Batu Bolong (which means “hollow rock”) is, what appears to be a small rick in the middle of the Lintah Staits, between Tatawa Kecil and Komodo island itself. It’s easy to overlook this site as you sail by…but don’t! With experienced guides this site brings all the very best of “Komodo style” diving, massive schools of fish numbering tens of thousands, incredible color corals, sponges, soft corals, sharks, rays, tunas, trevallies and more. It’s a mad-house of fish life!
it is also one of the most accessible from Labuan Bajo (where all Komodo day trips depart from). So be prepared for at leas tone other dive boat.
Due to the rock’s topography and exposure to strong currents the reef has not been targeted by fishermen and is in superb condition. Hard corals and sponges cover the walls and slopes, but the main beneficiary here must be the fish life. The volume of fish here is awesome, right from the deeper water areas where Napoleon wrasse and whitetip reef sharks cruise, to the shallow where thousands of smaller reef fish battle it out for territorial and feeding rights.
Hawksbill turtles are frequent feeders on the sponges and tunicates, giant sweetlips lurk in the gullies and overhangs, palette surgeonfish dance across the current swept upper reaches of the rock. Stay a while here if you can as this dive site is really a great place to educate yourself and witness the full gamut of what being a reef fish is all about. Fish mating, fish laying and guarding eggs, fish hunting, fish hiding, fish fighting, fish feeding – it’s all here on display from dawn ’til dusk.
A special time to dive Batu Bolong is at slack tide, when you can drop down to your maximum depth and spiral your way up this majestic pinnacle, the top of which breaks the surface, forming a very small rocky island.
Perhaps the most spectacular side of the pinnacle is the north side, which is much steeper than the other gentler sloping sides. It has a small submerged pinnacle in the north east, and a huge deep gully from the surface down to about 27 metres. You can choose to drop down to depth here and either zigzag up the northern face, or spiral around the whole rock if the currents allow. As the current hits the rock it fans out on either side creating what looks like two very fast running swirling eddying rivers, glass flat in some areas, forming what appear to be rapids in the others.
Viewed from underneath, Batu Bolong is equally impressive as mini whirlpools descend 5 or 6 meters from the surface. It is important not to venture into these streams as even the giant trevallies that frequent the site even seem to struggle. Maori wrasse, white tip reef sharks and turtles can be found amongst the hard corals that cover the walls and, in the shallower areas, schools of multi-coloured reef fish move frenetically from one coral to the next in search of food..
This is NOT a dive site suitable for courses or snorkelers. Due to currents and conditions – it can also be cancelled. It is essential to appreciate your safety and well-being is at stake.