Getting Organized

Edmonds Travel Blog

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Google Biri Island and you will read about the fabulous rock formations and the great diving. Trouble is, up until recently, there was nothing in the way of dive facilities. That was until a year or so ago when the government declared Biri to be part of a new national ecotourism zone. Ecotourism became the mantra and the entire province of Northern Samar was abuzz over the prospects. Funds were apropriated andf the governor sent a compressor and 3 sets of scuba gear over to Biri. Problem was, no one on the island knew anything about scuba diving. Mayor Garcia appointed his nephew(uncertified at the time) to run a scuba concession and by the time I arrived last October, he had learned to fill the tanks and use the dive gear.

I had spent countless hours snorkeling around the reefs and knew the diving had to be good so I was thrilled to have the chance to strap on tanks. I'm a pretty well seasoned diver with an Advanced Open Water certification from PADI and was very excited at the prospect of exploring a new scuba frontier.

Once on Biri, I hooked up with my Aussie friend, Badger, and we made arrangements to go diving the following day. We had no idea where the best sites were but we knew that there was a wall along the lee side of the island so that's where we put in. We took  2 dives that day and both were great. Unfortunately, those were the only dives I was able to take all season. Every time I would try to set something up, the mayor's nephew would either be out of town or otherwise unavailable. Apparrently the novelty had worn off for him and there was nothing I could do about it.

So, while back in the states this summer, I have managed to put together 4 sets of dive gear along with 6 tanks which are now in transit to Biri. Access to the compressor is not a problem so I expect to be spending a lot of time mapping out various dive sites and any seasoned divers out there are  welcome to join me
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photo by: lvasianj