Tunicates: what you might not know

Published March 9, 2015

Taking a closer look at tunicates, one of the most often overlooked reef dwellers. Duck below the surface on any coral reef around Wakatobi and you will immediately be immersed in a sea of color and life. Brightly decorated fish sporting intricate and intriguing patterns flash by, while cunningly camouflaged critters hide in plain sight among the multi-hued corals and sponges. The entire reef is a study in blues, yellows, reds, greens, oranges, purples, browns … and you are confronted by creatures both familiar and unknown. Soon, you are likely to run across a cluster of diaphanous tubes or an […]

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Turtle Time

Published January 26, 2015

Of the thousands of varieties of marine life you will encounter in the waters of Wakatobi, sea turtles are among the most common. You’ll spot the young ones moving about the inshore sea grass beds, encounter gregarious adolescents munching on sponges on the reef, and often catch sight of a large adult napping under a ledge. Though you might not suspect it based on these predictable sightings, sea turtles are actually a threatened or endangered species throughout much of the world. The good news is that programs such as Wakatobi’s Collaborative Reef Conservation Program, and the resort’s on-site turtle nursery, […]

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Meadows of the Sea

Published January 24, 2015

Discovering the wonders of Wakatobi’s sea grass beds Wakatobi’s House Reef has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest shore dives. This expansive coral garden, which lies just a short swim from the beach, stretches for more than three miles, and offers untold hours of diving and snorkeling adventures. But there’s another dimension to this site that should not be missed, and it lies even closer to shore. Just off the beach, stretching from the low tide line to the edge of the reef lies a swatch of greenery. This is the realm of the sea grasses, and […]

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A Trip to the Cleaners

Published November 9, 2014

At Wakatobi, cleaning stations provide an excellent venue for observing marine life Fish watching is one of the pleasures divers and snorkelers at Wakatobi Dive Resort enjoy most. Fish and other sea creatures seem to populate every nook and cranny of the reef, but they don’t always hold still when divers approach. However, there are special places on every reef where fish stop their normal swimming activity and ignore goings on around them while they hang nearly motionless. These are the cleaning stations, and they provide divers with an opportunity to approach and witness one of the most interesting cooperative […]

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Coral Central

Published November 5, 2014

As anyone who has visited Wakatobi Dive Resort can attest, the surrounding reefs are covered in a thick and diverse carpet of corals. The overall health and near-pristine condition of these reefs is the result of a proactive conservation program funded by portions of resort revenue. But protection alone doesn’t account for the tremendous diversity of coral species divers and snorkelers will discover when they visit. The other half of the equation is location, and that’s where Waktaobi has the real advantage. Marine biologist and world-renowned photojournalist, Dr. Richard Smith, shares his expertise in the first of two articles about […]

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Coming of Age

Published November 3, 2014

On Wakatobi’s reefs, age can bring dramatic changes Few of us still look the same as we did growing up. But for some fish, maturity can bring some truly startling transformations. On the reefs of Wakatobi, these transformations take place all the time, which can cause confusion among fish watchers who aren’t savvy to the differences between young and old. Dr. Richard Smith shares with us his expertise and imagery of just some of the piscatorial transformations you might encounter in our waters. Often seen feeding on algae in the sheltered lagoons and shallow reefs of Wakatobi, this juvenile Bicolor […]

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Eyes on You

Published September 22, 2014

Diving is a visual sport, and at Wakatobi, there’s a whole lot to see. But did you ever wonder what these same reefs might look like from the fish’s point of view? Marine animals see the world in a different way—sometimes very different. Here are a few explanations of how the world might look through the eyes of some of the weird and wonderful creatures inhabiting Wakatobi’s waters. Things are looking up One might say flounders are definitely “on top of it” when it comes to vision. When they first hatch, flounders have one eye on either side of their head, […]

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Top of the Reef

Published July 29, 2014

Wakatobi is known as one of the world’s finest diving destinations, but it could just as easily be called one of the planet’s best places to snorkel. Not only are the sunlit tops of many reefs located within ideal snorkeling depths, the resort staff and boat crews are completely “snorkeler friendly,” and treat surface-swimming guests with the same respect and attention as the divers. Here is a sampling of the many shallow water attractions snorkelers can discover on the reefs of Wakatobi. Snorkelers often say they could spend days exploring the house reef before ever venturing off on a scheduled boat trip. […]

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A Fishy Defense

Published July 11, 2014

Though lovely to behold, coral reefs are far from a placid environment for the creatures that call these places home. It’s a world of eat or be eaten, of stealthy hunts and lethal attacks that must be countered by equally sophisticated defensive strategies. For most, simply fleeing the scene won’t work. Instead, many reef dwellers have come up with unique methods for thwarting would-be predators that involve everything from chemical cloaks to poisoned spikes. Follow along as we explore some of the more unusual defensive adaptations these animals employ. The flounder’s eyes function independently, with each capable of rotating 180 […]

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Night Moves

Published June 1, 2014

Seeing Wakatobi’s reefs under the cover of night can be a magical and inspiring experience. When the sun sets and the stars appear, the reef transforms into an even more magical place. Under the cover of darkness, divers encounter creatures that appear quite different from their daytime counterparts. Many marine animals are nocturnal, with appearance and behaviors that are adapted to live in the dark. Those who dive only during the day will miss out on seeing them, as many of these interesting and unique creatures are either hiding or sleeping through the sunlit hours. Here’s a little tour of night […]

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