And… more dive logs! Check out Part I here and my trip journal here. Most of the pix taken here are mine, though some are from my fellow dive mates on this trip. Dive site descriptions are a combination of my physical logbook as well as the Thresher Shark Diver dive location sites.
Malapascua, Cebu, Philippines
Dive 8/12 (#49)
9th Apr 2012
9.20am (54 mins)
We were supposed to head out to the Dona Marilyn wreck, but the GPS was busted and weather in the distance looked quite suspect, so we ended up hitting Gato Island again. This time we headed down to check out the Shark Cave! First we encountered two sharks when swimming under an arch, and then went into this low overhanging cave where there a good 4-5 white-tipped sharks circling in the dark… absolutely brilliant! We spent about half the dive just watching the sharks in the cave.
And even after that, lots of other creatures still to be seen! Gato Island really does have a lot of marine life.
Dive 9/12 (#50)
9th Apr 2012
2.33pm (41 mins)
Monad Shoals – Manta Point
We headed out to a different part of Monad Shoals to the Manta Ray cleaning station in hopes of catching some Manta Rays. It’s really in the middle of the ocean, and all you do is descend on the rope down to the bottom, where there’s a line you’re supposed to stay behind to observe the mantas.
We didn’t see any in the first few minutes, so we ventured a little further down to see if we could catch any there, but unfortunately, no luck! We soon spent our time exploring the scant coral in the area, and entertained ourselves.
On the way up apparently our guide spotted one from the boat, and we did see a suspicious splash in the distance (I didn’t Manta’s would leap out of the water!), but no Manta sighting for me…
Dive 10/12 (#51)
9th Apr 2012
4.27pm (30 mins)
Monad Shoal – Manta Point
We took a break and went down again, but nope, still no Mantas for me! The other groups saw a glimpse of the Manta going by quite quickly, and even though I was right there, I just, did not, for the life of me, see the Manta. =(
Dive 11/12 (#52)
10th Apr 2012
9.15am (43 mins)
Last day of diving! We still didn’t head out to Dona Marilyn, but to another wreck instead called Tapilon Wreck. It’s also in the middle of nowhere and the current is really, really strong that day. So strong we had to grab a smaller rope to get to the bigger rope before descending! I was immediately swept under the boat upon jumping in. Getting up was also another challenge, I had my glove on so I could grip the rope without getting cut, and hauled myself up the boat. Others who didn’t hang on to the rope got swept quite far away!
It’s an old WWII plane, and while I didn’t see any bones, my friends took some pictures. No skull though!
This was also the dive where I lost my pointer, but luckily my friends A and S picked it up! Really good karma =)
Dive 12/12 (#53)
10th Apr 2012
11.24am (64 mins)
Last dive of the day! We went to Chocolate Island, so named for looking like the famous Chocolate Hills in Philippines. It was another much diving site with sandy bottom, and it rained while we were doing our surface interval from the last dive. It poured again while we were gearing up so it was a quick jump into the water to escape the cold…
Lots of macro on this dive, and a really interesting encounter with a Cuttlefish threesome where one cuttlefish was trying in vain to cut into another pair’s mating party. It finally gave up after awhile and swam away dejected, but the happy couple remained perched in their spot, not moving even though we were crowded around them for the longest time. It didn’t even flinch when one diver reached out his hand towards it!
Highlights: Nudibranches galore! Yet another sea snake…