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Diving Philosophy @ Wakatobi

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General

We respect the diving experience of our guest and allow a lot more diving freedom than most other places. With this freedom comes the responsibility to dive carefully and considerately:

1. Welcome Dive
After your arrival we conduct a dive off the beach for your orientation. We test the functionality of all your diving equipment and make sure you feel comfortable in the water. Beside good buoyancy and mask removal/clearing, "an out of air" simulation has to be mastered. Most guests will have no problems and can dive completely independent thereafter if they wish to do so. Less experienced/skilled divers will receive assistance from our instructors.

2. Boat Dives
Every morning we conduct two consecutive guided boat dives and in the afternoons there is a third boat dive. Briefings include a dive site overview, a proposed dive profile, typical animal encounters and resident special critters. Experienced divers can dive independently in their buddy teams without following their dive guide if they wish to do so.

The main task of the guides is to conduct a tour and point out the difficult to spot animals. The guides assist photographers in taking pictures without damaging the reef or harming the animals.

Boat dives are limited to 75 Minutes. Independent divers can choose to dive the house reef with a buddy without time limit and skip the boat dives.

3. Surface Intervals
In between all dives, a minimum surface interval of 1 hour needs to be observed. You will be offered refreshments and encouraged to drink enough liquid in between dives to avoid dehydration. This applies whether you chose to dive with Nitrox or without.

4. House Reef
The house reef is open for non-limit diving for independent divers from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Between 6 in the morning and sunset there are water taxis at your disposal. Outside of these hours you can access the house reef from the beach at your leisure.

5. Solo Diving
Certified solo divers and experienced instructor level divers with suitable back-up equipment (at least a pony tank) and "reef friendly" dive style can obtain a permission to dive solo from the dive operations manager in charge. We have pony tanks and regulators for rent.

6. Night Diving
Night diving off the beach is possible daily. About twice a week, subject to demand, night dives from boats are offered (typically before dinner).

7. Reef protection
Wakatobi expects of all guests (and most of all its own dive guides) to dive carefully and to avoid damaging the reef or disturbing underwater life by chasing, touching, poking or moving. We are happy to offer a buoyancy refresher course and to explain our conservation policy. No dive resort known to us has integrated reef conservation into the core of their business model like Wakatobi has. We are concerned with keeping many miles of reefs protected from destructive fishing methods and understand that destructive diving practices are no match for bombing or cyaniding that would likely happen without the presence of recreational divers. We invest substantial resources in keeping Wakatobi a marine sanctuary. We understand that in the big picture our guest contribute to finance our protection efforts and that the odd coral breaker and creature poker would not mean the immediate demise of miles of pristine reefs. On the other hand, please understand that the people most offended by reckless divers is the vast majority of guests, who enjoy to dive considerately and in harmony with nature and absolutely detest to witness destructive behavior. Therefore, as a measure of last resort, incorrigible divers who are a danger to the marine life and/or themselves and others are barred from diving by the management. Fortunately this happened only in a handful of cases in the last 10 years, but it did happen.

8. Underwater Photography
We welcome underwater photographers and provide excellent infrastructure and trained assistance for them. Some of Wakatobi's best friends and ambassadors are keen UW photographers . The flexibility and freedom Wakatobi offers is highly appreciated by them. In the interest of their safety and the integrity of the marine environment the same guidelines as for normal divers apply. In addition we point a number of do's and don'ts adjusted to the nowadays prevailing digital UW-photography brought forward by experienced pros.

UW photographers and the Environment - article by Richard Smith
UW photographer's Dos and Don'ts - article by Richard Smith
Divers and the Environment - article by Martin Edge

9. Safety
Every guest is responsible for the flawless operation of his/her own equipment. Ask for assistance if you are not 100% sure.

Decompression diving is only permitted to trained, certified, insured and properly equipped physically fit divers. The nearest pressure chamber is in Bali and so requires a costly rescue flight and means the end of your holidays.

Your safety will be ensured by procedures adapted to the environment in Wakatobi in hundreds of thousands of dives - please respect this wealth of experience like we respect yours.

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