DESCRIPTION OF OUR DIVE SITES

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SELECT THE PHILIPPINES, AS FIRST DIVING DESTINATION IN THE WORLD?


Traveling all around the world, during seven years, between 1983 and 1990 - on board of my own - single handled 40 footer cutter : Scuba diver since 1958 - trained in the French Navy - you can imagine how many places I could see and go diving… In my Province, my beloved Brittany, in the Mediterranean Sea (almost everywhere, from the closest islands of the French Riviera to the Tunisian coasts, including the wonderful Corsica, and the Lipari islands) the Atlantic Ocean (West coast of Africa, Bijagos Archipelago, Caribbean), the Pacific Ocean, (included the Galapagos). I could, honestly, make a classification, and I did it in my mind. The first place was given to the Red Sea, probably, because of the big white sharks and other monsters who where rooming around…permanently, when, in need of fresh food, I or we…I was not always alone… were trying to get twenty to thirty kilos of white tunas, to keep in our freezer for the week.
Also because of the variety of the coral.


But, when I arrived in the Philippines, I received a chock. I really felt. After a few months: a leitmotiv came to my mind: Here, I must stay because, if up to now it is the best place I ever seen… I have no chance to find better, anywhere I will go…As you know a navigator is always looking for the Paradise…After a few years, he understand finally: There is no paradise to find, the Paradise is the next place where you plan to go… then you go! It is hard to accept the fact that you have nowhere to go anymore…



The only problem is: Here is all !



MACTAN ISLAND



IN FRONT OF OUR NAUTICAL BASE


At high tide you will can start from our private beach. At low tide a flat bottom boat will bring you at 40 meters from our place. Then you will can swim 10 to 15 meters above the sea urchin the star fishes into a nice coral garden by 15 to 25 ft depth in a very clear water. Immediately after you will reach the drop-off. Watch your depth indication or you will be surprise by the wall which go down up to 240 ft. . . At less than 40 ft. depth, you already see the fishes surrounding you. Parrot-fishes, barracudas, moray-eels, garoupas and feather-stars: a lot of clown fishes and sea horses as well. From 30 to 50 ft. you will see and of course admire many gorgonians and fan corals.



AGUS STATION



Our boat will drop you ahead the dive site, and you will have just to let the tide current to carry you. No need to wear your fins. Progressively, you will reach 45 to 55 ft. depth, then come back to the surface, where our boat will await you. This dive is a good starting for Current Dive specialty.



MARIGONDON CAVE


Diving in a Cave is generally not easy. With the Wreck Dive it can be a dangerous dive. You must experienced it, because later on, maybe outside of the Philippines, you will have to enter in a cave, pushed by your natural curiosity, or to follow a particularly interesting fish.
The Marigondon Cave is one of largest known Cave in the Philippines. The entrance is located at around 84 ft. depth, and the width is 36 ft. No chance to Miss It ! There you will can admire this giant Cave of 150 ft. length.

Of course we will never let you alone, our Dive Guide will watch you, and you will have to bring powerful flash lights. As long as you still can see the sunrays at your back, you may go ahead but if you wish to go there without a cave certified diver, it is better you forget about it.
(Please, read hereunder, what is saying Boy AMORES regarding MARIGONDON CAVE);

" I am intrigued to find some description of the Marigondon cave on several websites in the internet.
I was born and raised in Mactan Island, now residing in Charleston, WV, USA. I dive Mactan Island and other sites in the Visayas once or twice a year.
I am full cave certified Diver.
I know that some people go past the boulder at about the mid part of the cave.
However, it is practically cave zone (as we define it in cave diving) past the boulder.
The bottom is silty, and is very dangerous for people other than cave-certified divers.
One can easily silt up the area and panic in the process.
Cave diving is a very technical diving and involves among other things, equipment streamlining and special propulsion techniques.
Without these, silting is very real risk.
There is now a total of 386 deaths in the Central Florida caves (where I did my cave lessons/certification). The majority of these deaths are experienced open-water divers who got curious and went inside, well within sight of the cave mouths, then lost visibility due to silting. put a permanent line all the way to the end of the cave.
I do not mean to sound like I am giving a sermon.
BUT DO NOT GO IN THE CAVE ZONE (past the big boulder mideway) UNLESS ONE IS FULL CAVE CERTIFIED.
Again, past the boulder, it is practically a true cave zone. You can hardly see the light from the mouth of the cave, AND the floor is very silty. Keep and eye on my guideline to the end of the cave. Don't let anybody take it down. (My cousin Sonny said it is a good twine for a spear gun)."

BOY AMORES


I don't think that this message needs any additional comment !
There is only one kind of Professionalism... that one !

Many thanks Boy, and see you soon.
CHRIS



TAMBULI FISH FEEDING

If you are an underwater photographer, you will surely enjoy this spectacular place. Discover the goast-moray-eel along your way, with a lot of coral fishes waiting for your generous hands to feed them, at around 66 ft. depth. You should not miss this remarkable experience and be more attentive to take pictures for your souvenir.



MAR Y CIELO CORAL GARDEN


Dive and enjoy, with fantastic soft corals. Right after Tambuli Beach resort, at around 84 ft., the drop-off wall starts. You will can see barrel sponges, and also an elephant ear corals. At this particular site you will find also some turtles, eagle rays and even sting rays with blue spots because of its sandy slope.



