Basingstoke sub aqua club
Basingstoke sub aqua scuba diving

Basingstoke Branch 2117

Blue Water Diving Philippines trip.
st to 17th October 2017

Four members of Blue Water Diving undertook this trip, a two centre holiday to the Philippines
The group consisted of Bryan, Peter, John and me, Clive.

Week 1, 2nd to 9th October, Blue Star Resort & Dive Centre, Bohol Island

The journey consisted of flights from Heathrow, via Dubai to Cebu, then a minibus transfer to the port, a ferry to Bohol island and another transfer to the Blue Star Resort on the island.

Accommodation was in twin roomed apartments (about 10 in all) on a (mainly coconut) wooded volcanic hillside, with pool & reception/restaurant on this level. A little lower down the hill was the dive centre, run by Brit Mick from Devon. More steps led down to the mooring for the dive boat. The grounds had a variety of wildlife including regular geckos and much larger leopard gecko, that seemed to be resident outside our apartment, kingfishers, a flock of glossy starlings and Shrikes.

The weather was “interesting” we usually had gorgeous sunsets, often followed by thunderstorms & torrential rain overnight, however daytimes were mainly sunny and comfortably warm.

Diving was from an outrigger type Banka boat (also known as bangka, banca or pump-boats) which could take around 8 divers plus crew. There is a coral reef shelf with a stunning quality and range of both soft & hard corals extending out about 100m right along the coast here, at depths of 5m to 8m (great for safety stops at the end of the dives). The reef then drops away to a wall, also covered in corals, dropping to the seabed at 20m to 30m. The diving is all along this wall, the furthest sites being around 20min away by boat. During our stay there was always a current, running right to left as you looked out from the shore. Due to the current the dive centre did not permit shore diving as divers would struggle to return to their entry point, this was clearly demonstrated to us one day when we had to rescue a snorkeler who was in trouble. She was drifting along the reef, although it did not help that she was wearing a pair of flip-flops on her feet.

Diving was almost all along the reef wall sometimes venturing out on to the sandy plateau. Many of the fish appeared similar to those I have seen in the Red Sea, however there were many more (and different varieties) of Anemone fish, different types of Nudibranch and Green Turtles were very often seen. On one particular dive I counted 11, many of which were resting among the corals on the shallower part of the reef – at between 5 & 10m. Other creatures seen were: shoals of small Catfish, Sea Moths, a group of 4 Razorfish that hang vertically in the water, head down, Banded Sea Snakes, Cushion Stars, Garden Eels on a couple of the sandy plateaus, Pygmy Sea Horses and a Ghost Pipefish, which we would have dismissed as a bit of floating weed, had it not been pointed out to us.