The variety of activities available at Wakatobi and the expertise and willingness of the staff to
accommodate our needs made it possible to have all expectations met.
Alvin and Mike advanced their photo skills, while Dave - starting his avocation as an underwater
videographer - took advantage of the incredible lessons in both filming and editing during
personalized training sessions with Guy, an award winning underwater filmmaker.
All photos by Alvin Rosenfeld
Our photographers benefitted from the keen eyesight and excellent knowledge of the local reefs
of Deni Jalil, an experienced dive guide from Jakarta. Michael, in fact, received the photograph
of the week award at the closing dinner presentation, which attests to the seriousness of the
Vicki and Dorothy, not to be outdone, studied and practiced hard, and by week's end had passed
their advanced open water certification thanks to the gentle encouragement of our private guide,
Alex, a most knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructor.
All photos by Alvin Rosenfeld
The ladies especially enjoyed a new PADI accredited distinctive specialty course in fish behavior
written by Guy, which incorporated both above- water and underwater training modules.
And all five of us partook of a most unique opportunity to first learn about and then actually
experience the fluorescent properties of underwater sea creatures under the tutelage of dive
director, Guy Chaumette. Guy and his wife Anita have many years of experience running dive
resorts, as well as their joint labor of love, Liquid Motion Film. Many of the internationally
diverse and well-travelled guests commented on the precision and professionalism with which the
diving, dive boats and excursions were run.
As a curious physician, Dorothy requested a tour of the medical clinic on the premises, and found
it well stocked and quite reassuring.
Photo contest winner - cuttlefish by Michael Rosenfeld
Certainly the land-based highlight of our vacation was the intimate personal 25th wedding
anniversary celebration organized by the Wakatobi staff. A local village elder presided over
a "renewal of our vows" ceremony on the beach at sunset, which was followed by a multi-course
dinner of specially selected Indonesian cuisine, and ending with a beautiful wedding cake.
The beach decorations were individually made of palm leaves and local flowers, and we ate by
candlelight and watched the stars come out. It was truly unforgettable.
Every meal, served buffet style, had a large selection of local and Western cuisine and was
delicious and plentiful.
The accommodations, a grouping of individual bungalows en suite were clean, comfortable, and
convenient to both the restaurant and the dive center. From each bungalow, the sounds and
sights of the sea and stars completed the 24/7 ambiance.
Additional activities we enjoyed included yoga on the beach at sunset and a tour of the local
village where many of the support staff live. The transformative experience of a hot stone
massage or a session of expertly conducted aroma therapy after a day of diving was a welcome
treat. Many evenings, after the days' diving was done, we'd gather at the Jetty Bar
(occasionally accompanied by a local sea krait) to share drinks and tall tales of the days'
spottings with our fascinating international co-guests. The mixture of languages, ages, and
life experiences made the evenings sparkle along with the southern sky. Even the rain,
surprisingly plentiful for a dry season, failed to dampen our excitement each morning as
we headed out to dive.
From our arrival at the Bali airport where we were whisked through customs to the closing
banquet and farewell, we were treated in a first class manner. We came to depend on a large,
friendly staff who efficiently met all of our needs. Wakatobi lived up
to - and even exceeded - our very high expectations. Bravo!