Friday, December 5, 2008

Wakatobi, Sulawesi: the Diving Part I

The diving is beautiful. Very healthy, colourful reefs with a great variety of shapes, textures and topography. Most sites have abundant soft corals and most sites are wall dives.

Divers have a tremendous amount of freedom in their diving at Wakatobi. The guides are not babysitters. They will help you however they can, but their primary roles are critter spotters and navigators. You choose your own depth and dive profiles. Dive times on the boat are limited to a maximum of 70 minutes and there isn’t a lot of flexibility in this in terms of having extended bottom times. Although you are at a diving resort, they do have a time table that they maintain and this makes sure that everything does run smoothly all day. On some dives I didn’t find this too restrictive, on others it was frustrating…but that’s just how it is and it was never a huge negative.

As I've been putting this report together, I notice that I have a great many photographs that haven't been processed or uploaded yet. Oops! So some day in the future, there will be another set of images and maybe one day I'll even get my web site updated with a real gallery! For those who want to see more Wakatobi images right now, you can head to my gallery on ScubaBoard.

Saturday 11 October, 2008:  I'm glad we started with these as the diving just got better.
Galaxy - 20.6m; 74 minutes

Table Coral City - 18.9m; 74 minutes

Tanjung Park (House Reef) - 17.7m; 46 minutes
I was very disappointed to have one of our three daily boat dives drop us on what is essentially the House Reef.  A taxi boat will take you here from shore.  Seemed a waste of a boat dive to me.  They did drop us in right near a white pygmy seahorse, so that was nice.  It was an OK section of reef, but nothing else really special and the current really picked up, so I came up early.  I shot 20 frames on the dive and several of those were evidently just for something to do.

Mary surfacing from a dive.

Sunday 12 October, 2008:
The front of the boat was pretty comfy for a little snooze on the way to the dive sites

Blade - 24.8m; 68 minutes
Great dive, one of my favourites.  Beautiful for wide angle but plenty of subjects for macro, too.  Would have gone back.

Batfish Wall - 18.6m; 70 minutes

House Reef - 12.5m; 62 minutes be continued...

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