Wakatobi Reef Life is a freediver’s photographic portfolio of 371 fish species and over 100 invertebrates from 12 visits and over 1,000 hours on Wakatobi’s House Reef.
The Wakatobi dive resort is snuggled in the remote south east of Indonesia’s Sulawesi on the Banda Sea. Dedicated to marine conservation and centered in its own UNESCO designated national park, this Garden of Eden showcases the famed marine biodiversity of the region.
The house reef starts with sea grass meadows yielding to the reef platform and finally blue void of the vertical drop off. I mostly work the reef platform but find sea grasses also yield hidden treasures A new find in 2018 was a tiny algal octopus and a rather severe looking beaked sea snake. I was able to spend 90 minutes with the snake tracking it to the surface and following it down again. Resting turtles and cruising pelagics tempt me to slip down the drop off encouraging me deeper and stretching my precious breath-hold time.
Covid intervened in 2020 and it was not until May-June 2022, I was able to return for 30 magical days. I have been back again twice since then. The latest in trip April 2023 and this book has been updated with new images. It’s remarkable that you can photograph 371 fish species on a single reef but that’s Wakatobi. I will be back in 2024.
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