Afternoon boat trip from Apo Island to Dumaguete

Dumaguete Day Trip to Apo Island: Diving Coconut Point



0 Flares



Google+


0








Facebook


0








Twitter


0








Pin It Share


0






0 Flares


×

Since Apo Island is so close to Dumaguete, volunteers who pass through from out of town usually want to go out for a visit. In late September, I helped Katie Bradley, a fellow PCV to learn a little about taking photos underwater (although I’m still in the learning phase myself!). Hanes Roberts, one of my buddies here in Dumaguete who is assigned to the Silliman University Center for Tropical Research arranged for us to dive with a divemaster he knows who is just getting his business off the ground (we were the first to use his gear!). As usual, Apo did not disappoint, and we saw a huge variety of healthy undersea life.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    (From left) Hanes, Katie and Kristin are all volunteers from the Peace Corps group that arrived a year ahead of me. Hanes and Kristin are assigned in Dumaguete, and Katie was in town to learn a little about underwater photography at Apo.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    We went with a new divemaster who also had new gear. Maybe it was the newness of the wetsuit (we were the first to wear them), but we nicknamed them "Tight City".

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Hanes now receives all his mail and care packages at the Tight City 90210 Post Office.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    All of the residents of Tight City stepped off the stern of the dive boat and into the sea.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    We didn't waste much time at the surface and headed to the bottom pretty quickly. I was at the back of the pack as everyone filed along in a loosely organized line. Nobody noticed this turtle asleep on the edge of the reef wall, but I drifted over towards him to get a photo.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I guess I must have woken him up, because he effortlessly propelled himself from his perch at the sea wall edge and calmly finned beside me as I swam with him.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The turtle didn't seem to mind me tagging along with him for a few minutes.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    This photo was taken in the deeper waters near the Cogon Point at Apo Island, and so the colors are pretty much only blues. I spotted this turtle resting on a coral ledge just before it effortlessly swam away. (Click here to see more photos from this dive).

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Eventually he headed back towards the sea wall, so I took that as a sign that he was done with the show and moved on

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I've never noticed a fish trap on previous dives with Apo barangay captain and dive master Mario. As it turned out, the new dive master that we had chosen to take us out had picked the wrong spot to dive and we were diving in a restricted fishing ground that is closed to divers. Apo is in the process of instituting a dive rangers program that has trained local fishermen to scuba dive so they can police the many divers who come from other islands and have no idea where they are going to prevent this type of thing from happening anymore.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The current on this dive was really strong, and Jake had to hold on to the mooring buoy rope to keep from drifting to Indonesia.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    We had a big group of PCV's for the dive, and by the end of the first dive everyone was really hungry and ready to have lunch at Liberty's restaurant.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Hanes ordered a hamburger that turned out to be the same size as his cell phone. His cell phone is really small though.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Maybe because his stomach was a little lighter than the rest of us from his diminutive lunch, I could see Hanes drifting above us when we went down for our second dive.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    These juvenile marine catfish always seem to school together. I usually stay well clear of them because they can inflict painful stings if you touch them. It seems like there's really not too many things on the reef that don't inflict painful stings if you touch them, so you've been warned!

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    These jacks also form large schools, but they probably sometimes eat the little catfish pictured above.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The jacks were packed densely together in their school.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Spawning pairs of jacks (a dark and light one swimming together) swam together in the school.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The rebound of the jack fish population on Apo is the result of the well managed sanctuary on the island.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The fishermen of Apo manage the school so that they don't take out too many, but still have enough to eat and sell at the market to make money. It looks to me like they're doing a pretty bang up job.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Once again, the current was really strong at the end of the dive, so everyone had to cling to the mooring buoy rope.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I'm not sure exactly what this is, but it looks to me like an enormous underwater pillow.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The feathery yellow appendages on the back of this nudibranch are its gills. Although they are sea slugs, they look a lot better than the plain brown slimy ones you find on land that everyone likes to throw salt on.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    If you look closely, you can see the foot of this anemone anchored to the coral. The anemone inhabited by these clown fish will slowly crawl along the sea wall while the clown fish happily live symbiotically within its protective tentacles.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    These two clown fish seemed curious about the camera.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Clown fish always seem to feel safe when they are close to the protection of their anemone home.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Eventually they tired of the photos and moved back into the protective tentacles of the anemone.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I got a scolding for staying underwater so long when I got back to the surface. Although I figure when I go diving, I'm going to get my money's worth out of the tank!

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I think this is one of my favorite shots from the Philippines so far; Hanes and Kristin were having a great time on the boat ride back to Dumaguete as the sun set over the mountains behind us.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The price I did pay for staying down so long was a case of mask face (the imprint of the mask around my eyes and nose). The mask face only lasted about an hour or two, so I'd say it was worth it.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    The sunsets over the mountains of Negros Oriental always seem to be pretty colorful.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    Apo faded behind us in the wake of the boat as we headed back to port.

  • Apo Island Photos - late September 2004

    Apo Island Photos - late September 2004
    I got this photo of the sunset and Apo Island on the left before it slipped over the horizon (click here for a close up view of the sunset).