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Enjoying the Diving in Wakatobi

August 26, 2015

We are anchored in a natural lagoon by the island of Tomia in Central Indonesia (lat 05deg 45S long 123deg 54E). The lagoon has the narrowest pass we have ever seen and it must be entered at high tide, but once inside it is a beautiful and well protected spot. And the best part is it is close to the Wakatobi Dive Resort that we have been thoroughly enjoying.

We left Banda Island in late afternoon for the 200 mile trip to Namrole. The first night we experience something we have never seen or heard about. It was a moonless night and the entire sea glowed an eerie green as if it were radioactive. It was like floating in a cloud. We contact other boats in the area and everyone was freaking out.

Namrole has just opened up to cruisers and the entire Buru southern province was geared up to show how excited they were to have us. We had four days of planned activities that included feasts, dancing, a river crossing on bamboo rafts, swimming in a sacred pool, village tours, and ceremonies. Everyone wanted their pictures taken with the yachties and the children were wonderful as always.

For our next stop we opted out of Wanci and its packed schedule of activities and went to the quiet island of Hoga in Wakatobi. We enjoyed relaxing dinners with fellow boaters and some diving with the Hoga Island Dive Center. We heard great things over the radio net about the Wakatobi Dive Resort on Palau Tolandono so we motored 30 miles to windward to check it out.

The Wakatobi Dive Resort is a luxury resort that welcomes yachties. A few of us spent an evening at the resort having drinks on the end of the pier at sunset followed by the best dinner we’ve had in Indonesia, or forever! The next morning we did a 3-tank dive with the dive center that lived up to all the hype. We were given hot moist mint-scented towels after each dive along with a dry beach towel while they served us food and hot drinks. Before the final dive we returned to the resort for a short nap on chaise lounges overlooking the water. At the end of the day we had hot showers back at the resort and more food and drink. This is a life style we could get used to.

The diving in Wakatobi included both pinnacle and drift wall dives that were the best we’ve seen since Namena, Fiji. The dive master apologized for the poor visibility that was still 60 feet; the water doesn’t become crystal clear until October. Who’s complaining?

There have been several accounts of poisonous sea snakes getting into dinghies. One boater was stopped from getting into his dinghy by some local children who saw the snake climb into the boat. Another friend had one slither across her bare foot. We now take care to search our dinghies before getting into them.

The next leg of our journey takes us south and our landfall will depend on the wind which will be forward of the beam. We find that mixing planned rally stops with remote anchorages best suits us so we are keeping an open mind. We will post again when we have Internet.

Aru teaches a cooking class aboard Buffalo Nickle

Aru teaches a cooking class aboard Buffalo Nickle

Street vendor in Namrole

Street vendor in Namrole

The fleet anchored off Namrole

The fleet anchored off Namrole

Namrole elders

Namrole elders

Namrole dancers

Namrole dancers

Namrole feast

Namrole feast

Dinghy parking at Namrole

Dinghy parking at Namrole

Crossing the river on a bamboo raft

Crossing the river on a bamboo raft

Brian tries unsuccessfully to use a dugout

Brian tries unsuccessfully to use a dugout

P1020890 P1030018

Market in Namrole

Market in Namrole

Hoga Island

Hoga Island

Hoga Island

Hoga Island

Going diving at Hoga Island

Going diving at Hoga Island

Sea snakes have been ending up in dinghies

Sea snakes have been ending up in dinghies

Sandie relaxes between dives at Hoga Island

Sandie relaxes between dives at Hoga Island

Hoga Island

Hoga Island

Sunset drinks at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

Sunset drinks at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Fabulous dinner at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

Fabulous dinner at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

With Stan & Val on the Wakatobi dive boat

With Stan & Val on the Wakatobi dive boat

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Relaxing between dives at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

Relaxing between dives at the Wakatobi Dive Resort

Pre-dive briefing in Wakatobi

Pre-dive briefing in Wakatobi

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Barracuda off Hoga Is.

Barracuda off Hoga Is.

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Wakatobi diving

Lion fish while snorkeling off Wakatobi

Lion fish while snorkeling off Wakatobi

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