Monday, February 26, 2007

K41 - Behau

One of the most popular shore dives in East Timor.
As its name suggests K41 is 41 kilometres east of Dili. The nearest village is called Behau. Access to the site is via a dirt track on left of the road as you head east. It can be identified by a fallen, burnt gum tree. About a 50metre drive takes you down to a couple of trees which provide ample shade and a good place to throw a hammock!
Entry is right at the trees with a short 10metre swim out to the descent point. As you look east you can see the wall right next to you. Descend to approx 6metres and follow the wall around with it on you right shoulder. After approx 30metres you should be at around 18metres deep when you come to a nice bommy teeming with fish. All the usual candidates including Midnight snapper, oriental sweetlips, long-nosed butterfly fish, trumpet fish et al. Also keep a look out for crocodile fish waiting in ambush. From this point you can take 3 alternatives.
1. You can point due north and head down to approx 30metres where the bottom is fine sand with a good chance of seeing a couple of sleeping white-tip reef sharks.
2. You head diagonally down east to another set of 2 bommies at 25metres with some overhangs and quite often a good current. Here you have a fine chance of seeing resting turtles, sharks in the caves and heaps of fish just hanging in the current. To make sure you have taken the correct route to this point you should have passed a large purple gorgonian at 23metres.
3. Keep heading east at the same approximate depth (18 metres) to get a longer bottom time. Look out for good nudibranchs all the way. Depending on your air consumption, but generally, at about the 120bar mark you will come to a spot where a couple of currents meet and hundreds of pyramid butterfly fish congregate. Also at this point occasionally I have seen some large baitballs with their attendant predators. Barracuda, big-eye jacks, Giant trevalley and Yellowfin Tuna.