April 28th, 2016 - Day 26 - Anchored off Komoto, Indonesia

Good morning on our way to Komoto, Indonesia!

We had breakfast in the Grand Dining Room.  Jim had buckwheat pancakes and Pat had a grapefruit and berries and a chocolate chunk muffin.

We anchored off Komoto, Indonesia at 9:00 AM this morning.

We had a tour booked at 9:45 AM which was the forth departure to the island to see Komodo Dragons.  You are only allowed to go on the island if you have a tour booked.  You are not allowed to explore the island on your own.  You were also not allowed to wear red.

The tender took us to the island where we met our guide, Fuji and 2 body guards at the Komodo National Park.  The bodyguards carried forked sticks.

Indonesia established the park in 1980 in order to protect the main inhabitant and main point of interest, the world famous Komodo dragon (Varanus Komodoensis).  In 1986 UNESCO declared this a world heritage site. Since the park first opened it has expanded its responsibilities to include the protection and preservation of all plants and animals within its boundaries both on land and in the sea.

The Islanders call the Komodo dragon Ora or the buaya  durat which means, land crocodile.  The male of the species can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds.  The female is usually a bit smaller. They can live between 20 and 40 years. They have a sense of smell that can detect their next meal from up to 5 miles away. 

These dragons are extremely strong, with huge hooked claws and a forked tongue that they use in much the same way as a snake.  The Komodo dragon is both fast on the land and able to swim as easily as it can climb a tree.

Their favorite prey is the wild boars and Timor deer found on the island.  The danger of a bite from the Komodo dragon is the deadly bacteria found in its mouth.  If an unlucky prey is lucky enough to escape the powerful bite of this Dragon it will soon die because of the bacteria.  It usually takes a deer that has been bitten one week to die and a wild boar two weeks to die  after they have been bitten.

The poo from a dragon is black if they have eaten a wild boar, it is brown if they have eaten a deer and it is white if they have eaten bones.  We saw the white poo.

The Komodo Dragon is an endangered species and there were only 2,800 on the island.  Out of those 2,800 we saw six of them. We saw one when we first arrived that we saw walking away after our orientation to get out of the sun.  It went under a wooden stilted hut.  Pat told Jim she thought it was their pet dragon in case we did not see any others.

We first saw two caves that we were told were where female dragons lay their eggs.  It takes about 9 months to hatch the baby dragon.  They have to keep the mothers away from the babies or they will kill them when born.  They aren't nice mothers.

We also saw 3 Deer in an area and then 2 Deer in another area walking around.

The hike lasted for an hour and a half.  When we got to what they call the watering hole we saw one baby Komodo Dragon and four large Komodo dragons.  They were about 2 1/2 meters long and were just laying there.  One of them got up and took a few steps and then sat back down.  We were able to walk around this watering hole that did not have any water in it and take pictures of them.

They had a handicraft section selling T-shirts and dragons and jewelry that we walked through. They kept talking to you to try to get you to buy their items.  We went back to the dock for our tender ride back to the ship.  Pat decided she wanted to go get a T-shirt for Thatcher so she went back on the next tender and did some shopping while Jim relaxed in the room.

While Pat was shopping 2 Deer walked by so close as no one was paying any attention to them.  Pat was able to get a nice picture.

We had lunch at the Terrace Café.  We both had a slice of margarita pizza… It is getting to be a habit.  

We set sail at 3 PM on our way to Australia.

We had dinner in the Grand Dining Room.

Jim had 2 appetizers.  Jacques's Favorite Sausage Lyonnaise over Warm Potato Salad & Carpaccio of Salt Crusted Beetroot with Truffle Vinaigrette.  For his salad he had Three Bean Salad with Red Quinoa and Roasted Cumin Vinaigrette. For his main course he had Diver Scallops over Orange Braised Endive with Vanilla Vinaigrette.

Pat had a soup called Brittany Artichoke Veloute with Sour Cream.  She had a Iceberg and Romaine Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers in Warn Bacon Dressing.  For her main course Pat had Pasta with Tomato Sauce.

For dessert we shared Chocolate Profiteroles with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream and Warm Chocolate Sauce.

Good Night from the Ocean!