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Dive Review of Wakatobi in

September, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Claire Kennedy, OK, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5129
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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

Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
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
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