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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Jul, 2008,

by Lori, WA, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports). Report 4210.

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 sunny, 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 Divers were encouraged, but not forced, to stay with the dive guides and discouraged from doing decompression dives.
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 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 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Air conditioned room set up for photographers with plenty of outlets but rather limited space (because of the number of divers with one or more cameras). The dive guides also set up a night for photographers to share their photos in a slide show.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We combined a one week trip on the Pelagian with an eleven day stay at the Wakatobi Dive Resort. We have been to Wakatobi twice before, once 2000 and again in 2004. There were some things for which I was nostalgic (like having only eight divers at the resort)and at the same time, recognized the advantage of having a bustling resort with plenty of interesting fellow diversmaximizing the opportunity to trade dive-tales. There were thirty-six guests during our stay and they anticipated slightly over fifty in the next group.
The dive process: divers prepared their nitrox tanks by measuring O2 levels and marking them on tags. Tanks and equipment were ferried out to the boats by dive crew. After setting up your own equipment on the first dive, the dive crew takes over and sets it up for the remaining dives. They do a good job though we did have a few tanks slip through the BC straps. There were ten divers on our boatdivided up into groups of four and six divers. One group went in with the first dive guide and the second group waited about five minutes and went in with the second dive guide. The most distant dive site was about an hour from the resort and the closest dives were just five minutes away. There were three dive guides who were rotating through the boat (CJ, Guia, and Fabrice).
Oh, did I mention what from now on will be called The Miracle of Nitrox? When we dove in 2000, I distinctly remember diving on the Waitii Ridge and doing a decompression dive. On this trip, because of The Miracle of Nitrox, I never even came close to decosmart thing because of the distance from a decompression chamber.
The deepest dive we did was to about 150 feet at the Starship dive site. This was a special dive because of all the build up. We planned the dive with the primary goal of finding xeno crabs (Xenocarconus conicus) who reside on seawhips and a secondary goal of finding pygmy seahorses on a gorgonian. The plan was that one of the guides would go down and find the xeno crab(s) and then use a light to signal the first group of divers (non-photographers), who would be waiting at 60ft. After the first group finished, the next group, would go down with their dive guide- who would stay down with the next group while the first group ascended on the wall to a shallower point and so on. Because the whole dive was based on finding the xeno crabs and pygmy seahorses, and signaling, and planning, and organizing, and waitingit was just fun! As it turned out, both of the divers in the first group were affected by nitrogen narcosis. Fortunately, both had the good sense to start ascendingwithout seeing the xeno crabs.
Despite some windy weather, which precluded us going to some of the southern-most dive sites, we visited many great dive sites. The house reef, on which resort guests are permitted to dive day or night, is still spectacular and one could spend a whole vacation exploring that. The best dive sites were the Zoo, Roma, and Teluk Maya where we saw an amazing array including a pair of ghost pipefish who looked like grass blades, a peacock razorfish, and an amazing assortment of baby wrasses.
We stayed in one of the villas and it couldnt have been nicer. It was spacious and the decks outside had fabulous views and stairs right down to the beach. The food was mediocre to good, but plentiful and a wide range of meat and vegetarian choices.
I had just one complaint Ill share: a few of the dives took on the characteristics of an assembly line with divers literally lining up to take their turn to look at something and take their photos. None-the-less, overall, the trip was excellent and Wakatobi Resort's development and growth was remarkable.
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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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