Philippines Diving on board the Philippine Siren Liveaboard is always great fun!

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Philippines Diving on board the Philippine Siren Liveaboard is always great fun!

On Friday 19th June it was time once again for me to escape the office and join the crew onboard Philippine Siren for a trip. After meeting our guests in Atmosphere Resorts, Dauin we headed onboard for the welcome drinks and for the guests to be introduced to their Cruise Director – Enrico. Once all the briefings were done with we headed round to a safe anchorage for the night and enjoyed dinner and a drink or two, as we all got to know each other.

ghost pipefishDay one we headed over to Apo Island for a day of diving which, despite the grey drizzle of the beginning of rainy season, wowed everybody with a host of Hawksbill and Green turtles, schools of Big Eye Jacks, and a school of longfin spadefish – to name but a few. This was followed by the first night dive and first muck dive of the trip along the Dauin coast at “Secret Corner”. It was such an amazing dive, that we were all in there for 75minutes! Five different types of frogfish were seen along with Flambouyant Cuttlefish, Ornate and Roughsnout Ghost Pipe Fish, Bobtail Squid, Pygmy Cuttlefish…the list goes on and on! There were many critter books out over dinner as everyone scoured thepages to note down what they had spotted.

Lighthouse21Day two saw us stay muck diving in Dauin, some of the life spotted included Leaf Fish, Cockatoo Waspfish, and orangutan crabs. Fortunatley the sun was shining and the rain stopped so it was time for the crew to hoist the sails for the day. Some great shots were taken of Philippine Siren in all her glory, from our dinghies, guests on kayaks and one guest used his drone to get some great aerial shots too.

ws LowFor the night dive this time the dive team chose to do a sunset dive so we could go in search of the elusive mandarin fish and hope to catch their mating dance. Once down on the reef we all waitied very patiently for these shy, skittish fish to wow us with their ritual and we were not disappointed. The muck diving was proving so popular with everyone it was decided to stay for a third day in Dauin. Which was great that we did as after the briefing for dive three as everyone was slowly ambling towards the dive deck we heard one of the dive guides Donato shout “whaleshark, whalershark” and sure enough swimming down our port side was a beautiful 4m long whaleshark. The sunlight highlighting its marking beautifully just below the surface.

jacks 1The next day we awoke in Moalboal and it was time to dive Pescador Island – back to wall diving in a slight current. Pescador has beautiful topography underwater, with caves and nooks and crannies for marine life to shelter. The dive team spotted some giant frogfish, ornate ghost pipe fish and tropical bottletail squid for everyone to see. In the afternoon we headed into the waters at Panagsama, Moalboal to dive with the huge school of sardines. So many of them they seem to form a wall between you and the rest of your dive group if you are separated from your buddy. They are an amazing site to see swarming around in unison around you.

diver turtleOn day five we awoke just outside Oslob, and it was time for the everyone to go and see the whalesharks. This trip most guests chose to dive rather than snorkel and so after donning thier gear they slipped quietly into the water to witness these majestic giants having their breakfast. All of them returning to the boat with huge grins on their faces syaing it was the best way to start the day. After a hearty breakfast the Captain took us over to the island of Balicasag off of Bohol, for the day of diving the team had planned there. More nudibranchs, tuna and turtles (sitting having their lunch on the sea grass) were spotted. However those that chose to night dive came back in high spirits stating it was the best of the trip, having spotted Pluerobranchs and Lumpy Dendrodoris nudibranchs, Pygmy Octopus, Banded Sea Snake and Bandtail Waspfish.

on aboardOur final day of the trip dawned and we were in Cabilao – as no-one was flying until Saturday evening we were able to squeeze in three dives. All finishing off the trip superbly with sightings of Wahoo, Heron Andreadoris and Yellow tail Barracuda to name a few. Once the last dive was completed it was time to wash all the dive gear down and sit back and relax on the journey back to Mactan. Some of the guests used this time to have a relaxing massage from our Housekeeper Maureen, others enjoyed the sunset with a Gin and Tonic mixed by our hostess Marefe.

group on philippine sireAs is our last night tradition the chefs Boy and Joanry served up a fabulous barbecue feast as we motored along the coast of Cebu City. The following morning once all paperwork and email address swapping was finished it was time to gather on the dive deck for the group pic – as a last momento of a fabulous trip with our new Argentinian, Brazilian, British, Dutch, Filipina and South African friends – before everyone headed off to their next destinations.

We hope to welcome everyone back onboard for more adventures soon….

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