Komodo! This eroded volcanic island, sandwiched between Sumbawa and Flores, is one of the most famous places in all of Indonesia — particularly with small children who are enamored with very large reptiles. The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard in the world; they reach lengths of 10 feet and weigh up to 150 pounds. We had great luck sighting them on our hikes through the dry forest in the company of local guides and park rangers. There was lots of other wildlife as well, including Javan rusa, a small deer which is the main prey of the dragons, and two species of imperial pigeons, spectacular birds that are quite different than their city-dwelling cousins. In the afternoon we visited the famous sands of Pink Beach and explored the underwater realm with diving, snorkeling, and cruising in our glass-bottom Zodiac.
National Geographic Resolution
It’s the second beautiful day of our crossing. The weather has been exceptional with sun and a following sea. We had some spotted dolphins near the ship today and visits from a few birds, including brown boobies and white-tailed tropicbirds. As is our custom on sea days, we had several presentations. We heard from Michaela Skovranova about Southeast Asia and conservation followed by a special presentation by our captain. Captain Martin shared all kinds of information about the ship from the Azipods to infrared cameras to charts and navigation. After lunch, we had a departure briefing, a pilates class, and a presentation about climate change from Joe Holliday. The day had several special moments. Our naturalist and resident birder Santiago Imberti has spent a lot of time on deck this voyage – despite blistering heat. He occasionally hears seabirds vocalizing, which they rarely do while on the ocean. It’s even more rare to have recordings of those calls, so Santiago uses his audio equipment to capture what he can. We had the chance to listen to his recordings of a few short calls from white-tailed tropicbirds overhead. We’ve had visiting scientists Jom Acebes and Tim Gardner with us all voyage. Today, they used the Science Hub screens on Deck 8 to share photos of some of their sightings, including the spotted dolphins. Our route across the Coral Triangle is a scientific rarity, and the data they have collected will be some of the first of its kind from this region. We enjoyed an outdoor barbecue tonight in preparation for the Crew Show! We anticipate a big day tomorrow. A full day in Palau and the last full day of our voyage.