“Shotgun” exploding with current

Exploding with life, this dive site is nestled between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Durat in Komodo National Park. Depending on tides the possibility of strong currents, small up and down wellings and water flowing at high speeds can create and action packed dive we call Shotgun (a.k.a Cauldron & Washing Machine). As you can see from the cover photo, the strait that separates the 2 islands is about 130 meters/425 feet wide. Twice a day, every day, as the tide rises and falls water pours through it. Somewhere back in time the water carved out a bowl in the channel. This is what makes this place so unique.

Current junkies looking for an exhilarating ride and encounters with sharks, giant trevally, mantas and mobulas need look no further than Komodo National Park. It’s at the top of every savvy divers must see list. Different liveaboards and dive shops use different names, but the dive guides aboard Adelaar felt that the power and speed of the water when you get shot out of the bowl and drift over the hard corals into the bay perfectly describes the dive site (of course, this is well briefed and done in a controlled manner).

View of Gili Lawa Darat by David Burden”Shotgun exploding with life”

If you have the need for speed this site can be an exhilarating and wild ride. Bring your reef hook and get ready for some heart pumping fun! Would you like to dive Shotgun, but prefer more of a popgun experience? For divers without the need for speed, shotgun can still explode with life at the end of a falling tide. Conditions on the site couldn’t have been better on our recent trip. It was nice to come up and hear, “Oh, my God…that was the best dive ever!” and as a guide in Indonesia for the last 8 years I could honestly say “WOW that was amazing”! All the players were there without the heart thumping current.

“Sharks & schooling Mobulas”

On that particular dive we were able to swim leisurely around enjoying encounters with numerous marine creatures. Buried under a thin layer of sand were numerous large stingrays, eyes poking out, watching the reef like hidden sentinels. While we were watching whitetip reef sharks cruise around, occasionally coming in close to check us out, a flight of a dozen mobula rays glided by.

Schools of snapper and emperor fish take a break from the current to be cleaned, turning an array of shades to let the cleaner fish know that there are parasites to be picked. The highlight came when a giant trevally 1.5+ meters long pulled into a shallow cleaning station and let us get up close to watch as it was cleaned. The giant trevally is an apex reef predator “that is so voracious and powerful, it doesn’t have anything to fear besides sharks and humans.”

We were humbled that this one gave us the chance to watch it in this vulnerable position, so exposed. After a few minutes, it became a bit agitated and I remember thinking… Sharks get out of this fish’s way, maybe we should too! So, off we went to do our safety stop, where the reef octopus we found could care less that we were staring at him, amazed at its ability to camouflage. View this amateur video of sharks, schooling mobulas rays and a 3′ (1m) Giant Trevally being cleaning.


Luxury dive liveaboard SY Adelaar Cruises offers yearly round-trips dive itineraries from Bali to Komodo. Our small groups and knowledgeable dive guides offer you the maximum amount of pleasure on your dive holiday.