Philippine Siren Diving from Coron to Batangas
Philippine Siren Diving from Coron to BatangasOur 10 days – Coron to Batangas – cruse left from Coron on the 27th of November on our 40m long luxurious Phinisi Schooner “Philippine Siren”. Our 16 guests from America were enthusiastic and well-traveled liveboard divers and most of the group has travelled together in the past. Tanya and Kevin, professional photographers and the two group leaders from “Island Exposure”, brought years and years of diving experience, combined with humor and good spirits, on the cruise. Almost everybody on the group owned professional cameras, only Willi was specialized on underwater videos, and the amount of excellent pictures at the end of the trip was astonishing.
We started our trip in Coron (Palawan) followed by Dimipac + Dimacya Island (Bosuanga) over Apo Reef (Mindoro Occidental) and finished the diving in Anilao (Batangas). Coron is known for excellent wreck diving as numerous ships from WWII are resting on the bottom of the reefs. By now, beautifully covered by hard and soft corals, are these wrecks home to a wide abundance of reef animals: Trevally, Snappers, Shrimp Fish, Cuttle Fish, Fusiliers, Batfish, lots and lots of Nudibranchs, Sawblade Shrimp, Jacks, Wahoo, Mackerel, Butterfly Fish, Scorpion and Lion Fish… This variety brought a big smile on every diver’s face and the only “complaint” we ever had was the “stress” underwater to not miss an exciting picture opportunity… and immediately after every dive, a lively discussion about camera settings and strobe light position lasted throughout the days
After Coron we spent one day in Dimipac + Dimacya Island and then traveling further to Apo Reef. In both destinations we were spoiled with absolutely healthy reefs and encounters of numerous White Tip Reef Sharks and very big fish schools (Barracudas, Trevally and Jacks). Our last diving days were in Anilao, which is the Mecca for macro and the amount of critters was mind-blowing: Blue Ring Octopus, Frogfish, Bobtail Squid, Spade Fish, Crabs, Lobsters, lots and lots of Nudibranchs, Cuttle Fish, Flatworm, Shrimps, Flounders, Razor Fish, Sand Diver, Mimic Octopus, Green Turtles, Moray Eels, Snake Eels, Blue Spotted Stingray and so much more… In Anilao, we also had a special guest on board for a few hours. Francisco, our dinghy driver was cleaning his boat and doing so he accidentally scooped up some seaweed and realized that a Frogfish was sitting on it. So he put the little one in a glass bowl and everybody was able to have a look. Susan took some quite artistic pictures which turned out very funny, and the art work was called: “Frogfish in a Bowl” After that, he was safely released back into the sea.
During the dives, lots of relaxing opportunities were given, either in the comfy salon, outside in the dining area or on our large sundeck, reading books, editing pictures or simply having a nap. Our two Chefs Jimmy and Boy spoiled us every day with delicious meals, and on Thanks Giving they surprised us with a big turkey. As Jimmy never has cooked a Thanks Giving dinner before, he was a bit nervous during the day, and the entire Crew took a lot of interest in this special meal as well. Shortly before dinner all crew members were found in the kitchen debating the turkey and how to arrange the decoration. It was a great success!! On our last evening we played a slide show on the big TV in the salon, which showed the 20 best shots of everybody. The best 3 pictures were celebrated with 3 grand prices and our honorable judges were Jimmy the cook, Noel our host and Russell our captain. The lucky winners were Katie, Ruth and Jim with really awesome photography, well done to all of you!
A truly enjoyable trip and I hope to see all of you again in the future!