Thanks to Rob Jacobs of Calypso Multimedia for allowing us to share this great video of some of the wonderful creatures you can see when scuba diving in beautiful Puerto Galera.
If you are diving the Philippines, as a visitor, a resident or an expatriate; Verde Island needs to be on your scuba-safari bucket list. Situated between Batangas and the island of Mindoro, Verde Island is a day trip away from Puerto Galera (as well as Sabang and White Beach). The area around Verde Island boasts some of the best diving in the area, which is to say some of the best diving anywhere in the world. Depending on the tide, the currents in the area run from tepid to strong. This dive is therefore best suited to more experienced divers with an advanced PADI open water certification.
With over 300 coral species, the area (known as the “coral triangle) is considered one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of coral found anywhere. The pristine coral attracts an astonishing array of marine lifeincluding dense schools of anthia fish, dolphins, fans,sea whips, sea snakes,rays, reef sharks, as well as endangered species such as hawksbill turtles, olive ridley turtles, green turtles, humphead wrasses, giant groupers and giant clams.
Because Verde Island is some distance from our location on Big La Laguna, you should coordinate with Scandi’s dive team to organize a day trip to remember. It’s best to enlist a few like-minded advanced divers for the trip to share the cost of the boat and crew. More importantly, you’ll definitely want to compadres for the experience as you explore the stunning beauty of a Verde Island Dive.
Verde Island Dive Trip Logistics: The boat leaves early in the morning to catch the proper tides for diving Pinnacle, Coral Garden or Washing Machine. Scandi will organize a dive master and crew who will take care of your gear and lunch after your two dives. The crew brings drinking water and towels as well as most everything you need besides a camera (which you will definitely want). Typically the dives are separated by a surface interval followed by lunch on the beach before you head back to Scandi in the early afternoon.
The Pinnacle/Drop Off
The Pinnacle is a massive reef located on the east side of Verde Island. Your boat will drop you near the point or pinnacle of the reef where you descend to explore the amazing variety of coral and marine life denizens of the reef formation. It’s important to maintain buoyancy and stay with the dive master as the current is best gaged by a diver with plenty of Verde Island experience to ensure you don’t get blown off the wall or caught in a rogue up or down current. As you traverse through the dive, you will see large fan coral, sponges and large schools of juvenile triggerfish, butterfly fish and antheas. The area is so abundant with life, that the schools actually obscure the surface. The variety of marine life as well as the hard and soft coral together with great visibility make this Puerto Galera’s premier dive.
After the stunning experience of the Drop Off, Washing Machine makes for a wholly different scuba experience. Depending on the tidal conditions when you dive, you might experience currents that rip across several shallow canyons that push you in different directions or a great, shallow dive for photographing sea life and coral. Besides a wild current ride, you can see schooling fish and occasionally pelagics such as tuna, traveled or reef sharks. With the current churning, hence the name “Washing Machine,” it may shift direction unexpectedly and so the dive is reserved for experienced divers with and experienced guide.
Let’s say you been seriously contemplating getting your PADI Scuba Diving certification — Open Water, Advanced Open Water, NiTROX, etc.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about doing this at an island paradise dive resort in the coral triangle defined by the vertices: Puerto Galera, Anilao, and Verde Island (this coral triangle is widely regarded as the center of the center of the greatest bio-diversity on earth).
Maybe you want to go somewhere close to Manila, say three hours away, with over 35 dive sites that offer challenges to divers of all levels — beginner, advanced, expert.
Maybe it’s been nagging at you for some time. You tell yourself to go do things that are good for you: read more, eat better, get out there and get certified.
We’d like to offer this gentle inducement to head over our way. Come see us at Scandi Divers Resort or Campbell’s Beach Resort and take your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses to receive a 15% discount on your room and dives!
Of course, you might already be certified and you’ve been daydreaming of getting back out there and getting some well-deserved, biodiversalicious undersea scuba-type R&R. Come for seven nights with dives and receive 15% off on your room and dives.
