one dive to the next, and even during a single dive (like this one). I often have to redo the scale, if the bottom is suitable. As you can see, when you start to find the colors prettier, it's because the sun has come back out...

    I confess: on this video, to recover the white balance which was too pink at times, with conditions changing as the dive progressed, I reworked the colors a little in post-prod, when editing the video, to rebalance everything as best I could. But it's difficult to get exactly the same rendering on each sequence...

    As for objo, for the time being, I'm getting by with my basic investment (until I put some money into a worthy wide-angle lens like the Tokina 10-17). In other words, it's my 15-85mm lens that came as a kit with the 7D. I can't zoom with it, as I'm using it with the flat port designed for the macro lens (the 15-85 barely fits in width and length). In short, it's a bit of a do-it-yourself job at the moment. But I'm hoping one day soon to equip myself with the right dome and lens.

    Well, yes, "lost" divers are a local classic. Currents are no joke in Komodo. We ourselves helped the guy on another boat, who wasn't looking in the right direction at all, to find his group, which had been swept far, far away... 😯

  6. Ok thanks for the explanations Corinne, your scale recorded on a sand background for when there is no white, without being indiscreet, you end up at what temperature expressed in K?

    If you ever opt for a dome and the 10-17, my ABSOLUTE advice after testing this summer is to get the 4″ Zen minidome: lightweight for travel, very good optically, -it's glass- and it'll let you do wide-angle close-up (from GPF or frogfish for example 😮 ❗ ) ... if you know what I mean... it now comes in Ikelite mount, though it's a bit pricey (700€).

  7. @ Ludovic / Wet & Sea: Ah, well, that's not intrusive. The trouble is, I've emptied my memory cards, so I can no longer inspect the sequences directly via the 7D, and this data is not recorded with the .MOV video files downloaded to the hard disk. And in the Exif data I've looked at for the few .JPG images taken with this mode, it only says: "White balance: manual temperature" (now we're getting somewhere).

    So I can't tell you the K equivalent (if I can find a way to get it, I'll let you know...), as I don't balance by setting the K temperature myself, but by taking a "white equivalent" image which the software then interprets as it sees fit.

    My underwater white balance on a plain sand background is a bit random: sometimes it's fine, sometimes it's too pink, or even too red at the end of the dive (more light at shallow depths). The rendering on the live-view screen is deceptive to the eye, making it impossible to gauge whether the colors are balanced or not.

    Thank you very much for the tip about the porthole. I admit I started looking on the Ikelite website, but I'm a bit lost. Ouch, the price hurts, though... 😡

  8. Wow!!!
    So many memories... in my short life as a diver, this is one of the most beautiful spots I've ever been to.
    Your video is the exact reflection of what nature can (yet!) Give us.

    Thank you for your reports.

  9. Superb your site.
    Thank you for all the info.
    I'd also love to share my travels, as I get tons of information from these wonderful blogs.
    Can you advise me on how to choose a site to create a travel blog and is it easy to use.

    Thank you

    Have a nice trip and have a good dives

  10. @Melissa: Thank you very much! As for diving, I highly recommend the experience. As for me, I'm hooked, as you can see...

    @Lolo: Thanks a lot! For this blog, I use the WordPress blog "engine" (you'll find a little link to click at the very bottom, in the black part of the blog), all installed on personal hosting rented from OVH.
    But if you're not too experienced, start with "ready-made" blogging solutions where there's nothing to install. These are online blogging platforms, where all you have to do is register to start posting. There are some well-known ones: Blogger-Blogspot (by Google), Overblog, Canalblog, etc. WordPress also offers an online version at the following address: http://fr.wordpress.com/
    Try it out, and see which system you find the most practical for the use you want to make of it. Then, when you want to move on to more personalized systems, you'll have to decide... Before migrating to WordPress, I started this blog in 2006 on Blogger-Blogspot:

  11. Thank you for your valuable advice 😀
    I'm in the midst of preparations for an April departure to Bali, Lombok and Nusa Lembongan, and it's a real pleasure to be planning this trip.
    Well, back to you: thanks to your blog, I travel and I dive away.

    Good continuation in Asia


  12. Hello Corinne!

    I wanted to congratulate you on your blog and the valuable information you provide. It's well explained, well expressed and puts you in a good mood!

    We "follow" each other a bit, because in February I was also in Thailand, and September in the Komodos too (magnificent!). By the way, I refer to you as a friend: "Corinne did this, she visited that place..." 😀

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing your next destination!
    (Papua? and Australia, what do you think?)

    Have a good day


  13. @Fabrice: Thank you !!!

    @Lolo: Ah, preparations are always a pleasure... We're already traveling, before the trip!

    @Clara: I'm very touched by your comment... Did you know that I regularly meet people on my travels who, like you, tell me they know me thanks to this blog?
    I'd love to go diving in Papua and Australia, of course. But for these destinations, you need a substantial budget and a lot of time on your hands. In the meantime, before heading back to Asia, I've got other little plans: a trip to Barcelona, and a photo-sub internship in Egypt... A long, long way from Indonesia. I haven't made any plans yet for next summer, but I might just go and discover Alor. To be continued!

  14. great video, very beautiful colors!
    when I film with my camera without lighting, everything is a little blue-green ...

    For several of us, unforeseen expenses got in the way of our planned trip to Bali in 2012 🙁 (long live 2013).

    So I'm looking at Egypt or Cuba....

  15. It's amazing all these fish... there's even the big blue one whose name I've forgotten (I have a goldfish's memory) and which I came across a few days ago in Australia! I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your site, I completely agree with the overall philosophy. Congratulations!


  16. @Laurence: Try white-balancing underwater before shooting with your digital camera, if your camera allows it. It might fix the colors. Too bad about the trip cancellation... And long live 2013!!!!

    @JMB: Very nice, thank you for the link!

    @Julian: The big blue one is a Napoleon, so called because of the bump on his forehead, reminiscent of Napoleon's hat... I'm glad you like my Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs. Enjoy!