Morning dive - what a way to start the day

Apo Reef Travel Blog

 › entry 20 of 42 › view all entries
Apo Island

The main reason I really wanted an overnight trip to Apo was to get a morning dive. Morning dives are virtually always the best dive of the day. The reef will be more alive with all the fish coming out to have breakfast and some night fish still active before they go to sleep for the day. Hence it is with a lot of expectation we wake up and are ready to go for the morning dive - but the engine will not start - hence will we get in the water early?

 

Fortunately the repair of the engine is pretty fast and we go down for the morning dive. We dive the Apollo. And you really need to be there to believe it because no words can really describe the sights. Down along the wall of the reef is an unbelievable amount of fish just next to it.

A few fish snorkelling into Apo Island
I have never ever on about 50 previous dives seen anything like this. There is a bigger concentration of fish than you will see in most aquariums. We go down on the wall a bit deeper than the day before - and drift along a strong current - this is the only small problem - you really need to keep an eye on your depth gauge because the current keep pushing you a bit down. As we a gliding along with the current we se several sharks down below us just swimming along the bottom of the reef. Well all good things come to an end and after a bit less than an hour we have to go up and back to the boat to have breakfast.

 

After breakfast and a bit of a decompression stop it is time to go back for another dive. The next dive is once more along a wall with a lot of current hence we can enjoy yet another drift dive just relaxing as the reef pass us by.

Sea cucumber
This dive is still spectacular but it can not fully live up to the sights of the first dive.

 

During the day we take a bit of a break on the big island at the reef. In there is a lighthouse and a ranger station. We snorkel in but the sights in around the island are not really anything spectacular - which is a bit of negative surprise after all the great stuff out at the reef. Instead we head in to explore the island a bit. We walk down along a bamboo bridge across some shallow water to get to a spot on the island where we thought there would be great snorkelling. Unfortunately the bamboo are not really build to European size men - hence when I walk along it one of the bamboos cracked and I got my leg stocked between two of the remaining pieces of bamboo - holding on to my camera, mask and fins.

Small lagoon at Apo Island
There is really nothing else to do than force the leg up through the narrow space which will not really allow my leg to pass on the way up - and it went down that easily. Well get the leg up with only a few minor scratches and we walk along to the place where we thought we would go snorkelling - but there is no snorkelling at that spot - just a raft which we go on to see what is on this mangrove area.

 

Time come to swim back to the boat. And we do the not so sensible think - head for the rear end of the boat. This is a real problem because there is a lot of current and when we pass the boat about 10-15 meters behind it we just need to close this gap to get onboard the boat - and we start swimming against the current - and we keep swimming against the current.

The beach of Apo Island - only rangers can stay on the island.
This goes on for what feels like an eternity - without any luck. We just can not close that tiny 10 meter gap. The crew has to through down a rope so we can pull us selves towards the boat and then make the short dash for the ladder to go onboard. Semi exhorted we get onboard and start to prepare for the next dive - hopefully we will be able to get the pulse a bit down before the dive - otherwise we will use up our air way to fast.

 

We get out for one last dive of the day. This dive is a bit different - we still see a lot of fish - actually I think it is the second biggest amount of minor fish on any dive - but for the first time we see no sharks or turtles. At the end of the dive there is a bit of a worrisome sight.

Old ranger station - not used any more
There is a lot of crown of thorn starfish - they have killed of a large part of the reef and at the last few minutes of the dive they are just everywhere on the corals. It is a bit scary since it looks like if the local rangers or somebody else are not taking action very soon the whole of the reef may die in a few years from now.

 

On this not so happy note we end the diving of Apo Reef - it has been amazing except the last five or ten depressing minutes. We head back to North Pandan Island. It is interesting to know how the wind will behave - we need to go back but if we got too much wind from the side it can be a bit risky. It turns out ok the wind has died down a bit during our stay at the reef and we get back safely - for a night of relaxations and thinking about what to do tomorrow - stay or go. We will leave I guess.

tj1777 says:
And here I thought all of the blog was upbeat none sarcastic except the little bit at the end where it was a bit more down beat. Well crown of thorn use its stomac acid to kill corals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown-of-thorns_starfish
Posted on: Aug 26, 2008
metroguy says:
Dude!Try to educate me about "crown of thorn starfish-they have killed of a large part of the reef" how can starfish destroyed the reef? If that so thats really sad for the next generation.Gee... for the first time Im reading a sad or I would say symphatetic blog,I never thought you have this sensitive side of yours....
Posted on: Aug 25, 2008
ellekape says:
there, i'm the first
Posted on: Aug 25, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Apo Island
Apo Island
A few fish snorkelling into Apo Is…
A few fish snorkelling into Apo I…
Sea cucumber
Sea cucumber
Small lagoon at Apo Island
Small lagoon at Apo Island
The beach of Apo Island - only ran…
The beach of Apo Island - only ra…
Old ranger station - not used any …
Old ranger station - not used any…
Other Island at Apo Reef
Other Island at Apo Reef
Jordan on the raft
Jordan on the raft
Lighttower at Apo Island
Lighttower at Apo Island
Lagoon
Lagoon
Lagoon
Lagoon
Apo Reef
photo by: tj1777