Komodo Dragon lurks along the edge of the beach hoping to spot an inattentive sunbather, but the humans are not as stupid as he hopes

Komodo Island, Indonesia

Komodo is one of those places that almost everybody’s heard about but almost nobody’s been to. It does make sense when you think about it, given that the island’s fame comes from its large population of giant man-eating lizards, a cheap thrill only attractive to a certain type of tourist…. like us, for example. The Komodo Dragon isn’t just the biggest lizard in the world (around the size of an adult human), it’s also the most poisonous. The dragon sneaks up and bites its prey, then waits for the poison to slowly kill the victim over several days before eating every morsel. There was no evidence left of the last tourist killed here, other then his camera and sunglasses.

But like many of the more exotic threats to human life (great white sharks, falling into a volcano crater, etc.) the danger is easy to avoid with a bit of prudence…. if you die from being eaten by a Komodo Dragon, it probably means you were being stupid. The truth is that the Komodo Dragon is endangered, and the Komodo National Park exists more for the protection of the lizard than for the human prey. A fork shaped stick and a keen lookout is all you need to safely explore the trails.

It’s mating season now, which often keeps the dragons busy behind the scenes, so we were lucky on our visit to find several of them strolling around and seemingly in a good mood. We were even luckier to be invited into the Komodo village a few miles away where we found dirty water wells and an opportunity to deliver clean water filter systems to each of their four main water wells. As the lucky filter couriers, we receive most of the credit from the locals, but the truth is that our mission was enabled entirely by donations from readers of this blog. We hope the pics here serve to relay the messages of thanks we received from the Komodo village and directed to the supporters of our filter mission. We provide more info below for those interested and for other visitors that may be coming through here later with more filters.

So we’ve seen enough of the Dragons, and with so much more to see and do along the 8th Parallel we’re gonna pull the anchor and just “keep on keepin’ on”. Sumbawa and Lombok are next in the chain, and what we’ll find there, we haven’t a clue.

Clean Water Filters Mission

Following is information regarding the dirty water problem in Komodo, what we’ve done, and where we think further help is needed.

Our Village Visits:

  • Komodo Village, Pulau Komodo, GPS: 8°35.70′S, 119°29.30′E

Population: 1500
Village Leaders: Iscander, Taher, Rusdih
Filters Delivered: 8 | Remaining Need: 7
Info for Visiting Yachties: First visit the Harbor Master in northern part of the bay (drop in 8°34.35′S, 119°30.14′E). Merlin welcomes visitors at the Harbor Master’s office most days and makes sure no kids or dragons mess with the dinghy while you explore the park. Merlin speaks great English and has offered to take any visitors to the Komodo Village for filter delivery about two miles away – ask a guide or a Harbor Master for him if he doesn’t greet you on the beach. Once seeing the dragons near the Harbor Master, head to the village for filter delivery. Good anchorage in 15 meters at the village GPS coordinates above. Be ready for kids on canoes in the morning- pencils and bon bons will make them happy. Wells and taps are dispersed around the village and villagers are extremely friendly, so anticipate spending 2 hours+ ashore. Currents in the Komodo channel are fierce and seem to be particularly bad when flowing from the south. Currents in this area generally flow north on a flood tide and south on the ebb, but not exactly on schedule. If entering from the north in the Komodo channel, make sure to enter several hours after high tide as it takes time for currents to turn and it’s nearly impossible to make progress if your timing is wrong.

Our filter mission is being conducted through Waves for Water. Please visit their website for more info in case you’re interested in becoming a Waves for Water Courier.

One Comment

  1. Peggy Shapiro

    What is the best way to donate to your water filter project? Thanks and safe travels.

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