Diving off Dumaguete at Apo Island

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Dived Apo Island

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello everyone!

Dumaguete is a bustling university town with high buildings, traffic and even a mall! After our week in Siquijor these things felt a bit strange. As we chilled out in our guest house we got to see the full coverage of the Royal Wedding. Ah both of us felt a bit homesick thinking of all the parties being held around London. Still we were very excited to be here as we were about to go diving in one of the top places of the Philippines, Apo Island!

The next day we kitted up and set off for our diving adventure. The island is about 30 minutes off Dumaguete and we reached it with the tiniest of boats that barely held us and our dive master. The water was quite choppy and we were soaked by the time we got there. I was feeling a little shaky!

Our first dive of the day helped to calm me down. Our guide, who clearly knew the area very well immediately took us to a spot which was sloping down and was quite barren. It felt like we were on the moon. He was looking for something specific as he checked out every single rock but with no means of communication, we didn't know what to expect. He finally found it and beckoned us over excitedly. He pointed to what looked like a bright green rock and at first we didn't get it. Then he pointed to a specific area of the green rock and I noticed two bulging eyes and a mouth. It turns out this green rock was actually a frog fish. Quite a rarity in the diving world and extremely bizarre looking. Wow! Two minutes later he found another one, this time it was orange! 

The rest of the dive lived up to our expectations. Loads of beautiful fish, fabulous alien looking nudi branches and amazing coral. We got out of the water extremely excited about our next two dives. Little did we know that our next dive was to be both the scariest and the best dive both of us have done to date!! But I'll let Paul tell the story....

Okay Dive number 2. Karen was not exaggerating when she said it was the best dive we have ever done. It was simply the reason why I started diving 14 years ago. Before entering the ocean our divemaster gave us a quick briefing about the dive ahead. It was a drift dive along a wall and then when we reach the end we follow the wall around. He nonchalantly mentioned that the current changes at the end of the wall but it's nothing to worry about. 

So we entered the ocean and almost immediately we encounter a huge bumphead parrot fish. Wow! It was massive and so bizarre looking. It's the type of fish that you see on The Blue Planet and think why don't I ever see those when I dive? Now we can say we have and not one but two of them! 

We carried on drifting along when our divemaster beckoned us away from the wall out to open ocean. We duly followed along thinking where are we going? Just a few meters away from the wall was a huge school of Jackfish. Another Wow! There were hundreds of them. We were just floating there right in front of them as if we were watching T.V. It was very surreal. Unfortunately, this is where the scary part comes in. As we were watching the Jackfish we both encountered the change of current. It first got hold of me and started dragging me out to open ocean. No matter how much or how hard I finned it kept dragging me out. Karen & The divemaster seemed oblivious to my plight. I admit it was bloody scary but it was not too dangerous. Although I know it sounds dangerous. If I did get pulled out, all I would have had to do is slowly ascend and wait at the surface. Still not a great way to end a dive. Luckily the current changed again and I managed to fin back to the others. The same happened to Karen just a few minutes after. I was next to her so was not so panicky. Whilst all this was happening the largest turtle I have ever seen swam next to us! So we were in this strange state of being slightly scared and really happy at the same time. It was if nature was throwing us her beautiful bounty of amazing life to calm us down. 

And calmed down we did. Just before exiting we came across a giant grouper, again the largest I have seen. It was not a dive for the feint hearted but the rewards were more than worth a few heart stopping moments! Plus we had to get in again to do our 3rd dive. Thankfully this was a lot more serene as it was over a coral garden. The one big thing we did see was another giant Grouper which we got really close to. I could not understand why it was not swimming off until I noticed it was blind. Poor thing. It did not seem to be doing too badly though judging by the size of it! 

With no beach to keep us cool Paul and I were at a loss as to what to do the next day. So we did what any Filipino would do on a hot summer's day... and hit the mall. If anyone would have told us we'd end up walking around malls on our travels we would have laughed at them. We don't even window shop in London, why would we do it on a beautiful tropical island? Well it's down to two letters....A.C.!!! Bliss! We spent all day wondering around the shops, caught a glimpse of some famous Filipino singer (judging by people's reactions to his appearance on a makeshift stage) and even watched a movie at the huge cinema on the top floor. We finished off the day with a lovely walk along the promenade. We felt like true locals. 

And with that ended our short but sweet stay in Dumaguete. We were off to our next gorgeous beach destination, this time in a small town called Sipalay.

More when we get there

Lots of love
Karen and Paul  


P.S. We've borrowed these pics from the net to give you an idea of what we saw. 
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mom on

Great read guys xx

Jack benson on

Just off to crouch end to pick up my laundry...... Pics and detailed blog to follow!

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