frogfish

Malapascua, a small island off the north of Cebu in the Philippines is known for thresher sharks. What it should be known for is amazing diving: with or without thresher sharks. Like many others, I came to see the threshers and wasn’t disappointed. Visibility wasn’t the greatest so unfortunately, this photo is the best I can share and doesn’t do justice to these beautiful fish. They live at depths well below what a recreational diver can go but come up every morning to a cleaning station where divers line up to watch the show. With their long tails, these are the most graceful sharks I’ve ever seen and I had a nice moment with one coming within 2 meters of me as it began its circle back to the murky blue.

thresher-shark

In addition to seeing the thresher sharks at Monad Shoal, I dove at Gato Island and Bugtong Bato and would happily return to any of the sites I visited. One of the Gato Island sites involves swimming nearly 30 meters through a tunnel lined with crabs, lionfish, and all sorts of sharp coral and rocks. And it’s dark. Dark enough that a torch is necessary to navigate. Fortunately, it’s between 5 and 10 meters wide at most points so it’s a relatively easy swim with a gentle current helping. I’m often not a fan of swim-throughs and caves but if I find more like this tunnel, I may become one.

3-morays
3 little white-eyed Morays
frogfish
Frogfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Jen back in the U.S., I’m making a real effort to improve my underwater photography but I have a long way to go. I’ve only just arrived in the Philippines and with so many incredible places to dive, I expect I’ll be here for as long as I can afford to keep diving.

stonefish
Stonefish
scorpion-fish
Scorpionfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

big-nudibranch
This nudibranch was almost as long as my hand
While this nudibranch was closer in size to my little toe.
While this nudibranch was closer in size to my little toe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to what’s pictured above, I saw harlequin shrimp, the biggest nudibranchs I’ve ever encountered, plenty of anemone fish, a cuttlefish, spider crabs, hermit crabs, white tip reef sharks, gorgeous seascapes of colorful soft corals, and so much more. It’s been a wonderful entree to diving in the Philippines.

I’m a little behind these days with the blog so please be patient with me as I fill in a few Malaysian gaps while exploring the Philippines, a country I fell in love with my first day on the ground!

One thought on “Diving in Malapascua

  • December 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    Permalink

    Glad you’re enjoying the Philippines! Been thinking about you a lot. Catch up soon?

    Reply

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