Tubbataha’s Perfect Ending
Tubbataha’s Perfect Ending
It was with fair weather that the Philippine Siren cruised from Puerto Princesa towards Tubbataha for the final trip of the season. After a calm overnight navigation we were ready to start our dives in the South Atoll. Already during this first dive we sighted white tip sharks, grey reef sharks and schools of big eye jacks and the constant presence of green and hawksbill turtles. Our guests soon got used to the Philippine Siren rhythm with cold drinks and warm towels waiting for them after the dives.
On our second day we dived three times at one of our favourite spots; Black Rock before enjoying a sunset dive with hunting white tips at Amos’ Rock. In the meantime Maureen steadily got busier and busier in between dives as word spread out amongst our guests about her massaging abilities! Malayan Wreck would be our next destination for most of the third day with its school of 50 plus bumphead parrotfish “grazing” in the shallows and in the evening the excitement started to build up for the next day’s first dive in the remote Jessie Beazley Reef, one of the highlights of the trip.
An early wakeup call was the plan to get us started on day 4, the objective being to be in the water just before sunrise. A moderate current and a 30m (100ft) visibility was waiting for us as we swam away from the wall into the blue hoping to see what we were all expecting. We were not disappointed as four big scalloped hammerhead sharks rose from the depths and checked as out. As the sun rose they swam back into the deep and we made our way back to the wall to continue our dive with their smaller cousins, white tip sharks and juvenile silvertip sharks. Once back on Philippine Siren our Chef Jimmy and his assistant Boy made sure everybody regained strength from the early wake up with their superb breakfast. At this stage it was already noticeable that our guests were gaining weight thanks to his delicacies.
Our last two days we spent them again in the North Atoll diving Shark Airport and Washing Machine. A perfect ending for this year’s Tubbataha season with plenty of sharks and schooling fish in both dive sites. Anne who had signed for the nitrox course and also celebrated her birthday onboard was ready to take her final exam and pass it with honors while on the way towards our next destination: Cagayancillo Island. Here the walls are covered in beautiful gorgonian fans and their resident denise pygmy seahorses was a perfect transition to what was awaiting us in the next days in Southern Visayas, plenty of macro life.
Apo Island, Dauin and its muck dives, Pescador Island and its sardine ball and resident giant grey frogfish, Balicasag Island and finally Cabilao Island with its uncommon giant yellow frogfish were to prove a perfect ending to a great trip with fun guests. Our last barbeque dinner was followed by our usual last night event, the crew “ladies” and their pole dancing but with one of our guest gladly joining the dancers, thank you Simon, we will never forget your dance and your attire! We sadly disembarked all our guests the next morning in Cebu except Justin who was to join us for a second round in Southern Visayas and then head onto Micronesia on Palau Siren for another luxury liveaboard trip.
A special thanks to Roland and John’s loyalty as they joined Siren Fleet once again. Hope you see you all again in one of our dive destinations.