We flew from Bali to Maumere, with our first stop being 20km east of the airport at Ankermi Happy Dive resort.
This area along with Komodo are the main dive areas in Flores. We had lovely weather while at Ankermi, fairly clear days, blue skies and hot but not too humid. The accommodation was basic and a bit shabby and the food was uninspiring but worth a visit for the snorkelling, diving and magnificent sunsets.
Beth and I still weren’t well when we arrived at Ankermi’s but didn’t want to miss out so we opted for a snorkelling trip to the large bay and surrounding islands instead of diving. On this trip we made friends with Guillaume, Sylvaine and Frans and had similar itineraries so met up again later in the holiday.
The coral we saw was fantastically colourful helped by the shallowish water and bright sunshine. Beth and I taught ourselves how to free dive so we could get down closer to the coral and fish. On a few attempts I went down about 15m, I found that was doable on a big breathe and equalising continually on the way down. It didn’t give me a huge amount of time at the bottom but after ascending slowly my lungs were screaming. On one dive I went down 15m and took a peak underneath a large fan-shaped piece of coral and noticed something a bit different which was light brown with a dark brown maze pattern. It was about 2 foot long and turned out to be a mapped puffer fish.
On our first snorkelling trip out of two we also saw a white tipped reef shark that swam back and forth several times along the edge of the coral reef. It was seriously cool seeing a shark in the wild. During the trip we also saw some Bump head parrot fish, Emperor angel fish, Trigger fish, Moreish idol, a Shole of pipe / flute fish, a Small shole of snapper or grouper and several nemo’s. On our second trip we were swimming in a strong drift so were constantly swimming into the drift while being moved backwards. It was good fun but we were a bit worried that we would drift too far and miss the boat.
We felt like we had missed out by not diving so the next day we decided to do a dive trip (we were feeling a bit better too). On our first dive we saw our first cuttle fish.
Between our first and second dives we moored on a beautiful deserted beach for our surface interval, allowing nitrogen to dissolve back into our blood. It was a beautiful beach covered in drift wood but also littered with plastic and sandals.
On our second dive we swam along a vertical reef wall which was beautiful but quite disorientating at times because the fish were also swimming vertically. During this dive we had a very intrigued bat fish continually circling us. It was strange how persistent it was.
The coral was absolutely fantastic here, so colourful and bright.