Where is the tropical depression heading?

Apo Reef Travel Blog

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Island - at Apo Reef

This is a morning full of doubts - will the boat go to Apo Reef or not? We need to check the weather forecast to know if the tropical depression is moving towards us or away from us. Pyh it is moving away towards China or something - not that any of us really care as long as it is not going towards Apo Reef. Hence we will be leaving shortly after breakfast.


We get on the boat - it is not like it is a big boat it is just a small standard bangka with the traditional outriggers. We get onboard and the first 15 minutes is pretty smooth sailing - we are getting some shelter from the land mass behind us. But after that we hit the open sea. And we got the wind from the side. Not being an expert in bangka I did not realize the problem at first - but apparently wind from the side is the worst kind of wind for a bangka.


The wind gets our bangka a bit off balance. Usually the two outriggers will both be in and out of the water from time to time but on this sail the outrigger in the leeway side is permanently in the water and the outrigger on the windy side is out of the water most of the time. I am watching and thinking if this is actually in accordance with safe travel or not. The crew gets out standing on the outrigger in the wind side to keep it somewhere close to the water to keep us from tumbling over. By now we have reached the point of no return - we are one hour away from Pandan Island and its shelter and one hour away from Apo Reef and the shelter it may provide us with. Hence we have to go on and hope the wind will die down in the next two days before we head back from Apo.


Finally a couple of islands are out in the horizon - we made it to Apo Reef safely. Now we just need to get to the dive site and go diving. We are a bit delayed but also excited everybody has been waiting for this to happen. One has been waiting 14 years since he first wanted to go to Apo Reef. The Danish couple went to North Pandan Island to let her get certified as a diver to go diving on the reef. And Jordan and I spend the last 3 days just getting to this place. The reef better not let us all down.


We get ready to go diving. The first dive site is at a wall - well all the dives are pretty much wall dives - and drift dives as well.


The visibility is perfect - afterwards we agree on about 25 meters. But it may have been a bit more it is clearly very good and even better than the visibility at Pandan Island. And the corals look great plus and huge number of ordinary fishes. And there is the really good stuff as well - like a few sharks, barracuda, tuna and of course not least two turtles. No Apo lets no one down it was just as perfect as we had all hoped for.


After the days diving we head for our over night anchor point which is just behind one of the island in a small lagoon area - not that it really looks like a lagoon - but there is not a lot of wind and waves. It looks like it may rain and we are a bit worried about our sleeping conditions given the fact we will be sleeping at the roof of the bangka. But it turns out they have sort of made arrangement to protect against the rain with a sail on top of us. But in the end there is no rain and the wind fortunately dies down which make it a lot more quite than it would have been with the wind blowing on the cover. There is really not a lot to do at night and it is pretty dark hence we all go to bed early looking forward to the morning dive tomorrow.

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Island - at Apo Reef
Island - at Apo Reef
Apo Reef
photo by: tj1777