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Dive Review of Wakatobi in
Indonesia/Wakatobi

Wakatobi, Sep, 2009,

by Claire Kennedy, OK, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 5129.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Curacao, Cozumel, San Salvador, Fowl Key, Abacos, Nassau, Key Largo, USVI,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Time limites and depth limits, but once they knew your diving capability, they were OK with letting you dive your own profile
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 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 Would rinse cameras for you after dive, you take camera to a/c camera room with rinse tanks outside & hose for further rinsing, in camera room could unload disks, change lenses/ports, etc., then they would take back out on boat for dive

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments As you might imagine in the beautiful waters of Indonesia, the fish are plentiful as well as the reef. I was told this over and over, and so my expectations were high, but Wakatobi waters and diving did not disappoint, in fact I was even more surprised than I thought I would be. This is my and my buddy's first trek into the Pacific, and I'm afraid we are spoiled for future trips, but that doesn't mean we won't go back. The diving was all its cracked up to be, but so it the resort.

We traveled with Island Dreams and Ken Knezick and I can not say enough wonderful things about the details they all attended to for us. If this is your first (or one of your many) I highly recommend traveling with Ken & Island Dreams. We are greeted by the most cheerful and energetic staff I've ever seen. They take over completely where all you have to do is walk to and fro your hut and meals, and the dive boat. They really have set up a marvelous system to allow you to see and do the maximum amount of diving in the shortest amount of time. Each boat is split into two groups which allows the divemasters to be more specific about what you would like to see and better serve you. On the first dive you will be asked to perform some basic scuba skills just so they can tell your scuba level of diving, however we unfortunately had one of those wild currents (if you've done some of the wild-current dives in Cozumel, that's about what this is), and we were doing good to stay in as a group, much less do any serious diving exploring or photography. Later in the week we did this dive a number of times, and the current was never this strong.

A word on currents here, cause this, as a photographer was one of my main concerns. As the diving went on, what we discovered is that the currents can be strong here, but they also seem to last for a short time and can in the middle of a dive, change. Although this might be a problem elsewhere, for Wakatobi diving, it never seemed to matter. The boats were always close, and although my buddy is an air hog, and we were usually last in and first out, the boat was always close by to pick us up, no matter which direction the current seemed to be going or at what speed. And I have to ad, that the reef was so gorgeous at such shallow depths that when we would do our safety stops, it was usually among the plethora of reef and fish and was NEVER boring! Some dives, we would just whirl right along with the current and not worry about the speed, and some dives the current was negligible which meant lots of fine opportunities for photography.
Our daily schedule was to rise to a beautiful sunrise, to have a breakfast of custom prepared eggs, juice, pastries, and international cuisine buffet, then off to change clothes and to the dive briefing in the Long House (the main building @ Wakatobi). After the briefing, everyone boarded the dive boat, where your gear and full tanks were waiting. The dive were usually 10-15 minutes (if that) from the resort, with a short trip to the next dive site, and an hour interval time, and a dive briefing on the boat for the second dive, the dive, then return to the resort, where you would change into dry clothes for lunch. A leisurely amount of time (usually time for a short nap), then the afternoon dive briefing in the Long House, afternoon dive, return to the resort, and plenty of time to clean up and change into dry clothes for the restaurant and dinner.

After dinner we would saunter over to the dive shop and analyze our morning nitrox tanks, and then trek out to the jetty bar for a nice night cap or just to enjoy the beautiful southern sky, you can see the Milky Way, Southern Cross - the the southern hemisphere's counterpoint to Big Dipper & North Star - the little luminescent shrimp who leave a stream of glow-in-the-dark trails. Then off to your beach hut for another night of snooze before another day of great diving.

The talk about the plethora and variety of types of fish and reef and marine life is not over-blown here. This is the crossroads between two great oceans, Indian & Pacific and you can tell this is an area that has an over-abundance of life on the reef. I'm not a tree-hugger, but I did have the feeling that I was diving in a very special area, sort of like visiting an antique china boutique in which everything had been beautifully preserved and I was going to do everything I could to make sure that I left it in the same condition I found it. Granted, the remoteness of the location and the difficult and time it takes to travel to Wakatobi will keep it from becoming a huge tourist joint, but if you are a diver who is looking for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, this is well worth giving up a couple of short trips to make this one great trip. Either as a celebration or just as a reward for whatever reason, this location has to be on your to-do list. It is a must. From the service, diving, dive sites, accommodations - everything gets an A+, which makes this a must do trip. And do it with Ken & Island Dreams cause they will make this so painless, you won't even know you've been through customs!!! For further info and more pictures- visit cwuap.com/wakatobireview.htm
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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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