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scuba diving

Dauin Dive with Marine Bio CrewJul 22, 2011
Dive #8, #9

Dauin Poblacion 1 Scuba Diving with Marine Bio Crew

No More Bantay-Adobo
I was just hanging out with the marine bio crew at Brian Stockwell's when they started talking about their planned dive at Dauin Poblacion 1 Marine Reserve. Noticing my presence, I think it was Amanda Ackiss who asked, "wanna come?". I flashed my approving giddy smile. I've done free-diving at Dauin many times before, but this would be my first time as a scuba diver. Now, I get to see what they had been talking about. I wouldn't be the bantay-adobo benchwarmer anymore...woohoo!


Patient Baby-Sitter
Their first dive was a muck-dive at 30 meters...too deep for a newbie like me, so Amanda had to baby-sit me on a shallower reef dive (but no less fascinating dive!). Like a dive instructor, she refreshed me on the diving checklist and correcting my steps (which comes first), etc. Of course I learned all that during my certification, but in a real dive without Mario Pascobello (my dive instructor), it felt like new ground again. I really appreciated her patient hand-holding - that inspired confidence. Also, like a divemaster, she pointed out a few interesting items under the water.

Not There Yet
Honestly, I still couldn't appreciate the 'specialness' of those things Amanda pointed juvenile super lips...or something like that. I wasn't there yet. I'm still on the big stuff - Mr. Grouper, the green turtles and the occasional cuttlefish....all newbie stuff. I noticed that the veteran divers go for the amaller finds - nudie branch, transparent shrimps lurking under sea anemonies, mating rasses, etc.

Wannabe Marine Bio
On the second reef dive, we were joined by the rest of the gang - Brian Stockwell and Kim Wieber (not sure if Sarah, and the 2 others were on this dive). With a posse of marine biologists, I felt supremely confident about the dive...think of a fly on top of a carabao who thinks he's now the carabao. LOL.

Mr. Moray
What keeps presenting itself on both dives is what I call the cabbage patch. It would seem like a plantation of densely packed huge cabbages on the sea floor. But the highlight of this dive was spotting the biggest moral eel I've ever seen. It appeared as an unusual protrusion as big as my head on a coral outcropping. I took a closer look. I couldn't figure it out until the mouth was huge! I stayed there for a while just watching it...mesmerized by its quiet elegance and grace...knowing fully well it can be vicious. I had to leave it to keep pace with the crew. Bye bye Mr. Moray!

Post Dive Latin Immersion
The post-dive gathering at Kent's house was equally interesting. They all talked about what they saw but used latin names for the fish. It was like watching opera - you don't understand what's being said, but it's good on the ears. Then they took out the fish book to identify what they saw. It not unlike my experience with the Wild Bird Club where they bring a bird book with them to identify the birds they see.

Balut Eating
The fun didn't stop at Dauin. That evening, Rene Abesamis hosted a balut eating dare to the 'foreign guests'. Balut is duck embryo cooked in the shell. To us Filipinos, it's just food. To the uninitiated, maybe they'd rather eat broken glass. But you have to give credit to these marine bios for being such cool troopers!

--- TheLoneRider

Hey guys, thanks for tagging me along! Also, if you have some select underwater shots on this dive, I'd like to add it too :) Amanda, thanks for baby-sitting - you rock!

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!

01pre_dive 02pre_dive2 03moray_eel 04amanda_ackiss
05fish_identification 06brian_kent 07attic 08kent_house
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