Underwater Photos

Underwater Photos

Underwater images from 6.5 diving days, 24 dives in Dauin, Apo and Siquijor Island

My favourite site ? Cannot quite decide between Sahara Deep, Masoplod, Pyrimad or maybe Guinsuan. Oh yes ... secret corner where there is no current with its thousands of garden eels. Guess they are all good.

Setup
-Panasonic GF-1
-Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 Macro ASPH Mega OIS
-Seatools Housing with 14-45 port
-Inon S2000
-Light and Motion Sola 600

94 images

Getting There

Getting There

Atmosphere Resort, Dauin, Dumaguete, Philippines
24 Nov 2011 to 2 Dec 2011
Eilin Hee, Sock Ling and Raymond Lim


So near yet so far ...

From Singapore , we took a 3.5 hours flight to Cebu, 3.5 hours car transfer from Cebu Airport to Ferry Terminal (LiloAn), 0.5 hour local fast ferry ride to Dumaguete and another 40 mins car transfer from Dumaguete ferry terminal to the resort ... and finally we are there !!

The alternate travel option would would be via a domestic flight by cebu pacific between Cebu and Dumaguete. However, that requires a 1 night transit in Cebu as the flights runs only on mon, wed, fri and only at 6am which none of the international flights could connect.

10 images

The Room

The Room

We checked-in to the penthouse D1 which was extremely big with 2 bedrooms, living room and kitchen. Had a lovely balcony with a swing / hammock over-looking the estate. Only fuss was that this was the furthest room from the beach and dive center ... so we get our fair share of exercise everyday.

9 images

The Resort

The Resort

Overall, we loved the resort. It was extremely well operated and the folks were friendly and accomodating. Picture tells a thousand words ...

22 images

Wine and Dine

Wine and Dine

We were booked on the full-board package, which entitled us to the buffet breakfast, 1 course lunch and 3 course dinner. The kitchen does a mix of filipino favourites as well as french / italian style cooking. It was BBQ by the beach night when we arrived.

Choices, choices, choices ...

Breakfast ... Pancakes ? French Toast? Bacon and Eggs ? Our favourite was the Filippino breakfast - Bangus (Milkfish) with Garlic fried rice. The national fish of Philippines :>
It would be really tough to single out a favourite dish ... but would be along the lines of Seared scallops with fish roe, Pumpkin soup, Prawn cocktail with salad, Seared tuna, Lamb rack, Poached seafood roll ... etc

And for the sweets ... our favourites would have to be either the Panna Cotta ? or the Mango crepes ...

TOUGH choices everyday ...

By the way, mangos here are fantastic ... having such a great balance of sweetness and sourness.
We had mango french toast or mango pancakes for breakfast, french mango slides in-between dives, mango crepes, mango madness for deserts !! Guess you get the idea :>

34 images

Dive Center

Dive Center

The dive center was very well-operated with all that we can expect, nitrox compressor, camera rooms, personal equipment boxes and booths, seperate rinse tanks for camera and other gears ... etc

The dive crew ( dive masters, boat man and support staff ) were all ever cheery and always there to lend a hand.

We dived off "Eve" the smaller boat most of the time. However, need to qualify that we were used to the luxury of having only me, my buddy and the DM most of the time. Would have to say that she should have ample space for at least 6 divers (?) comfortably. Obviously we are a spolit bunch :P
Getting back on the back boat after the dive can be challenging as the last step of the ladder was quite wide. Of course you could always take off your gear in the water, the crew is ever so ready to help you with it. You can then get back up the boat without your gear ... Problem Solved. We like Eve as she was always quick to load / unload and gets us to the site QUICK !


"Victoria" the bigger boat had a lot more space, the ladder extends into the water which makes getting up the boat a lot easier ... and of course it has the most scenic toilet with a 360 degrees seaview :P

22 images

Diving and Trips

Diving and Trips

Overall, we had a great time with muck diving searching for tiny critters. When you are tired of sieving black sand, there is alway corals, jacks and barracuda at Masaplod, Basak and Guinsuan area.
Besides diving the various sites along the Dauin coast, we took day trips to Apo Island and Siquijor Island. Wall drift dives with jacks at Apo Island, great hard and soft coral formations, fantastic visibility at Siquijor with a bunch of spanish dancers.

This place is definitely no lack of critters ... it was one trip which I spotted the most no of ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish, thorny seahorse, hairy squat lobsters, crinoid shrimps, lots of mantis shrimps, warty frogfish, juv frogfish (1cm and smaller), ambon scorpionfish, thousands of garden eels at secret corner ( i literally meant thousands ... ), really large school of coral shrimpfish at Basak ... etc

Of special mention that was a first time sighting for me would be the
- mushroom pipefish, which looked like long white worms in the anemone.
- spider crab on yellow seafan
- thin ghost pipefish

Mandarinfish dives - Eilin and I had done mandarinfish dives in other locations (lembeh, palau ...etc). So my initial thoughts were "Well OK! Been There, Done That" but let's take a look again. However, I must say that this is by far the best mandarinfish dive we did to-date. In fact, it was so good that we did it for 3 consecutive nights.

The mandarin fishes here were so active. On each dive, we could easily witness (at least 3-4 times or more) their mating rituals of coming together and rising in mid-waters. They were obviously not shy !!
Maybe they were less intimated by our red LED focus light compared to normal white light :> Yes, it does sounds like an excuse to justify buying more high-tech gear ... but it REALLY WORKS !

Besides being an excellent mandarinfish site, Bahura is also a fantastic site for night dive as it was shallow (5-10m) and sheltered from current. We also encountered friendly pygmy cuttlefish, witnessed a moray eel in the sea grass preyed on a sleeping fish for dinner, lots of hermit crabs and shrimps, pair of squids, pair of juv shaded batfish, tiger cowies ...etc

On the last night dive, we did a "Bio-luminance" dive. Basically, we have an orange visor over our mask and had a torch with a blue spectrum light. It was quite an experience, the nudibranch turned black with a luminous skirt, sea-lices where luminous orange in soft coral. The brain coral had uniform speckled luminous squares. Eilin found a anenome which which had long whips like a flower ... which looked like the Avatar Movie - Tree of Life. Darn, I missed that !!
Basically soft corals gave off the most impressive effect, and if only we could find one of those translucent nudibranches, I am sure it would look out-of-this-world. Next DIY project ... Orange filter for my camera port !! Blue filter for my strobe !!

Diving conditions were not considered PERFECT during our trip. There were strong winds prior and on the first 2 days of our trip, which stirred up the vis quite a bit. Vis was getting better on the later part of the trip and we can only imagine doing muck diving in aquarium clear water without currents ... apparently that happens during July to Sep !

69 images

Splash page · Image page

  1. Up one level Up arrow
  2. Start slideshow Numpad * Space
  3. Subalbums and thumbnails (if exists)
  4. Share and Like buttons to share this album over social networking sites

Press F1 any time to get help!

Splash page · Image page

  1. Thumbnail navigation window
  2. Previous picture Left arrow
  3. Back to splash page / up one level Up arrow
  4. Toggle fit to screen or 1:1 size Numpad +
  5. Show/hide captions and other info Numpad -
  6. Show/hide thumbnails Numpad -
  7. Start/stop slideshow Numpad * Space
  8. Next picture Right arrow
  9. Click the image to go to the next picture
  10. Double click the image to switch between fit to window or 1:1 magnification. You can also drag and move if larger than the screen.
  11. Information window: caption, photo data, map, shopping cart, etc.