Weather: Overcast and rainy
Wind: 10 knots
Shortly after lunch the Silver Discoverer dropped anchor in front of the National Park and we lowered our Zodiacs for today’s landing. Unfortunately it was raining and it rained the whole time we were ashore, but that did not deter our guests from going ashore to take this unique opportunity to see such special creatures. After a quick Zodiac ride and a dry landing on a floating jetty we were met by national park rangers who first introduced us to the park, outlined the hike we were to undertake and explained the do’s and don’ts in the park. Needless to say these are dangerous creatures, not only do they have a highly infectious bite, but they are also venomous. It is of the utmost importance to follow very strict guidelines while ashore. Not only are there Komodo dragons, but also a variety of poisonous snakes, including the Russell’s viper. One bite and you have 15 minutes left…
We set off and quickly we spotted the first dragon. It was calmly lying down near one of the buildings and there was also a wounded Timor deer grazing nearby. Limping, the deer had been bitten in one of its hind legs by a dragon and surely his days were numbered.
We also saw Black-naped Orioles, wild chickens, pigs, Wallacean Drongo and an impressive bee hive. My guide Jackie Chan was very good at identifying the flora as well. I learned for example that the invasive and very abundant Siam weed is useful as an antiseptic and also good for treating wounds.
After an approximately 90 minute walk we ended back at the visitor centre where our guests had the opportunity to purchase souvenirs (such as wood carvings, pearls, T-shirts, and a range of Komodo memorabilia). We then went back on board and by 18:00 the Silver Discoverer was preparing to sail.
In the evening we held our usual Recap & Briefing and this was followed by a delicious dinner in The Restaurant.