Christmas in the Philippines
Christmas in the Philippines
Schools of jacks, mating turtles, pregnant pipefish and a Christmas turkey were just some of the highlights on our recent Batangas Coron trip! As the tropical depression moved on our guests slowly arrived to the meeting point in Anilao, where they had a great view of the Philippine Siren, approaching slowly by the coast. This time our guests were mainly from Europe and Australia, for Debbie and Peter it was their second time on the yacht whilst Luc from Belgium, won his place aboard from the HugyCup photography competition.
Let’s go diving! Our first dive is one of the highlights on the Anilao area, Secret Bay, where we once again spotted mimic octopus, sea horses, cockatoo wasp fish, flabellinae, demon stingers and other weird critters. Cameras were hungry for action and the dive did not disappoint!. The big school of big eye jacks was waiting for us in Twin Rocks, along with the baby barracudas, ribbon eels and other macro life. Dead Palm and Anilao Pier were the choice to finish our first diving day before we moved to Caban Island to dive Kirby’s and Layag-Layag. Mabini, Dead Palm and Anilao Lighthouse were also on the agenda for the macro lovers.
For our last day in the Batangas area, we opted to revisit Secret Bay, before heading off to Sombrero Island. There the coral gardens are so colourful, with abundant life and colourful soft corals…. We were sad to move but more superb diving was waiting for us at Apo Reef! The clear warm water (27-29C / 80-84F) coupled with the full moon had us drifting along the steep walls through swarms of fish like superman (or superwoman!). It was also mating season for the turtles and one group got to witness the action as a young female was chased by three different males.
The following day we spent at Dimipac Island, diving the healthy shallow reefs, along with some muck diving and ever hopeful for the chance to find a shy dugong. They didn’t show up but we had a really good time with the turtles and watching jawfish in their holes. Also found were many types of ghost pipefish, clouds of lionfish, pregnant pipefish, flamboyant cuttlefish and weird crabs and shrimps.
On the last part of our trip we spent time diving the very large WWII wrecks which also attract big schools of fish, crocodile fish, thousands of nudibranchs! On Christmas eve we celebreated Charo’s birthday whilst on Christmas day we were able to spend it diving the Okinawa wreck followed by a feast of Christmas turkey with everybody singing carols, the resulting party meant we decided to start the next day after a little later than usual…. In the end we are on holiday!
For our last diving day and for many the last dive of the year, we had the chance to dive in Barracuda Lake, the amazing fresh and salt water lagoon. Hundreds of cleaner shrimps can be found and perform a good manicure work if you get your hand into the right position to attract them onto it! In addition to all that fun, the big barracuda, that gives name to the lake, showed up.
Finally a huge congratulation is needed for Peter who completed his Poseidon Rebreather Combo course and also achieved his 200th dive during the course of the trip…and happy birthday once again to both Charo & Luc – thanks for spending your special day with us… We hope to see you soon here once again on the Philippine Siren!!!