Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
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Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
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Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Red Indianfish seem to prefer northern sides of the entrances to bays and harbours"
    Sumbawa Surprise, Indonesia
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sumbawa Surprise, Indonesia

    In September 2012 Kelly and I did a week long liveaboard dive trip in Indonesia which went from Bali to Komodo and back. We went on the MV Mermaid II. Click here to read about the boat. This is one of the dive sites we did on the trip. The trip heads north-east from Benoa Harbour on Bali out north of Lombok and then north of the other islands to Komodo Island and then down the eastern side of Komodo to the southernmost point of Komodo. For all dives on this trip we used 31% Nitrox, so bear this in mind when considering the bottom times we did.

    Sumbawa Surprise is a dive site located at the western point of Sumbawa Island. An approximate GPS mark for the dive spot is 8Âș 13' 54.3"S 117Âș 41' 38.3"E (using WGS84 as the datum). The site is to the south of the GPS mark.

    Satellite PhotoPhoto
    A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site
    The lighthouse is at the tip of the point, the dive site is off the beach at the south
    A photo of the dive site

    The actual site is located off a beach which has some fishing nets and timber poles in the water 30 or 40 metres off the beach. The site is black sand which has a flatter shallow section at about three metres and then a gradual slope that goes to 30 metres or so.

    Dive Site Map
    A map of the dive site - north is at the bottom left of the map as shown
    Used courtesy of Mermaid Cruises

    As with virtually all dive sites that you do when on MV Mermaid II, you use the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to get to the start of the dive (and also to get back to the boat). The RIB will drop you off the eastern end of beach.

    Once in the water we drop to the bottom at five metres and then start working our way down the coral bommies located at the eastern end. At about 19 metres I cross over to the sand and start a gradual ascent back to 12 metres. I then head back down to 20 metres and then 24 metres before gradually ascending over the next 30 minutes to 12 metres. As I did this, I zig-zagged back up.

    Pleurobranchus grandisCrested nembrotha
    Pleurobranchus grandisCrested nembrotha
    Sexy shrimpChromodoris aureopurpure
    Sexy shrimp (yes, that is its real name)Chromodoris aureopurpure

    As mentioned, the bottom is black sand. There is so much here to see. There are brilliant black and blue nudibranchs and other species all over the place. I find four pipefish and then we see a tiny 20 mm black anglerfish with red and yellow dots and blue lines on its fins. There is an ornate ghost pipefish next to a large log.

    Another ghost pipefish is found, this time a white robust one. There are dancing shrimp in anemones as well as other species of shrimp. More nudibranchs are seen.

    Mantis ShrimpPipefish
    Mantis ShrimpPipefish
    Yellow nudibranchOrnate ghost pipefish
    I am not sure of this speciesOrnate ghost pipefish

    Eventually I end up shallow where I find two more ornate ghost pipefish and then a tiny 20 mm clown anglerfish, this one white with red markings and orange lines on its fins. They are so beautiful!

    Care has to be taken to avoid entanglement with the fishing net which is spread across the beach in about six metres. Some of the divers find sea horses and more anglerfish.

    Clown anglerfishSea spider
    Clown anglerfish A sea spider
    Baby painted frogfishSkeleton shrimps
    A baby painted frogfish Skeleton shrimps

    No wonder they call this dive Sumbawa Surprise. When someone tells you that you are diving on a sand bottom, you normally think that you will see nothing. However, this site had so much to enjoy, we spent 75 minutes diving. This was a brilliant dive! The visibility was probably only 20 metres but the water temperature was about 27ÂșC.

    Click here to return to the list of sites we did on our MV Mermaid II trip.

    Chelidonura variansRobust ghost pipefish
    Chelidonura variansRobust ghost pipefish

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
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    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!