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Dive Review of Pelagian Dive Yacht in
Indonesia

Pelagian Dive Yacht, Jun, 2008,

by Lori Brown, WA, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports). Report 4207.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington (Puget Sound), Bonaire, Cozumel, Fiji, Indonesia (Irian Jaya and Sulawesi), Jamaica, Papua New Guinea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments A room dedicated to photographers with plenty of chargers, outlets, etc.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The Pelagian is the live aboard associated with Wakatobi Dive Resort. We started our long journey in Seattle and flew through San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, and landed in Bali. Several employees from Wakatobi met us at the airport and got us through customs without a hitch. When we first collected our luggage, we noticed that there were chalk marks on both of our camera suitcases. My husband told me that he had read about this practice on the internet and that customs officials were going to demand an outlandish bribe to pass the photographic equipment. Sure enough, when we got up to customs, the agent demanded to open the camera bags. Our porter told the customs agent that we were going to Wakatobi. The customs agent immediately had the porter put the luggage back on the cart without opening it. I dont know what deal Wakatobi has worked out with Customs in Bali, but whatever it was probably saved us an unpleasant, and presumably costly, run-in with customs.
The day after arriving in Bali, we took the private charter flight from Bali to the Wakatobi airstrip. We were transferred by boat to the Pelagian. On arrival, we were shown to our cabins. Ours was the superluxe cabin and was very roomy and comfortable. Our son stayed in a shared deluxe cabin which was also quite comfortable.
The Pelagian traveled overnight to our first dive site near the island of Wangi Wangi. Originally, the plan was to travel from Wangi Wangi Bay to Buton Island but the winds were so strident that we ended up traveling to Hoga Island just northeast of Kaladupa Island. The next day, we traveled to near Buton Island. We stayed there for two days because the dives were so spectacular, and also because the wind was a continuing problem.
A few of my favorite dive sites:
The Vatican (near Buton Island) was an amazing dive site. Within a one yard squared area, we saw a ribbon eel; two little signal gobies churning through the sand; three juvenile (and I mean tiny) banded pipe fish; and a one inch long octopus hiding in tiny holes on a rock. There was also a lot of staghorn coral at this site which was chock full of juvenile fish including many types of butterfly fish, tangs, cardinal fish, and wrasses.
We did awesome night dives at the Magic Pier (also near Buton). There were dozens of decorator crabs, some with anemones or sponges, and one with an urchin on its back. There was a demon stinger fish feeding happily. There were swarms of hundreds of razor fish and a sneaky trumpet fish hiding in the razor fish storm. We speculated that the trumpet fish might be having a few tasty razor fish. There were puffer fish everywhere, all different sorts. We saw blue ring octopus on both nights we dove there and one of the group saw a White V Octopus which mimicked a flounder.
At the Inner Reef dive in Wangi Wangi Bay, there was a large school of small barracuda (about 75-100) and a small school of large barracuda (about 10-20). A large table coral, about six feet across, hung over the edge of the wall. There were a half dozen unicorn fish under the table coral at a cleaning station. There were also many gorgonian fans, some measuring up to six feet across.
The Pelagian staff was professional and considerate. The dive masters, Marcos, Sissi, and Cornelius enjoyed leading dives and pointed out points of interests at each dive. The pre-dive briefings were thorough. The house staff on the boat couldnt have been more accommodating. They made an effort no matter what the request. The meals were well prepared and delicious.
Just one complaint I had and that was the use of Zodiac Tender boats to go to the dive sites. Our gear was loaded on the boats and left there for the duration of the trip. It was difficult to access our equipment for adjustments between dives. I like to fiddle with my equipment between dives, but the Zodiac tenders were small and didnt permit easy access.
Overall we were happy with our choice of the Pelagian for our live aboard vacation.

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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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