Who has ever heard / read /talked about Komodo National Park without having "Batu Bolong" sneaking in ? Of course no one ! Can't imagine a trip to Komodo without reaching that famous rock!
Yes, for me too, Batu Bolong is one of my favorite places ! And this is why I take you there at every itinerary in Komodo !
But what makes is so special ???
Well, there are definitely reasons for this, that I'm gonna tell you here !
A little bit of Geography....
Batu Bolong is a Rock, a Reef Mountain, a Pinnacle, as you prefer to name it, located in the middle of Komodo Strait, small element stuck between the Flores Sea and Indian Ocean.
By its location, Batu Bolong is subject to some of the strongest currents of the strait.
No need of Tide Charts here to know what going on, just have a look at the river flowing on the side of the rock !!
It may seems to be harsch on it, but this is actually its chance, as this current will feed the reef and bring an amazing life all around !!
What does Batu Bolong mean?
This dive site is named after its shape. In Indonesian language Batu means Rock / Bolong means Perforate.
So here we are, the Perforated Rock!
OK but why ?
Hummm... sometimes a picture worth 1000 words, right ? Have a look at the West Side of the rock!
2 tides, 2 dives... or 3!
Diving Batu Bolong is always an adventure, a new experience, that definitely depends upon current and tide. Diving is usually on the protected side.
Falling Tide => South Side
South Side is probably the most protected face, so the easiest one.
Starting with a small plateau around 5 m, becoming a smooth wall that goes to about 18m.
Explosion of colors here : soft and hard corals, anemones, schools of Anthias, huge sponges where Turtles are taking their nap, big Napoleon getting cleaned on the corner... Here are some of Btu Bolong's treasures!
Then the reef is sloping slowly to a colorful plateau down to 50m, which ends with a first small step around 55m. Don't miss the big rock at 32m, wobbegongs are sometimes resting there !
If you take that step.... you are on the way to the "Deep Batu Bolong"! ;-)
You'll reach the second step at 70m, where School of Barracudas and rainbow runners are staring at you, wondering what kind of fish you are !
Enjoy the ride !
Raising Tide => North Side
We like the "North Face" for its an amazing topography.
The little plateau at 5m in its center is s great place to watch "the action" happening. When schools of fusiliers got hunt by trevallies and sometimes tunas, you are on the 1st row to enjoy the show !
Taking a bit West, you'll have a nice wall sloping down slowly, with giant sweetlips and turtles on the corner.
But taking East, if the current allows, you find a wall dropping to 35m, with a tiny step around 18m. Deeper down the reef is going down slowly up to 75m and probably more, with some kind of little holes where schools of sweetlips and snappers are hiding from Grey reef sharks!
Further there, huge pinnacles seem to have gone away from the wall, creating canyons full of life, current and incedible light !
So... yes it's a stunning dive site, but that can also be "Rock'N'Roll" style !
Slack ? North and South !
Rares are the times where the conditions come together to dive at slack at Batu Bolong!
Sometimes, there is even no slack, current just changes.
Like this : Hop!
Already done before you have time to put your mask on!
But some lucky times, when I arrive in Batu Bolong, I just don't know where to wait, as there is absolute no current !
So happy for my divers, because it means they'll have the chance to go all around the rock and discover the 2 faces in just 1 dive !
A complete Ecosystem!
As I told you before, currents, rock, location makes it a perfect place for a complete ecosystem to develop itself. Let's have a look at who you can expect to meet when diving there :-)
1 / The residents
Of course we all know there is never any guarantee of seeing this or that. But experience has shown that the followings are spending lot of time on Batu Bolong's reef, so chances are high !!
Let's start with the BIG ones!
Followed by the tiny ones !
Batu Bolong also acts as a nursery for some species.
It's quite common to find there the beautiful Juvenile Angelfish, electric blue with white stripes, or the cute square Yellow BoxFish, and even the baby sharks are looking for protection, sneaking in holes of the reef.
And of course, the Fish Soup !
Tonnes (yes tonnes, so when you know only 1 individual weight about 15g, that makes a lot of individuals together!) of Anthias, Fusiliers, damsel fishes, wrasses living on the reef, and making it impossible to get a proper picture of a bigger subject behind !
2 / The visitors...
A big and nice reef in the middle of the strait.... seems tempting for some other ones !
Here is a sample of what my divers have been lucky enough to see passing by sometimes !
3 / the guests from the depth...
Batu Bolong is, unfortunately, victim of its own success.
The relative small size of the reef, narrow on top but luckily getting wider with depth, cannot take so many divers at the same time. It can be "Diver's Soup" there, with curtains of bubbles. Bouh.
I always try to avoid those moments and just wait before I send my passengers later on... I can, because I'm small and flexible, not like all my bigger cousins...
Another way to avoid the crowd, is simply to go below !
My "parents" love to do it !
You should see the face of divers when they see them coming from the depth !!!
And it worth it... some really nice encounters have been made there!
Can read more about it on a dedicated article here
Unfortunately, it's difficult to bring pictures from that depth, so you need to trust us blindly only !
Batu Bolong "reactions"
Here is a "Best of" the reactions of my divers, coming back on board after diving Batu Bolong...
- ".........." (speechless diver...)
- "That was.... amazing !!!"
- "Best dive ever !"
- "Ohhh what a dive!!"
- "Just like diving in an aquarium !!"
- "Let's do it again !"
And probably the most creative one :
"How long does that take to collect all those red, blue and grey fishes, and release them just before we jump in ?" Yvon - May 2017
Which one was yours ??
Jump In !
If you have never been there, you should !
If you have already been there, you KNOW you'll love it again !
Check our next departures online !!
Soooo, we are waiting for you soon to enjoy this "Fish Soup" together !!