Are you a macro lover? The Philippines is just for you!

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Are you a macro lover? The Philippines is just for you!

The S/Y Philippine Siren welcomed on board a new group ready to scuba dive in the Visayas. Travelling from Moaboal to Cebu, the fine mixture of cultures from all over the world soon proved to be an outstanding recipe for a fun full week of diving.

Our first dive of the trip was in Moalboal for a check dive where everybody got the chance to get comfortable in the water again. By all means, it wasn’t a lost dive though, because we spotted lots of hawksbill and green turtles; not bad for a first dive!
The famous Pescador Island was up next. We dove its waters and found some frogfishes and a funny trumpet fish befriending a giant puffer – i.e. the trumpet fish chased the puffer around, trying to hide behind its newly found friend. With the sun coming through during the dive, everyone especially loved the beautiful colours of the corals.The third dive of the day was the one with the Sardines bowl at Panagsama Beach. The numerous Sardines constantly changed shape and direction, showing us their dance moves. The night dive was a great one where we spotted ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish and heaps of crabs: candy, decorator, hermit, sponge and the orang-utan crab.

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The second dive day was reserved for black sand and muck. The Dauin dive sites Kabayo, Cars, Ceres and San Miguel were on the schedule. Besides flamboyant cuttlefish and seahorses in different sizes, we spotted plenty of ghost pipefish species, such as the ornate, the robust, the velvet, and some distant family members like the short tail pipefish and the short pouch pygmy pipehorse. It turned out to be a magnificent day for the underwater photographers amongst our guests.

Thorny Seahorse 2

A change of scenery was up for the next day. And what scenery it was; the immense coral formations at Apo Islands’ dive sites Rocky Point West and Chapel. We ended our little tour to Apo off with an exhilarating drift dive at Coconut Point, where some of the guests had close but friendly encounters with some majestic banded sea snakes. Also we spotted bluefin and giant trevally and big schools of reef fish; our guests were happy to see such healthy reef. We went back to Dauin for a night dive at Secret Corner where we could tick a lot off our bucket lists: juvenile cockatoo waspfish, freckled frogfish, robust ghost pipefish, candy crab, three flamboyant cuttlefish, a coconut octopus, as well as a starry night octopus.

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After another great day of muck diving in Dauin at the dive sites Atmosphere house reef, Pyramids and Ginama-an some of our guests visited Atmosphere Resort for a nice cocktail and to talk about the finds of the day, amongst many others: fimbriated morays, a couple of velvet ghost pipefishes and a whole range of different kinds of crabs. At the same time a small group of guests jumped back in the warm waters for a great night dive.  With a medium to strong current the dive was challenging, but very rewarding with a great set of creatures and critters smiling for our guests’ cameras: frogfishes, a bobtail squid, a devil scorpion fish and a very cute four ring purse crab.

Hairy frogfish

This day turned out to be the favourite of many of our guests. In Oslob we beat the crowd and got in the water early at 5:50 AM. That gave us time alone with five whale sharks. After the morning dive we drove to Balicasag Island where we had a turtle dive and a nudibranch dive; we saw heaps of green turtles at Diver’s Heaven and an abundance of all different kinds of nembrotha nudibranch at the dive site Black Forest. We ended this wonderful dive day with yet again a great night dive with a blue ringed octopus, a pygmy cuttlefish, some frogfishes and a massive zebra moray.

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We started the next day in Cabilao Island with a nice morning dive at the dive site Lighthouse. Funny currents swung us back and forward along the beautiful reef. The currents brought with them lots of life and we got the chance hang out with a school of jacks on the corner of the island.
The second dive of the day was at Gorgonian Wall where we found three denise pygmy seahorses and lots of gorgeous soft corals on the dramatic steep wall. We ended the dive with a long look around on the shallow plateau where the colours of the corals are breath taking. We finished the day with a barbeque feast prepared by our chefs Boy and Joanry and a slide show of a selection of the pictures taken by the guests over the past week. It brought back many great memories of a fabulous weeks’ diving.

colour soft coral

The next morning our guest disembarked in Mactan, Cebu, leaving us as diving-friends. Thank you everyone for this great week! I was great to have you onboard.

More Diving Blogs from our Philippines Liveaboard Teams

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