Monday, December 30, 2013

Turtle Bay Resort and Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

  Sunday June 3, 2012

     Typhoons seem to greet me almost everywhere I dive in the Philippines.
    I arrived in Manila at dawn and fly to Cebu, where our group departed in crammed vans over a winding road through jungle covered hills. Rain squalls smattered our windshield with large splashes.
The first day at Turtle Bay was at the tail end of a typhoon and there was no diving, just dark skies and windy blowing and bending the palm trees.

I then discovered my camera housing nada broken part, the shutter lever, so I was not able to shoot underwater. I have no idea how this occurred . The camera rig was working perfectly in Dominican Republic a few months earlier.
 Pescador Island  was a 20 minute boat crossing from the resort dive center. We had been told that whale sharks, schools of sardines, Thresher sharks and abundant marine life lived here. Unfortunately our first dive was in a lackluster wall area , that looked like a BIG storm had battered it to rubble.On the reef top at the end of the dive, I surfaced to see at least 8 or more boats loaded with swimmers, scuba divers, and instructors with brand new students.

  Things improved as our second dive began on the other side of Pesacdor. We rolled in over a gorgeous bed of hard corals sloping onto a wall teeming with schools of anthias , fairy basselets, Moorish Idols, sardines and red tooth trigger fish.I also saw a small school of silvery jacks.There were turtles cursing along. On a flat anemone we found porcelain crabs and banded coral shrimp. A large tomato anemone fish swayed and weaved back to and fro in an alabaster colored bulb tip anemone.
   I could have spent the entire dive at the head of the wall. It was a gorgeous natural aquarium, the
 sort of scene one always hopes to discover but rarely does.

Tuesday June 5, 2012
                                A whale shark encounter at Pescador Island

   My second outing to Pescador began rather routinely, but ended up being the highlight of the trip so far. I had been lucky to dive with my own guide and he was a most excellent spotter!! Two species of frogfish awaited me on the wall- a large pale gray one on a gray sponge, and a small painted yellow and red one with a long pointy nose.
 I saw schools of fish including sardines that glittered and formed into balls and abstract shapes as it passed overhead. Two silvery barracuda slipped past, and turtles were floating silhouetted on the surface.
 Coming back from the second dive, I swam cautiously through murky water filled with jellyfish .I was ever so careful not to get stung.
 I felt a presence to my left out in the blue water . Sure enough to my surprise there was a large beautiful whale shark coming right at me.

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