Diving Family Enjoys Philippines Adventure

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Diving Family Enjoys Philippines Adventure

27-Feb-DINNER-AND-POLE-06Not the usual party for a charter dive vessel – nine adults and six children, ranging from sixty two down to seven months and the majority related to each other, with widely different attitudes to timetables and leisure opportunities! So the crew didn’t have the luxury, which I guess they usually do on a six day charter, of the first couple of days while the passengers got to know each other. We were completely at home, and the crew on guard within ten minutes.

25-Feb-APO-ISLAND-2Thank goodness worldwide dive and sail had persuaded us to hire two brilliant nannies for the two babes in arms and four energetic children. I’ve seen enough exhausted mothers on planes and trains, and that’s just for a few hours. I didn’t fancy six days solid tension. The excuse was a significant birthday and because all the grownups already held a variety of padi qualifications a dive charter seemed logical. We knew the Philippines to be rich in variety of marine life and dive sites and a local contact smoothed the way.

26-Feb-SUMILON-28This isn’t the place to go into a detailed itinerary that we took through the Southern Visayas, I’m not an expert at either diving or identifying fish and coral, so it would be pointless. You can get names and dates if you want them….. just read last week’s trip report ! But this is the place to describe the scarcely credible care that went into our six days’ holiday. Firstly the ship itself. Beautifully appointed and spacious, with elegant lines and a fine profile. We were always conscious of other tourists’ envy – and when the crew hoisted sail on the second day the boat responded eagerly. It’s a rare beauty.

26-Feb-SUMILON-13The crew – embarrassingly numerous for so few of us and swelled further by the two nannies. Nothing was too much trouble. The cruise director swapped schedules to take account of snorkelling opportunities for the children and even trained the two oldest children in rudimentary scuba diving. The babes were handled and fondled and spoiled by every crew member, who seemed to take delight in providing space for the mothers to dive. All of the Philippine Siren crew were discreet, kind, charming and helpful throughout – and anyone who knows small children knows how provocative they can get when tired or hungry. I wouldn’t have lasted a moment. They also joined in the birthday celebrations when the day arrived. Totally wonderful.

26-Feb-OSLOB-WHALE-SHARK-19I’m not experienced in diving, so all I can say about the dinghy drivers and dive masters is that they adapted themselves brilliantly to all levels of expertise, without being patronising. Nothing was too much trouble nor was there too much pressure to join all three dives a day, or so much below sea level discipline that for a beginner it became more fag than fun. I loved it.

 

GROUP-PICTUREThe number of families who, like ours, are able to take advantage of a dive charter and remain close, is naturally limited, so I wouldn’t expect this account -enthusiastic recommendation, really – to ring many bells. But if anyone out there thinks that it might suit them, do it. You won’t regret it
Peter Wilson, guest of S/Y Philippine Siren in the Southern Visayas

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