Dive Philippines Visayas liveaboard trip report
Diving Visayas Islands with liveaboard Philippine Siren
We left from Cebu on the 14th of August for our 10 day cruise on our 40m long luxurious Phinisi Schooner “Philippine Siren”. Shortly after leaving the yacht club everybody started to feel at home and made themselves comfortable. We were quite an international group with divers from France, UK, Canada, USA and Russia and spent the first evening getting to know each other, swamping dive stories and all following…Our trip took us through the Southern Visayas starting in Cabilao, to Balicasag, Dauin, Apo Island, Moalboal, Pescador Island and back again. Right in the beginning a quest started to find a frogfish for Dmitry, as he never has seen one before in his life but it was not until the 3rd day in Dauin that our mission was completed, as there was either no frogfish or no Dmitry.! Unfortunately after succeeding in our quest, Dmitry was convinced that we showed him a “dead” frogfish, as the fella was just sitting perched between the sponge and the wall…
Southern Visayas is simply fantastic for all manner of macro creatures and on almost every dive we spotted so many different critters some that the divers never or rarely have seen before, certainly not in this abundance. I think the highlight-Dive for most of the group was “Pyramids” in Dauin; a new site just recently discovered. We welcomed our local guide named Don from Atmosphere Resort (Thanks Gabi!) to show us the way and our minds were blown away! The first 10 Minutes into the dive, the only thing you heard was tank-banging from the over-excited divers, nobody knew were to look first: Big Frog Fish, small Frogfish, baby frog fish the size of your fingernail,- Dmitry was more than happy with this number of froggies!! 2 thorny seahorses – one was pregnant (funnily enough that they were accidentally called “Horney” Seahorse by Don during the dive briefing), ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish… it just didn’t stop!
Another highlight of the trip was most definitely Pescador Island with its resident huge school of sardines, especially for James & Rachel. Literally thousands and thousands of sardines are present in these waters, attracting bigger hunting fish such as big eye jacks, trevallies and barracudas. Even 2 thresher sharks gave a short visit in the morning but only James, Donato and Dmitry were able to see a glimpse until they disappeared again into the deep blue. Lucky them! On our way back in Balicasag, a large green turtle decided to become the new dive buddy of Carol, Susannah, Jeff and Rhona and accompanied them for 25 minutes throughout the dive before having a nap underneath a coral… Between dives, our chefs Jimmy and Boy treated us with delicious meals and in the evenings we were entertained by Jimmy’s famous dinner briefings. During the day there was still enough time to enjoy our large sundeck to read a book or get tanned. I guess James managed to work his way through our quite large DVD library, while Erick & Eveline and Constantin & Corinne enjoyed playing cards in the dining area. A truly enjoyable trip with lots of fabulous diving and great company!