BALICASAG ISLAND


The favorite site both local and foreign divers. An island with a magic that lies beneath the deep blue sea. It’s crystal water extends up to 50 meters from the shoreline and up to 15 ft. depth. For the experienced divers, there are also drop-off s which more than 20 ft. Underwater rock formation harbour attracts marine life of all spices. Tropical fishes weaves streaks of brilliant color among the numerous corals of all shapes and sizes. And the fish feeding stations and the breeding areas gives a very reason for an endless dives for scuba enthusiasts.



CABILAO ISLAND


Asmall eight kilometres island on the Northwest tip of Bohol ( one hour and thirty minutes boat-ride from Mactan Island ).You will surely enjoy with its beautiful coral gardens and the deep walls are good place for observing dolphins that comfortably came along with tuna, schools of jack, mackerel, and hammerhead sharks. The hammerheads are always found around Cabilao, but when water is warmer they stay deeper where most of the divers do not mind to go. Be a witness of fantastic scene underwater and have a different experience along with numerous marine life.



PAMILACAN ISLAND


A place where you can find a lot of manta rays, for it is considered as a breading station for them. A good scene of different kinds of marine life jacks, shoals of tuna, mackerel, barracuda , queen tiger-fish, large bump-head wrasses, surgeon fish, snappes, coral heads and a lot more.



PUERTO GALERA


A place known for it’s variety of reef fish and colorful corals. No doubts why it attracts scuba divers, for its spectacular undersea scenes and it is also a good site for micro photography.



APO REEF


Considered for many years as best diving spot in the Philippines , but because of illegal fishing practices it lost its dignity. Although the shallow areas are not fully recovered, but it still one of the favour spots of local divers who love adventurous diving, to observed bigger animals like hammerheads, tuna, turtles and barracuda , since the walls were not really affected.



SULU SEA


The archipelago of Sulu and Borneo, the body of water which enclosed by Palawan. It is an oceanic ridge trending parallel to Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago. Here some of the world’s greatest geologic formation of oceanic atolls and platform reefs rises. It’s climate is influenced by the monsoon seasons that prevails over the country. One is the Northeast monsoon from December to June and the other one is the Southwest monsoon which is from June to October. And due to it’s geographical location, the diving season is from the month of March until early of the month of June. The summer season, where the surface is calm and the temperature is very comfortable, it’s about 28 to 30 C.
It has a spectacular vertical walls that drop to several thousand meters deep which offers outcrops of corals and extremely gorgeous mass of large marine like mantas, sharks, turtles, jacks, barracudas, etc.
Aside from impressive underwater scene, it also offers an unforgettable sights and a big opportunity for taking pictures with hundreds of sea birds.



TUBBATAHA REEFS


An Arabian word, which means “Long Stretch of Foreshore”. A 192 kilometers Southeast of Puerto Princessa City, and expected as the largest formation of coral atoll in the Sulu sea. It has an approximate area of 33,200 hectares and is made up of North and South Atolls which separated by 8 km. wide channels. The real beauty of Tubbataha can be found with its fantastic variety of marine fauna and flora, here many of the 400 species of Philippine corals can be found.



JESSIE BEAZLEY


This can be found at 144 km Southeast of Puerto Princessa City, its a platform reef. On it’s central portion there is a small sand clay that is visible only during low tide. It has between 10 to 20 m wide reef flats that slope down to the crest, but it depends on the tide level. It is covered with stony corals and along its walls the coral formation starts to form a thin veneer, and gorgonians and sponges become distinguished. Often there are mackarels, jacks, dog-tooth tunas, barracudas are found along the slope and wall. There are also Reef sharks that are commonly found grey reef sharks, white-tip, black-tip and it is reported that sometimes there were leopard shark and hammerhead sharks found on this area.



BASTERRA REEF


A platform reef which features vertical wall that drop to thousands of meters deep, with top as wide as a soccer field and has a blue water. So far this is expected as the best dive site discovered during dives, and some divers found a lot of reef sharks from medium to large size as big as 15 to 25 m figure of the reef slope. There’s also a sandy slope that the divers called it the Airport of Sharks since mostly the sharks often take their rest. Be a lucky diver and observed how great is the Great Grandfather of all mantas and you might have a chance to see it on the North-eastern part of the reef. Divers who actually seen it said that it’s wing measures 5 to 6 m. approximately. Aside from its size it has a mark like a piece of rope wrapped around of its body. You will can also experience a large colonies of garden eels.



BANCORAN

An island which has an area, approximately 5 hectares and the last leg of Sulu Sea dive tour another oceanic atoll. Underwater, on the North to the north-eastern part of the reef is a white sandy slope lined with fantastic corals. There’s a large mass of banner-fish have been also encountered on this site. Divers found spiny lobsters, sweet-lips, large groupers juvenile turtles while swimming closely to the bottom under the cracks and fissures. Its reef wad thickly covered with varied formation of live stony corals, formed to provide shelter for turtles and lobster as well. And in the northern part is a good site for night diving and of course photography of you would mind. And at 6 m. deep lies the wreck of a fishing boat, divers can observe parrot-fishes sleeping at night.