Diving in Southern Philippines

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Philippines  , Leyte,
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leaving our pensionne, we made our way over to where the rest of the divers were. We had dived with over half of them from last year, and as we had lost two of the long termers, namely Brent and Lisa, a few new additions were dragged in. And to make life easier, Davey had organised a couple of mini-buses to get us to the pier.

Once there, as the company had gone even more up-market than the previous two trips, we had to fill in forms and show our PADI id !!! This didn't take long, and after an hour, we were on the yacht. It was bigger than last years, at 42 metres, it did look impressive, but as much as the company had grown in stature, they were still a bit fucked. We would be staying at the pier that night as they did not have enough equipment for everyone. Apparently, some people had not filled in forms about equipment before they left their country, and the company had not chased these people so we had to wait for more equipment to arrive !!! So we settled back and had a few beers.

The next morning, we set off for nine days of motor sailing. It was a very different trip compared to Thailand and Indonesia. There we never saw anybody, but as the Philippino islands are not so sparsley apart, we were never far away from the population. As we sailed, we did see some lovely beaches, but as we were here to dive, we never stopped at them.

Before we left London, the Philippines had been hit with typhoons. For the first full day, it was very overcast and the seas were murky, but the temp never went below 27 !!! As for the sea life, there wasn't nothing big. Yes we saw plenty of clown fish and nudi branches, but there were no turtles, rays or moray eels. It was very disappointing. On our second night dive, we finally had a good one. We saw lots of interesting creatures, so we were hoping that it would pick up, but it didn't. As the week rolled on, we ended up at a bay where there were meant to be whale sharks. Actually one was swimming around, but we did not see it when we dived. The next dive, we went to a different spot, and halfway through. the dive guides started bashing their tanks. I looked up, and there it was, a whale shark. It hung around with us for what seemed like an eternity, but was in fact was only fiveish minutes. It was a dream come true !!!

After that experience, it was always going to be hard to top that, but the guides started talking about diving a jetty, but most people were not interested. I was different as I had watched a documentary about the amount of life around jettys and was eager to go. As soon as we dived in, it soon came to me that this was the best site that we had dived in. I had never seen so many sea horses, and as the sun came down, loads of crabs and shrimps came out. It was that good, the next morning at 05:30, I was back in, and this time there was even more life !!!.

On our last day of diving, we made our way over towards Cebu, we did one dive where we saw the mythical pygmy sea horse. So so tiny, it was hard to find, but it was ticked off of the list. And on our very last dive, as there was nothing to see, I decided to set a personal best. I had seen Lucy go down, so I followed Jordi, a Spaniard, down. 40 metres, 50 metres and then to 60 metres. I looked up, and it was a long way back, so I had a couple of deco stops along the way, happy about my PB. Up on the dinghy, Jordi told us he had been to 70 metres and Lucy had her new PB of 42.7 metres.

And with that, the diving was over.

Here are the following GPS Trails of where we sailed

Philippines Yacht Trip Day 1

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 2

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 3

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 4

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 5

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 6

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 7

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 8

Philippines Yacht Trip, Day 9

And Finally

I had always heard that the Philippines was the mecca of diving, but where we went, was disappointing, still the joy of a whale shark was great, but I won't rush back to this area to dive again

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