Diving in East Timor

Diving in Timor Leste

East Timor Dili Beach Sunset
East Timor Dili Coast Night
I failed to make it out to Aturao island, which was a big disappointment for this trip, but I still was able to get a great dive in from the mainland. I did a shore dive just outside of Dili, and once I got away from the beach I immediately saw wild life like the pair of sucker fish on the left and the clown fish that were circling the anemone on the right.
East Timor Diving Suckers
East Timor Diving Clown Fish
I failed to make it out to Aturao island, which was a big disappointment for this trip, but I still was able to get a great dive in from the mainland. I did a shore dive just outside of Dili, and once I got away from the beach I immediately saw wild life like the pair of sucker fish on the left and the clown fish that were circling the anemone on the right.
East Timor Diving Red Coral
East Timor Scuba Diving Tree
If you’ve already read some of my other pages that involve scuba diving, you’d have noticed that each time I complain about the colors and apologize about not having a strobe for my camera. In East Timor, I still lacked a strobe but this time the dive master was nice enough to let me borrow his diving flashlight. Of course a diving light is used for caving or night diving and not designed to work with a camera, so while it’s results were nothing compared to using a real strobe it was definitely an enormous improvement in regards to coloring. This of course only happened when I was able to hold the light on the subject, balance myself with my BCD while simultaneously taking a picture and holding the camera steady. The photo above shows some red coral, you can see how ugly the color is on the left side outside of the flashlights reach and get an understanding of what lack of a strobe or light does when you’re more than 10 meters or 30 feet under water. The broccoli trees on the right were interesting but I was unable to get any shots with the light since they were so tall. The flashlight was only good for a small area.
East Timor Diving Plant
East Timor Scuba Diving Clam
Since these guys were smaller, the flashlight worked pretty well with them and I was happy with the results. I’m not sure of the species of either of these photos, so it’s something I must continue to search for on the internet.
East Timor Diving Sea Slug
East Timor Scuba Diving Fish Dust
The sea slug on the left was a new find for me, but unfortunately I missed him with the flashlight so you can not see his true colors. The fish head coming out of a hole on the right was pretty dramatic and evil, and I thought a large serpent or giant eel was coming out to attack me, but it was only a fish.
East Timor Diving Cuttlefish
East Timor Scuba Diving Cuttle Fish
Another new species for me was the cuttle fish that is in both pictures above. On the left is where we originally saw him, and I had thought it was an octopus based on it’s camouflage and eyes, but once it swam out I saw what it was.
East Timor Scuba Diving Sea Slug
East Timor Scuba Diving Sea Horse
Above seems to be a smaller species of a sea slug, and on the right is no doubt one of the most annoying sea horses in all the world’s oceans. This prickly sea horse refused to be photographed and every time I would swim to one of its sides he would face another direction just exposing his back. I finally got this decent photo of him, but without the flashlight, so he appears white in the photo but is actually red.
East Timor Scuba Diving Lion Fish Coral
East Timor Scuba Diving Lion Fish
And finally, one of my highlights of this dive was two different species of lion fish. Before this trip I had only seen a lion fish in Egypt where I didn’t get any photos and then a poor photo of one in Yemen. These guys were just hanging out on the ocean floor or attached to coral and weren’t the least bothered by me swimming right up to them.