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Location: Komodo National Park

What a fun last day in Komodo National Park! A few of us snuck off at 6 am to go looking for dugongs – we didn’t see any this time, but we know they were there. After I returned from the morning snorkel, I woke everyone up with some easy tunes to get our day going. We had a yummy breakfast of cereal, oatmeal, and everyone’s favorite frozen fruit! Then we picked up anchor (this time using hydraulics – see yesterday’s blog for context), and we headed a couple of hours up north to Gili Lawa Laut. It was a pretty motor up there, and the students did a statistics lab with Amanda S to help prepare them for their group research projects. After the lab, Carolyn taught a marine biology class about coral reefs. Once we arrived and got on the mooring ball, Lolo, Sydnei, and I hopped into scope out the site. We assessed the mooring in the first 5 minutes, and then we spent the next little while looking at the reef, which was beautiful! We are certainly getting spoiled with how much healthy coral we have seen this trip – and the diversity in the Indo-Pacific is amazing!

We had a hearty and yummy lunch of Tim’s famous curry, and then everyone hopped in for a snorkel and some time to play on the beach. Many people enjoyed feeling the sand between their toes and getting to stretch their legs on land, especially because we are getting underway to Bali tomorrow! We are excited to go, but we are sad to leave Komodo. We have seen mantas, turtles, sharks, devil rays, dugongs, komodo dragons (obviously!), fruit bats, and more types of fish and coral than we can count since being here. Komodo is an amazing place, and we are so happy we got to spend an extended time here!

When everyone got back on board after the beach, we dropped the mooring and headed for a more secure anchorage for the night. We are back in our favorite spot, Sebayor Kecil, with one last view of the iconic rock feature and a final chance to glimpse some dugongs after sunrise. We depart before breakfast for BALI. I have been wanted to come to Bali since I first heard about it when I was in undergrad about ten years ago, so it’s a personal bucket list location for me. Bye-bye Komodo! We will miss you! See you in about 36 hours, Bali.

Cheers to everyone at home. We hope you’re staying warm and toasty in the fall season!

Amanda

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