Fun and Games in the Philippines
Fun and Games in the Philippines
I had been looking forward to this trip for some time and love an excuse to get out of the office and join the Philippine Siren team. It all started in Coron where our 11 Russian guests boarded. Once on board our guests proceeded to make themselves at home and we soon had Russian music playing, Russian movies on the big screen T.V. We made a toast good health in Russian. It felt like little Russia.
Our first dive was in Barracuda Lake. This is a strange place where the deeper you go the warmer the water. Deeper than about 18m it becomes too hot, also the water is fresh at the surface and salty at depth. It is surrounded by sheer cliffs and yes, we did see the big daddy Barracuda, an interesting dive to kick start our liveaboard safari.
Day two started with a visit to the pearl farm; a welcome distraction. As many of our guests wished to enjoy a relaxing holiday without too much focus on the diving, a trip to the beach for lunch was also on the cards after which we dived two of the world famous Coron Wrecks. In the briefing we were transported back to September 1944 as dive guide Mike gave the history of this event was given in great detail. Once underwater we saw two ships from the Imperial Japanese Fleet that lie within diveablae depths.
Day three the Philippine Siren sailed to Calauit Island to visit the safari park complete with zebra, deer, crocodiles, porcupines and hogs but the best part for me was feeding the giraffe. Next port of call, Dimipac. This small remote island proved to have some great diving. Many species were seen including; Robust ghost pipefish, Ornate ghost pipefish, Banded pipefish, Flamboyant cuttlefish, Jawfish, Green Sea Turtle, Mantis Shrimp, School of Banner fish, and a school of needle fish to mention just a few. The afternoon was spent with fun and frollicks as we got all the toys out including the wake board and the kayaks.
Day 4-6 saw dolphins escorting the Philippine Siren to Apo Reef. The sea conditions were beautiful and the diving was truly spectacular with lots of big stuff; black tip shark, white tip shark, sting rays and schools of barracuda, tuna and jacks. We were also lucky enough to see a couple of enormous Napolean wrasse. As far as turtles go we were fortunate enough to see green and hawksbill turtle, lots of them. The visibility was spectacular sometimes reaching 50m and the walls at Apo offer world class diving. The adventurous guests on board went ashore only to come across a raft on a large lake. Fun was had by all!
Day 7-10 We wondered if we could top the amazing diving at Apo Reef but the muck diving in Anilao is as close as it’s going to get. Secret Bay, which normally produces the best diving, was surprisingly quiet. That’s how it goes i guess but at least we had success with our mandarin fish dive and to top it all we had ideal conditions to get the sails of our yacht up, much to the delight of Dimitri.
Thanks for being such delightful guests and for keeping me on my toes. It was all worth it to see those moments when you smiled from ear to ear. I look forward to seeing you all again on one of the Siren Fleet liveaboards.Warmest regards from Paul and the crew.