Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
05/30/2013 3.59 Wakatobi Dive Resort's House Reef Wakatobi, Pacific
Spent 11 days at Wakatobi in Fall 2012. The House Reef is what's used for their mandatory 'check-out' dive (buoyancy check, mask clear, buddy breathing) and as others have said, it can be a challenge to figure out how to squeeze in a shore dive between the boat dive schedule. Because the check-out dives are done per arrival schedule, there's a good chance that you won't have much negotiation versus the local tide schedule ... mine was in a healthy ~1.5 knot current, so we went from boat entry to the sandy exit chute in around 7 minutes...this was tough on the novice & intermediate divers in our group. What I did see on my quick drift was very positive in terms of reef life. However, not all is positive: there's a lot of local boat traffic, not only Wakatobi's own boats, but also the local fishing boats. What's not evident from Wakatobi's marketing is that they're not really that isolated: there's reportedly 27 local villages within ~10km, so there's very frequent small local boat traffic... and because Wakatobi is located on the inside corner of one of the main channels, they're not a half mile out to sea, but cutting the inside of the corner and motoring by immediately off that very-close drop-off. And when I say 'immediately off', the resort has installed floating lines out at their property edges tied off to the drop-off so as to prevent them from cutting across the shallows inside the dropoff. Finally, particularly for snorkelers/nondivers (such as my wife), not only are the boats close, but they're also very loud, as most have no muffler…can hear them coming for 5 minutes before they pass by. So unfortunately, I simply cannot give this destination good marks for 'Solitude', as I got a royal earful about it and once it was pointed out to me, yes, it isn't at all subtle.