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Dive Review of Pelagian Dive Yacht in

June, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Lori Brown, WA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports)
Report Number 4207
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington (Puget Sound), Bonaire,
Cozumel, Fiji, Indonesia (Irian Jaya and Sulawesi), Jamaica,  Papua New
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
A room dedicated to photographers with plenty of chargers, outlets, etc. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
     The Pelagian is the live aboard associated with Wakatobi Dive Resort. 
We started our long journey in Seattle and flew through San Francisco,
Seoul, Singapore, and landed in Bali.  Several employees from Wakatobi met
us at the airport and got us through customs without a hitch. When we first
collected our luggage, we noticed that there were chalk marks on both of
our camera suitcases.  My husband told me that he had read about this
practice on the internet and that customs officials were going to demand an
outlandish bribe to pass the photographic equipment.  Sure enough, when we
got up to customs, the agent demanded to open the camera bags.  Our porter
told the customs agent that we were going to Wakatobi.  The customs agent
immediately had the porter put the luggage back on the cart without opening
it.  I dont know what deal Wakatobi has worked out with Customs in Bali,
but whatever it was probably saved us an unpleasant, and presumably costly,
run-in with customs.  
	The day after arriving in Bali, we took the private charter flight from
Bali to the Wakatobi airstrip.  We were transferred by boat to the
Pelagian.  On arrival, we were shown to our cabins.  Ours was the
superluxe cabin and was very roomy and comfortable.  Our son stayed in a
shared deluxe cabin which was also quite comfortable.  
The Pelagian traveled overnight to our first dive site near the island of
Wangi Wangi.  Originally, the plan was to travel from Wangi Wangi Bay to
Buton Island but the winds were so strident that we ended up traveling to
Hoga Island just northeast of  Kaladupa Island.  The next day, we traveled
to near Buton Island.  We stayed there for two days because the dives were
so spectacular, and also because the wind was a continuing problem.  
A few of my favorite dive sites:
The Vatican (near Buton Island) was an amazing dive site.  Within a one
yard squared area, we saw a ribbon eel; two little signal gobies churning
through the sand; three juvenile (and I mean tiny) banded pipe fish; and a
one inch long octopus hiding in tiny holes on a rock.   There was also a
lot of staghorn coral at this site which was chock full of juvenile fish
including many types of butterfly fish, tangs, cardinal fish, and wrasses. 

We did awesome night dives at the Magic Pier (also near Buton).  There were
dozens of decorator crabs, some with anemones or sponges, and one with an
urchin on its back. There was a demon stinger fish feeding happily.  There
were swarms of hundreds of razor fish and a sneaky trumpet fish hiding in
the razor fish storm.  We speculated that the trumpet fish might be having
a few tasty razor fish.  There were puffer fish everywhere, all different
sorts.  We saw blue ring octopus on both nights we dove there and one of
the group saw a White V Octopus which mimicked a flounder.
At the Inner Reef dive in Wangi Wangi Bay, there was a large school of
small barracuda (about 75-100) and a small school of large barracuda (about
10-20).  A large table coral, about six feet across, hung over the edge of
the wall.  There were a half dozen unicorn fish under the table coral at a
cleaning station.  There were also many gorgonian fans, some measuring up
to six feet across. 
The Pelagian staff was professional and considerate.  The dive masters,
Marcos, Sissi, and Cornelius enjoyed leading dives and pointed out points
of interests at each dive.  The pre-dive briefings were thorough.  The
house staff on the boat couldnt have been more accommodating.  They made
an effort no matter what the request.  The meals were well prepared and
Just one complaint I had and that was the use of Zodiac Tender boats to go
to the dive sites.  Our gear was loaded on the boats and left there for the
duration of the trip.  It was difficult to access our equipment for
adjustments between dives.  I like to fiddle with my equipment between
dives, but the Zodiac tenders were small and didnt permit easy access. 
Overall we were happy with our choice of the Pelagian for our live aboard
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