Dive 291: West Escarceo to Hole In The Wall, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 18.9 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Steve
Surface interval: 17:23:00

This was our last dive in Puerto Galera and it was a fantastic summary of everything we’d seen here. Beautiful reef with abundant fish life. As soon as we descended, we saw a green turtle, which started swimming off into the blue. Our dive guide Huw also showed us an electric clam hiding under an overhang, which had bright red tentacles and sparkled with blue electricity like a disco ball.

We also saw a mantis shrimp scurrying around the reef, a white eyed moray, two fat jorunna funebris nudibranchs, a batfish, trevally, baby lion fish, a couple of clown triggerfish, and a chromodoris annae nudibranch.

The beginning of the dive was a bit painful since I found it difficult to equalise my left ear but it got better as the dive went on.

Dive 288: Kilima Bay, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:43:00
Max depth: 21.6 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Steve
Surface interval: 17:41:00

Our second day of diving here and it was another beautiful reef dive. We saw a turtle on the reef, happily letting us come up close. We also saw a couple of sweet lips, trumpetfish, lots of anemone fish, nudibranchs.

Dive 286: Monkey Beach, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 21.3 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Alan, Angela
Surface interval: 02:15:00

Steve sat out this dive, and what a mistake! We saw a huge Hawksbill turtle on the sandy bottom of the reef, munching away happily while we were watching it. After a couple of minutes being the centre of attention, the turtle swam off up to the surface.

Another nice relaxing dive, drifting along to a mild current. We saw trumpet fish, anemone fish, a couple of banner fish out in the blue, a marbled grouper, a blue and yellow grouper, a few parrotfish, and juvenile banner fish. The reef was covered in lots of hard and soft corals, as well as whips, fans and feather stars. We even saw a little feather star swimming, looking very funny like an octopus having a seizure.

Dive 269: Pinnacles, Similan Island #9 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:55:00
Max depth: 32.6 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 03:02:00

The swell was still tossing the boat around as we jumped in. We descended on some large rocky outcrops with a few gutters that had large fan corals, barrel sponges and plate corals on top. We ended up a bit deeper than originally planned, and I spent a fair bit of the dive coming quite close to the NDL.

The site had some absolutely enormous boulders, including one that just looked like the hull of a ship with a pointy end rising out like the bow. Really majestic and awe-inspiring. There wasn’t much growth on the big boulders save for the occasional small fan or green tube coral but there were quite a few parrotfish or angelfish looking for snacks.

We saw a couple of hawksbill turtles on the dive, one was near the the bottom of a mooring, persistently trying to crack some sort of crustacean that was stuck on a rock. Towards the end of the dive on massive beds of dead coral was another turtle that looked like it was eating a crab, with a few angelfish waiting for scraps.

I also saw a giant moray eel, a couple of giant trevally, a couple of lionfish, Kuhl’s stingray, a pair of clown triggerfish, and blue faced angelfish.


Dive 266: Shark Fin Reef, Similan Island #3 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:54:00
Max depth: 28.0 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 30 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 03:01:00

My first buddy Edwin had issues equalising so I was turfed to the other group of divers with Axl as the dive guide and two other guys. The site was one massive rock that gently sloped upwards, with a few squeezy but nice swimthroughs, including one with some fans that I thought I was going to tear through (luckily I didn’t!). A really nice cruisy and relaxing dive with lots of green tube coral, fans, whip corals and anemones. There was a bit of a current in the middle of the dive so it was even a chilled out drift dive.

I saw some three-spot angelfish, parrotfish, moorish idols, schooling bannerfish, a massive round batfish, a giant triggerfish, a small hawksbill turtle asleep in a hole, white spotted boxfishes, about 4-5 barracuda near the surface, 3 giant trevally, oriental sweetlips, a billion fusiliers, and spotted unicornfish.