Got wrecked

Coron Travel Blog

 › entry 29 of 47 › view all entries
Bobbing around in the sea waiting for rescue. Aaron did some pretty nifty card tricks to keep us entertained.
It was an interesting boattrip from El Nido to Coron. 2 hours out of the harbour the engine broke down and we drifted for 4 hours 2 kms off shore of an island where only some fishermen lived, waiting for help. The boat we had wasn't already too big and the substitute was even smaller (and without the onboard toilet). A bit scary for a trip over open sea, but we got there an hour after sunset, with thunderstorms all around. (The next morning the same tiny boat outrigger 'bangka' loaded up the double amount of people for the return trip. Some of those refused to go and the coast guard showed up, don't know how that exactly ended). The trip is beatiful though, if you're not too bothered about western standards in safety. We passed lots of small islands and the only thought that crossed everybody's head was 'what if I just get all my savings and buy that little piece of paradise right over there???'.
Going over the basics before the dive.
 

Coron town is a scruffy but nice enough place, again a little bigger than the last town visited, slightly bigger karaoke bar and disco :). There's really only one thing to do here and that's wreck diving. In short: during the invasion of the Philippines in WWII by the Americans the cargo ships in Manila were within range of the aircraft carriers, so the Japanese Imperial Navy decided to move the lot to Coron bay which they thought was out of range for the Hellcats and Helldivers. They were wrong, and after scouts had figured out that the camouflaged ships weren't small 'islands' they sent 120 planes. About 12 cargo ships were sunk by dive bombing in one strike, all of which lie now at accessible dive depths.
It's a regular day in Coron
Here's some background reading
This is wreck heaven! I did 3 days of diving, the first with the San Francisco crew and Matthias to some wrecks in undeep water, and 2 more days to the deeper wrecks. It was awesome, the first time I went into holds, rooms and corridors in a sunken ship. It's slightly scary to dive in confined spaces at 35 m depth but it's a great experience. Some of the highlights:
  • Olympia Maru: a cargo ship carrying bricks, it lies on it's side with a huge whole on one side, probably a boiler exploding, I saw part of the enormous drum shaped boilers. Matt and Andy freaked out a bit when we went into the black hole that was the entry point to the ship but in the end everybody got in. The big spaces of the holds made it relatively easy to swim through.
  • Irako: this was pretty intense as a big part of teh dive was through narrow corridors, loads of silt, so had to be carefull with the fins and the buoyancy.
    Coron by night
    Passed by the laundry room, some big cauldrons still there for the washing, lots of portholes so you could see sometimes fish passing by outside.
  • Kogyo Maru: full of cement bags and wire fence rolls, also a small cement mixer there
  • Akitsushima: a seaplane tender with a massive crane and still 2 triple barreled AA guns visible. The 2 gun turrets were salvaged so you only see the round emplacements still there on deck.
  • Tai Ei Maru / Okikawa: an oil tanker. The 3 storey high rudder was pretty impressive and we went in through the propellor shaft (I suppose the propellor was salvaged). There's still shells on deck. The ship has a massive rupture near the bow, that must have been a tremendous explosion. BTW: it's full of lobsters.        
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Bobbing around in the sea waiting …
Bobbing around in the sea waiting…
Going over the basics before the d…
Going over the basics before the …
Its a regular day in Coron
It's a regular day in Coron
Coron by night
Coron by night
Rescue
Rescue
One of the islands I want to buy.
One of the islands I want to buy.
Can be hard to get into your wetsu…
Can be hard to get into your wets…
Coron bay
Coron bay
More basics
More basics
Jump #1
Jump #1
Jump #2
Jump #2
Jump #3
Jump #3
Waiting to go down to the Olympia …
Waiting to go down to the Olympia…
Jump #4: Arnie the instructor doin…
Jump #4: Arnie the instructor doi…
Hi!
Hi!
Getting in somewhere, I cant reme…
Getting in somewhere, I can't rem…
East Tangat Gunboat: bridge in the…
East Tangat Gunboat: bridge in th…
East Tangat Gunboat: going into th…
East Tangat Gunboat: going into t…
East Tangat Gunboat: and coming ou…
East Tangat Gunboat: and coming o…
Andy & Aaron
Andy & Aaron
Mathias hiding
Mathias hiding
2 big clams. Dont do this at home!
2 big clams. Don't do this at home!
Everybody swam by the turtle, had …
Everybody swam by the turtle, had…
Coron street
Coron street
The disco #2
The disco #2
The disco #1
The disco #1
And of course theressss....VIDEOK…
And of course there'ssss....VIDEO…
Coron
photo by: TravellinChic