Diving Apo Reef

Trip Start Feb 07, 2004
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Trip End Dec 15, 2005


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Flag of Philippines  ,
Saturday, November 26, 2005

When I heard that Apo Reef is considered to be almost (some say equally) as good as Tubbataha Reef (considered a Top 10 World Dive site, but ocean too rough at this time of year to reach) I made a bee-line for it, well not quite...

A return ferry to Batangas followed by overnight ferry to San Jose, then 3 hour Bus ride (overrun by a hundred kids along the way) through the bamboo hut villages to Sambalaya where after a further 30 min boat trip I arrived at Pandan Island Resort.

Very relaxing, no cars or tv, salt-water showers, only about 15 people and no locks on any of the rooms. It was great to fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing about 10m from my room.

A day trip out to Apo Reef (2.5 hrs each way) was great. Though despite seeing dancing turtles and a couple of baby sharks, Sipadan (Malaysia) definitely had more fish life. - thanks Nick (German) for the underwater photos.

Finally, we (me & 6 Czechs) managed to hire a boat to take us directly to Coron, supposedly 7 hours from San Jose. Heading off at some ungodly hour to SJ, we made it to in time but were told the sea was too rough to leave. The soonest we could now leave was 2am. So, we checked into a hotel for half the night and then took off - but not before another hour was spent starting the engines...and continuing to restart them by 2 guys pulling on the starter rope on command of una, dos, tres! (1,2,3!).

We all agreed that the chances of actually arriving at Coron were about 25%... We go there, 11 hours later!
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