Diving the Edge

Published March 18, 2017 in Dive Sites, DIVING & SNORKELING

The site known as Blade remains one of Wakatobi’s enduring enigmas

At some point during your stay at Wakatobi Resort, the dive center may post an upcoming boat trip to a site known as Blade. Don’t hesitate to sign up for the dive, because this unique underwater formation is unlike any other site in the area, and it’s not to be missed.

Enjoy a warm drink or a short nap in the sun during the ride to Blade on one of our spacious 24m/70-foot dive launches.

Enjoy a warm drink or a short nap in the sun during the ride to Blade on one of our spacious 24m/70-foot dive launches. Photo by Walt Stearns

Worth the ride

Blade is the most distant site regularly visited by the resort’s fleet of day boats; the cruise to the site will take about an hour. Divers agree that the longer boat ride needed to reach Blade is well justified by what awaits. Moments after giant striding into blue water, you reach the crest of a narrow seamount that rises to within five meters of the surface. As this formation comes into sharper focus, it becomes strikingly apparent just how tall and thin this structure actually is. A diver drifting above this ridge can actually see down both sides from a central vantage point.

The initial drop on the sites reveals Blade’s dramatic formation; you’re in for a treat.

The initial drop on Blade reveals its dramatic formation; you’re in for a treat. Photo by Wade and Robyn Hughes

There is usually a mild current washing over the ridge, propelling divers on a relaxed drift. Dropping from an overhead vantage point to either side of this wall-like formation reveals near-vertical surfaces riddled with crevices and caverns, some of which extend all the way through the center of the pinnacle.

Going by the age-old adage “life at the top is good,” is a brilliant collection of sponges and gorgonians at the top of Blade’s ridge line.

Going by the age-old adage “life at the top is good,” is a brilliant collection of sponges and gorgonians at the top of Blade’s ridge line. Photo by Walt Stearns

Drifting along the spires of this undersea rampart, it’s easy to marvel at the ways nature continues to surprise and amaze. Photo by Marco Fierli, marcof8.com

Red whip corals grow thick on the steep sides, providing fantastic photo opportunities. Multi-hued crinoids perch on the tips of gorgonians, extending their tentacles to catch passing morsels of food. Dropping a bit deeper, you come across colorful arrays of giant sponges and sea fans that can grow to upwards of two to three meters across.

Seeing the Blade

The ridge runs for more than 200 meters, but never widens to more than seven meters across. The far end drops to a lower ridge at a depth of 20 meters, and directly ahead, fully visible in the clear water is a second formation almost identical to the first. Working with the current, divers continue their weightless traverse to the second sea mound, then a third. In all, there are four of these elongated projections rising from the connecting ridge, which itself comes up from depths beyond 60 meters. When seen in profile, this entire formation resembles a knife with a serrated blade that has been set on edge. Hence the name given to the site by Wakatobi Resort’s founder Lorenz Mäder, who discovered the formation during the early years of exploratory diving.

A natural curiosity

There is no clear answer as to what forces of nature were behind the creation of the Blade. The reef system that Blade is associated with is a 50 km long, oblong shaped coral atoll that fronts the western edge of the Wakatobi Regency.

A diver explores Blade.

A diver explores Blade. Photo by Walt Stearns

The origins of this unique dive site may never be discerned, but that only adds to the mystique of the site. And when drifting along the spires of this undersea rampart, it’s easy to imagine all manner of mysteries, and marvel at the ways nature continues to surprise and amaze.

Blade is just one of the more than 40 dive sites within easy reach of Wakatobi Resort.  It’s time to plan your next great dive vacation. Contact us at email office@wakatobi.com.

Complete a quick trip inquiry at wakatobi.com.

Learn more about the amazing diving you will experience at Wakatobi Resort here