Bohol Divers Club is a good place to stay when diving Panglao. Their dive shop will be our diving host as well as those joining the MAD about US photo competition. It’s the type of resort I would typically book to be my base when scuba diving. It’s along the white beach, busy with lots of things going on. It’s the same stretch of white beach where we stayed the last time. You can sit on their bar along the beach and people watch while you upload your picture of the day. The internet is very good and I’m very jealous.
The dive shop is nice and with friendly staff and shiny new tanks. Our dive master is Aping, one of the guides trained in Davao under Wison Serang–the project of MAD about US. He is a member of the Bohol Dive Guides Association who now train guides. I’ve yet to catch up with Bea who runs the association.
Panglao Island 30 minutes away is connected by 2 bridges to Bohol City 30. It is one of the most popular dive destination in the Philippines. Bob hasn’t been to Bohol in 10 years and Gutsy was there last in 2007. They muse on how different it is today compare to when they started diving here. They also remember the marine life that used to populate its underwater. But while whale sharks are no longer spotted on a regular basis, the coral reefs are still thriving with macro life and water is very clear.
The weather was warm and sunny so I was confident to dive with just a 1mm jacket and leggings. But diving with these 2 pros means we averaged about 70 minutes per dive with 84 minutes being the record (my record of longest dive.) It can get cold staying there this long so I’m back to my 3mm and hood. The 2 guys are using 5mm. Water temperature is between 27 and 28 degrees.
I like the diving arrangement. Long dives mean you can take your time obsessing your subject. And that we were only 3, we have a large portion of the dive sites to ourselves so you don’t worry they’re waiting for their turn. The water is calm enough or the current is not erratic that we just agree on a direction and we don’t have to wait for each other. We almost always manage to see each other at safety stop.
I’m still using my Canon S95 with Ikelite housing. I have an Inon close-up lens (M67) that I get to try out a lot in this dive trip. Check some of my photo of the Dive Seafari Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Tomorrow we’re heading over to Balicasag to shoot some wide angles. I have a UCL-100 for that which I used to shoot the Sardines in Moalboal in January 2011.
Please keep posted. I’ll update daily as internet is back up at Peacock. Cheers!