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
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.
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.
A few fish snorkelling into Apo Island
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.
dive is still spectacular but it can not fully live up to the sights of 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.
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.
Small lagoon at Apo Island
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.
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.
The beach of Apo Island - only rangers can stay on the island.
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.
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.
Old ranger station - not used any more
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.