Dragons and Beaches in Komodo

Today, Silversea's Silver Discoverer arrived off Komodo Island, Indonesia for a day of exploration. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Today, Silversea’s Silver Discoverer arrived off Komodo Island, Indonesia for a day of exploration. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Silverseas Silver Discovererdropped anchor this morning off the picturesque hills of Komodo Island, Indonesia. It was an early start to the day for us, with Zodiacs heading ashore beginning at 6:45a.m. in order to escape the heat and humidity that are predicted for later today, with temperatures hitting 36°C before noon.

Coming ashore in Komodo, Indonesia to explore Komodo National Park. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Coming ashore in Komodo, Indonesia to explore Komodo National Park. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Strolling into the Park... Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Strolling into the Park… Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...and into the jungle to search for Komodo dragons. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…and into the jungle to search for Komodo dragons. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Our primary goal this morning: to spot the unique Komodo Dragon in Komodo National Park. Komodo National Park was established to help protect this endemic species, and has been doing so since its inception in 1980. In 1991, the park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and today it also encompasses the nearby islands of Padar and Rinca, in addition to 26 smaller ones.

The Komodo Dragon is a fierce-looking creature. Straight out of a horror movie, it looks like a cross between a human crawling on all fours and a lizard magnified

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