Above, another video I made of my latest underwater sojourn. We were extremely lucky as we saw so many things: several octopus, white and black tip sharks, eels, flamboyant cuttlefish, crabs, a puffed up blowfish and lots of nudibranchs. No mantas though but still! (Watch the video!)
Below, some stills I took from Bahura, Beatrice Rock, Mainit Point and Toro Point. I did an overnight trip with three friends — Kara was home for the holidays so what better way to enjoy the countryside than diving and camping out right beside the ocean in Anilao, Batangas.
Essentially, dives #44 – 47. I’ll be celebrating my 50th dive next!
Total Dives: 43
Total Time Underwater: 32 hours 30 minutes
Maximum Depth: 117 feet
Wrecks Penetrated: 6
Freshwater Dives: 1
Night Dives: 2
To my friends who follow my endeavors and bear with my underwater stories, this post is as expected. Easily, the highlight of my 2009 was literally beneath the surface. For me, and many others, diving isn’t just a hobby. It’s more of an epiphany that humbles your eyes to things which we aren’t accustomed to seeing.
I finished my open water course in April, advanced course in June and have fallen into the fever of dive addiction, apparent to many who have undergone similar experiences. I completed my gear, logged 43 dives invested in trips around the country, and most importantly opened up to a new circle of dive friends.
Diving in Coron
Paradise exists, and it is in the Philippines. Coron was my first major dive trip of 2009. Straight after completing my AOW course, wreck diving seemed more and more enticing as a break from the underwater flora. Coron’s beauty is ironic. Above the surface, the bay of Coron is a blue carpet that taints itself in a bloody sunset crescendo. Beneath, the remnants of the Japanese occupation remain preserved in the sand. Oil tankers, gunships and frigates are the biggest fish in the sea.
Diving in Puerto Galera
I did two trips to Puerto Galera this year and they’ve both been captured in the two videos that follow. My two trips to The Canyons were the hardest dives of the year as we’d literally be crawling on the ocean floor so as not to be swept away by the current. Puerto Galera is alive with big fish.
Clam Seeding in Anvaya Cove
Just like any endeavor, there comes a point when you want to put add a little more depth and meaning to your actions. The volunteer Clam seeding activity for UN Volunteers Day achieved precisely this — a free dive and directly helping the environment by planting clams around the Anvaya Cove reef. Think of these giant clams as the big oaks of the forest. A few of these will directly tip the point of the reef’s biodiversity, bringing in more fish and more corals. We brought in 79 of these and created a spawning network along the reef.
For 2010 I plan to invest more in quality dives rather than quantity. Hopefully I can find a group that will be doing Palau, Apo Reef, and Tubbataha (tough luck here as you’d have to plan this a year in advance). If you’re a diver (or want to learn how to dive), let’s go!
A short word of thanks
I’d like to extend a special thanks to the guys from Sony Philippines for lending me two Marine Packs and three cameras throughout the year — a T series and two W series for shooting my dives. All the videos above were taken using these two cameras.
I’ll be doing 6 dives in Coron, Palawan next week. Sony lent me yet another Marine Pack, this time housing a barrel lens Cybershot W230. Unlike the previous camera, this model does not come with a touch screen, hence the numerous manual buttons and dials on the back.