Malapascua Day 9 & 10
We got to sleep in a little today. We were up around 7 o’clock. After getting the cameras and our stuff ready, we headed to breakfast. We mixed it up a little today and I had a bowl of fresh fruit (including mango of course) and some homemade bread toasted, while Eric had garlic rice.
Today we were doing a day trip to Kalanggaman island. It takes about an hour and a half to get there by boat. After our sleep-inducing ride to the island we jumped in for our first dive along the wall. It is very pretty with lots of large fan and soft corals. One of the guides pointed out a pigmy seahorse to me and after staring at the fan coral for quite some time, I was finally able to see it move. They blend in so well, and are so tiny, that it is extremely hard to see them. There was nothing overly spectacular, it was just a very nice place to dive and the visibility was good as well.
After our first dive we headed to the island for lunch. For lunch we had BBQ with rice, vegetables, and vegetarian noodles. After we devoured our yummy lunch, we walked down the beach to the sand bar. The island has a large sand bar that stretches out into the water that is almost as big as the island itself. It is a very pretty island that is a popular place for the locals and tourists to take day trips.
After we had all relaxed and explored the island a bit, we hopped back on the boat and headed out to do the second dive, which was along the wall, but in a different direction. Toward the end of the dive we ended up on top of the reef with lots of little things to see such as the gobies with their “housekeeping” shrimp.
We were on this trip with a group of 8 divers from Singapore who were all photographers. As we were coming up to begin our three-minute safety stop, we noticed there was still one guy laying down on the bottom, taking pictures. The guide started banging on his tank and I started shaking my noisemaker trying to get his attention. We finally got his attention. By that time he had already gone into decompression time of 17 minutes, which meant he had to stay under water for his safety stop for that length of time (instead of just 3 minutes). We all sat on the boat and waited for him and the guide to surface and get on the boat. By the time the diver was able to surface, he barely had any air left—he got really lucky. That is why it is so important to always keep an eye on your air and no decompression time—no matter what you are doing.
After everyone was back on the boat safety, we started our hour and a half cruise back to Malapascua. By the time we got back to the resort, it was about 5:30 p.m. We got cleaned up and came back to the restaurant to have some dinner before heading to bed for another early morning.
Today is our last day of diving. We signed up to do the early morning Kimud Shoal/Monad Shoal 2-tank dive at 4:45 a.m. Kimud Shoal is an underwater island where they have seen hammerheads in the past, so we thought we would give it a shot. After our Layang Layang schooling hammerhead trip a few years ago was a bust, we have yet to see a hammerhead. After the almost hour trip to get out there, we jumped in and swam around for about an hour. There were lots of assorted jellies, but no hammerheads.
After everyone was back on the boat, we headed back to Monad Shoal to see if we could spot some Threshers. After an hour surface interval on the boat, we dove in again. I don’t think anyone saw any Threshers, but it was still a nice dive. I did manage to see an anemone all balled up—which I have only seen a couple times. It is really neat to see as some of them can be very colorful—this one was blue/purple.
We did these two dives with the Singaporian group as well and everyone did a little better with watching their air/time. We only had to collect up one diver that did not stay with the group on the second dive. After everyone was on the boat, we made our way back to the resort. We got back around 9:30 and I ordered breakfast for both of us before breakfast time ended at 10 a.m.
We enjoyed our breakfast and the wonderful breeze coming off the water before heading to our room to have a little nap before our afternoon dive at 2:30. After our nap, we returned to the restaurant to have a snack before our dive on the house reef. We had not yet had an opportunity to dive the house reef, which is really nice, so we were anxious to go today as it would be our last opportunity.
Gino was our guide for the dive and it was just Eric and me. There is always some current on the house reef, but it wasn’t horrible today. This was an awesome dive—the best of the trip and a wonderful last dive. We saw all kinds of stuff—a stargazer (which I had never seen before), octopus, decorator crabs, porcelain crab, snapping shrimp, squat lobster, emperor shrimp, zebra urchin crab, box crab, urchin carry crab, clownfish with eggs, cuttlefish, nudibranchs and other usual suspects.
After a great last dive, we rinsed all our gear and started the drying process in preparation for packing everything up. We then returned to our room, got cleaned up, checked out the photos and video from today, and then headed to the restaurant to have dinner. We won’t be diving tomorrow so we can stay up as late as we want and sleep in tomorrow. We will be leaving tomorrow afternoon around 5 p.m. to get the last boat crossing before dark. Our flight leaves Cebu just after midnight, but we don’t like cutting it too close getting to the airport since it involves a boat crossing and then a 3-4 hour drive to get there. You never know what traffic or the roads are going to be like getting to the airport.