Today we were off Scuba diving to Apo Island touted as being another one of the Philippines many diving ‘hot spots’. The actual place we were to board our vessel was quite a way out of town so we all jumped on the back of one of the jeepneys at the Dive shop and off we went. The seats in it were not much better than wood which was exactly how our backsides felt after the journey but fortunately there was no permanent damage done. It turned out to be worth it though as the beach our boat was moored at was one of those little idyllic paradise spots you come across every once in a while and even though we were somewhat sore of botty the scenery at least refreshed our eyes. White sands, palm trees, blue seas – the whole works.
The journey out to the island was a good one as well because the boat was nice, the sea calm and the boat crew were always on hand to make a cuppa or give out a snack if needed. Apo Island itself was as good in terms of scenery if not better than the beach we had started out from. There were a few cabins and boats dotted about the place so whoever was lucky enough to actually be staying there was able to wake up to some top class views.
Down to ‘business’ though and we soon reached our first dive site, a place called Chapel Point, the corals here were very nice and colourful and we also managed to see some Lion fish as well as Scorpion fish, some Trumpet fish and some Nudibranch – plus something I have put down in my log as Nembrotha Kubaryana, this I actually thought was another nudibranch but it is more of a slug, a member of the gastropod family – okay I admit it I looked this information up but if you get the chance yourself look up a piccie, very colourful and not at all like the land slugs we have back in our garden! Our slugs could sometimes do with a lick of paint but then the birds would see them better I suppose, so each to their own eh! We were diving as a four (plus Divemaster) with a Canadian couple who were very nice but the young bloke was having problems with not having contact lenses to dive with which was a shame as the colours and views underneath the waves were excellent.
After our rest on the boat our next dive was at Largahan Point which had quite a bit of a different element to it in that during part of the dive we went over sand that was emitting bubbles – volcanic bubbles at that! Just these little tiny bubbles coming up from the sand dotted all over the place. We also saw a good bit of aquatic life including – a Racy Scorpion Fish, Disc Coral Shrimp, Sweetlips, Dog-toothed Tuna, a Seahorse (very unusual to find so we were informed) and a Sea Dragonette.
After this dive we then stopped for dinner, a really tasty sandwich, though I tend to find anything tastes good when you have had a couple dives under your belt and are parked up next to a picturesque island on an azure sea – does absolute wonders for the appetite!
Last dive of the day was at Katipanan Point, no volcanic bubbles here but we did see our old friends the turtles – hoorah! We also saw a Chamberlin’s Nudibranch, more Scorpion fish, some Fusilier/Cornet fish, a (vivid blue) Electric Blue clam (I suppose there is a clue in the name), some Anemone Tube Corals and a Whip Coral Shrimp once again one of those quite unusual oddities to see. The only downer was that on the last dive Liz was exhausted so rather than continue the dive she returned to the boat early whilst I had an extra few minutes down in the briney with the Divemaster. Liz was fine but I tend to think that the All Hands experience has taken a bit more out of both of us than we would presently care to admit.
So overall it had been a great day’s diving we had seen some new sealife yet again and the volcanic bubbles from the seabed were a extra treat. The dive team and boat crew had been really good and the boat was very nice especially to relax on on the return journey. The island was a joy to behold and finally whilst we were getting our gear off after the final dive a turtle came up and waved us off with his little flipper – well yes it probably had come up for air but we can all dream can’t we? … lol.