A small island with a large fresh water lake at its centre, Satonda, off the north coast of central Sumbawa, is home to a large colony of fruit bats. Every evening at sunset these bats awake from their daylight slumber and leave the island in search of food. The sight of thousands of large bats departing on their forage in the darkening skies across the sea, revives memories of old vampire movies.
The small sheltered bay on the island makes for an ideal night dive and Bali liveaboard stop-over on the way to Komodo. The sandy bottom is a great opportunity for some muck diving and the sparse coral patches are home to a large array of critter creatures - ideal for macro enthusiasts.
With a keen pair of eyes, you may be luck to spot the extremely rare clown frogfish. About an inch in size, these rather odd-shaped creatures are bright yellow with dark red patches, and are rarely seen to move. Heavily disguised, they are often overlooked or falsely identified as sponges.
Other common creatures here are black, red and yellow crinoids, polyclad flatworms, arrow crabs and banded boxer shrimp. The soft corals have an ultraviolet glow under torch light, lending the scenery an alien ambience.
Satonda Island Reef Basics: Sandy bay with clown frogfish
Depth: 8 - >30m
Visibility: 10 - 20m
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 24 - 28°C
Experience level: Beginner
Number of dive sites: 2
Diving season: All year round
Distance: ~170 km east of Bali (9 hours)
Access: Sumbawa dive liveaboard to Komodo
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