For Jen’s birthday, I gave her a 3-day-2-night cruise with the Le Pirate Explorer in Flores. We were both super stoked about it, and headed to Labuan Bajo in Flores on Saturday.
When we arrived in Flores, we stayed at Le Pirate’s hotel in Labuan Bajo harbour for the first night. The morning after, we headed out the Explorer 1 boat, where we were to spend the next 3 days. The boat is super nice, with 4 sleeping cabins upstairs, and a beautiful deck below equipped with beanbags, sunbeds, dining area, and even a small cinema.
We started the first day with some epic snorkeling, exploring the corals outside Labuan Bajo. After that, the weather started getting grey, to our big disappointment. The weather stayed quite crappy throughout the day, but we still enjoyed the sightseeing. We went to bed in our little cabin upstairs, with high hopes for the next day.
The morning after we woke up around sunrise time. The surrounding landscape was epic. Jen and I sat upstairs with our coffee cups, admiring the beautiful island we were docked outside of. We even saw a small family of deers walking on the beach (true story!)
The weather got progressively worse from there. We had entered into the areas of the Komodo national park, and we were looking for Manta Rays to snorkel with. The skilled local crew knew their stuff, and a short while after, we ran into a huge school of mantas! Quickly, we strapped on our snorkeling equipment and jumped into the ocean. As soon as I looked down into the water, I saw we were completely surrounded by these incredibly majestic animals. The mantas were all around us, and some swam so close I could touch them. One manta ray came straight at me, gently lifting its wing so I could pass under. It was unbelievable. The boat took us back up the current before we jumped out with the mantas again. The manta rays really put on a show, surfacing just to give us a wave, and sometimes jumping full body out of the water. Mindblowing!
After the manta snorkeling, the weather got progressively worse. The rain got heavier and heavier, and with no clearing in sight, we decided to cut out trip short and head back to Labuan Bajo.
We stayed in the harbour over night, before we flew back to Bali this morning. We have already decided to head back in May, when the weather is nicer, to go on a longer adventure with Le Pirate Explorer in Flores.