Malapascua, Philippines – Thresher Shark heaven and Hammerheads!

Easter, 2013

Monad Shoal

We could not help ourselves, back again this year, and the Thresher Shark Divers dive site for Thresher Sharks did not disappoint! Never have I been so happy to get up for 5am dives before! Every single dive we did we had amazing Thresher shark experiences. Many of them coming in close and circling us, and I got some great footage of them in a shallower area of the site at about fourteen metres, where there was plenty of natural light. There had been reports of them breaching the surface, although we did not see this ourselves.

Kimud Shoal

The time we went is known for the Hammerhead season. When we asked Thresher Shark Divers they said they had not been spotted, we requested the dive site though, to give it a shot. It was a blue dive off a shear drop off that kept going some kilometres down. A dive we were only allowed to do on Air.

I heard some yelling…it was Riza our dive guide, pointing frantically down into the blue. I was looking, I was looking, I could not see anything for awhile but then they came into view. It was a school of about a dozen we could see, Hammerheads. Awesome! My first time seeing them, a fleeting moment and then they were gone.

Of course I was about three minutes to hit my decompression limit and had had no time to adjust my camera settings, being at about thirty metres they were another twenty metres away from me, so unfortunately I did not get any amazing footage of them.

Calangaman Island

We got out to Calangaman Island for a day trip which we had not been to before. Holy hell this island is magical stuff! It gives Maldives and Whitsundays a run for their money! Beautiful stunning scenery! Simply idyllic.

Here the wall diving reminded me of Tubbataha. Macro mostly and the most Pygmy seahorses I have ever seen in one place. We found five on one fan alone. And they were very animated little dudes, although that could be because they wanted me to piss off with my video lights! Yes taking macro video on a wall dive with your MOD’s at thirty four metres, well it’s not the easiest thing in the world. Luckily I had a great buddy Mark S who also enjoyed little things and did not mind having the patience to help support me.

Bantigee and Ka Osting Muck diving

The night dives go off at Malapascua. Bantigee and Ka Osting did not disappoint and I managed to get a Spanish dancer actually dancing against a pitch black backdrop which looked very cool, as I’d only ever seen them just looking like a red slug before, sitting on a rock.

Gato Cave

Gato cave as usual was awesome, we went into the Bat cave at the top and saw a lot more White tip sharks this year inside and outside the cave. One actually bumped into Nick K when he had his torch off! and I managed to sneak up on a group of them.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse dive was frustrating. Mostly because you can’t use video lights although they allow strobes on the Mandarin fish as it upsets their mating which they do at dusk. As I only had video lights and no strobes there was no way I could take video or photos, and typically the Mandarin fish were putting on quite a display. The second half of the dive made up for it though with plenty of large Seahorses and my favourite critters the Cuttlefish.

For some reason the food tasted much better this time around too. No American sugary bread like last time for breakfast and some beautiful local curries we enjoyed. Of course Mark, and later the rest of us became addicted to the Mango smoothie at Oscars which is just not as good anywhere else in the world.

I think we actually drunk them out of Mangoes and the cocktails, oh the cocktails!

Every time we leave Malapascua Nick K wants to move back there permanently. I’m not sure if it’s for the diving, or just the sweet Filipino girls :p but either way, we will probably end up there again next year.

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