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Wakatobi Endorsements

Group Photo
Michael, AA, Dorothy, Vicki, Dave
Dave and Vicki Corwin
AA, Dorothy and Michael Rosenfeld

August, 2010

Dave and Alvin, both child psychiatrists, are experienced scuba divers with decades of diving experience. Dave learned as a young man in cold lake waters of Michigan in USA. Alvin was certified back in 1972 but really advanced in the last decade and is currently training to get his Dive Master certification. Michael, age 17, has been diving since age 10 and is a PADI Master Scuba Diver. The three of them have been diving together since Michael began. Vicki, a school principal, and Dorothy, a pediatrician, are relative newcomers to the world of underwater adventure.


 

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 endeavors.

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!

 

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