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Wreck Diving in Coron with Rocksteady Dive CenterJan 8, 2012
Coron, Palawan

Wreck Diving in Coron with Rocksteady Dive Center

You Get What You Pay For
After my first wreck dive at Kogyo Maru, I was stoked! Time for another wreck dive while I'm still here in Coron, the wreck capital of the Philippines. I heard good things about another dive shop, Rocksteady Dive Center. I checked it out. Immediately, I noticed they cost marginally more. The cheapest in town was P2,000/2 dives. They were charging P2700/2 dives. I asked, "Why would I dive here if it's more money and it's the same wreck?". The immediate and take-it-or-leave-it reply was, "You get what you pay for." Hmmmm. Curious, I signed-up to see what it's all about.

Nice Touches
Immediately, I noticed the difference. I was fitted with the equipment a day before to minimize dive-day delay. Nice! My gear was put into one crate that was for me alone - not mixed up with other's. Nice! On dive day itself, I was assigned one divemaster all for myself. Another nice! Dive groups were small and grouped according to diver skill level. While decompressing at 3m after a dive, I also noticed a tank and regulator on standby at that depth just in case anyone was running low on air - super nice! Included lunch was plenty and appetizing. The dive went well with no equipment issues - unlike the discomforting experience I had with a different dive shop. Yeah, you get what you pay for.

Rocksteady Dive Center Rocksteady Dive Center office     Olympia Maru Olympia Maru     Morazan Maru Morazan Maru

Olympia Maru Olympia Maru
The Olympia Maru is a 127m Japanese cargo ship sunk in 1944 and lies upright 30m deep. There are many entry points that allow deep penetration into the wreck. Light from above streams through allowing for greater visibility. The cargo holds are spacious and gave a sense of flight. Unlike being on a reef where there is open expanse, being in a cargo hold where you see the confining floor, walls and ceiling...and you find yourself floating in the middle of trippy! The hull is covered with hard corals with abundant marine life. We can only do so much in one dive, but to anyone obsessed with wreck diving, you could spend several dives just exploring the inner sanctum of this ship. Lastly, I saw a huge cuttlefish!

Morazan Maru Morazan Maru
The Morazan Maru is a 112m Japanese freighter sunk in 1944 (I guess these wrecks were all sunk in one Allied air raid). It lies on its starboard side at 16m. This is ideal as a beginner wreck as it's not too deep and you can dive through its entire lenth with huge boiler rooms giving you a lot of space. Again, being inside a wreck is a ghoulish experience. It felt like trespassing an eerie graveyard. Throughout the dive, I saw teeming marine life - scorpion fish, stingrays, and as a surprise, a huge lobster in its full form. Usually, in a reef, I only see the protruding antennae of a lobster as it hides inside a rock. Here, it entered a porthole thinking it was another rock. But once inside, there was no place to conceal itself!

There was a third wreck dive, but I opted to chillout. Beyond 2 dives, it feels like stretching it. 2 is good enough.

Being Free
I couldn't forget the conversation I had with a German couple on the boat. They sold everything they had in Germany to travel for an entire year. I asked why they had to sell everything. They said, "It's the only way we could be free." WOW!

Ending Thoughts
I've done 3 wreck dives to date - and it only whet my appetite for wreck diving! Next time I visit Coron, I'll try more wrecks until I muster enough sinew to dive the dreaded Irako Maru - they call this the DDD - deep, dark and dangerous!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - wishlist? just one. I hope the staff didn't smoke while on the job. It's annoying to non-smokers (like me).
Not in the story: Kogyo Maru Kogyo Maru, East Tangat East Tangat, Irako Maru Irako Maru, Barracuda Lake Barracuda Lake, Kayangan Lake Kayangan Lake

disclosure: Rocksteady Dive Center became clients after my initial talks with Gerd and Karin. This blog is not a lip-service for them. I just say it like it is.

Rocksteady Dive Center

Rocksteady Dive Center

We're Not The Cheapest, But You Get What You Pay For

Company:Rocksteady Dive Center
Contact:Gerd and Karin
Location:Barangay 5, National Highway, Coron 5316, Palawan, Philippines
Mobile:+(63)919.624.0034 / +(63)918.695.0608
Coconut Insider Site: Rocksteady Dive Center

morazan_maru olympia_maru P1072826 P1082830
P1082834 P1082844 P1082845 P1082846
P1082848 P1082849 P1082850 P1082855

Google Map Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines

tourist attractions in Busuanga tourist attractions hotels in Busuanga hotel, beach house and accommodation expedition in Busuanga tour and expedition
  • Tribal Adventures Tours Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
    +63 998.999.3049 |
  • Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours - island tours, community based ecotourism experience
    +639193054363 / +639202546553 / +63 9152543246 / 02 984 7795 |

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