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Dive Review of Wakatobi in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

October, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Laura, CA, USA (5 reports)
Report Number 1435

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Reporter
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, Niue, Tahiti, Sea of Cortez, Bahamas, Bay
Islands

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
81   to 83    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
No gloves; no solo night diving  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
Schools 
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
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Comments
Adequate rinse and storage on all boats.  Gear handled with care by all
staff.  Two big rinse tanks at the resort. Two huge air conditioned camera
rooms at the resort.  Good E-6 processing on site.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
All the fabulous things you've read about Wakatobi are true and then some -
just go!  Seriously their very thorough web site will answer just about any
question.  All aspects of the stay from airport greeting in Denpasar (ask
the Bali office to arrange for you) to farewell are exceptionally pleasant
and organized.  On the whole, the package price feels a little steep, but
good value for the money.  Prices at the resort are quite reasonable: $16
for a T-shirt, $10 per massage, $5 for 20 minutes of emailing home.  I
chose to go in October for the combination of warm water and calm seas and
was very happy.  The sea was amazingly, completely flat and I was warm
enough in a shorty.  Bring rubber if you go other than Sept-Nov.  We had
mild to nonexistent currents most of the time.  The current did change
direction during more than one dive, though.  Also experienced my first
down-current (also luckily mild) here, felt like a wind blowing down over
the reef.  Three boat dives are offered daily along with unlimited shore
diving.  Some maniacs got in 6 dives a day and the rest of us were
cotinually torn between the more distant sites and the truly awesome house
reef. The boats are big and shady, with heads, lots of storage, safety gear
(they will loan you a sausage if you come without) and great snacks.  The
dive guides are more than happy to take requests and are patient with those
of us not used to looking at the tiny critters that are so common here. 
(Try looking for the teensy coiled tails of the pygmy seahorses and then
you will be able to see the rest.)  They are not interested in your air
consumption - dive times are routinely about 75 minutes and if you are not
around they assume you know what you are doing.  I am usually not much
interested in the background, but the reef here, is the most diverse,
healthy and prolific I've seen.  Here's just a partial list of the critters
seen: Mobula ray, eagle ray, blue spot sting ray, hawksbill turtles,
crocodile fish, scorpionfish, clown trigger, long nose hawkfish, leaf fish
in at least 3 colors, octopi (mating!) eels of several species, including
adult and juvenile blue ribbons, frogfish, robust ghost pipefish,
cuttlefish including baby, jawfish (one with eggs) mandarin fish (mating),
juvenile yellow boxfish, sea snakes, nudibranchs of all descriptions,
peacock mantis shrimp, squat lobster, spindle, egg and tiger cowrie shells.
 Not to mention the lionfish, four species of clown fish and the gorgeous
reef fish that are everywhere.  We were also lucky enough to come across
huge pods of dolphins both bottlenose and spinner on the surface three
times.
Some folks have complained about a lack of creature comforts at the resort,
but I found the rooms and food just fine.  The lighting in the rooms is
insufficient at night and the bath towels are not very absorbent, but
that's hardly a crisis.  The only real fault I could find is an alarming
lack of hammocks :(     Folks with non-diving partners need to know there
is not much to do on land - no sightseeing or shopping, etc.  The night
life consists of stargazing and of course, more diving.  Snorkelers will be
kept happy for days right in front of the resort though.  And many of the
boat dives are adjacent to shallow reef areas. All in all, a wonderful
visit to a truly stunning  underwater world.  Consider your airline for
this long haul flight carefully.  Cathay Pacific's wonderful staff (happy
to see you, just as accomodating during hour #14 as hour #1) made up for
the tiny seats and questionable food.
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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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