I had the good fortune to return to Komodo in 2009, after a 13-year absence. The improvement in the health of the environment and abundance of marine life since Komodo National Park has taken hold is amazing.
Many dive sites were teeming with large schools of fusiliers and jacks, redtooth triggerfish and anthias, surgeonfish and batfish, sweetlips, you name it. And as a too-rare treat in many parts of Indonesia these days - Sharks! Not only a good number of whitetips, but groups of grey reefs, and a blacktip or two. Mantas (10 in formation) and mobula rays, Maori wrasse and very large giant trevally and dogtooth tuna also accounted for some big stuff.
For the macro lovers, we had frogfish, orangutan crabs, ghost pipefish, rinopius spp., the holothurian sea apples, pygmy seahorses, ribbon eels, juvenile batfish, no problem finding things to photograph.
The hard corals were varied and in excellent health, as were the soft corals, sea fans, and crinoids. The water was clear, warm in the north, cooler in the south. A lot is said about the currents around Komodo and Rinca, and there are some dive sites which can include a wild ride (sometimes up/down, sometimes back/forth, sometimes unexpected). Remember to be a diver first, and a photographer second, and it's a breeze.
Our boat was the Seven Seas, with Mark Heighes serving as very professional and knowledgeble (and friendly) cruise director. Seven Seas is a 45m Buginese schooner, very well laid out and equipped, and very stable at rest and underway. Crew, cabins, food, shared space (sun and shade) all excellent in quantity and quality. Diving is easily done from twin tenders, camera workspace is good. Just enough, but not too much shore time (dragon visits, BBQ).
Would definitely return to Komodo and the Seven Seas.
Canon S90, FIX S90 housing, Inon UFL-165AD, Inon UCL-165AD, S&S YS-01