January 9, 2010
The day is very bright and hot, about 87°. We boarded tenders that took us a short distance to Komodo Island and Komodo National Park, founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, later adding other species including marine species.
Park rangers lead small groups on a level trail that started out rocky, but later was mostly gravel. We were told beforehand not to wear or carry anything red, which would agitate the dragons to attack. We walked quietly along until we came to a watering hole surrounded be a grassless area under trees where we saw about four dragons. Other rangers were positioned outside this area to be sure the dragons didn’t decide to move towards us. They barely moved.
Our guide told us about the behavior of the dragons after they are hatched. The baby dragons are very colorful, but must escape by climbing trees to avoid being eaten by their parents or other dragons which are not able to climb trees. Eagles would be another predator.
Besides hearing a number of birds in the forest we saw a kapoc tree, the fibers of which are used in stuffing furniture or mattresses; we also noticed a colony of fire ants in a tree.
We could board tenders whenever we chose if we’d like to stay a little longer buying souvenirs or to take pictures.
Our ship departed at about 2:30 PM to Semerang, Java
I joined a ship’s chorus that includes any of the passengers onboard. We rehearse on days we are not on excursions and we eventually will give a performance. Our British director is enjoyable to work with and we should start sounding like a musical group pretty soon.