OMG..Dugong and Blue Whales in Timor Leste!!!

Jun V Lao Underwater Photography, Travel
Timor Leste offers loads of surprises, get a chance to see Dugongs and Blue Whales in the wild, beyond its well known Macro opportunities,
For some weird reason, I found myself flying to Timor Leste on the first week of September and it was my first time to get to document (in official capacity) two major cycling events. The twelve days in Timor was insanely hectic but managed to squeeze in three dives with both Timor based operators Aquatica and Dive Timor Lorosae, where the former was more passionate about underwater images while the latter was the typical tourist type operation...don't get me wrong, both were fantastic dive operators...was just describing the positioning from my point of view alone...

Jun V Lao, Scuba Diving
A brief but memorable encounter

Anyway, it was one of the most insane surreal dive I've done, after a very quick conversation with Aquatica owner Desmond,  he picked me up at my hotel... I haven't even set up my camera since I thought we were going to plan the dives at his resort but low and behold, we went straight to the Dugong / prolific macro site.

Jun V Lao Underwater Phtoography
My strobes scared it away,,,ya right :)
Unprepared, we immediately saw the Dugong popping up and down upon parking by the shore...I set up my camera lightning quick, cursing to myself faster old man ....no more testing...just ran quickly to shore...

After a quick ten minutes into the dive, super Desmond did find Douglas the Dugong (copyright Desmond)... damn it was huge, probably around 6-7 feet in length...It gave us a 2 minute window...as I slowly approached to attempt a killer in your face shot of it, Desmond kinda went for the Dugong, it was probably my strobes which spooked it :)

...here are the only three mediocre shots... but still happy, First Dugong...ticked off the list...but not photographically speaking...Will do Florida for some Manatees or take my chances in Coron, hoping for a longer -1 foot away encounter.

My First Dugong with Aquatica Dive Center, a brief memerable encounter
While Timor was as good as advertised (best shore dives on the planet), there apparently is a slew of big fish around the area and was fortunate to briefly encounter a Dugong...was ecstatic, then a week after diving with him, he posts a drone footage of Blue Whales passing by his dive resort (sadly missed this). 

Aquatica Resort's Blue Whale Video, missed this by a week

Macro was prolific but didn't bother to take the  tiny wonders since the said dive operators post daily anyway on fb their magnificent tiny finds...the reefs closely resembled Anilao and Romblon, same coral life, same vis, same temp...if you think about it, most reefs will be the same within the Coral Triangle area and if you dive around a lot, you'll notice they are more or less ...same same but different.

Timor Leste Diving
Diving with Eddie with Dive Timor Lorosae

Post dive Wefie- celebrating No dugong Day

With the sports tourney ending, I found myself in transit back to Manila via Depensar, and decided to extend a week more to see and play with Mantas and mantas alone. Do follow my next post on Bali, where it was a full week of pure shooting pleasure.

more info, google Dive Timor, these awesome operators will pop up.

passion photographer, cafe racer fanatic

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10 Komentar
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stumbled upon your blog... very good underwater photos, our go pro hero 4 cant even come close...what camera you using, really cool by the way

Balas
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fly to Manila to Dili Timor with Royal Brunei, follow the link, thanks Jun for sharing https://www.flyroyalbrunei.com/en/philippines/deals/?gclid=CjwKEAjwhILABRDwo8mlqt6ug38SJACNSq_knmUvhwLFh8IP69elp8oZMTrPP9mDxZjJbktVMX6-ZBoCrOzw_wcB

Balas
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Dude, your sign up is not working... sent you a pm... Sherman

Balas
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Hi, saw a post on facebook which led me here, we would liek to know more about your services...sent you an email

Balas
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there are no direct flights to East Timor from Manila right?

Balas
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thanks Anna, I remember we talked years ago on another blog, yo mentioning Sebay was actually Yabes...sent you pm, Jun

Balas
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yes, thanks man for the bonus kg :) appreciate it, cheers

Balas
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will be finalizing by next week Sherman, weekend, thanks and cheers

Balas
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yes, from my flight plan, its Depansar to Dili via Air Timor

Balas
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thanks Herschelle, sent you an email, kind regards

Balas