Scuba Diving Destination Archives

Dive Travel

Our next fabulous adventure will be in both Puerto Galera and Dumaguete, Philippines.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7000 islands, is a democratic, English speaking pro-western society with over 80% of the population being Catholic. With all the amenities and services a diver would want.

From Manila we will transfer to Puerto Galera, Sabang Beach, home of the first Atlantis Hotel in the Philippines. We will be greeted by the friendly staff with first class service. The small boutique hotel has forty clean and comfortable rooms, all with mini fridges, snacks and satellite TV’s. The resort lies on Sabang Beach. It meanders up a small hillside filled with tropical gardens, providing a gorgeous view of the surrounding bay with a mountainous landscape.

The dedication and hard work of the dive staff will make our diving effortless! Each divers name is printed on their own locker space. The dive guides prep our gear; transfer it to the boats and at the end of each day, rinse and store them. The dive schedule allows up to four dives per day in small groups of up to six, with very short 2 – 10 minute boat rides to most dive sites. Of course it’s up to you, how much you want to dive. Personally, I enjoy two dives per day with an occasional night dive. All depending on the length and depths we’re diving. Many divers are not yet willing to partake in night dives and that is perfectly fine. This is your trip, I expect everyone to do exactly as they please.

By diving in smaller groups, we are able to give more personalized attention, as well as, making it easier to locate the cool and exotic critters. There are countless varieties of fish, corals and macro marine life in the Philippines! The nudibranchs, anemone fish and Ornate Ghost Pipefish are perfectly and beautifully colored. Divers get to see more of God’s amazing artwork up-close and personal, like no other place on this earth!

Mostly we will reef dive with an occasional muck dive. For those new to this type; muck diving is usually on flat areas of the bottom. At first you might think the bottom is deserted, as there are no reefs in sight. Then with the help of the local dive guides keen eye sight, the most unusual and exciting life will begin to appear: Flamboyant cuttlefish, porcelain crabs, ornate ghost pipefish, devilfish, tiny frogfish ribbon eels, and many more exciting surprises.

The Verde Island is a special place not to be missed; it is located between the islands of Mindoro and Luzon. It is a random island in a country of thousands of islands. This pinnacle barely protrudes from the water. It provides a wonderful underwater mountain landscape with perfectly clear visibility. Every island seems to have a good story; the passage between the two large islands was an important east-west sailing route. The story goes that a Spanish galleon had problems offshore from Verde Island, the boat sunk there in about 196 feet. Divers are still finding booty that is dated back to the time of this ship’s sinking. Most dive shallower to see the myriad of life forms on the reef. The site is approximately 45 minute boat ride from Puerto Galera. One of the most relaxing trips you will ever encounter!

The boat rides around Puerto Galera are scenic with climbing hills of dense green palm trees and mountains aligned against the bright blue sky. You will want to have your camera close at all times.

The dining at Atlantis deserves a special mention. The cooks, staff and Maître D work tirelessly to provide quality service, usually reserved for world class hotels.

After days we will transfer to Manila and a one hour flight to Dumaguete, home to the second Atlantis Hotel. Dumaguete is the Philippines sixth largest city, and it is thriving with activity. More than 30,000 students attend the local colleges and universities. This is a city that has a little bit of everything.

It’s a short 20 minute ride south of town to the Atlantis Hotel in Dumaguete. Once again we will be greeted like Kings and Queens with welcome cocktails, an efficient check-in and orientation. We will stay in another boutique hotel set in tropical gardens on a beautiful volcanic sand beach that stretches for miles. The restaurant sets right on the beach with a great ocean view.

The dive operators use the traditional Bangka style Filipino boats with outriggers. They provide a large, comfortable, covered and stable platform, adding to the cultural experience. The dive sites around Dumaguete offers a variety of wall, muck and patch reef diving. A number of marine sanctuaries were created to protect sections of the reef from hunting and fishing. The Apo Island and Siquijor Island dives are special excursions, 45 minutes on a large Bangka boat, three dives and a delicious buffet lunch. The diversity and quantity of cool marine life make these macro destinations difficult to rival.

The restaurant, food and service is as impressive as the sister property. The meal selection and presentation is impressive. Dumaguete has a nice market, the fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful.

Might you enjoy their beautiful scenery, friendly service, delicious food, great diving, clean hotels and comfortable beds?

I’m in, are you?

Let’s go!

Leslie : )

Diving in Cozumel

Leslie O’Neill of Scuba Explorers and her diving buddies, make frequent stops in Cozumel.

It’s a hop-skip-and-a-jump away. We dive three days and we’re back in time for lunch each day. The entire day is ours to play, sun, shop, relax, eat drink and yes we are merry!

The reefs are incredible. The crystal blue water is beautiful against the white sand; and the colorful marine life…what can I say?

