Sunken Ships and Super Snorkelling

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
Trip End Mar 31, 2014

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What I did
Twin Lagoon
Skeleton Wreck
Smith Coral Garden
Banol Beach

Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Friday, November 9, 2012

Apparently, Coron is one of the best dive sites in the world with lots of sunken WW2 ships and such like. Unfortunately diving is an expensive hobby. Snorkelling however is dirt cheap and good ol' Coron also has some brilliant snorkel sites to visit, not to mention stunning coastline and some nearby islands well worth taking a look at. So we hire ourselves a tiny boat with a 12 year old captain and his 13 year old mate. We make a list of some nearby stuff we want to visit and head to the market for lunchtime supplies. At the market we buy a selection of fruit and head to the peir. During todays adventure we are going to visit a couple of snorkelling sites, A sunken ship, twin lagoons and a kick-ass beach. Off we sail into rough water and within minutes we are both soaked. Good job the sun is shining and the temperature is way up in the 30's.

Our first snorkel site is called Skeleton Wreck. Ooo Creepy. Skeleton Wreck is a sunken ship in fairly shallow water so you can snorkel over it no problem. There is also a corol reef nearby so there is plenty of marine life to look at too. We jump overboard and have a damn good snorkel about. The ship wreck is spooky and ghostly and the nearby cove has lots of coral, fish and spiky sea urchins to marvel at. Anna is suprised that there is a ship wreck there, and says she wondered why it was called Skeleton Wreck! Ian's snorkle is letting in a lot of water, he may as well just have a tube. Anna finds his choking and spluttering a jolly good source of amuzement. After Ian has drank most of sea and we begin to tire of looking at stuff, we hop back in the boat and head to a private beach (Banol Beach) for our tasty fruit lunch.

Banol Beach is like one of those postcards with a 'paradise' picture on it. It has spotless white powder sand and warm turquiose water. Stunning. We fetch our lunch from the boat and settle down into a little open-sided beach hut for some delicious fruit. Yum yum. First we try some grapes which are far to sweet for Anna. Ian manages to eat a few before his teeth rot away and fall out. Putting the grapes away, we get out the mango. We did have two but one escaped overboard in the rough sea. The sweet suculent mango turns out to be super-sour. It's far far too sour for Anna. Ian struggles to eat it and manages to get a fair bit down before it turns his face inside out. Next we try a few apples and they turn out to be very tasty indeed. Just right for Anna. All's well that ends well!

Next stop is Twin Lagoon and surely the most awesome place this island has to offer. We sail into the first lagoon, which is wide with towering cliffs, and park the boat next to a bamboo walkway. Okay we think, this place is nice. Then our captain points out a narrow crack in the cliff face. He tells us that through the crack is the other (twin) lagoon. You can get through the crack in two ways, you can either swim under the low opening or climb up over the top, up some wooden ladders and through the narrow opening. We jump in excited and start to swim. Anna takes the low entrnce, while Ian climbs the wooden ladders to the high one. Ian dives (bellyflops) down to Anna on the otherside and we swim into the twin lagoon together. It is wonderfully peaceful and we are the only people here. Just like the lagoon on the other side, this one also has high cliffs and clear water which fluxuates from hot to cold in waves. We swim around this magical, isolated lagoon, feeling blessed to be in such a fantastic place. It is worth hiring a boat just to visit this beautiful lagoon.

Our final stop is Smith Coral Garden. Here the water is so shallow that snorkelling over the majority of coral is impossible, due to the potential dangers of sea urchins and sharp rocks. We snorkel around the perimeter checking out lots of fish before sighting a black and white stripy sea snake! It's about 3 feet long and the highlight of our snorkelling at the Coral Garden. Our bodies have turned into large pink prunes so we call it a day and ask our captain to take us home. Also, Ian is exhausted. This is by far furthest and most he has ever swam without inflatable armbands.

Later that everning we eat at a Frech bistro we read about in the Lonely Planet. And it turns out that the Lonely Planet isn't completely useless as they got this one right. The food is outstanding. Ian's favourite meal of the philippines and we decide to have breakfast there in the morning. Two beers later it was time for a spot of drunk-packing for our flight to Cebu tomorrow, then a confy nights sleep on our wooden matress and polystyrene pillows.

Bye Bye Coron, it has been wonderful.

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