The morning started as all good mornings with breakfast as the days were going to be full on. Once we had completed the required paperwork and analysed two cylinders it was time to get kitted up and then the briefing.
With 4 dives all in the local area, the format was going to be:
Turtles, Frogfish, Morays, Shrimps, Nudibranch, crabs are just some of the selection of what we came across as well as the selection of hard and soft corals and masses of fish of all shapes, colour and size.
There are many areas of natural reef, some very good muck diving areas but also some very good areas of man made reef. One reef takes the ethos of reuse to another level as they have concreted glass bottles together and then made structures from these blocks of bottles and these are alive with hard and soft corals as well as a wealth of creatures have made their homes here. There are also a few multi level metal platforms with holes and crevices for fish and creatures to hide in and amongst.
The variety of dives differ not only from dive to dive but also as you progress through a dive, some parts of the dive you are finning into the current and other times you drift along with it only finning long enough to hold position to take that picture or to change direction, certainly worth thinking about a drift dive speciality if you don't have it.
Two days of local sites covered, 9 dives completed here, tomorrow is a 45 minute boat trip to Apo island a marine protected area and "Turtle Paradise" so we are told.
I will find out tomorrow, you will need to wait for the next update
Today is our transfer day from Atlantis Puerta Galera to Atlantis Dumaguete so once we had packed our bags and they had all been safely delivered to the reception area we had the opportunity for a full guided tour of the complex.
We were shown each of the different room types from the single occupancy rooms right through the deluxe, family suites, Penthouse suites and honeymoon suite. All are modelled in the same Bedrock caveman style.
Once the tour was completed it was time to leave for the ferry to take us back across to meet the minibuses to take us to the airport at Manila. A short 2 hour wait at the airport before we could catch our flight down to Dumaguete gave us a chance to grab something to eat and stretch our legs.
Once we landed at Dumaguete and claimed our luggage from the guys pushing them through the hole in the wall onto the conveyor it was then a short 45 minute coach ride to Atlantis Dumaguete dive resort that will be our home for the next 5 days.
Once at the resort a quick check in and then a buffet evening meal before heading to our rooms to unpack for the next 5 days of diving. With the theme at Puerta Galera being caveman type we were not sure what to expect but the rooms certainly didnt disappoint, large spacious modern rooms as you will see from the pictures.
All that leaves is to unpack all of my gear and get ready for tomorrows diving..
Written by Rick Smith
So after a day of rest this morning the ears felt so much better and on this mornings agenda for me were two dives, one on each of the Kilima Bay and Balaytigue dive sites.
The first dive was Kilima Bay a reef dive with the promise that there are normally thresher sharks seen in this area so to keep your eyes peeled into the blue. The dive brief was to not use torches and to keep flash photography to a minimum to prevent scaring off the thresher sharks who have eyes very sensitive to light due to normally hunting at depth.There was plenty to see as we toured around the reef with corals and plenty of life on the reef. Unfortunately as happens occasionally the thresher sharks decided that his morning was going to be the morning that they had off this week so didn't show but some great macro photo opportunities were found on the reef instead including shrimps, crabs and nudibranch.
The second dive of the day was Balaytigue, a wreck dive. A sunken passenger ferry broken into sections laying down the reef with the deepest part at around 27m. The wreck was alive with all manner of life with something to suit all and as well as being coated in corals was also surrounded by them.
Nudibranch to Scorpionfish, Sea snakes to large schools of bat fish were all to be found here and you didn't have to look hard to find them either.
This is a wreck that you could easily come back and dive a second time as you will certainly see more but alas for us tomorrow is travel day as we move down to Dumaguete so no more dives today as we have a flight tomorrow so now we need to dry and pack gear and get ready for the move.
Written by Rick Smith
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