Divespot: Katharina's Slope
Katharina's Slope is near to the west coast of Flores in Maumere Bay. From Nangerhale it takes about 30 minutes to get there by boat. Because it's so close to the mainland, we didn't expect any highlights at this spot - we were way off mark.
We practice caution while entering into the water here, there are only 2 to 3 m of water under the boat, then we are already on ground. From here we'll slowly dive over the edge. It's so impressive, slowly diving down the slope, overgrown with a superb coral reef.
Soft and hard corals in all different shapes and colors are present. We dive through a field with large staghorn corals. Beside the impressive plate corals are also fields of soft tree coral.
On the way down we find some wonderful white anemone-plate corals glowing bright pink at the tip - a great spectacle. While we're busy being fascinated by the anemones, a massive swarm of blue-striped snappers drifts by. Again and again we encounter decorated rabbit fish and butterfly fish in all different colors are here to be seen.
Dotty backs appears in large swarms, this slope is filled to the brim with the different species of fish. Under certain stone benches we find, upon closer examination, fire fish, always in groups of three or four.
At one stop we take the time to have a closer look at some of the anemones. Many are completely full with dascyllus fish, which appear everywhere in the Flores Sea.
Arriving underneath the slope overflowing into white sands, we can swim up and see, with precaution, the curious black garden eels. Here in the sands rest two bumphead parrotfish, slowly distancing themselves and we come in. Right before we get a closer look at the sands, a couple batfish swim past, so close that we almost collide.
As we come around the corner, we nearly run into a sea-turtle, chelonia mydas, comfortably eating. We can clearly hear how they loudly crunch into the coral, becoming disturbed only when we get too close. Reluctantly, they turn away and disappear into the depths.
In the sand, we see a long lizardfish hidden, unfortunately we don't have enough time to stick around.
We stay a while at this wonderful divespot at a depth of about 25 m, coming close to our limit. As we begin to emerge from the depth, a blacktip shark joins us, accompanying us almost 15 minutes until we surface.
For Katharina's 100th dive, a pleasant companion, who invited us for further dives.
All in all a wonderful dive, we'll definitely come back.