One of these days; you may decide to join our adventure. Those who don’t care to dive, hardly miss us.

On our group trips, you are welcome to come and go as you please – we are not joined at the hip, unless that’s your preference…it’s YOUR vacation!

P.S. Guys don’t take that a different direction. : )

xoxoxox

Cenotes

360 × 270 Dos Ojos Cenotes 787 × 523  cenotes cenote_xcacel Yucatan Cenotes

The water that gathers in these subterranean Cenotes is crystal clear with a slight turquoise color with a very pleasant temperature of about 77-78°F. Cenotes are beautiful, enigmatic and unique in the world, the stalactites and stalagmites that form inside the Cenotes are true natural works of art. In many, holes in the ceiling allow the sunlight to filter into the Cenotes, giving the scene a magical feeling unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

Cenotes were considered sacred places of the Mayans not only because they were the only source of fresh water, but also because they represented the entrance to Xibalba, the underworld where their gods lived.

Because of the proximity to the ocean, salt water also seeps into the Cenotes, though the freshwater of the Cenotes floats on top of the higher density saline water intruding from the coastal margins. Where the saline and fresh water meet is called a halocline, which means a sharp change in salt concentration over a small change in depth. The mixing of fresh and saline water results in a blurry swirling effect due to refraction between the different densities of fresh and saline waters.

Over the past 20 years experienced cave divers have explored these caves and underground river systems, discovering to date more than 300 miles of inter-connected caves and passageways. Some of the Cenotes are more than 300 feet deep and part of underground cave systems that are several miles in length, though special training and equipment is needed to explore beyond the limits of visible light or go deeper than 70ft. All of the dives are suitable for certified Open Water divers.

Turks & Caicos

Where the water is perfect, calm clear & beautiful!  One of Leslie’s many favorite dive locations.

A swim to the dive boat in beautiful clear & turquoise water.

Turks & Caicos

 

Cozumel Allegro

Turneffe Island Resort

Cayman Brac


Cayman Brac’s rugged 14 square miles retains the charm and friendliness of a traditional seafaring community – yet it offers the country’s most dramatic scenery.

The Country’s Most Dramatic Scenery
“Brac” is the Gaelic word for bluff, the Brac’s dominant natural attraction. It is a limestone ridge which rises gradually from the west along the center of the island to 140 ft. at the eastern tip, plunging as a sheer dramatic cliff into the indigo Caribbean Sea below. It sculpts the landscape into unexpected vistas carved with caves and covered with a startling variety of flora and fauna.

Experience the breathtaking view on the bluff from the lighthouse. Explore the enticing caves and sinkholes, high above water. Wander through the woodlands filled with exotic flowers and plants. Bird watching on the bluff is stunning. Frigate birds, brown boobies, peregrine falcons and the rare Cayman Brac parrot can be spotted in their natural environment.

A Traditional Seafaring Community
Just as fascinating are the Brackers themselves; a warm and independent population of fewer than 1800. They take pride in their homeland and enjoy sharing it with visitors. Small towns have names like West End, Watering Place, Cotton Tree Bay, Creek and Spot Bay. Tropical flowers bloom year-round in carefully-tended yards surrounding charming ‘Caymanian’ style homes. The Brac’s special peacefulness refreshes – but its startling contrasts will awaken your adventurous spirit!

Diving
In Cayman Brac, diving is what attracts most people to this small island. The newest attraction for divers is the wreck of the 330 ft. M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian built Cuban naval frigate which was sunk off the island’s northwest coast in September 1996. It is already the home for a variety of marine life. There are two other small wrecks off the Brac’s coast.



Activities and Attractions

Ashore, attractions include the Cayman Brac Museum at Stake Bay, a variety of dramatic caves; such as Rebecca’s Cave, Peter’s Cave and Halfway Ground Cave, nature trails exploring the bluff and ironshore beneath it at the eastern tip, small, charming homes restored in traditional seafaring architectural styles. The delightful people of this unusual community are its main attractions.

Fisherman will revel in shallow waters filled with bonefish and deeper offshore waters teeming with gamefish. For those simply wanting to relax, indulge yourself in the solitude of quiet beaches.

The National Trust chapter has activities scheduled throughout the year. A one – mile long nature trail on the bluff adjacent the 281 acre Parrot Reserve was opened in July 1996. Birdwatching has long been considered an excellent, and underpromoted attraction of this tiny island. The Sister Islands have over 200 bird species.

Watersports
Golf
Sports
Nature Tours
Kayaking
Diving
Snorkeling
Fishing
Sailing
Tours

Beaches
Cayman Brac has serene beaches that are not inhibited by many visitors and is a great place to crawl into a hammock and spend the aftertoon. Brac Reef Resort and Carib Sands have beautiful beach front just a few steps form your room.