Sea Princess Komodo Island
24 May 2019 | Komodo Island
The alarm woke up early today, around 6:30. Mark left our curtains open and I could see light outside around 6. We were still moving into the anchorage close to Komodo Island. By 7 am, we were anchored and they were lowering some of the tender boats into the water on the port side of the ship. We had a great view from our balcony. Walked up to Deck 14 Lido, and ate a light breakfast. Then back to our cabin to get ready to head to shore. Our tour tickets instructed us to show up at one of the atrium bars at 8:15. We got there and Mark went to ask a question, only to be told that we had to go sit in the Princess Theater, along with all the other tour groups and wait about half an hour to get the tender to shore. The tender held 90+ passengers. You have to understand that the majority of passengers are seniors and not able to move very fast. Everything takes a very long time. It was bright sunshine and already well over 80 degrees. Sitting inside the tender, with a hatch open in front of us, letting in the hot sun, but no breeze, since we were moving so slowly. The full moon brought lower low tide, so the tender in front of us had a difficult time getting the passengers off, as the tender parked beside a set of cement stairs. People were having trouble climbing up the stairs. It may have been a bit better with our tenders. There were a few tents set up on the dock, and they were handing out cups of water. Then a very long walk up the dock to shore. We were each given a bottle of water. We had brought some water off the boat. I was glad to have lots of water. We were able to visit the restrooms on shore. However, I found that my toilet did not flush. There was a tap running into a huge square tub of water with a large plastic cup. I figured out that the water was there to be added to the toilet in order to flush it manually. It worked. I came out and found a long line, so I told them that they had to scoop the water out and into the toilet to flush it. The floor was pretty wet. Not the best facilities.
Our group gathered with three local tour guides. They explained a few of the park island rules. One key rule was to not talk or move when we were close to the komodos. Apparently, that attracts them. They had an area set up which was actually a spring with a little bit of water, where 6 komodo dragons were situated. A few of them were walking around and as they walked, they stuck out a very long tongue and made a hissing sound. Some of them walked a bit and then returned closer to the other dragons. Apparently, they are cannibals. The female lay about 30 eggs but when they hatch, the newborns head up high into the surrounding trees, in order to not be eaten by their mother or any other dragons. Lots of information was relayed on the 1300 dragons that live on that island. They are planning to stop tours from visiting this island at the end of this year. The walk was lengthy. We were supposed to climb up a hill to see the views, but everyone was hot and tired and they didn't want to climb. That was fine with us. We got to see some very different vegetation. I really loved the bushes of hot pink colored flowers. There were several yellow flowers. Plus lots of butterflies. We could hear birds up high in the trees, but did not see any of them. We did see a few deer. They were brought to the island and populated in order to provide food for the dragons. We didn't see any of the island pigs or the possums that are also living on the island. The dirt path was easy enough for us to walk, but some passengers had issues walking. We were sweating pretty good as it was sunny and hot as we walked along the path. Many stops along the way with more information given by the guides. Once the tour was done, we walked towards the dock where the locals had set up some tents selling things. They had pearls and other jewelry as well as komodo dragon carvings and magnets plus t-shirts. You had to spend quite a long time with the young sellers before they lowered their asking prices. However, we got inundated with the many sellers trying to make some money. Some of them followed us to the pier and hounded us as we waited in line for the next tender. We had to wait while a lady was loaded into the tender from a wheel chair. She fell or fainted, we heard of a few incidents. I told Mark we should sit on the top floor. He thought it would be too hot in the sun, but I said at least there would be a breeze and good view of the ship. It worked out very nicely. The tide changed and was coming in fast which also turned the boat around. We were shielded from the sun but the ship which made our time on the tender very comfortable. We got off the ship and headed to the dining room for lunch. We shared a table with one couple we met a couple days ago, and met a lady and a couple from Perth. Had a good conversation going while we enjoyed lunch. I had the beef and veggies. Mark had the club sandwich. We each enjoyed a dessert. We had to admit that we were beat. Headed back to the cabin and enjoyed an afternoon nap. I think we could have just stayed in bed until tomorrow, but I didn't think we would sleep well tonight, if we didn't get up. Watched some tv. Then showered and got dressed for dinner.
Our dinner mates were already at our table when we got there on time. For some reason, they like to arrive early. Enjoyed beef with veggies for dinner. We both had a dessert. Mark chose the apple dish while I had the creme bruele. Then we rushed up to Deck 12 to watch tonight's Movie Under the Stars, which was Aquaman. It was long but entertaining. After the movie finished, we were both tired out, so we headed up the Lido deck to get a drink. I had some fruit and a piece of some cobbler. Mark had a piece of chocolate and peanut butter layer cake. Then we headed down to our cabin. Watching tv, catching up on the news. Thanks for the many message we received today via our Garmin. Mark will set us up for the ship's wifi. We can upload our blog files and research our upcoming ports of call.