Being a scuba diver is awesome. You breathe underwater, identify fish and experience weightlessness on every vacation. You have designated yourself as an ocean activist, and you’re well on your way to achieving Master Scuba Diver. Being the scuba diver in your group of friends is a big responsibility, but you handle it with grace and ease.
Did you know that as a scuba diver, you’ve developed skills that also make you rule at life? It’s true!
Here are six areas where divers rule because of their savvy scuba skills:
#1 – You know how to go with the flow literally and figuratively
The resistance of water forces us to slow everything down.
Divers rule because we know: Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to, when that happens act slowly and deliberately and don’t fight forces of nature.
#2 – You’re better at communicating
Whether it’s with hand signals or flashlights, we are constantly checking in with a buddy. The more you dive the more you learn how to identify a diver in distress.
Divers rule because we know: Communication is important to any relationship. Divers know the importance of checking-in to let your partner know you’re OK.
#3 – You’re brave
Breathing underwater is an unnatural act for humans. After proper training you learn to trust your equipment and your instructor.
Divers rule because we know: A new experience once thought to be scary isn’t so bad after education and practice.
#4 – You know how to prioritize
Three outfits for a 7-day trip? No problem. Equipment that gives you a memorable experience takes precedence over looking good.
Divers rule because we know: Happiness means prioritizing experiences. Making memories that last a lifetime is far more important that superficial stuff.
#5 – You know how to get things done
Every diver knows to begin their dive against the current.
Divers rule because we know: Getting the hard part out of the way first will mean having the time and space to relax later.
#6 – You learn to play well with others
Scuba divers bond together by their shared experience. The scuba diving community creates a sense of camaraderie.
Divers rule because we know: Everyone wants to be part of a community. Divers have a way to bond with others outside of family and work.
June 8 is World Oceans Day! We’re showing some love for seahorses!
Seahorses aren’t just unique in their looks. They’re unusual among fish because they’re monogamous – they mate for life!
They also swim “upright,” fluttering a small fin on their back up to 35x per second.
Several species are vulnerable to extinction, so show them some love by not buying products made from seahorses.
World Oceans Day is celebrated around the world every June 8th. Join in! Visit http://www.WorldOceansDay.org/ to download materials & find events near you!
Thanks to Bill Sarro from Maryland Scuba Association for the beautiful photos. Looking forward to have you back!
Against a clean night sky stippled with stars, colored lights dance on spindly palm trees while an eclectic play list happily echoes across a the best natural amphitheater you’ve ever heard. It’s the Malasimbo Music and Arts festival where the aural and visual conspire to conjure an atmosphere conducive to serious grooving.
Down here at Big La Laguna, the home of Scandi Divers and Campbell’s Beach Resort, we eagerly anticipate the early March event. This is the fifth time Mount Malasimbo has summoned its kaleidoscope of artists, musicians, DJ’s, travel-set hipsters, Pinoy locals, Asean cognicenti and a handful of very fortunate vacationers and divers to Mount Malasimbo.
Together with other forward-thinking music confabs like the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuchin, Malaysia or Music Matters Live in Singapore; the Philippines’ music festival is making some serious noise both as a tremendous venue for established and emergent talent and as a showcase for Oriental Mindoro’s natural beauty and outdoor attractions: scuba diving (very close to our hearts), snorkeling, biking, hiking and island hopping.
Each year Malasimbo has expanded and improved the event. Last year, with Robert Glaspar headlining the show, the event added cashless payment for food and drink inside the venue. This year with This year the event organizers added a second event called Lights and Dance focusing on dance and Lightshow featuring James Brown’s former band leader Fred Wesley, Australia’s Tom Thum and reggae giant Bob Marley’s son, Ky-Mani Marley.
Beyond the music and art, what makes the festival great is that the event is dedicated the preservation of the indigenous Mangyan villages and eco-protection of Mindoro Oriental through its partnership with the French organization Noe’ Conservation.
Sound good? Then start planning early to join Malasimbo in early March, 2016 and stay with us at Scandi or Campbell’s to catch a few dives during the day and head up the mountain for a spectacular music show at night.
Another great week with a group from I Love Diving. See you next month Shen Lei!