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skin diving

Oscar Night at Dauins District 1 Marine Reserve

Jun 11, 2010

Oscar Night at Dauin's District 1 Marine Reserve

Getting Back on the Horse
When Rene invited me to join Nadia and friend Crissy for a dive at Dauin's District 1 Marine Reserve, the specter of another Titan Triggerfish attack was the first thing that came to mind. It was daunting, but I knew I had to get back on the horse. The three of them would be scuba diving while I hover on the surface. I would join them below when I see anyone pointing to something. From their depth of around 12 meters, I wouldn't be able to discern what they were pointing to, so I had to go down to take a closer look.


All-Star Cast
Today's dive was nothing short of Oscar night...all the stars were out and hamming it. Rene was the paparazzi, Nadia and Crissy were the ringside star-gazers and I was the bedazzled spectator from the bleacher.

Mr. Grouper(s)
Not to disappoint, my favorite resident grouper was there. But there was more of them, each occupying a different coral outcropping. While I only saw 2, the crew saw no fewer than 3 groupers - big ones!

I also saw 2 pencil-like fish about 2 feet long. Rene later identified them as immature barracudas - not yet sizeable to be aggressive. He expressed more safety concern from a mature barracuda than a shark. He relayed that on one survey, he had a partner whose only job was to be a lookout for any aggressive barracuda.

Titan Triggerfish
Continuing on from the surface, I saw the now-familiar bright yellow head - the dreaded Titan Triggerfish patrolling around its nest. Good thing I was still a good distance away. I saw Nadia from below warning the others to stay away. No untoward incident on this one, but I'm glad I saw it. To have seen all the other stars and not see a Titan would have been a let-down.

Moving on, I saw them pointing out to something. While going down, I thought I had a cataract problem when part of my vision had a blurry spot. I realized the blurry spot was a perfectly camouflaged cuttlefish flapping its wavy side fin. Probably 2 feet in length, nearly half its bulk was just the head...awesome! It was unafraid, hamming it as the four of us just looked on.

Sea Turtle
Proceeding with the dive, they saw a sea turtle busy munching on a coral. It was unmindful of our presence. It continued to munch on while we stayed there just mermerized by this magnificent creature. Instead of the creature swimming away, we were the ones who moved on. It was still munching.

One Good Dive
After slightly over an hour, we hit the shore. They saw so many things, I had to repeatedly dive down so as not to miss anything. That got me winded out by the end of their dive. We were all tired but jubilant over the show that was. Even by scuba diving standard, Nadia and Crissy were all superlatives about the dive. We were all smiles.

Ending Thoughts
I'd been skin diving since high school but I would have to say this particular dive is the best - even better than Apo Island. Usually a good dive is seeing a moray eel or a giant clam. Once, I saw a small lobster at Anilao and I thought it was the best dive in the world. But here at Dauin's District 1, in a short 1 hour dive, I saw a few Mr. Groupers, a sea turtle, a cuttlefish, barracuda and the sinister Titan Triggerfish...whoa! And if you factor-in that this site is a 5-minute walk from the main highway and no more than an hour away from a city, that's just mind-blowing. Dumaguete! Dumaguete! This is such a great place, you have to say it twice.

--- TheLoneRider

Again, many many thanks to Rene and Nadia for tagging me along.

Dauin Poblacion 1 Marine Sanctuary Links on

How to get there from Dumaguete:

  • take a tricycle and ask to be dropped-off the jeep terminal going to Dauin (the terminal is near Robinson's Place) - P8.
  • at the terminal, board the next jeep for Zamboanguita or Siaton or Dauin. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Dauin's Poblacion District 1 Marine Sanctuary. P15, 40 minutes.
  • upon disembarking at the highway (almost immediately after Dauin's Poblacion), walk towards the beach...5 mins.
  • pay P50 (snorkeling, all day) or P150/scuba dive to the caretaker and dive!

Related External Link:

** pictures courtesy of Rene Abesamis **
Ceph_argus_Dauin Crissy Crissy Nadia Cuttlefish_Dauin
Epi_fusco_Dauin Nadia_oldschool Plec_areol_Dauin thelonerider

Reader Comments:

Crissy Canlas
(jul 19, 2010) Oscar night indeed. Here's to a repeat! I want to see a leatherback turtle too!

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