Vicariously Yours

Published March 22, 2016 in RESORT
Magnifica's undulating wall leads to a small sandy bay, and beautiful soft coral gardens, with a plethora of macro subjects along the way. A small central ridge is covered in sea whips, fans, soft corals and sponges. Photo by Norbert Probst

Magnifica’s wall leads to a small sandy bay, and beautiful soft coral gardens, with a plethora of macro subjects along the way. A small central ridge is covered in sea whips, fans, soft corals and sponges. Photo by Norbert Probst

Drifting down the face of the reef at a depth of 80 feet, you are glad you stuck with the wide lens. Schools of snappers, skip jacks and barracudas flow by, and the early afternoon sun strikes the face of the reef directly, illuminating its intricate details. Later, when you ascend towards the sun-lit shallows, you capture swirling flurries of anthias atop groves of table corals. Luck is with you, and just as you run across a pair of mating cuttlefish, your significant other swims into view. With calculated stealth, you set up for a shot you’ve always wanted to master: a close-focus wide angle masterpiece that puts the cuttlefish in the foreground, with a diver framed just behind, and the reef scape stretching off into infinity.

Mid afternoon once again finds you rested and ready for yet another dive. This time, you will focus on the small stuff, and there are few sites better for this like Waitii Ridge. A leisurely drift brings you to a seamount covered in staghorn and potato corals. This is a target-rich environment for your macro pursuits. Saron shrimp, mantis shrimp, banded pipefish, leaf fish, stonefish and other species that would be considered rare at most sites are found here regularly. Profusions of anthias and damselfish dance among the corals, and you discover a banded sea snakes foraging in a shadowed recess.

An evening to remember

It’s late afternoon when you step back aboard, and you’ve logged more than four hours of bottom time today. After a freshwater rinse, a clean towel and a refreshing snack, you put a question to the group: “want to do one more?” The answer is an enthusiastic yes, and as the sun sinks toward the horizon, the boat is moved a short distance to the site known as Dunia Baru. Here, shallow depths and typically mild or non-existent currents create ideal conditions for night diving. Your group takes the plunge just after sunset, the beams of their dive lights cutting across the gathering darkness like underwater light sabers. It doesn’t take long to meet some of the local residents. Snake eels are out and about, and your light glints off the incandescent eyes of a mantis shrimp, out from its borrow and on the prowl. A stationary crocodilefish ignores, even when you get close enough to capture the details of it’s intricate eye lappets. Other prizes that appear out of the darkness include a Spanish dancer, several flat worms and a collection of saron shrimp.

Dunia Baru's mild conditions make for some great night dives and opportunities to capture images of the local residents such as this crocodile fish. Photo by Steve Miller

Dunia Baru’s mild conditions make for some great night dives and opportunities to capture images of the local residents such as this crocodilefish. Photo by Steve Miller

It’s full dark when you surface, but the ride back to the resort is short. No need to fuss with the dive gear, as the crew will have it rinsed and ready for you again tomorrow. It’s tempting to head to the media center and begin downloading today’s amazing images, but that can wait. Instead, you stroll back to the villa for a relaxing session in the Asian spa-style shower. By the time you are dry, the resort staff has prepared the table for dinner on the deck. Seated next to the water, refreshed by a soft sea breeze, you raise a glass and toast to what will surely be remembered as one of the best days of your life.

Dinner at your villa or bungalow, or perhaps on the beach, can be the perfect way to end a perfect day at Wakatobi. Photo by Marco Fierli

Dinner at your villa or bungalow, or perhaps on the beach, can be the perfect way to end a perfect day at Wakatobi. Photo by Marco Fierli

We hope you have enjoyed this break from the everyday. For some, it’s been a pleasant recap of visits past; for others, a tantalizing hint of what awaits. For all of us, it’s a reminder of what a special place Wakatobi is, and we hope you will join us there soon to turn your dream days into reality.

What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to experience the joys of Wakatobi? Contact our office at office@wakatobi.com or complete a quick trip inquiry at wakatobi.com. A guest experience representative will be in touch with you to answer any questions and provide information about your next dream dive vacation.

Learn about Pelagian liveaboard dive yacht here.

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