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Dive Review of Wakatobi -- Pelagian in
Indonesia/WaKaToBi Islands

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by James Jenkins, CA, United States (7 reports)
Report Number 3079

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Reporter
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, California, Cocos, Galapagos, Hawaii, Fiji, Truk, Palau,
Solomon’s, PNG, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
77   to 80    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Divers generally accompanied the dive guide, but were free to leave the
group and ascend on their own.  Buddy teams were required, but not strictly
enforced; gloves were not permitted, but some divers wore gloves.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
The camera room is a bit small – fine for about 4 or 5 photographers or
videographers.  The inflatables were a bit cramped and it would have been
difficult carrying 6 divers and more than two large camera setups.  The
inclusion of Buton in the itinerary provided critter sightings rivaling
Lembeh Straight; wide-angle reef scenes were among the best although the
visibility was not the best I’ve seen.  Only the absence of pelagics
reduces the rating.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Overall, this was one of our best liveaboard experiences, even given the
absence of pelagics.

There were only two other negatives:  the water was colder than advertised
– be prepared for thermoclines of 75° or lower with average temps in
the 78° - 79° range; the zodiacs were cramped for 6 or even 5
divers.

(The inflatables were the same size as those I’ve been on that comfortably
hold 6 divers (or more) plus the pilot, dive master and even a helper.  The
reasons for the boats being cramped were all very positive:  1. On many
chase boats, you put your weights and tank on aboard the main vessel then
awkwardly board the zodiac.  The Pelagian’s inflatables have a tank rack. 
The pilot and dive master help you on with your tank just before entering
the water.  This saves on back pain and is generally much safer.  2. These
zodiacs had a pilot consol in front; this gives the pilot more control and
better vision for pickups.  The zodiacs had twin engines – faster and
safer.  3 The ladder was fixed to the floor.  Most are just hung over the
side – if there is a ladder!  Entries were easy, even with tanks on. 
(However, most guests took off weights and BC’s in the water and the crew
hauled them up.))
  
The reefs were pristine, healthy and full of small life.  Wide-angle
opportunities abounded with soft corals, huge barrel and vase sponges,
fans, whip coral, black coral trees and more.  The macro subjects at Buton
Bay rivaled Lembeh.  We saw only a few reef sharks; some guests saw a
couple eagle rays and mobula rays.  We did see some large tuna, turtles,
bumphead parrot fish, Napoleon wrasse, and a small school of jacks.

Here’s a list of critters from just a few dives at Buton Bay:  false stone
fish, stone fish, lots of scorpion fish, crocodile fish and lion fish, leaf
scorpion fish, various pipefish including winged, scores of different
nudibranchs and flatworms, jaw fish, razor fish, juvenile sweetlips,
mandarin fish, long-arm octopus, various eels including, dragonets, frog
fish, robust ghost pipefish, ornate ghost pipefish, squid, large octopus
…!

Diving was only from the inflatables and was limited to a maximum of 4
dives per day (2 morning, 1 afternoon and one dusk or night dive).  You
could not dive from the ship and could only dive the organized schedule. 
However, this made for a relaxed, unhurried schedule with time for sunning,
cameras, chats, and naps.  Marco and Sissy (the dive masters) were
excellent!  
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Other dive reports on Wakatobi Dive Resort

AllIndonesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Indonesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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