Epic transit cruise from Tubbataha to Cebu

By: S/Y Philippine Siren Cruise Directors Chrissie and Jona

Nearing the end of a wonderful Tubbataha season, our last trip in Tubbataha is always a longer one as we make our way back to the island of Cebu. An epic transit cruise, we visit the highlights of both Tubbataha and Visayas itineraries. The transit trip takes 13 nights and this time we did a total of 43 dives. Overall, the weather conditions were favourable with calm seas and only a tiny bit of rain. The currents brought us plenty of life, resulting in incredible sightings. It is a challenge to put down in words the multitude and variety of the creatures we encountered on the way, as they were amazing!

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An action-packed cruise in Tubbataha aboard S/Y Philippine Siren

Our crew on S/Y Philippine Siren were delighted to report lots of pelagic action in Tubbataha this 2019 season. On one of the most recent trips, our guests were treated to some incredible diving with up to 11 different whale sharks throughout the trip. The dive groups were spotting whale sharks on almost every dive; sometimes even more than one per dive!

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A perfect liveaboard dive cruise in Tubbataha!

The Philippine Siren crew got ready for another amazing liveaboard dive trip to Tubbataha Reefs. Reaching the Park, we started the day diving at Malayan Wreck twice, located at the Northwest tip of the North Atoll. School of big-eye trevally was seen at the reef margin, grey reef and white sharks were present swimming along the wall, Different schools of reef fishes were also enjoying the current such as: fusiliers, surgeonfish, pyramid butterflyfish, as well as yellowtail and blacktail barracuda. One the second dive, while cruising the gorgonian-filled wall, an unexpected friend showed up –Mr. Scalloped Hammerhead Shark. He gave us quite a show by swimming in circles several times before moving ahead into the blue-ness of the ocean. Everybody was thrilled and excited seeing our old friend. Next on the diving schedule was Gorgonian Wall.

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Diving in Tubbataha is breathtaking!

The Philippine Siren welcomed on board a brand new groups of divers ready for their liveaboard dive trip in Tubbataha. After a quick talk from the Tubbataha management Office about Park rules and regulations, we lifted the anchor and sailed away to Tubbataha for another amazing dive trip. We commence the day’s diving in Malayan Wreck, southwest of the North Atoll. Not only was it nice and comfortable diving, there were sightings if interesting marine life all over the dive site, namely: school of blackfin barracuda, surgeonfish, Randall’s fusiliers, oceanic triggerfish and midnight snappers. Likewise, a ‘train’ of mature grey reef sharks were swimming against the current and a bunch of baby grey reef sharks were also present; whitetip sharks circling around a cleaning station; hawksbill turtle undisturbed and munching away on corals. Second dive we also dived in Malayan Wreck but entry was a little bit closer to the corner.

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Diving in Tubbataha is breathtaking!

The Philippine Siren welcomed on board a new group of very excited divers ready for their next liveaboard holidays in Tubbataha! Many of them were repeater guests and they felt at home very quickly!
The check dive was done at Malayan Wreck where guests got a good feel of how healthy the coral life is in the whole Tubbataha reefs. Grey reef, Whitetip reef sharks abound, spiny lobsters, the curious dogtooth tuna, the usual school of reef fish sitting in the current and the hawksbill turtle that seemed unaware of all the cameras surrounding it. Second dive was still on the same site but from the other end of the divesite. The highlight of this dive would be the school of oceanic triggerfish, the skittish longnose hawkfish, the shy fire dartfish and the intelligent reef octopus. At Gorgonian Wall., it’s always worth taking a look at these massive gorgonian sea fans and its smaller cousins for pygmy seahorses. And voila! A pink Denise pygmy seahorse was spotted which made the dive extra special. In addition to this, the massive pineapple sea cucumber also starred in this dive.

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Philippines underwater life from a different angle

The Philippine Siren was ready for a very special liveaboard dive trip in the Southern Visayas!  A 10-days snorkeling organised by Lee Goldman, marine biologist and writer of the books: ‘Snorkeler’s Guide to Marine Life of the Philippines’ and ‘Marine Life and Natural History of the Coral Triangle’. Joel Simon and his organisation ‘Sea for yourself’ brought along some more happy snorkelers and we had the boat filled. We were super exited to get into the water with them and maybe pick up some more shallow water knowledge and appreciate the beautiful Philippines underwater life from a different angle. 

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