23 August 2011 | Wakatobi
michael and jackie
Hoga is a beautiful bay on the island of Kepula. (The Ka of Wakatobi). You go through a narrow reef passage and anchor to the South of the bay. Unfortunately the anchorage is quite exposed and we had strong winds that made it quite bumpy particularly at night. The more sheltered part of the island has very deep water and only one mooring buoy. What makes Hoga special are the reefs. The fringing reef has a steep drop off which stretches for miles. Luckily the visibility is good and you do not need to dive to experience the huge variety of fish and coral. It's claimed that these are the most diverse reefs in the world and that certainly seems to be the case. They have to be among the best reefs for snorkeling or diving we have come across.
There is a small, simple resort on the island, £30 a night, all in including free dives and all food, and a national park centre which seems to have some connection with a UK conservation charity. Across the bay, on its own reef separate from the main island there is a large stilt village of fishing people. We purchased some crabs from one of the fisherman. He offered them to us at an absolutely exorbitant price which on negotiation we reduced to just an exorbitant price. Some Australian friends on one of the accompanying boats, Azan, purchased a fish from him, similarly priced, and we had a good evening on board eating the proceeds. Others bought salads and pudding. We later heard that he quoted to them his starting price as our finishing price, and that there was much amusement in the village at the huge prices the yacht people had paid. Still the crabs and fish were excellent, even if we probably paid for a long holiday for the fisherman and his family.
After some final snorkeling, we enjoyed a long lunch at the resort, pre-booked the previous day, before getting ready to leave. The 'photo shows a member of staff at the resort carrying coconuts. After three nights in this beautiful spot, it was time to head South East towards the Komodo Islands.