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Dive Review of Wakatobi/Pelagian in

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Greg Fay, TX, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5200
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Palau, Jamaica
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
While not always, there were dives where the dive profile was strictly
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 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  
The dive deck does not have a separate table for camera equipment.  That
said, the lone table on the dive deck was never used for anything other
than cameras.  There is a room inside dedicated to UWP, although 110V plugs
were limited.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This has to be the best dive location anywhere, but you have to really want
to get there.  It took 2 connections to get to Bali, an overnight stay in
Bali, and another flight to get to the airstrip on the island next to
Wakatobi.  Then there is a short bus ride to a giant set of steps down to
the pier and one quick boat ride to the Pelagian.  The departure took even
longer as you must depart the Pelagian by 8:30 am, but the departure flight
doesn't leave until 1:00 pm.  That meant a boat ride to the resort and,
with low tide, a transfer to a smaller boat that could get you to the pier
so you can wait at the Wakatobi resort for the boat ride to the giant set
stairs (again due to low tide, it actually took us boarding the small boat,
transferring to the big boat and then back to the small boat because the
larger boat couldn't navigate the channel).  Whew!

That said, the diving is incredible.  I took the 11-day cruise so we did
6.5 days of reef diving and 3 days of muck diving.  Expect to see: ornate
ghost pipe fish, seahorses, pigmy seahorses, frog fish, jaw fish, mandarin
fish, eels (ribbon, napoleon snake, and others), sea snakes, crocodile
fish, wasp fish, blue ring octopus, wonderpus, cuttlefish, nudibranchs
(more than I can list), orang utan crabs, eagle rays, turtles and more. The
single best dive site is "Magic Pier," a muck diving site.  One
dive there and you will know why they call it Magic Pier.  Before the first
of three dives to this site, we were given specific instructions not to get
other divers' attention to show them something neat you just found because
they were probably already looking at something just as interesting.  And
there were not kidding.  Everywhere you looked there were critters (this is
where I saw, not one, but three blue ring octopus).

One cautionary note.  The cruise directors, who double as two of the three
dive guides, are very strict when it comes to touching the reef or
critters.  They also limited the number of pictures of certain critters due
to the claimed damage that numerous photoflashes could inflict.  We were
also scolded like school children when our group got separated on a dive
that had much more current than the dive briefing led us to believe would
be present (we were still within eye site, just further apart than
preferred).  Many on this trip were offended by these rules.  Personally,
these rules are well worth tolerating for the diving to be enjoyed.  Go,
you will not be disappointed.
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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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