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!
We were off to a smashing start with three whale sharks during our check dive and five whale sharks on Delsan Wreck. Throughout the trip we saw at least twelve (!) different whale sharks, including one on a muck dive in Zamboanguita (Negros) in the Visayas.
Other memorable encounters on our trip included tiger shark, great hammerhead, black tip, white tip, silver tip and grey reef sharks, nurse sharks and an ornate eagle ray.
In addition to these fantastic big pelagic sightings, we were treated to schools of baby grey reef sharks (up to 60 together), jack fish, barracuda, giant trevally, blue fin trevally.
Our first encounter with a bowmouth guitar fish deserves a special mention. We had never seen one of these creatures in Philippine waters before, so this obviously got us very excited. Macro treasures we spotted along the way included harlequin shrimps, four hairy frog fish (one of which apparently didn’t receive the memo and was hairless), several other kinds of frog fish, plus a whole array of colourful nudibranchs.
To top it off, a manta showed up on our final dive in Cabilao (we have never seen a manta on this dive site before!) making for a fabulous last dive and send-off.
Join us on this outstanding transit trip starting 22 February 2020, when we transit from Cebu to Tubbataha. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Main image whale shark & hairy frog fish: Scott Gutsy Tuason