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Dive Review of Wakatobi in
Indonesia/Bali/Wakatobi

Wakatobi, Oct, 2007,

by scott johnson, ca, usa (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports). Report 3712.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Christmas Island, Galapagos, Sipadan, Hawaii, Cozumel, Truk, Rangiroa, Fakarava and a few others.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 30 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 70 minute dives in Wakatobi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Bali
Arrived in Bali from LA at about 2pm with severe jet lag. Upon arrival at the Bayou Cottages in Amed my over weighted 65 lbs dive bag was hoisted by two men and put atop a young ladies head, which she proceeded to walk up a couple flights a stairs. I told the two guys that was tooooo heavy for them to carryThe response I got with a smile our women are used to it. I will not get used to that custom! The Amed region is remote nothing fancy here in this part of Bali. The Bayou Cottages was nice but not luxurious. Great staff, great food and nice rooms. The one thing that bothered me a bit was this hotel is built on a hillside with a road in front of it. Therefore, you heard cars, motorbikes etc..but great view of the bay.

Our first dive was around the Liberty wreck. Saw a very large school of Jacksa giant big fat Barracuda (at least 5- 6 long), big Napoleon Wrasse, frogfish, scores of small marine life. Very good divethe second dive was more of diving inside the wreck and looking for smaller stuff. Rest of the diving was great saw a couple of Sharks, Rays, Cuttlefish, Sea Pens, Fire sea urchins, Flounders, Ornate ghost pipefish etc.

The Weather was wonderful and the water temperatures were around 81-82. If you are going thru Bali, Stop and Dive! My suggestion is dive in Tulamben. I also dove the Amed wall, which was OK, I found more stuff in Tulamben and if you stay in Amed, it is a ½-hour drive daily. If you want to dive with the Mola Molas or Mantas in Nusa Penida (much cooler water) perhaps stay in a more central area as the daily drives to the sites are long. You will not regret a couple days or more of the diving and the wonderful hospitality.


Wakatobi

Wow what an operation. The dive boat can hold up to around 30+ divers. Only 10 on board my boat, two Instructors and 4 crewmembers. My group has only 4 people and the other 3 are semi-professional photographers and they linger on subjects. Thus, I have my own dive guide! You analyze you own Nitrox tanks (they have 100s for air hogsBig smile) everything is put on the boats in the AM. They will set up for you if you like but I prefer to do my own. Excellent dive operation! The rooms are nice but basic and can get warm in the afternoon.. The AC will get things cooled down by about bedtime. My roommate was a retired Surgeon and a great guy. The foodagain Excellent great Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.

Did our check out dive the first dive in the AM, which you have to do the basic flood your mask and the air share buddy skill.

When comparing dive locations, I judge everything against Palau for Pelagics plus overall best Bio-Diversity and East Timor for Corals and just plain weird stuff like Carpet anemones and Spanish Dancers etc. Wakatobi is most like Timor and overall probably better. Most of the diving is wall diving. Unfortunately, the visibility was only about 20to 40 max the entire time and the water temperatures were between 77 to 81 degreestoo cool for me. It looks as though there may sea life out there i.e. schools of fish but unless they come close, you cannot tell. There are plenty of Pigmy seahorses to see (if you can), many types of Nudibranchs, Cuttlefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Flounders, Crockfish, Eggshell cowries etc. Corals both soft and hard of almost every imaginable shape and color. Some of my favorite dive sites are the Zoo, Turkey Beach for the fish life and Magnifica for the corals

You can pretty much dive all you want as they have a great house reef in front of the resort. I tend not to dive to get wet and if all I am going see pretty much the same thing it becomes a bit redundant to me. Being I did travel all this way I did not miss a dive and added a 4th dive here and there. I found on a 70 minute dive there was only about 10 minutes of interesting diving to me, let me clarify I like to be entertained by the diving. In Wakatobi, you have to look and have patience to find your reward. There are people that are in Heaven with this type of diving. In addition, I am diving a shorty with 100 tanks which I get around 70 minutes bottom time. After the 3rd dive in waters of 81 or less up to 70 minutes, it will takes me the end of the evening to start to break a sweatI get downright chilledLOL..My own internal AC.

Wakatobi is an excellent operation. I have visited about 20 to 25 different dive or dive resort operations around the world, Nothing compares to Wakatobi. The Indonesians take care of these boats like their own. One day after coming up for a dive I went to make a cup of Hot Chocolate, the boat captain waved me off. Not knowing what he meant, I soon learned that was his job! After every dive, I had Hot Chocolate waiting for me. The dive guides are mostly European coming from Germany, Austria, England, France and Switzerland. Alex my dive guide was as good as the best I have dove with anywhere. I cannot say enough about how excellent every facet of this dive operation is.

If you are into small stuff and have patience to find it, this is the place for you. You will not be disappointed! I prefer more action and warmer waters and if that is what you are looking for.go to Palau, Tuamotus in Tahiti, Kiribati etc.
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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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