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Vicariously Yours

Published March 22, 2016 in RESORT

Enjoy a virtual perfect day at Wakatobi

Our guests often describe their time at Wakatobi in superlatives and glowing terms. No description or photo can fully capture the adventure and magic that is Wakatobi. But you can enjoy a tantalizing taste of what awaits by joining us for a virtual slice of life at the resort. So relax, follow along and let your mind wander while we help you visualize one perfect day at Wakatobi.

Barefoot beginnings

Sunrise greets you on the deck of your waterfront Villa. Breakfast arrives as your significant other joins you, and the aroma of coffee and fresh baked goods lures your best friends from the Villa’s second bedroom. Soon, the four of you are enjoying a savory and scenic start to the day. The meal includes fresh fruit and traditional western favorites, but you decide to be a bit more adventurous, and dig into an Indonesian rice noodle and egg stir-fry accompanied by shrimp krupuk.

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Many guests enjoy having breakfast delivered to their villa or bungalow for a scenic and relaxing start to the day. Photo by Walt Stearns

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Equally inviting as breakfast on your deck or patio are morning strolls along Wakatobi’s beach. Photo by Didi Lotze

After packing day bags, your group walks down the beach to the dive center at the Longhouse. Here, you get some final pointers on the Cannon 5D Mark III / Seacam housing package that is a complimentary addition to your villa booking. With this high-end camera system and the help of your private dive guide, whose services are also included with the villa package, you hope to take your underwater imaging to a new level. Your group’s dive gear is already loaded aboard the Wakatobi I. The four of you will have this spacious vessel all to yourselves, with captain, crew and dive guide on the ready to go whenever and wherever you desire.

Private boat: Taking a private boat for a day or more is "the best thing since sliced bread," says guests Wade and Robyn Hughes. Photo by Walt Stearns

Taking a private boat for a day or more is “the best thing since sliced bread,” says guests Wade and Robyn Hughes. Photo by Walt Stearns

Diving Blade

With a private dive boat at your disposal, and a full day ahead, this is a perfect opportunity to visit one of the most storied sites in the Wakatobi region. The boat ride to the underwater formation known as Blade takes a bit longer, but time passes quickly as you glide over iridescent blue waters. Conditions look perfect for wide-angle images. Soon, you are giant striding overboard and following your guide toward the crest of a tall, thin seamount that rises close to the surface. Your group drops down one side of this coral-encrusted rampart, but you stay shallow and tilt your camera lens downward. The viewfinder shows both sides of this slim formation, with the divers creating a visual frame of reference that puts the magnitude of this unique formation into perspective.

No matter which side you venture on the dive site Blade you're on a wall, as this pinnacle is reminiscent of the Great Wall of China, but far taller. Photo by Walt Stearns

No matter which side you venture on the dive site Blade you’re on a wall, as this pinnacle is reminiscent of the Great Wall of China, but far taller. Photo by Walt Stearns

Dropping down onto the outer face of the seamount, you find more wide-angle opportunities, as the near-vertical slope is covered in a tangled profusion of red whip corals and sea fans, some growing to spans of six feet or more. Moving deeper, you encounter a collection of large, photo-worthy barrel sponges. At a depth of 60 feet, the far end of the formation meets a connecting ridge. A mild current pushes you along, and soon you encounter a second seamount rising from the ridge, running parallel to the first, and equally tall and thin. From pre-dive briefings, you know there are three more of these formations on the ridge, creating a profile that resembles the serrated blade of a giant knife.

At a resort that’s known for fine dining, you expect more than cold sandwiches for a mid-day meal, and you are certainly not disappointed.

Back on board, you come to the unanimous conclusion that one dive at Blade is not enough. On the second dive, you spend more time exploring the middle depths of each formation, and discover an intricate network of ledges and pockets. By the time your air gauges are edging towards reserve, it’s time for a well-earned lunch. At a resort that’s known for fine dining, you expect more than cold sandwiches for a mid-day meal, and you are certainly not disappointed. An appetizer of fresh tuna is followed by a hearty curry, and finished with fresh-baked treats.

Private boats include meals and snacks freshly prepared by Wakatobi's chefs. There's plenty of room on the boats to enjoy the spread. Of course, special requests or requirements are welcome. Photo by Walt Stearns

Private boats include meals and snacks freshly prepared by Wakatobi’s chefs. There’s plenty of room on the boats to enjoy the spread. Of course, special requests or requirements are welcome. Photo by Walt Stearns

Afternoon delights

The day is only half over, and you dive computers show plenty of bottom time remaining. The captain heads for the expansive Sawa reef system, and the site known as Magnifica. You consider switching to a macro lens, but decide the small stuff can wait. This time, a giant stride lands you adjacent to a small, stony plateau perched on a jutting corner of the reef wall. From depths of less than ten feet, the terrain drops steeply away to depths of more than 200 feet.

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