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Dive Review of Wakatobi/Pelagian in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Wakatobi/Pelagian, Oct, 2009,

by Greg Fay, TX, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5200.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Palau, Jamaica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions While not always, there were dives where the dive profile was strictly enforced.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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