My dive trips are far between, though I wanted it to be more often – few circumstances have kept me then. Last time, the plan was end of July but days passed and it’s almost three months since then. So today, I’m going to Agutayan Island (in Jasaan) about 40 minutes away from Cagayan de Oro with Mario J’s (my diving instructor) group. It’s a sunny Saturday, and after a long trip to Misamis Occidental passing Zamboanga Sur and a Friday non-working holiday, I was in a good mood! My diving gears which I bought two months ago have gathered dust already, waiting to dip in the sea waters.
My diving instructor has a dive facility now, and I’m diving here with them in the white island. As soon as we arrived in the area, we got into the boat to cruise unto the dive site. I meet new friends and Aina is my buddy today. We went down through the bouy line, and again down there are lot of creatures to marvel – giant clams, shells, colorful reefs, hard & soft corals. The area has been planted with artificial reefs – exactly the kind DA/BFAR have promoted. There was variety of fish species, even if I can’t name them all, I will always be fascinated going deep down. It seems like a dream in another world, floating and watching marine life with endless beauty – in silence. So serene, so beautiful…. We surfaced, just in time for lunch – with the grills smelling good…
We went down again after a leisure lunch and a little rest (I feel like I wanted to lie down) – the waters was bit rough but again going deeper was majestic – I can’t imagine rich marine life down. Banner of colorful fishes, colorful reefs, sweet lips, oversized jacks and most of all – 4 barracudas! As in four glistening Bs swimming coyly – Mario J has to summon me to come nearer as I was afar, but don’t have much time to take a closer look as they hastily disappear. I wasn’t expecting to see a barracuda as we were trying our luck to find a hammerhead shark in the area. Truly wonderful though, real amazing…. We went up just in time when my air is down to 1000psi. Mario said we went to 105 feet – wow! I went 101 feet last time, so I’m 4 feet deeper today, not bad…..
Few lessons for today’s dive:
1. my mask was too tight, Mario need to adjust it and I have to clear my mask -just snug but not too tight
2. I use 4 weights (Mario installed in my belt) in second dive which made me heavy, so Mario have to take away one while we’re there deep down there – 3 weights is enough for me
3. my left fin was detached (funny was I didn’t notice it) before I reach the boat, I must lock it tight before I could lost it next time.
We cruised back to the fish landing, the waves getting bigger. And like every after end of a dive, I promise myself for another trip – don’t know where and when but for sure I will. I must I should say, the sights are just too irresistible… After the goodbyes , I left with Aina and Jackie back to CdO, just in time as a storm is looming behind us. I arrived home drizzling already…
*Agutayan Marine Sanctuary
Located about 5 kilometers from the Poblacion, is the white island that dots Macajalar Bay with its 5,000 square meters white sand. With its shallow water, the place is ideal for snorkeling and swimming. A 3-hectare Marine Sanctuary was established on the island by the local government in 1995. Agutayan is home to giant clams, national treasures from the U.P. Marine Science Institute, Bolinao, Pagasinan. Five hundred of these clams were seeded in December 2001.