Tala, a tiny, angular island in Langkoi Bay, just south of the southernmost part of Komodo Island, offers several excellent sites. The inner passage between Tala and Komodo proper is shallow, and ripping with current, but the southern point of the island has two adjacent sites: to the west, "The End of The World," a sheer wall of black rock that goes down well past 100 meters; to the east, " Collen's Corner," a reef slope through rugged blocks of rock leading to a deepwater grove of wire coral.
On our first dive off Tala, the current at the point broke east,so we dropped in and went that way. We descended along a steep slope, full of coral encrusted chunks of black rock, ending up in a strange forest of spiral whip coral on a sand bottom at 40 meters.
We were immediately greeted by group of white tip reef sharks, including one large and friendly individual who acted as if he had never seen a diver before.
We also encountered a turtle, and a very large reef ray finally got tired of our attentions and lifted slowly off the bottom. As we work our way back up, we entered an area of reef that was very rich with damsels, anthias, butterflyfishes, and other colorful reef fishes.
At the point where a short tunnel led through a coral boulder, a large school of boldly patterned sweetlips gathered. We passed snappers, and several large achools of surgeonfish.
The rocky reef surface was everywhere covered with extensive carpets of bright cup corals. We surfaced near a little cove, graced by an incongruously white beach about the size of an apartment kitchen.
West of the point is a sheer wall of rock, broken up by some nice cuts, overhangs, and sandy shelves down to about 40 meters, and from there on flat, black plane. Here we saw sharks, rays. Morays and rich coral growth in the cuts and shelves. On one dive, a strange group of pelagic puffers conducted an elaborate series of maneuvers in the open water just off the wall.
The flat areas of the wall are covered with vast fields of orange cup corals, a beautiful effect against the dark rock. On one dive we followed the wall down to 70 meters, and although visibility was good, we never saw the bottom.