Yoga & Scuba in the Philippines
Yoga & Scuba in the Philippines
On the 11th Aug 2012 the Philippine Siren sailed from Cebu Yacht Club on a 7 day voyage of the Southern Visayas. On board we had 14 passengers from all over the globe, Russia, USA, Australia, UK, Malaysia and Thailand. The guests, as I now know, make up a large part of the chemistry. Right from the start I could tell we had a very lively, fun group. The delightful Teresa Herrera was also hosting the trips as our Yoga Guru, the sun deck being an excellent venue for this activity at sunrise and sunset.
The Island of Cabilao would be our first port of call. This location is very sheltered, full of critters and is a great place to get people back into the swing of things. We had an unusual amount of novice divers on this cruise so Chris, our Ops Manager, joined us on board to assist giving a dive team of 4 which ensures that all levels of divers could be catered for and soon we were in the blue. I must admit there were some nervous faces before the first dive but afterwards I could see smiles mixed with a few perplexed looks, followed by the usual questions; how can I improve my diving? It’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm. Three great dives sites later we proceeded to our usual sheltered anchorage and the first of our Sunset Yoga classes was performed to a full house. It was a truly wonderful experience. The music created an enchanting mood. The sky changed colour every few minutes as the sun set and here we were in harmony with it all, breathing deeply, slowing down and having that quality time we had promised ourselves for so long.
After a comfortable night’s sleep we made our way to our second dive destination, Panglao. The visibility was exceptional, as was the diving. After two dives due to a developing swell it became necessary to move onto our next dive destination; a real gem on the itinerary, Ballicasag. The promise of big schools of pelagic had our divers in the water before you could say ‘Let’s go Diving’. The tiny island of Ballicasag always manages to woo our guests. The diving is some of the best in the Philippines with sightings of turtles, marbled grouper, schools of barracuda & jacks, and a plethora of smaller critters including leaf fish, Randals goby, nudibranchs and tiger cowries.
The Sumilon/Oslob dive day always holds a special place in our hearts. There is a buzz of excitement circulating on board. The possibility of seeing three species of shark, including the whale shark creates anticipation. Dive one produces black tip shark, great visibility and a whole plethora of other aquatic life. Oslob waters are rich with whale sharks; at one time up to six can be seen. In the surrounding water circulate many more. Everyone is delighted with the days diving. Sumilon will also be forever remembered by an illustrious few as a virgin white sand bank that had our name on it. Yes, we stormed this beautiful beach and performed a dance Yoga class on it. There were moments when you had to pinch yourself to make sure it was real. Great class Terresa!
During the night we sailed south to the epic proportions of Apo Island. Everything at Apo is huge. The sea snakes, nudibranch and the bumphead parrot fish are particularly large. Apo is stunning with pristine hard and soft corrals and incredible seascapes. For the last dive of the day we hoisted the sails and sailed over to Dauin for the ’Randy Mandy’ dive. Three muck dives followed on our last day resulting in the sightings of numerous exotic sea creatures. With a heavy heart we realised that another trip had come to the end. It was time to say farewell but not goodbye.