January 18-19, 2014: We enjoyed the diving in Northern Busuanga on our first visit last April, so we decided to take another plunge. This time around we had a chance to check out two new dive sites and squeeze in two more dives on the beautiful Kyokuzan Maru wreck.
On our first dive at Diboyoyan Island, we saw a stark comparison. Part of the reef had been severely damaged when Typhoon Yolanda tore through the area back in early November 2013. But tucked just in around a point, were very healthy hard and soft corals with oodles of fish mucking about. We knew Yolanda had done a real number on land but had never really considered what was happening beneath the waves…at least not until now. It was reminiscent of areas of reef we’d seen destroyed by dynamite fishing in other parts of southeast Asia (also a problem in the Philippines). There were some small signs that the coral was starting to recover in some places but it will take years before it makes a total comeback.
On our second dive at Diboyoyan Island we spotted several cuttlefish from the surface even before we started our descent. When we got down to their realm, we counted eight hanging out together around a small pinnacle. Wow! It was a mating ritual. The females were depositing their eggs into little nooks around the pinnacle. We could have happily spent the entire dive just watching them but eventually we followed our guide Omar and encountered a huge Moray eel, giant clams, a blue spotted ray and an incredible school of scads (jacks) being circled by a couple of big trevallys just below the surface.
The next day we were off to the Kyokuzan Maru. (See some of the history of this wreck from our previous post here.) Today our dive guide was Michael. Because the wreck is quite deep and we’d been diving the previous day, our dives were a little on the shorter side (especially on the second dive) to avoid having to make any decompression stops. Once again this site didn’t disappoint. There is so much life here, plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and even a few swim thrus. Our photos don’t really do it justice.
Chris took some incredible dive videos of the cuttlefish and the wreck. Once we’ve had a chance to edit the raw footage into something you might want to watch and locate a speedy internet connection to upload the final results, we’ll be sure to post them for you here on the blog.
Next stop…Calauit Island.
|January 18, 2014||Northern Busuanga Island||Omar, Dugong Dive Centre||Diboyoyan Island||Examples of severely typhoon damaged reef and healthy reef.|
|January 18, 2014||Northern Busuanga Island||Omar, Dugong Dive Centre||Diboyoyan Island||Eight cuttlefish around a small pinnacle! Huge ball of scads (jacks) in shallows.|
|January 19, 2014||Northern Busuanga Island||Michael, Dugong Dive Centre||Kyokuzan Maru Wreck||Stern half of the wreck. Batfish and jacks everywhere.|
|January 19, 2014||Northern Busuanga Island||Michael, Dugong Dive Centre||Kyokuzan Maru Wreck||Bow half of the wreck including the wheelhouse. Large moray eel on mast.|