Diving Komodo with Ray of Hope was a Powerful Experience!

Last month, July 2016, I traveled to Bali Indonesia to board The Arenui for a Ray of Hope Expedition with Marine Megafauna director Dr Andrea Marshall. The trip was nothing short of amazing. My dives with The Arenui and Ray of Hope Expeditions were so fabulous…I saw so many animals I’d never seen before, and I want to see them again (well, not the Komodo Dragons! Once is enough). I have posted so many dive photographs, and photos of the formidable Komodo Dragons, but not the life of the boat or the people who populated it, neither have I posted many photos of the incredible islands of Komodo National Park. Dive boats are a special experience because the bonding that takes place on board, even if only for the trip itself, is unusual. Just a day after boarding you have met everyone, and personalities emerge immediately. Divers get right to it, they don’t need to have a persona, or a social mask. We are all so excited to be on a dive boat, ready to go, that we start sharing information and experiences immediately. This trip was somewhat atypical for me because it had so many Americans on board. Usually it is the League of Nations, with several different nationalities and ethnicities. There was a lovely Australian couple on board, and they were hilarious and wonderful and fabulous divers. The cruise directors were Mexican and British, the crew was Indonesian. Hopefully this photo post will give you an idea of the trip overall! The Arenui is absolutely luxurious! I’m ready to do it again!

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Komodo National Park and Indonesia are beautiful.


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Diving Manta Alley

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Watching a pregnant female Reef Manta. She kept circling Debbie, Alan, Tom, Andrea and I.

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Tom, a member of Team Debbie!

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Our divemaster, Debbie.


One of my favorite aspects of a Ray of Hope Expedition! Learning about Mantas, what the research is telling them, and how conservation can save these Manta Rays.


All Ray of Hope Expeditions add to the database of knowledge Andrea needs to do her research. Her research helps protect the animals and create safe havens through protection.

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Meeting new people is truly one of the best aspects of diving!

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The service and crew were the BEST!

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So incredible.

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From top left, clockwise, Debbie the divemaster, yours truly, Andrea, Tom and Alan. Team Debbie

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Andrea and I

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Ronald, one of the Divemasters, party time!

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Everybody having fun tonight!

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Not one of us was ready to leave!

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Divers are a great group of people.


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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (14)

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  1. Nancy Hill says:

    Gorgeous. Only one question: Komodo Dragons can’t swim, can they?
    Nancy Hill recently posted…Kneaders – Baking v. BakeryMy Profile

  2. Those dragons. Really. Move on, girl, let’s go see some pretty fish!! LOL

  3. I so enjoyed your nature photos before. And this other side of the trip is just as joyful. I’m deeply impressed with divers. The best I did was SNUBA where the tank stayed on the surface and I could see the surface as well. I’ve discovered my claustrophobia in my old age and panic at the thought of diving. I applaud you all, especially for your international brother/sisterhood!
    Cathy Sikorski recently posted…Call Me, Maybe…..for Quality AssuranceMy Profile

    • Tam Warner says:

      Divers almost always can see the surface, so no worries there, Cathy! If you are diving in good visibility, the surface feels like it is not far above your fingertips. To the see the sky, the clouds or stars, from underwater is quite a sight! But snorkeling is great too! Thanks!

  4. OMG I love your new heading Tammy! Love you in animation and the island with the palm tree so appropriate. Huffington Post is very lucky to have you as writer and photographer. Bravo, Bravo!!!

  5. Leanne says:

    Your photos are such a great mix of what you were doing – and I love that they’re big and bold – I almost felt like I was partying with you!

  6. Try to dive in Sabang (Weh Island, most west island in Indonesia), the cheapest diving in Indonesia and many western take diving license here…

  7. barbara free says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all, and what a phenomenal trip. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photo’s, and the description of the day/dive. What an adventure.

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