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BIOGRAPHY / Monty Halls

Monty has been passionate about the oceans and wildlife for as long as he can remember.

He has written 7 books and has presented programmes for TV channels such as National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

Monty is a well-known BBC television presenter, with a particular record of making adventure and natural history series (see more details below).

Monty served as a Royal Marines Officer for 8 years, worked for Nelson Mandela after his release from prison (Mr Mandela’s release, not Monty’s), and has led numerous expeditions throughout the world. This has included leading a multi-national team to the ruins of a sunken city off India, several circumnavigations of the globe, and numerous demanding projects with film crews and scientific teams.

In 2003 he was awarded the Bish Medal by the Scientific Exploration Society for his services to exploration. He established Monty Halls Ltd in 2004, a business that has grown year on year and now deals in many aspects of film production and corporate training.

 

MONTY TV: Take a look at his series of Great Ocean Adventures (circumnavigating the globe, seeking out encounters with some of the most iconic creatures in the ocean … taking 37 flights around the world, conducting over a hundred dives… and meeting the giant sun fish off Bali) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-ocean-adventures. Or his more recent projects such as the initial Great Escape (renovating a centuries old bothy, exploring old crofting techniques, and making forays into the extraordinary archipelago that is the Western Isles, one of the most beautiful regions on earth. Basking sharks, whales, dolphins, and otters have all passed by the beach upon which the bothy sits, with the real exploration of the mountains and ridges only just beginning) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/monty-halls-great-escape. Or for a more dive-central Great Escape see his series in Ireland (going back to his roots as a marine biologist by working with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to establish whether the pod of bottlenose dolphins are a resident group, plus the dissection of a beached whale, tagging massive basking sharks, swimming with a mysterious lone dolphin and diving with curious congers) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-irish-escape.

CRUISE OVERVIEW

Set sail from Bali – “island of the gods” – on a 12-day/11-night cruise, to explore all the famous dive sites of Komodo (returning to Bali at the end of the trip). The Komodo National Park offers excellent muck diving, but also outstanding pelagic action. Whether it’s nudibranchs and rhinopias you’re after, or manta rays and schooling fish, this cruise really has it all.

This famous dive destination is located within the Coral Triangle, an area that boasts the world’s highest marine biodiversity. Situated 200 nautical miles east of Bali, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Komodo National Park has a total land area of 75,000 hectares and encompasses a number of islands, the largest of which is Komodo (34,000 hectares). A total of 112,500 hectares of the surrounding waters is also under the jurisdiction of the park rangers, allowing for the protection of over 1,000 species of fish and hundreds of different corals.

Komodo’s dive sites stretch from the warm waters of the Flores Sea in the north to the chillier waters down south in the Indian Ocean and vary from gentle coral slopes to heart-pounding adrenaline thrill rides. The underwater terrain presents many contrasts as well, with sheer cliff walls, pinnacles, sandy flat bottoms, underwater plateaus, slopes, caves, swim – throughs, channels, all with differing colours, sizes and types of both hard and soft corals.

Along the way, dive around Moyo island, Satonda and Bima. Relax as we cruise through the Komodo-Flores channel. Two popular sites at Gili Lawa Laut, called Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, will offer opportunities for critter spotting as well as big fish action. In fact, the dive site of Castle Rock is a nice opportunity to try out a ‘reef-hook’ dive as you secure yourself to the rock and float in the current, watching the schooling fish and predator/prey action! Next, dive around Rinca island and head on land to meet the Komodo dragons.

Currents in this area can be quite strong and we have to dive according to the tides, but with so many great sites to choose from we can always adapt the schedule for the best diving. Try something unusual at Sangeang island as we dive in the shadow of an active volcano… feeling the hot springs bubbling up under the sand.

In Komodo, it’s all about diversity: exhilarating drift diving, interesting muck diving, encounters with pelagics (mantas, sharks, whale sharks, sunfish), macro attractions (pygmy seahorses, blue-ringed octopus, frogfish, ghost pipefish), shallow reefs, walls, pinnacles, seamounts, pristine hard/soft corals.

In general the water temperature in the Komodo area is around 26-28+ (78-82F+) so usually a 3-5mm wetsuit is fine, but the southern dive sites in Komodo can drop down to 24-26C (75-78F) so some guests prefer a 5mm with hood. For repetitive diving days you may start to notice the cooler thermoclines more than usual, so prefer to wear a slightly thicker wetsuit and/or a hood, but usually 5mm is sufficient. We don’t recommend gloves as this can encourage divers to touch corals or delicate reef areas, but for night dives, where you could be more likely to bump into fire coral etc (or the 2 days of diving in south Komodo), many divers do prefer earning a full length suit and hood/gloves.

ALOR-KOMODO 3-13 Aug 2024