Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holy Great Scuba Diving, Batman!

Edz and I are spending a couple of days on a peninsula just north of Batangas City called Mabini in a small town called Anilao. We are staying at a resort owned by a member of the Philippine Congress that is right on the water. I'd say it's a mid-priced place, but for the American traveler it is positively a steal. My only complaint is that the neighbors are burning garbage and microscopic plastic particles are slowing killing my brain cells as I sip on my Nescafe.

It took us six hours, three buses, two jeepneys, and a motor tricycle to get from Tagaytay to Anilao. After checking in we ordered lunch and set up for two late afternoon dives.

The hotel has its own dive shop and everything we needed to go diving. We met our dive master, Jason, down at the dock at 3 PM, readied our gear, picked our dive spots, and loaded onto the double outrigger bangka.

Our first dive was at Twin Rocks, which has been a marine protected area since 1991. There is some government information about Twin Rocks here and here and a socioeconomic study of the area here.

I thought I'd seen coral diversity before, but from what I've seen so far Saipan has nothing on the Philippines.

Edz thought the same.

That's going to have to do it for the underwater photos for now. I bought a housing for my Canon PowerShot SX210 IS before I left, but no strobe. Let's just say that I'm still figuring things out.

The sun was setting when we descended for our second dive at Koala dive site. Right before we went under, Jason told us, "We'll do a sunset dive. We can probably get about 30 minutes."

While the water was completely still at the surface, when we dropped to about 20 feet we got caught in the current whipping around the peninsula. There was no need to kick at all; the current zipped us along as it got darker and darker and darker. 10 minutes later we were in near darkness flying through empty space. There really wasn't much to see with no flashlights, so we surfaced and got back on the boat. We all agreed the dive was a thrill, even if we couldn't see much.

We have two dives planned for this morning. We'll see how things go from there. We'll either spend the afternoon by the pool or go out again. Edz has a one dive limit most days and making her do even two dives is a stretch.


Gary Verderamo said...

I had to laugh at your comment about the neighbors burning garbage because I found your post while searching for a picture of burning garbage. I am finishing up a post about Filipinos burning garbage on my website right now.

rey maniego said...

Can you tell us the name of the dive school/resort? thanks and more power to your blog

The Saipan Blogger said...

I don't remember. I'll ask Edz tonight.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Bambu Villa Resort