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Diving Komodo – August 2011

Diving Komodo – August 2011

IndosirenSail IS-KO-12-11Everything runs perfect this trip! The flight arrives in time, no luggage is missing and here we are! Our new guests, fourteen Chinese and two Americans are already on the S/Y Indo Siren. After the welcome cocktail, fresh fruit and cakes we do a short briefing about how to enjoy any part of the boat. Also I introduce our fantastic crew, our family. Time for set up the gear, a light meal and let’s go diving! Our first dive, The Unusual Suspects, is today quite clear. The visibility, around 10 meters/ 30ft, allow us to explore the reef in depth. After one hour dive, everybody agree with how nice muck diving is but it’s time to return to the Indo Siren for a warm towel and a relaxing evening.

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Dive Philippines Visayas liveaboard trip report

Diving Visayas Islands with liveaboard Philippine Siren

diver-and-coral7We 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…

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Macro & Mantas diving in Komodo

Liveaboard Diving in Komodo, Indonesia – macro & mantas

crew-IS-KO-10-11This time our trip starts two days later according with the schedule because flight cancelations but thankfully we we didn’t skip any of the best dive sites. In the end, our sixteen costumers from Austria, Denmark and Germany were on board! Thank you Wirodive! With just a short time to introduce the crew, get to know the Indo Siren & for a light meal and then it was time to go diving! Our first dive in The Unusual Suspects was especially murky and so full of live as we expect! Lots of critters to start off the trip. The day after, the black sands of Sangeang Island were waiting for us. Three dives in Techno Reef, The Estuary and Hot Rocks where Dince and I found a lot of small life. We saw many soft corals, gorgonians, rays, schools of colorful reef fishes, bent stick pipe fishes, many kinds of shrimps: saw blade, periclemens, boxing banded, Durban dancers, cleaners… scorpion fish, morays, leaf fishes, big schools of banner fish and surgeons… The contrast of the colorful life with the volcanic sand is spectacular. Our therapist Diane and Ane had hard work with many costumers taking a relaxing massage this afternoon. On the night dive on The Circus we found three snake eels “king size”, a ball of cat fishes and a long list of other creatures. Yadi, the waiter was waiting for us with a nice hot chocolate and teas, and Diane and Ane provided hot towels after the dive – what a welcome back on board!

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Southern Visayas July 2011

Southern Visayas July 2011

coral phHot, sunny and no wind were the weather conditions when Alain’s group from Belgium arrived in the Cebu yacht club to board the S/Y Philippine Siren.Most of our guests were returning to the Philippine Siren again after last year’s trip in Coron, so it was a great reunion for everybody & a special birthday celebration for Marleen. We lifted the anchor and cruised south towards Cabilao Island, whilst Chefs Jimmy and Boy had another task to do baking an amazing birthday cake!

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Diving Komodo, Mantas, Grey reef sharks, Komodo Dragon and more…

Diving Komodo, Mantas, Grey reef sharks, Komodo Dragon and more…

IS-KO-09-11-briefingAfter our fourteen American and Australian guests enjoyed the ‘welcome cocktail’ and took a first look around the yacht, we proceeded to the general briefing and introduction of our fantastic Indonesian crew. Keen to get into the water, everybody chose to skip lunch and go directly for the first dive of the trip at the Unusual Suspects. This awesome muck dive has some of the best critters around Indonesia: seahorses, ornate pipefish, nudibranchs, sea mouth, inachus crabs, anemone and coral shrimps, mysids and crabs on soft coral, lots of razor fishes Hot chocolate and towels were waiting with Dianne and Anne our hostess on board, when we made our return.

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Diving Komodo, July 2011

Diving Komodo, July 2011

Komodo-softcoralPRThe start of another trip and all the customers arrived on time, thanks Merpati. After settling into their cabins and a spot of lunch it was time to set up their equipment and make our first dive at The Unusual Suspects in Bima bay. This was a very enjoyable muck dive with ornate ghost pipe fish, frog fish, octopus, crocodile fish and nudbrancgs everywhere. We all watched the sun slowly drop into the sea from our very spacious sun deck and then it was time for dinner. With full stomachs and heavy eyes all the guests opted for an early night. We lifted the anchor early in the morning and arrived at Sangeang Island ready for our first dive on Techno Reef. This was a fantastic start to the day with black corals hiding ghost pipe fish and sawblade shrimp as well as finding stonefish, spearing mantis and many different rays sleeping in the black sand that this island is so well known for. We spent the rest of the day diving along the coast line of this still active volcano enjoying the brightly colored soft corals and bubbles coming out of the ocean floor. For our night dive we moved to the island of Gilli Banta and made a visit to The Circus where we were joined by lionfish using our torches to hunt by, sepia, many different varieties of moray eels and a giant black frog fish trying to hide behind a very small piece of coral. After all the divers were back on the boat we cruised on to Batu Moncho where we spent the night ready for our first dive in the morning at coral garden.

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Liveaboard diving in Southern Visayas : whale shark and frogfish

Liveaboard Diving in Southern Visayas : whale shark and frogfish

the cars-frogfishAfter a year’s diving in Komodo, Thailand, Burma and the Andaman Islands I returned to the Philippines and welcomed our international guest aboard the “S/Y Philippine Siren”. We started our Southern Visayas tour in the yacht club in Cebu and after check in and harbour clearance our captains Bagos and Bernes sailed us south direction Cabilao. The next morning everybody was ready for the dive briefing when a pod of dolphins passed by and said hi to us. We started our diving cruise at “”Canbaquiz” with sightings of different pipefish and frogfish. We spent the whole day around this lovely island and dove “Talisay Tree” and “The Lighthouse” in the afternoon to see the pygmy seahorses before returning to “Cambaquiz” for our night dive with pleurobranch, frogfish and spiny devilfish. What a beautiful day to start our cruise.

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Tubbataha and More : Divers Paradise

Tubbataha and More : Divers Paradise

PhilippinesSirenThe luxurious Phinisi Schooner “Philippine Siren” left Puerto Princesa in Palawan on June 04 for a 13 day diving trip via the Tubbataha Reefs and Cagayancillo to the southern Visayas Islands. The very special thing about this itinerary is the difference of divesites and diversity of animals from tiny to extra-large that one is able to encounter along the way. Our 16 divers on this trip came from Germany, Switzerland, the UK, USA, Canada and the Netherlands. The sea was incredibly calm when we left the port and lay like a mirror underneath the boat.

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Southern Leyte : Diving with Whale sharks

Southern Leyte : Diving with Whale sharks

limasawaBayreOn a beautiful, sunny day the Philippine Siren once more headed out of port for a cruise to Southern Leyte. On board were fourteen Guests from Germany and Switzerland accompanied by thirteen crew members to make their stay on the luxurious 40m long Phinisi Schooner as comfortable as possible. On our first dive of the trip on, a dive site called Tambuli – just around the corner from the Cebu Yacht Club, Andreas, one of our guests from Switzerland proved that he has real eagle-eyes and showed the rest of his dive group a Blue ringed Octopus! A rare sight anyway, but to find one during daytime is really very unusual. Divemaster Donato showed us a purple-brown and green colored sea hare, a big slug that normally spends the day hiding in crevices and under coral bommies. What a nice start of this Cruise. During the evening, after a delicious dinner, on our 12 hour journey to Limasawa Island we marveled at the stars on the cloudless sky and Werner and his fellow guests enhanced this experience with a cocktail poured by Noel, our host.

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