Eight of us took off for a dive trip to the Philippines on Thursday night, April 15th, from LAX. We were scheduled to go nonstop to Manila, but had to stop for refueling at Guam. We changed planes in Manila, and arrived at Dumaguete on the Island of Negros early Saturday morning. Don’t forget we lost a day flying west. It was a short van ride south to the Pura Vida Resort, www.pura-vida.ph
, in the town of Dauin where we were greeted with open arms, and after completing a bit of paperwork we proceeded to the resort’s dive services so we could get wet.
The dive services were Sea Explores Dauin, www.sea-explorers.com
, where we received an orientation, and then prepared for our first dive. Our diving boat was a single hulled vessel with double outriggers, and it was very comfortable and easy to dive from. We completed three dives that first day, and three to five dives each day afterward until the day before flying home where we only completed two morning dives. I took a day off with a sinus squeeze and only completed 18 dives, while many in our group completed as much as 25. Most dives were off the boat, but some were done from the beach at the resort. We visited two neighboring Islands, Apo and Siquijor, which had beautiful walls and coral. Siquijor is translated as "Witch Island", and I was therefore able to wave to my first ex-mother-in-law. All dives were led by two DMs, and the boat crews were quick and efficient in attending to us and our gear. I can’t say enough about the professional diving services we received. I would certainly use them again, and recommend them to all.
Now for the marine life. WOW, really amazing! Exotic fish, inverts, and coral were in abundance, but you’ll have to wait for the pictures. I just can’t list them all, however, there were lots of seahorses, lionfish, cuttlefish, and frog fish. I took about 1,000 pictures that I need to go through, and I believe the other photographers took even more. Hope to get these posted soon.
We said our goodbyes Saturday morning, April 24th, took a domestic flight to Manila, and got back to LAX before we left the Philippines. We got our lost day back. This was one of the best dive vacations I have experienced, and I owe it to our very compatible group, the professional dive services, and the great hospitality and food at the resort. I gained eight pounds. I could make this long, but I think you have the flavor of the trip, and I am certainly planning to return. My dive details follow for those interested:
- Dives # 1 - 18
- Date: April 17 - 24
- Location: Many sites off resort at Dauin, and Apo & Siquijor Islands
- Surf: Light at most
- Swell: Minimal
- Surge: None
- Currents: Mostly light to none, but a couple of dives had high currents
- Water Temperature at Surface: 82-84 Degrees F
- Temperature at Bottom: 82-84 Degrees F
- Maximum Depth: 111 Feet
- Visibility: 20-50 Feet, not as good as expected, but still pretty good.
- Comments: What a great trip! Pictures are available at: http://www.facebook.com/MonkeyDiver?v=photos&ref=name#!/album.php?aid=173637&id=710696244