We just finish the dive briefing for the first dive at Camiguin island and I can’t wait what the dive site Old Volcano has to offer. After a 2,5-hour boat ride I am ready for some action! We gear up and with a giant strike from the boat we start our dive. Yikes! That’s cold! is my first reaction the moment I hit the water. Quickly I correct myself; ‘Jess, don’t be silly! You are in the Philippines, it is NOT cold!’ While the water is still 27 degrees Celsius, it is cooler than the waters around Anda.
There is a little current and we gently drift along with it. Since we are diving on the shadow side of the island, the visibility is limited, and it makes it hard to spot bigger life coming out from the blue. I read some stories about divers who spotted manta rays and eagle rays on this dive site so let’s see how lucky we are today!
The structure of the dive site is beautiful. The remaining of the volcano eruption of Mount Hibok-Hibok has created a steep rocky slope with pinnacles made of lava rocks which are beautifully covered by hard corals. Each pinnacle has become an ecosystem itself and it attracts a lot of life. Every now and then you see this ‘landslide’ under water and I am just imagining big rocks come rolling down, disappearing into the deep. This dive site really tells a story.
The big ray didn’t show himself during this dive, but we were lucky to found 3 frogfishes and some Ornate Ghost pipefishes. Schools of fusiliers were passing by and we found a little Hawksbill turtle who was a little too shy. After a 45 minutes dive we started our safety stop and we spotted many Needle fishes at the surface who were hunting at this big group of glass fishes. After 50 minutes it is time to go up and slowly I start rolling up my reel of my surface marker buoy.
Once breaking the surface, the boat is already on her way to pick us up. We climb back onboard and there are plates full of fresh mangoes and slices of watermelon waiting for us. ‘That was a good one’ I was thinking to myself and in my mind, I am still there underwater. I sip on my cup of coffee while I started my surface interval. Oh my god! These mangoes are THE best mangoes in the world!
My eyes are scrolling over the beautiful landscape of the island and in the distance, I see this big WHITE CROSS standing out above the water. I know exactly what that is. It is the landmark of our second dive; Sunken Cemetery. I am really looking forward to this dive site!